What can blogging do for your business? Why do Inbound Marketers always include blogging in their growth strategies?
Here’s the real deal on why we blog.
So you've probably run across countless stats, similar to the ones below:
- B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those who don’t. (Social Media B2B)
- Social media and blogs reach 8 out of 10 of all U.S. Internet users. (Content Marketing Institute)
- 79% of companies that have a blog report a positive ROI for inbound marketing this year (2013). (HubSpot)
I certainly don't disagree that the above findings make a compelling case for incorporating blogging into your growth strategy. I do, however, want to share a slightly different perspective on the positive impact blogging can have on your business.
3 Practical Reasons Why We Blog
1) Communicate a Consistent Message, More Efficiently
Some of our best blog topics come from addressing common questions and challenges we hear from our clients in our day-to-day work. As we put a great deal of thought into formulating clear, structured and consistent responses, re-formatting our message into a blog post provides a central hub for members of our team to easily reference when the question inevitably comes up again, plus we get to share our ideas with a wider audience. If you find your The less time we spend creating new responses to the same questions, the more time we have to generate new ideas and innovate for our clients.
2) Empower Employees -
When a team member takes on the challenge of expressing their knowledge by writing on your blog they become confident in their ability to deliver their expertise. They also tend to learn a lot more and advance their profession. This is similar to how you pick up something new much faster when you have to teach the subject to someone else.
3) Build Relationships -
Your blog is every bit as much of a marketing channel for your business as a brochure or advertorial in the local newspaper. Except that while your brochure or a newspaper might make it into the hands of hundreds (most of whom are not remotely interested in what you do), your blog has the potential to reach thousands upon thousands of people who have been looking, specifically, for your services.
We’ve got your attention now, right?
However, don’t expect to see instant results the minute you hit “publish” for the first time. You must have patience young grasshopper.
Before You Start, Answer This Question: Are You Providing Value?
Unless you’re a celebrity or a Mommy Blogger, no one wants to read about your personal life. So the question you need to answer is: What do you have to offer your audience? Think of your customers. What are their Frequently Asked Questions? When a lead calls you on the phone, what problems are they having that you can solve? Start your blog by giving out this information for free – not trying to sell a product or even a service, but just giving helpful advice that gives your reader real value.
This is how you start an ongoing relationship with your potential clients. Through blogging, you’re gaining their trust. They’ll come to you when they have a question, and they’ll come back when they’re ready to buy.
3 Steps Towards Building Your Audience
- Provide real value by addressing the challenges of your ideal client.
- Publish a new post at least 5-days a week. Many businesses get by with just 2-3 posts a week, but the more you post, the faster your audience will grow. I know what you’re thinking: “What do I look like, a magazine publisher?!” If you don’t have time, but want faster results, hire a writer – hey, we do!
- Your blog is only as good as its social media presence, so find out where your customers are (some industries are more on Twitter, some are on Facebook, many are on Linked-In) and publish every blog post you write there. Don’t just use your social media to blast out your blog posts though – you need to build relationships with your clients on those platforms as well.
But wait! What about Keywords? SEO? Didn’t You Leave Something Out?
Nope. It’s a changing world out there, and believe it or not, providing real value trumps every SEO “trick” in the book. That said, when you target your content around the real questions and challenges of your target clientele, you’ll probably naturally be using the keywords they’d use to search for you. However, a little research by an Inbound Marketer will help you fine-tune your word choice and garner even more page views from increasingly qualified leads. And, reviewing your analytics is an important step in understanding exactly who you are attracting with your posts.
Now – Publish!
Looking for some help getting started?