Blogging for business results is far from dead, despite occasional reports to the contrary. It’s true that we must think more about content for mobile, and that people like content in bite-size chunks. Still, the fact is that blogging is alive and well – and for good reason.
The Heart of It All
Whether you call it content marketing or use the umbrella term we prefer, Inbound Marketing, targeted, well-executed content is the heart of your marketing program in 2016 and beyond. That content can take many forms – long-form written posts, short tweets, videos, photos or a combination thereof – but the best platform to host that content and serve as the “hub” of your marketing program is a well-done blog. Then, you can syndicate and push out that blog content via social media, newsletters, emails and more.
A blog can host your owned content (about your company, products or services) as well as earned content (links to articles from third parties that mention you and your company). You can even featured shared content on your blog, such as a compilation of social posts or mentions of your brand. Whether you aim to educate, entertain or inform with your content, a blog is the ideal home base.
Blogs vs. Websites
Websites are cumbersome, seem outdated the day they go live and are often hard to navigate. They’re a necessary place to provide company or brand information, but they’re not a digital destination consumers are likely to return to again and again for “news they can use.” A website is your place to talk all about yourself, your products and your company – and that’s why visitors only come when they’re ready to hear about you.
Blogs, on the other hand, are nimble, dynamic and constantly being refreshed with new content. The content on a blog shouldn’t be all about your company or products, but rather bigger picture content – not just your story, but THE bigger story. Plus, blogs are full of links, which attract search engines and visitors alike. Blogs are also packed full of keywords, which further serve to attract search engines and visitors.
Benefits of Blogging
So what are some specific, tangible benefits of blogging for business? See what you think of our list below:
- Your own publishing platform. Media viewership is fragmented today and it can be hard to get in front of your target audiences – even fans on your own Facebook page. A blog gives you a perfect platform to tell your stories, share your role in the industry and serve your audiences with the content they are seeking. Note that not all of your content should be about you or your company – try to include bigger picture content as well that ties back to a lifestyle, industry or other areas of interest for your audience.
- Increased search engine traffic. There’s no greater off-page SEO boost than regular, fresh, targeted content on your blog. That content will attract the search engines, get you ranked higher in search results and ultimately help people find you. Each high-quality blog post that you publish is another opportunity to gain traffic from search.
- Credibility. “Thought leadership” is a common goal of many of our clients – we all want to be seen as smart, helpful influencers in our field. A blog is a perfect way to demonstrate your industry smarts and provide helpful information that will boost your credibility as a leader and get you noticed.
- Relationships. Blog content, especially when you find ways to amplify that content farther and faster, helps get more eyes on your message. More eyes on your content ultimately helps turn strangers into known entities. It can help you expand your network, make new contacts and attract new customers. Reaching out to other bloggers can result in beneficial partnerships as well. And, blogging can help you deepen relationships with existing clients.
- More leads. Research shows that the more content pages (e.g., blog posts) a site has, the more leads it gets. According to Hubspot, businesses with 401-1,000 pages of content get six times more leads than those with 51-100 pages. In simple terms, the more you blog, the more leads you generate. More content means more form submissions, more email opt-ins, more quote requests, and ultimately, more sales.
- Get better at blogging. One of my favorite benefits of blogging is that it helps you become a better writer and more disciplined content creator. Yes, that’s right – blogging regularly helps you get better at blogging. Seriously, what better medium is there for instant feedback, where you can turn on a dime, measure results and adjust your content accordingly?
Now, no one said blogging is easy. Consistently churning out quality – not just quantity – blog content takes planning, time, creativity and teamwork. But I am confident that the benefits of blogging far outweigh the effort to plot out content, write posts and figure out how to re-purpose them for maximum effect.
What are you waiting for? Give us a call today if we can help you put an effective blogging strategy in place for your company.