Blogs are one of the most effective marketing strategies your business can employ. Here’s why.
We often tell businesses that blogging is one of the best things they can do for their business. However, the connection for many companies between their blog and online marketing success is often tenuous. Why should a blog be such an important strategy? Since they’re mostly familiar with direct marketing strategies, blogging doesn’t feel aggressive enough. Besides, aren’t attention spans limited these days? Will anyone actually read these?
We understand these concerns, but the data speaks for itself. While every company is different and some strategies are more effective than others, most of the businesses we work with have seen the biggest growth in their organic traffic—and a subsequent rise in generated leads—from the work we’ve done on their blog. That’s not a random correlation. Here’s why blogging is so effective for businesses.
1. It’s essential for SEO.
It’s hard for any good Search Engine Optimist to do their job if they don’t have anything to work with. This comes up a lot in conversations with our own SEO specialist, Ashley. There’s a lot she can do behind the scenes on her own, but it’s hard for her to keep demonstrating the good results of her labor without content to work with.
If you’re paying for SEO but not maintaining a regular blog, you’re not getting the full value out of your marketing budget. It’s like investing in the best sports car on the market, but refusing to put fuel in the tank. You need content to get the most out of your SEO strategy.
2. It strengthens relationships with your customers.
As excellent as blogging is for SEO, it is perhaps more important as a communications tool with your customers. Many businesses fail to appreciate blogging as an end in itself, and see it primarily as a means to an end.
However, your business blog is also a way for you to talk directly to your audience about their concerns, interests, and needs. It’s a space for you to educate them about your brand, products, or cause, and a place where you can answer questions they have about your company.
3. It can educate your readers, provide value, and generate discussion.
You can also use your blog to address a certain topic in depth, which can provide additional value to your customers. For instance, in many industries, blogs can be used to provide training for customers so that they can use a product or service more effectively. We’ve done this ourselves through some of our posts about SharpSpring or WordPress.
Read our post: How to Create a Blogging Strategy for Your Business
We’ve also found that non-profits gain a lot of value from their blogs by using it to advance their cause. They can share important information, advocate for their mission, and even engage readers in a discussion about their key topics.
4. It supports your other marketing strategies.
Content on your blog shouldn’t stay on your blog. If you have an email campaign, including recent, related blog posts can help support your message and build engagement. If you’re on social media, your blogs give readers a reason to click through and visit your website. And unlike ads or other marketing tools, blogs are easy for readers to share around. If they like a post, they can email it to a friend, or text it to a colleague, or link back to it in their own blog.
Some of these things are possible with other forms of content, but not all. An email can be forwarded, but it can’t be linked to. A social media post can be shared to other people on that social network, but it can become difficult to send it to someone not on the platform. that’s what makes blog posts such an important repository of content for your brand: you own them, and you’re in no danger of losing them if the social platform shuts down.
5. It builds prestige for your brand.
Finally, a blog gives your brand a voice in your industry. It helps you guide the conversation, set the talking points, and be the person everyone else references when they talk about a topic—whether or not they agree with you.
Beyond that, there’s a lot to impress readers in a regular, well-run blog. It’s a public way to show your commitment to your industry and to your customers. It’s a place where you can talk about the good work you’re doing and share your most impressive portfolio pieces. Your clients can then see what you’ve done for others, and maybe even see their own story featured in the future.
Blogging is like exercise: you have to keep going if you want to maintain your gains.
Sometimes, we work with companies who are sold on the premise (that blogging will help their business), but hesitate on the execution. They’re interested in the occasional blog, but they don’t see the purpose of a weekly schedule. Or they’ve blogged for a while, have seen the gains, and don’t feel they need to maintain the practice.
However, blogging is like exercise. You can take a break here and there and you won’t see an immediate drop, but eventually the gains you saw will slow down and eventually cease. But if you maintain a blog regularly, you’ll only become a stronger and more competitive force in the marketplace.
So don’t let your competition pass you by. If you aren’t blogging, or you’re only blogging now and then, it’s time to pick up the pace.