I’ve heard many business owners say they feel having a blog is nice, but unnecessary. Sure, people like to read and share articles, but spending time and money on a content marketing strategy isn’t worth it. A blog doesn’t create any real value or offer a positive ROI. Blogging isn’t just a bonus for your business, it is an essential component of your overall marketing strategy. Blogging generates more than just Facebook shares and website traffic. And it’s a great way to drive a large amount of tangible and intangible value for your business. If you don’t currently have a content marketing strategy in place, keep reading to find out why you need one.
Drive More Traffic
The most obvious benefit of blogging and content marketing is driving traffic to your site. If your social media presence involves sharing a lot of blogs from other sites, you may be encouraging engagement, but ultimately you’re sending traffic to your competitors. Whether you’re an e-commerce site or a local roofing company, getting visitors to your site is the first step in lead generation and web based sales. Businesses who blog have shown to have 55% more visitors than those who don’t. Don’t give your potential customers an excuse to go somewhere else.
Increase Lead Generation
Once you start creating valuable content that drives traffic, you can keep them coming back. And once you’re providing that value, you can start requesting readers sign up for your email. If you’re consistently creating compelling content readers will be happy to give their email to have thoughtful blog posts and well-designed infographics in their inbox. Once you have their email, you can develop an e-mail marketing strategy to turn potential customers into recurring ones.
Jumpstart Your Organic Traffic
The SEO game has never been an easy one to play. As soon as you think you’re winning, the rules seem to change beneath your feet. Over the past decade, the nature of blogging for SEO has shifted, but there is still much to be gained. Keyword stuffing is a thing of the past. But creating high-quality, informative articles that get shared on social media and linked to from other authorities in your space will never raise a red flag. Inbound links from highly trusted sites are still the #1 driver of strong organic results. If your blog is producing unique, trustworthy, valuable content, you’re going to see your backlink profile improve. In fact, businesses who blog showed 97% more inbound links than those who don’t.
In addition to backlinks, Google loves fresh content. If you wrote five blog posts ten years ago, those dusty pages won’t be doing you much good any longer. Keep pages updated with fresh content to stay at the top of SERPs.
Position Your Brand
One of the more subjective measures of the value of a blog is your brand authority. You won’t be able to directly measure how much this has shifted, but if you’re writing quality content that’s relevant to your space, your status as an authority in your industry is going to improve. The internet is -- sadly -- full of unoriginal, mediocre content. Creating a blog that regurgitates this content won’t do you any favors as consumers are becoming ever more information savvy. When readers know they can count on you to provide a trusted source of information and insight, the benefits to your brand are intangible, yet invaluable.
Build Better Relationships
Without readers, even the most well-written blog post isn’t worth much. If the primary purpose of a blog is to drive readers to your site, its secondary purpose should be to connect with those readers and keep them coming back. Blogging gives you an opportunity to directly engage with potential and existing customers. While social media affords a medium for a conversation as well, your website’s content remains searchable. If you can answer a customer’s question with your content, perhaps that answer will bring another customer with the same question. Comment threads on your blog can illustrate to potential customers how attentive and responsive your customer service team is. Building trust by establishing yourself as a source of information is a benefit both in terms of your position in the industry, and as well as fostering brand loyalty.
If you’re still not convinced that content marketing is essential for your business, or need some inspiration to get started, check out these content marketing examples.
ShopKeep – While ShopKeep may be a POS app, their blog offers helpful advice across the retail space. Knowing that their clients are going to range from clothing boutiques to food trucks, they produce in-depth, authoritative articles on every aspect of running a small business. From getting started to maximizing profits, their blog takes ShopKeep far beyond your average POS.
Dot & Bo – This small home furnishings website has cultivated a trusted voice in the interior design space. In addition to offering tips on decorating, their blog includes inspiration, interviews with industry experts, and even a wonderfully crafted “Wanderlust” section. Does a furniture website need to write travel articles? No, but it adds a unique element to their brand story that sets them apart from the pack.
DropBox – As both a B2B and B2C company, DropBox has to cater its blog to both experienced professionals and technological newbies. While many tech sites contain nothing but press releases, DropBox goes several steps beyond. One category, “Tips and Tricks” isn’t just advice on the platform, but also things like “How to Have a Better Day at Work.” Mixing customer success stories with relatable articles and industry-focused expertise means DropBox has something for everyone.