The term “blogging” conjures up days of the early internet: a time of AIM chats, MySpace and dial-up screeching. Antiquated though the term itself might seem, the actual practice of writing blog content is as relevant as ever for businesses looking to drive awareness and earn customer trust.
According to a recent HubSpot report, 48 percent of companies with a content marketing strategy utilize blogging and 56 percent of those who do say blogging is effective.
Blog content can improve search ranking, build customer trust, and provide recyclable content, all with modest resource commitment. If your business isn’t blogging, 2022 is the year to start.
Blog content improves SEO.
Blog content can do heavy lifting lower in the funnel as you look to convert leads—a topic we’ll get to shortly—but it can be just as valuable at the top of the funnel. One of the primary benefits of blogging is the increased visibility it brings to your brand through SEO.
For starters, blogs give your website more surface area for search engines to crawl, increasing the odds a given page on your site will rank well for a relevant search. More importantly, blog pieces give you the opportunity to enrich your site with key search terms relevant to your business. You’ll have more flexibility to organically include these terms in a blog piece than you might in a product description or about page.
Blogs also provide opportunities for internal links (links to other pages on your website) that can increase your search rankings. Throw in backlinks, pictures, and other rich content elements and the SEO benefits can be significant: according to a HubSpot study, businesses that blog get 55 percent more visitors to their website.
Be wary of keyword stuffing, or the antiquated practice of loading a web page with keywords to manipulate search engines. Google’s algorithm has long been smart enough to sniff out this tactic; it’s also smart enough to recognize quality, organic content relevant to a user’s query. Develop a few key search terms to build content around and write for your customers, not an algorithm. The results will follow.
Blog content builds customer trust and loyalty.
Blogging can lead to immediate wins—a search query during the decision phase could turn up a relevant blog and lead to a quick conversion—but the medium is really about the long play.
Whereas other marketing channels may focus on product value and the hard sell, blogs allow you to go beyond your own products and demonstrate knowledge of the broader problems your customers face.
Let’s say you sell CX software. A potential lead early in the discovery phase comes across your blog, “5 Reasons Customers Abandon Carts” while Googling the subject. There’s no mention of your specific product or even your business but the piece addresses a need the potential customer has at that moment. Maybe that same person comes back to your blog the next time they need info on CX software; maybe they even bookmark the site.
When it comes time to consider vendors, where do you think they’ll begin? Most likely the one that’s built their trust throughout the purchase journey.
By providing authentic value rather than making a hard sell, blog content establishes your brand as an authority within the category and builds long-term loyalty. And the knowledge you're providing works on multiple levels: not only have you built trust through education, the more knowledgeable customer will require fewer resources and less time at the conversion stage.
Blogging carries low overhead and high ROI.
Video marketing is all the rage right now and for good reason. But creating quality video can require significant resource investment.
All you need for a blog post, on the other hand, is a good idea and a competent writer. Everyone in your business is an expert at what they do and, combined, you possess a treasure trove of industry knowledge that will help your potential customers solve their problems.
One of the primary benefits of blogging is its accessibility and affordability compared to other forms of content marketing. With that lower overhead comes a better return on investment. In fact, 10 percent of marketers who blog say it’s the content type that generates the biggest ROI, according to a recent HubSpot report.
Not that blogging doesn’t take effort or discipline. Once you’ve built the expectation that your blog is a source of valuable information, you’ll want to establish a consistent publishing cadence to keep your audience coming back. Only bite off what you can chew; publishing once every month is better than publishing four times in a month and then going quiet for a long stretch.
Blog content can be recycled.
As if blogs didn’t already offer significant ROI, the ability to repurpose them across other content types stretches the value even further.
Sections of a blog piece can be pulled out and featured in social media posts; quotes from team members can be fashioned into branded quote cards; stats and figures can be built into infographics; a well-written blog post can even become the basis for a video script. Once the information has been collected and organized in a blog piece, there’s near limitless opportunities to recycle it across other platforms.
An entire blog piece itself can be repurposed. As explained in our previous post about repurposing content, new language and some additional insight can make an old blog fresh and relevant again; like putting a new coat of paint on a wall.
The low costs and high benefit potential of blog content make it a must for businesses. If you’ve been on the fence about blogging, 2022 is the year to get after it. You’ll increase your business’s search rankings, build customer trust, and generate easy content for your other marketing channels.
And here’s one more reason to blog: it’s fun! This is your opportunity to show off your hard-earned expertise and talk about what you know best. Get creative.
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Posted by Jeff Gray