The case for blogging
If your business isn’t blogging yet, why not? Read on to find out why this proven marketing tactic generates results – even for those who feel their business is too boring for a blog!
Over half (59%) of B2B content marketers say that business blogging was key to achieving their business goals and the benefits of running a blog on your business website are numerous –committed bloggers gain better visibility, more search traffic and even a higher level of trust from website visitors. We’ll take you through these benefits in more detail, and show you how strong the case is for your business to be blogging.
One of the most commonly cited reasons for starting a business blog is to increase traffic. Blogging is an excellent way to drive traffic to your website and it is especially useful for boosting traffic from search engines.
Starting a blog means your website will be frequently updated with new content, which search engines love. Blogging is ranked as the single most effective SEO technique by 53% of businesses (Marketing Sherpa, 2013) and 59% of SEO professionals (Moz).
You are also likely to generate more links back to your website. External links are a key component of successful search engine optimisation and by creating interesting and useful blog posts other websites are more likely to link to you. In fact, companies who blog see of 97% more inbound links and a massive 434% more indexed pages than businesses who don’t (HubSpot).
However, there is a caveat. To get the biggest traffic boost, you need to blog frequently. Adding between 21 and 51 blog posts to your site boosts traffic by up to 30%, but when you’ve added at least 52 blog posts (the equivalent of just one a week for a year), your traffic can increase by up to by 77% (TrafficGenerationCafe).
Power your social media and email marketing
Another way that blog content can boost your business and increase your visibility online is via social media and email marketing. Without frequent content updates to power your social media channels and email newsletters, you may find that your results are a little lacklustre.
On the other hand, businesses who blog are already generating high quality content on a regular basis, so when it comes to composing social media updates and putting together emails, they’ll have great content ready to share. It’s hardly surprising then that HubSpot found that businesses that blog get twice as much traffic from their email campaigns than those who didn’t.
Blog posts are also much more likely to be shared on social media than standard website content (which by its nature, is not particularly shareable), helping more people to discover your website, and your brand.
Build trust and authority
One benefit of blogging that is sometimes overlooked is its ability to help businesses build trust and authority.
Now that at least a fifth of website users’ total Internet time is spent on content-led websites (Content Marketing Association), creating blog content provides your business with an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise. Through a blog, you can show your visitors, rather than tell them, that you know what you’re talking about. A blog also adds a personal touch to your business site, highlighting that there are real, knowledgeable people behind the website.
A well-written, insightful blog can also help build the authority of your business within your industry. If you are sharing helpful content on a regular basis, you’ll become known as a reputable source of information within your niche.
What’s more, although blogs generally contain non-promotional content, they still influence buying decisions – with 61% of consumers saying they are more likely to buy from a company that delivers custom content they can trust (Content Marketing Institute).
Increase inbound leads and reduce outbound advertising costs
The power of blogging to attract and convert new customers may even save you money. By switching your marketing investment from traditional outbound marketing into inbound tactics like blogging, you could generate more leads with a better return on investment. While traditional marketing methods like cold calling, direct mail and print, TV and radio advertising “push” products and services onto potential purchasers, blogging works the other way, “pulling” people towards your business.
Hightable found the average cost to generate a lead through blogging is about half the average for traditional outbound marketing techniques. It’s also more effective: Hubspot reports that inbound marketing leads convert in 14.6% of cases while outbound marketing leads only result in conversion 1.7% of the time.
In addition, studies have found that the majority of people feel more positive about a company after reading their blog, and that a massive 61% went on to make a purchase after reading a blog post (SocialMediaToday). As a result, B2B companies who blog generate 67% more leads than those who don’t (InsideView) and small businesses who blog benefit from a massive 126% increase in lead growth (ThinkCreative).
Making your blog successful
Having a blog can add significant value to your business website, not only boosting traffic and the amount of people who will find you via search engines, but also demonstrating your expertise to your visitors, helping to build authority in your field and giving visitors the confidence to become customers. This means blogs can be useful for businesses across a wide range of sectors, as they offer the opportunity to pull the right kind of visitors to your site in a cost effective way.
To get these benefits from your business blog, it’s important to approach blogging with commitment. The most successful business bloggers are consistent, blogging at regular intervals, whether that’s weekly, several times a week or daily. It’s also crucial to create well-researched, high-quality blogs that are closely matched to your target demographic. Above all, to see optimum benefits – including more links back to your website, social shares, more authority and increased conversions – your blog content needs to be valuable. Create blog content that adds genuine value to the lives of your audience and potential customers – answering their burning questions, helping them make purchase decisions and providing useful insight into their dilemmas – and that value is likely to be returned to you many times over in increased reach, loyalty and sales.