You’ve probably heard the word ‘blogging’ bandied around the online marketing arena more times than you can shake a stick at, but might be wondering what it’s all about and whether it’s something your business should be doing. The short answer is, yes.
Technology and consumer demands are constantly evolving and businesses need to keep up to engage and communicate with customers. According to a recent report, 80% of businesses incorporate blogging into their marketing efforts and acquire customers as a consequence, in fact, 82% agree it’s critical to their success.
No doubt every business owner wants the same thing - a successful, thriving business. Not sure blogging is going to aid the achievement of that goal? Give us a chance to convince you with our seven benefits of blogging. But first, let’s strip it back to basics.
Blogging is essentially creating content that you publish on your website and it’s a marketing tactic designed to increase your online visibility, authority and trustworthiness. The content within posts is devoted to subject matters relevant to your business and is informal yet informative, helps consumers and answers questions, all the while building awareness of your business.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the benefits.
If you run an online business you’re probably all too aware of the importance of consumers finding you via a search engine - it’s business 101. So, we’re going to assume you’re clued up on search engine optimisation (SEO) and are doing what you can to improve your rankings (don’t worry if you’ve never heard of SEO before, head here for everything you need to know).
What you might not be aware of is that by creating a business blog you’re going to exponentially improve your chances of being better ranked and found in more searches. Why? Because sites like Google love fresh and relevant content and blogs offer just that.
When you add new pages to your site, search engines index the content within them and this is what determines your ranking and findability. Each new blog post gives you the opportunity to add relevant keywords which in turn boost your ranking in search results.
Higher in search results = higher click-through rate = more traffic to your site. So, blogging can increase your number of customers. Businesses with a blog 1 - 0 everyone else.
By offering free, high-quality, informative content within your blogs you’ll be building trust with consumers who’ll view you as a good source of knowledge.
Your blogs will demonstrate your expertise within your field, they’ll allow you to establish clout within your industry and customers will view what you write as a valuable source of information.
Imagine someone is searching for the answer to a common question and they find it within your blog, they mightn’t be in the market for your products right now, but if they should be down the line they’ll enter your sales process having already built that level of trust because you helped them in the past.
A person who trusts you is much more likely to convert into a customer.
We can’t emphasize the importance of engaged consumers enough, they buy more, promote more, and are more loyal. And guess what? Blogging builds customer rapport and boosts engagement.
You can use your content to lure prospects and customers onto your site and then once they’re there, let them interact with your words with something like a comment of feedback section at the end of your article - or maybe even a poll or social sharing button.
All this helps get people more invested in your business and spread the words to others - and let’s be honest, neither can be a bad thing.
Through blogs, you give consumers a better idea of the personal side of your business. Whether it’s playful and chatty, educational and to-the-point or otherwise, the character of your business can be portrayed in a way it can’t in outbound marketing efforts.
Let’s say, for example, you’re a home furnishings business and you’re writing a blog on the top 10 style trends to look out for. You give useful tips and handy insights in an informal way - putting the consumer at ease and demonstrating value, and link to your own products throughout to subtly highlight how your offerings help people keep up with the latest trends.
People don’t feel like they’re being ‘sold’ to as much, but the end result is just as good - providing what you’ve written is top-notch, of course.
Blogging opens up the door for viral traffic thanks to the opportunity it creates for users to share your content. With the rise of social media and the swathes of platforms now available, anyone who visits your blog can share the link on their personal pages if they think it’s something their friends and followers will appreciate too.
Essentially, what that means is blogs can provide free marketing, open up the door to new consumers who mightn’t have come across your business otherwise, and exponentially boost your business’ growth.
The benefits of blogging aren’t short-lived, once you publish your article you can expect it to perform for months or even years to come. Why? Because once your blog is ranking on search engines, you’ll continue to gain traffic as well as leads from that post, in fact, most of the leads generated from blogs will come from historical posts.
According to one marketing site, 70% of their overall blog traffic is generated from articles published in previous months, and 90% of their monthly traffic was a result of blogs posted months or even years prior.
Of course, not every article you put out there will drive these kinds of results, but the more often you post the more likely you are to create a blog that brings in the consumers month after month.
One of the most enticing elements of blogging for most businesses is that it’s a relatively inexpensive form of marketing. That’s not to say it’s something you should scrimp on, but compared to the higher outlay and shorter-term results of paid-for ads, the return on investment from blogs is much better.
We’d like to think at this point that the prospect of more customers, better growth, higher engagement and a trusting relationship with consumers has convinced you of the power of blogging for businesses. So, we’ll finish off with our six top tips on how to blog successfully:
1. Write for your customers - aim to offer fresh insights or solve a problem in every article.
2. Plan - write down the content you want to blog on in advance to save yourself time and prevent you from putting it off. It could be the answers to FAQs, explaining keywords and terms pertinent to your business, a guide to products, etc.
3. Add value - write your articles with the aim of meeting customer needs in order to encourage return visits and ultimately sales.
4. Get personal - adding a bit of personality to your blogs is key to engaging with consumers - avoid turning it into a heavy sales pitch.
5. Make it shareable - remember what we said about free marketing? Make your blog as easy to share as possible - adding social media sharing icons is a great way to do this.
6. Evaluate - use a web stats tool like Google Analytics to find out what’s hot and what’s not. You’ll be able to see what users are enjoying and what’s not working so well and use that data to shape your future content ideas.
A successful blog could mean more sales, so you’ll need to ensure your payment systems are up to scratch - and that’s where we come in. Whether it’s payment gateways, phone payments, pay by link options or some developer support you’re after, you’re in the right place
Get in touch with our experts today on 0808 274 2017 to see how we can help.