One of the most amazing things about the modern world is the quantity of information at our fingertips through the Internet. Today, anyone with a connection can research just about anything at any time. It’s no surprise that the Internet is the most common first stop a prospect will make on their journey to purchase a product or service they need.
While the internet is full of information, it’s often hard to wade through. Your company blog, however, is an opportunity to cut through the clutter and position yourself in front of your prospects. When someone asks the Internet a question about your industry, the answer should come from the content on your blog.
Well-written blogs are a valuable asset in your marketing, but how to deploy them is often misunderstood. Continue reading to learn more about why blogs are an essential component of your marketing strategy and how to get started.
The 4 Benefits of Blogging
1. Talking Directly to Customers
Do you ever feel like your company would close a lot more sales if you could just talk to more prospects directly? Hello, blogging!
People make purchases based on a unique mix of need, trust, and price. An extreme need can take precedence over price, but a company still has to feel trustworthy. Trust, on the other hand, can also influence a buyer to accept a higher price because of the faith they have in a particular business or solution.
You are a specialist, and maybe even a thought leader, at your business. Your potential customers are out there looking for information to solve the problems they are experiencing. Blogging allows you to cultivate the character of your business while positioning yourself to be that knowledgeable and trustworthy partner each prospect is looking for.
You want as many eyeballs on your website as possible. In addition to the content of any specific blog, the act of blogging on your business site helps position its search engine ranking. The higher up you appear, the more likely you are to get visits, leads, and customers.
There are a number of factors that influence how highly your site will rank. As one component, a blog can naturally incorporate some of the things that search engines look for.
A blog provides opportunities to create internal links between your blog to other parts of your site. Search engines like this because it implies that your site is coherent, with different parts all truly related. In some cases, you may find a site outside of your website has linked to your blog too. This type of linking shows the SEO engines that you are providing useful information, which results in a gradual rise in rankings compared to those who don’t do it.
Blogs are also effective at growing an audience because they help you generate traffic from people using longer keywords. Large brands usually dominate the simplest keywords, and there is a lot of jostling for ranking positions. However, more and more, people are entering longer keyword phrases into their search engines. These are called “long tail keywords” and your blogs can target ones that make sense for your company.
3. Creates Content You Can Use Elsewhere
Who doesn’t like a good 2-for-1 deal? When you create blogs, you are also creating content that can be repurposed in your social media, podcasts, downloads and infographics, and more. After you do the work of creating a brilliant blog, promote it through your social channels and integrate it into other content you are using. You can even go back periodically to promote older blogs that are still relevant. Content creation can be a challenge, particularly for small businesses with limited staffing resources — let your blog help with some of the content.
Many businesses have a certain number of social media posts that they make in a week. You can cut down on the amount of original content you need to create by working blog promotion into your social media schedule. Plus, those clicks on social media take the reader right to your website.
4. Viral is Not Your Goal
A blog doesn’t have to go viral to have a long reach. The act of creating a well-written blog itself can have an impact on your bottom line. Techjury recently summarized some current research on blogging which contains some impressive findings. To summarize: adding quality blogging content to your marketing strategy can produce significant results that you can measure.
Going viral isn’t the goal of blogging. Timely, trustworthy content that reaches your prospective clients is the metric you need.
Characteristics of a Good Blog
You know one when you read it. Information is easy to assimilate, the author feels like they are talking directly to you, and you may even feel the desire to respond in the comments. Blogs that accomplish that are winners.
An author needs to know their audience. Ask yourself, “Who you are writing to?” Imagine what problem the reader needs to have solved and what feelings and frustrations they are likely experiencing. Write to alleviate those feelings. When you approach your writing with authenticity and develop a blogging persona that is warm and helpful, you will be on the right track. Just write what you believe a frustrated reader needs to know.
You will know you are hitting the sweet spot when your blogs start to generate interactions. Comments can be good, it's the starting point of a conversation directly with someone who is interested. Even better, is the click of your call to action. This person is even more likely to head down the path of doing business with your company.
A final tip: Don’t try to pack the blog with keywords. That simply destroys your credibility, as your reader assumes that you care more about ranking than solving their problem. Search engines don’t really like it either.
How to Write a Good Blog
Writing doesn’t come naturally or easily for everyone, but here are a few tips. First of all, know your audience! A well-written blog that lands in a group of readers who will never buy what you are selling isn’t achieving your business goals. Make sure you understand pain points, who the decision makers are, and who is most likely to be researching this particular issue.
A second way to write a good blog is to not write a blog. You likely have a natural writer somewhere on your payroll who will relish the opportunity to stretch their fingers. Work together to set the guidelines and expectations and let them use their natural ability along with their knowledge of your company. Your blogs will shine, and your employee with be even more engaged in their work.
Third, no matter how you choose to proceed with your blogging project, it has to have its own priority and its own time set aside. Quality writing rarely happens in one block of time. Your author will need some freedom to research, make notes, form ideas, stop and start, and then roll along to that first draft.
Finally, if time is simply too scarce for you to take on blogging in-house, you can hire a writer. At 1 Bold Step, one of the fractional marketing services we offer is blog writing. The blog starts with the topic you want and the research you point us towards. We will also recommend and write blogs on the SEO research that we do. We can discover the keywords your prospects are using and create content that converts.
It’s Worth It
Getting into the blogging game is worth it. According to Hubspot research, marketers report that blogging can be very effective in generating leads and has a measurable ROI. Within that same research, over 50% of decision-makers polled spend significant time each week reading blogs.
Blogging is an affordable, efficient, and results-driven marketing tool. There are ways to make it happen even if you’re not comfortable doing it. If you need help navigating these blogging waters, don’t hesitate to contact us here at 1 Bold Step. Don’t pass up the opportunity blogs provide to bring more leads your way.