Whether you're new to Content Marketing or have been doing things like this for years, you may wonder how blogging works. Does blogging do that much for you? What's the point of it anyway? Is it an important business strategy?
Well, honestly, blogging can help because it keeps you focused on your writing and your subject. It also enables you to show your readers that you're an expert in a given subject area.
If you're providing information that they find helpful (better yet, useful) they're likely to keep coming back to read more. And really, isn't that the goal of most websites? Finally, it can benefit your search engine rankings but more on that later.
My primary goal here is to help people better understand what Content Marketing is all about. To me, it's so much more than a trendy buzz word. It's really about telling a great story, one that's interesting the audience, and one that provides information they need or want. If I do it right, they'll return again and again to see what's new. If I only focus on myself and my objective, then it's not going to work out as well. So I have to stay focused on what matters to you, my readers.
I spent many years working for ad agencies, and this was one of the most significant challenges I saw clients struggle with. So many are focused on just their objectives, not what their customer needs. They'd put the effort in and build a blog because someone told them to. And they'd expect excellent results, because, "we're blogging." Then they'd fill it with information their customers didn't care about. As a result, they didn't get the engagement they wanted. So they felt like their efforts were wasted and blogging didn't work for them. The reality is, blogging can work, but it has to be done right.
I'm sure you've seen some of those abandoned blogs, there are lots of them out there. You can tell someone decided they needed to blog and they started one. It might have even been pretty good for a while but then something happened, and they stopped. And it sat there....stagnant. If you look at some of the abandoned blogs, and you know what you're looking for, you can often see why they didn't work. Sometimes it's just due to a lack of internal resources or focus. Other times it's due to the blog content itself being way too promotional. Finally, it can just be they had a design that was outdated and needed a refresh.
If you want to avoid the pitfalls of some of those abandoned blogs, you want to make sure you stay focused on your customer. What do they need to know, what are they interested in, what questions do they have? When you blog with your customer in mind you can have great success.
Blogging can be a powerful marketing tool. It should be part of your Content Marketing mix, but you want to be sure you think about your audience. Sure you want to have some promotional information, but you also want to have things that are helpful or lifestyle articles, based on your specific blog's target audience. A pretty good rule of thumb is to have a 70/30 mix between promotional and lifestyle content.
Your customers are interested in your products or services or they wouldn't be your customers and reading your blog but when the conversation is me, me, me, me it gets boring for them. Right?
So back the question at hand, why blog? As I said, blogging is a great marketing tool when done right. It allows you to connect with your audience. It lets you build your authority on a given subject, and it can help your site's overall SEO as well if you've got your blog optimized. You can increase your site's authority in Google's eyes because people are coming to you to read information. The more your readers engage with you (come back, read more, stay longer, comment in social media, etc.) the better Google believes you're doing and hopefully, the better they start ranking you for relevant keywords. It's all related. While a single excellent blog post won't get you ranking position #1 for some super competitive term, a series of excellent blog posts, that your audience engages with can help.
The final reason why blogging is beneficial for your SEO is that it helps build authority. If you have information that people might want to link to and share with their audience, that's another signal that Google looks at when choosing keyword rank. If other sites link to you, Google sees that almost as their endorsement of your information.
Lastly, blogging can be a great lead generation tool for your business too. According to a survey from Hubspot, 2015 B2C Companies that post 11+ times per month get 4X the leads from their blog that companies that post 4-5 times per month do. I don't know about you, but I'd love that type lift in leads. It seems worth the effort to me but then again, I'm a writer and love this stuff, and not everyone feels the same way I do.
If you feel that blogging could be an excellent strategy for your business but you either don't know if you're doing it right or don't have the time to blog regularly and need help, please reach out via the Contact Us page and we'd be happy to speak with you.