Many Marketing Managers often find themselves wondering if starting a business blog is really worth their time and effort. It sounds like a hassle - hiring content specialists, developing a content plan, investing in SEO and design tools...
Furthermore, will it even make a difference in Marketing and Sales results? Will it provide a positive ROI for the business? The answer to all of these questions is: YES, blogging for business is worth it and it will make a huge difference!
Statistics on Business Blogging
We know you want hard data on the importance of a business blog, so here are the top statistics to convince you to get started today:
- 80% of internet users interact with both social media sites and blogs.
- 70% of people would rather learn about a company through articles rather than advertisements.
- It has been found that companies that blog receive 55% more traffic than companies that don't and they have 434% more indexed pages.
- Companies with blogs produce an average of 67% more monthly leads than companies that don't blog.
- Marketers who prioritized blogging received 13X more ROI than companies that did not in 2019.
The statistics are clear and the gains your business could achieve are staggering!
5 Benefits of Blogging for Business
Have you heard of the "Pool Guy"? He's pretty well known in the world of Content Marketing for using blogging to save his pool business during the financial crisis of 2008. In a time when people were losing their jobs and homes, his pool installation business actually made money - all because he decided to start a business blog answering simple, yet common customer questions. Incredible!
The above example perfectly demonstrates why blogging is important. Potential customers are actively seeking out information on the web, and it's an opportunity you're missing out on if you're not occupying that space with your content.
Below, discover 5 main benefits of blogging for business:
1. Provide answers and solutions to leads and customers
Ever gone to a website looking for more information only to come up empty? When searchers are looking for information on your company, product, or services and they don't find anything, they are more likely to turn to other companies that answer their questions and doubts. If your competitors have a blog, they are reaping the benefits!
It may seem like a huge task to develop an extensive blog, but start slowly and build up your content offerings. Find out what your customers are interested in. Convert common questions that your sales team gets into your first blog posts. Then, you can easily repurpose blog posts into guides and videos. The more content formats and points of contact you establish with your audience, the more likely they are to find exactly what they're looking for.
2. Strengthen your authority and reputation
The more someone trusts your business, the more likely they are to buy from you. According to Single Grain, 68% of respondents say that a blog adds credibility to a website. Use content to establish a relationship with followers, position yourself as an expert, and demonstrate your abilities. Instead of making claims and expecting visitors to simply trust the Marketing messages you're putting out, your blog content can provide cold, hard evidence of your knowledge on the sector, the unique characteristics of your products and services compared to the competition, and more.
3. Guide prospects through the Buyer's Journey
Maybe you've got lots of information on your website, but prospects are getting lost along the way. You already know that in Marketing and Sales, prospects need to be taken by the hand and led down the funnel towards the close of the sale. Because of this, you need to have content that ranges from educational to comparative to commercial, thus guiding prospects (via your content) down the funnel. Creating blog content for each stage of the Buyer's Journey makes sure every audience segment is covered, at the right time and place in the buying cycle.
4. Enhance your online positioning
Do you want to draw in consistent traffic? Page 1 of search results get 92% of traffic, and the top organic listing on Google will get 33% of traffic. Ranking highly on search engines can make or break your business in this day and age. Although traditional media like magazine ads and TV commercials have their place in Marketing strategies for some companies, the majority of companies need to bulk up their online offerings to get a bigger piece of the market share. The more pieces of high-quality, SEO-optimized web pages and blog posts you have, the more opportunities you have to reach your audience and gain customers.
5. Establish a deeper relationship with your customers
Although the end goal of most businesses is to make money, that isn't the goal of your customers; they are looking for a business that takes care of their needs and that is aligned with their values or objectives. By creating a blog, you have the opportunity to show a human side to your brand, going beyond "just business".
Use blog posts to form a relationship with your prospects, connect with them on a more personal level, and offer relatable advice and solutions. Show them you're invested in their problems and that you're there to provide solutions. Moreover, a blog gives you another outlet to express your tone and style, which will strengthen your brand image and positioning in the mind of your audience. If your customers can see a clear picture of what your brand is behind all the business procedures, they're more likely to develop a long, trusting relationship with you.
