As we work with clients to update their websites, one of the main topics of conversation is about “the blog.” Do I need one? Why should I have one? How should I do it? Blogging remains one of the important content marketing tools for businesses. You may even be thinking “Isn’t blog writing more important for B2C companies? Why should my B2B company commit to writing blogs?”
According to a Hubspot survey, 60 percent of businesses who blog acquire more customers. Blogging is a key component of inbound marketing strategy that can help attract customers to your website by offering the information they need when they are seeking solutions to their business challenges. Today, more than 90 percent of business-to-business buying decisions starts with an online search. A blog helps to fuel that search.
Whether blogging is right for your company depends on a few key elements: your audience, your marketing strategy, your SEO ranking, and the content you have available to support a blog.
So, what are your goals for your website? How important is social marketing? If your goals are to generate traffic to your website, gain email leads, or become a trusted brand name, then adding a blog could be a great choice for your company.
Connect with your audience.
A blog helps you engage with your customers and an engaged online audience wants to read fresh content. When you don’t share, you’re neglecting your audience — and failing to serve (or benefit from) your audience adequately. For those seeking to be informed or inspired, your blog can provide the opportunity to do that, and to grow your audience or reach new target markets.
A blog is a key component of inbound marketing strategy.
Producing reliable, insightful industry news to your clients and prospects can pay off. Not only will it increase your reputation for compelling thought leadership, it will also increase your inbound links. Other websites may share your content to be helpful (and credible) as well. This will send their visitors to your site and gives you an opportunity to build your own relationship with them. The content that you create for your blog will also work as content for other social platforms, furthering your reach. For example, if you write a blog, and come up with headline drafts, those can be used as status updates or posts on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
Sharing is caring.
Your blog can also create some free PR. Often, your audience will want to share your valuable information if it is content that resonates. When quality content is shared by customers, vendors and friends, this will build a community of people, who will start talking to you and to each other, keeping your business at the forefront.
Analytics will inform you.
Blogging provides you with more opportunities to measure how often your content is being read and how readers are finding you. (Google Analytics is a great tool for this). By gaining insights into your audience, you will be able to actually see who is clicking to go back to your website, and you will be able to create other social posts that will engage your audience and keep driving them back to your website. Then, take what you’ve learned to adjust your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your primary audience.
A blog fuels SEO.
A blog fuels Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Search engines look for websites with fresh content. Posting new content frequently will improve your company’s SEO. When search engines find and index your company page, they will rank it based on quality of content and how recent the updates are. Basically, having a higher SEO translates to an increase in trust and website traffic.
For example, if your company is a consulting firm, advisory business or any service business, your blog is where potential customers size you up and essentially “window shop” your business. A well-written blog tells your prospect more about who you are, what you know, and what you stand for.
Your content conveys your brand personality.
Your blog gives your business a voice. Based on the unique content that you create, this can set you apart from your competition. Your blog doesn’t just have to be just written content. Online videos, podcasts, or other graphics and images work well as alternative blog types. Visual content will get more engagement than text alone as it is more memorable to your audience.
The content from your blog is also a good way to showcase your thought leadership. Your stories, case studies and other content displays your wealth of knowledge and the way in which you solve the types of problems your audience might be facing. Your blog can also provide a valuable source of information for social media channels.
Before you start blogging, make sure that you set marketing goals and guidelines, but definitely start. Before you do too much promotion, you want to make sure you have a few topics available AND have a way for people to sign up for more (potentially through email). The key to blogging is consistency. If you you’re going to blog, do it regularly. It doesn’t need to be every day or every week, but you don’t want to post just two or three times and then….
It does take time and effort to create quality content. Be sure you commit the time and resources to update it at least once or twice a month. If the end doesn’t justify the means, spending time on blog writing may not be for you. However, if your company is putting time, energy, and money into a new website, blogging is a great tool to keep your investment fresh and valuable.