If you’ve been thinking about marketing for your small business or startup for any significant amount of time, blogging has probably come across your radar as an option. However, blogging, which is an essential part of content marketing, is time-consuming and can be challenging, so it’s easy to write off. After all, it’s hard to stay motivated when you can’t see the financial benefit at the end of the tunnel. That’s why we’ve put together this handy list of exactly how blogging can help your business.
First, it’s important to understand what content marketing is, and why we do it, in general. The purpose of content marketing is to create and distribute useful, valuable content in order to find and convert leads. While blogging isn’t the only means of content marketing, your blog can be a key hub for your content — the channel that you own, on your website, where you can convert leads.
1. Your blog is a channel that you own and completely control.
The one thing that a blog offers over all other forms of marketing is that you have total and complete control of the message, the medium, and the user experience. Your social reach is controlled by the social media networks, press coverage is in the hands of the journalists, and even email marketing can be impacted by how the email service providerss display your content and whether they send you to the SPAM folder. On your blog, though, you have final say over the appearance and tone of your posts and you can manage the popups users see while reading, where potential customers are directed next, and how much or how little readers can have for free. As an added benefit, blogging can be done by almost anyone — unlike podcasting or publishing new webpages, it requires almost zero technical skill.
2. Blogging showcases your knowledge and helps convert leads.
OK, so you’ve got these readers on your website reading your blog. This is your big opportunity! While just about anyone can sound knowledgeable in 140 characters or less, your blog is how you really showcase your strengths. For example, you can share client success stories, accolades, and long-form articles that discuss the finer points of your business. Take this post for example — while we could simply tell you that we understand content marketing, it’s far more compelling when we prove it.
Sure, some people will just take your free advice and move on, but that’s fine. When you consider the value of even one new client and compare that against how much it “costs” you to write a blog post (or hire someone else to), there is considerable ROI in blogging, and you can afford to let the freeloaders read on.
3. New blog posts give you a reason to reach out to clients.
Whether you have a formal email marketing strategy or not (and you should!), you almost certainly have some form of ongoing communication with your previous and existing clients. If your business relies on repeat buyers or referrals or if you have a long sales cycle, you can and should be reaching out to satisfied or potential customers regularly. Of course, it can feel silly or annoying to email people with nothing to say (“Hey there, Cindy, just wanted to see how you’re doing. Hope the [XYZ product I sold you] is still doing well. By the way, know anyone else looking for [XYZ]?” Cringe!). Having a new blog post gives you a legitimate reason to contact people and makes you actually a useful addition to their inbox, as opposed to a nuisance.
4. Your blog expresses your personality and brand voice.
In the uber-connected 21st century, shoppers and businesses are, in some sense, reverting back to the bygone days of personal and long-term customer relationships. Through social media, email marketing, and blogging, customers now expect to get a personal glimpse at the company they’re buying from. Even if you aren’t a sole proprietor, your business can and should have a clear brand identity and voice, which you can make clear on your blog. If working with you is fun and laid-back, your blog should show that. If reliability and trustworthiness are your distinguishing features, show that off.
5. Blogging grows pageviews and boosts SEO
Too many businesses embark on content marketing expecting it to be a pageview panacea but give up when they don’t see immediate results. Unfortunately, it takes time and consistency to see results from blogging (anywhere from months to a year, depending on a slew of factors), but you will see results, and you’ll continue to see that impact even years later.
Search engines consider both the amount of unique content on a website and the age of the site (the more established, the better), when determining where to send users, which is why blogging consistently for a long time has a gradual effect that you can’t see in the first weeks or months of writing. Blogging also allows you to add in valuable keywords that you might not otherwise be able to squeeze into your site, also helping with SEO. Boosting your performance on search engines can be wildly beneficial to your business; over 60 percent of web traffic comes from organic search, introducing you to potential new clients who may never have otherwise discovered you,. Once you’ve got all those potential leads on your blog, you can start thinking about how to convert them to customers.
Getting started with blogging
Of course, none of this changes the fact that writing, editing, and posting regularly is laborious work. Not to mention, you may have no idea where to even begin with content marketing or how to integrate it into your existing marketing efforts. Don’t worry — we’re here to help. BA Strategies’ consultations are always completely free, so don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re happy to share our expert advice along with blogging, web design, and content marketing services.