Essentials for Your Business Blog
If you've been convinced to start a blog for your business, that's great! It truly is one of the best decisions you can make for your Marketing strategy. However, careful execution and planning is required to make your company blog successful. Below, discover the essential elements:
The first step in writing great blog posts is to understand your audience. In Inbound Marketing, these people are known as your Buyer Personas, or your company's ideal customers based on a combination of real customer data, sales information, interviews, and market research.
Look into demographics, such as age, job, location, but also look beyond these factors into their motivations and customer journey. What led them to seek out your product or service? Investigate their problems, wants, and needs - this is the information they will be looking to find in your blog posts. Then, use mbudo's Buyer Persona template to develop your first BP.
Writing about the right topics is key for finding the right customers. The first thing you should do is a content audit, where you see what Marketing and Sales materials you already have that could be turned into blog posts. Identify your main topics and also identify the gaps where you haven't yet addressed a certain topic. Then, conduct a brainstorming session to develop a list of topics for future blog posts.
Primarily, you want to focus on “evergreen” content, content that will be relevant for years to come. Ask your sales and service reps about common customers questions. Investigate what your competitors are writing about. See which of your social media posts get the most interactions. All of this can be used to influence which subjects you write about.
Once you've got your list of topics, it's vital to see which ones you can actually rank for. This is where keyword research, an important SEO tactic, comes into play. Let's say you want to write about "B2B software", but if this keyword is super competitive, all your efforts will have been in vain because it will be extremely difficult to rank on the first page organically for that keyword. At the beginning, you should focus on keywords with low-medium search volumes and low-medium competitiveness. As your blog gains more notoriety, you can aim for more competitive keywords.
Content Plan and Calendar
Before beginning, you need to develop a content plan and calendar. Ideally this will be a full plan for the content you will develop over the next 3 months, featuring specific topics, keywords, associated campaigns, deadlines, etc. Keep track of your blog content in an Excel spreadsheet, Google doc, or via some other method, so you know what you've already written, which will help organize and influence future content decisions.
Remember, consistency is key in building up an audience. You shouldn't go one month without posting anything then all of a sudden come out with 7 blog posts. Also factor in diffusion via social media and email. The more touchpoints you develop with your audience, the more likely they are to
Your blog posts should always instruct prospects on next steps. Blog posts without including next steps will leave your prospects with nowhere to go; they will read the post and leave, and your business will have gained nothing. Every post you write should feature a call-to-action (CTA), such as a newsletter sign up, landing page form, or product demo/purchase, and the CTA should be relevant to the stage in the Buyer's Journey.
For example, an educational post shouldn't direct readers to purchase a product - the reader likely is still researching their problem or need and isn't ready to buy yet. Thus, your call-to-action will want to offer natural next steps, such as downloading a related ebook offering more information on the topic. Capturing customer information via CTAs is one of the main goals of a business blog.
You can always outsource your Marketing to experts, but many businesses choose to have an in-house content specialist or team. Your content specialist should have knowledge of SEO practices and be able to think about content from a strategic point of view. They will also be responsible for writing and editing blog posts, or organizing the team to do so. In terms of business writing, these aspects are very important:
- Consistent messaging across pieces of content.
- Tone and style reflects the brand image and positioning.
- Avoid jargon so not to confuse readers or seem too "niche".
- Careful content translation and localization for different markets.
- Each piece of content is geared towards a Buyer Persona and a stage in the Buyer's Journey.
Goals and Metrics
Like any aspect of your business, you need to be able to measure your blog in order to determine its ROI. This means establishing KPIs from the very beginning and tracking metrics like traffic volume, bounce rate, CTA clicks, leads generated, etc. Most content platforms offer some form of reporting; for example, with HubSpot you can create dashboards and reports to track prospects across all posts and pages, from their first visit through purchase.
As a Marketing Manager, one of the best things you can do for your company and team is to start blogging for business. You've seen the benefits and now you know the essentials that are needed. Improve your Marketing results and ROI from today onwards through your business blog - it's really that simple. If you'd like to place your trust in the experts, mbudo can help you get started! Contact us.