Does my business need a blog, you might wonder? Blogging is an essential part of content marketing, because it provides potential customers with information. It’s not overtly selling anything, even if it includes a call to further action.
Instead, customers are free to take your information and use it for free, no questions asked. From how to choose a new furnace (and whether you need a medium- or high-efficiency model), to how to stage your home for the best resale price, there's no limit to the type of content you can provide.
Consumers trust the information they read on blogs, whether they’re influencer or corporate posts. According to BlogHer, over 80 percent of consumers say that they trust information from blogs.
Furthermore, site traffic to websites that have more than 20 blog posts increases by almost a third. This is due in part to the search engine optimization (SEO) benefits of answering questions consumers are asking. Even better, consumers who read custom blog content feel more positive about the company and its brand.
Blogs Benefit Companies and Customers
There are other equally persuasive reasons to invest in a blog for your website — and you should think of it as an ongoing investment. For instance, having this sort of business content online is the easiest way to establish your executives as thought leaders. In terms of internal communications, it’s a great way to promote employee engagement.
An open call for blog ideas and an invitation to contribute to the corporate blog can make junior communications staff feel appreciated. In addition, this practice gives employees not involved with marketing or communications a chance to shine, all while providing insight.
Think about the benefits of a tech support customer service blog that highlights five things you can do to fix your internet issues before waiting on hold for five, 10, or 30 minutes. This will make your customers happier, save time for your service representatives, and establish your value as thought leaders and experts in your industry. It boosts the user experience on your website and is a critical aspect of marketing for small businesses.
But Isn’t Blogging Dead?
It’s hard to know when the “blogging is dead” rumors first started, but by 2012 many social media experts jumped on the bandwagon and had virtual funerals for their blogs. Mobile was king, and mobile didn’t favor long-form writing, especially not long-form writing that wasn’t constantly updated.
“If journalism is now a process, continually updating and iterating on the facts in any given event, then you can’t really freeze it in an article anymore, can you? News is a river that happens all day and night, all over the world,” concluded Francine Hardaway.
Luckily, content strategists and marketers took a different approach, focusing on why blogging matters and how to adapt blogging to supply the content consumers want. While it may be true that we’re not using desktops and laptops as much as we used to, we’re getting by just fine on our mobile devices. Plus, data is getting cheaper and 5G is firmly in our sights so we can navigate the internet easily on our phones with voice commands.
Isn't video better than blogs, you might ask? Well, while video content may get a lot of views, it’s not necessarily the best way to begin learning about a broad topic. Basic and broad overviews are usually where consumers start when they’re contemplating installing a heat pump, investing in solar panels, or renovating their kitchen. As Wanda Coustas says, “when it comes to drilling down and providing the nitty gritty on a subject, long form content (that’s 2,000 words or more) performs systematically well.”
Small business owners should also know that choosing to create a blog does not make them a "blogger" or plant them in the camp of having a personal blog or travel blog. Marketing strategy suggests an area with detailed content will likely benefit a business website, driving users via Google search queries to your page to view your products and services. Choosing to start a blog is an important aspect of content marketing strategy.
Why Do I Need a Blog?
You need a blog because you want people to visit and explore your website. You want people to trust your brand and your products and services, and one of the best ways to do that is to establish your expertise.
A blog post that celebrates an employee who’s been with the company for 25 years isn’t just a puff piece to make the employee feel good about themselves. It subtly tells readers you’ve been around for a while and you’re going to keep doing what you do best.
It also tells readers you value your employees and their contribution, and that you’re not operating a sweatshop or other business lacking morality, something that is becoming increasingly important to procurement professionals. It proclaims your stability, your commitment to your customers, and your durability as a company.
You need a blog because you need to differentiate yourself from your competitors. A blog content strategy that’s thoughtfully prepared as part of a thorough content marketing plan will not only bring people to your website, it will keep them there.
You need a blog because it’s the perfect vehicle to celebrate your customers and to get them to engage with your brand. Traditional media outlets with broad audience reach are few and far between these days. They're also resource strapped, and caught in a vicious cycle of more news, fewer people to report it, and no advertising to pay for additional writers.
Human interest stories have gone the way of the dodo in mainstream media, but we haven’t lost interest in our fellow human beings and their stories. A celebratory blog post about someone who chose to celebrate their birthday at your restaurant shows you care about your customers. An article about a customer who’s never driven any other make of vehicle than the ones you sell is powerful, because people identify with other people.
Why Blogging Matters in Other Ways
Instead of competing for attention with all your competitors, blogging allows you to tell your brand’s story the way you want it told. Do you provide a pet-friendly work environment? Have you hired one of the hottest personal trainers in the country to give complimentary sessions to staff who’ve hit certain work milestones?
Are you pioneering a different way of creating your product, increasing sustainability, or providing better value? Blogging about these things lets you shine the spotlight on what you want to feature, when you want to feature it, without having to be part of a trend.
Ultimately, businesses that have a niche and know what they are trying to sell (and to whom) tend to find greater success in the long run. It simply doesn't work to be all things to all people. You need to do your market research and find your target audience--then serve them as well as you possibly can.
Blogging also allows you to quickly update your customers without waiting for the news cycle. If you should ever be unlucky enough to have to announce a product recall, you’ll want that information on your site as soon as it’s known.
Blogging lets you consolidate your social media efforts and allows your customers to make their own choices about how they get information about your brand. Links to Twitter and Instagram feeds, Facebook and LinkedIn pages, and YouTube channels should be prominently featured on your blogs, which will act as an anchor for all your content marketing efforts.
Blogs Matter to Businesses
If you thought blogging was dead, you were mistaken. Content will always be king, particularly as part of the sales funnel. It just takes a different form today than it has in the past.
As part of a creative content strategy, Wordsmyth Creative Content Marketing will help you tell the stories your brand needs to tell. We know how to make title tags, meta tags, and headers work in your business blog to drive users to your site. We know which search queries and SEO keywords your target customer will use, and we can advise you on what topics to include in your site content.
To discover how a creative content marketing agency can help you develop an effective blog strategy that will bring customers to your website, contact us today!