If you think you don’t have the time or resources to start a blog for your business, you may be surprised to learn that blogging doesn’t have to require a lot of extra effort. Solutions-oriented educational blogs are in high demand, and prospective customers are desperate for your expert advice.
What kinds of questions do you hear from clients on a regular basis? Is there a chance that new governmental regulations might adversely affect your industry? Do you have a unique way of nurturing customer relations or partnerships that other businesses could learn from?
Any or all of these topics could form the basis of several blog posts.
Truth is, blogging doesn’t have to be as labor-intensive as writing the great American novel. It all boils down to simply writing what you know. Your personal expertise and know-how … insider tips and tricks … predictions and hunches about the future of the industry … all these topics make for fascinating reading.
In addition, content marketing — particularly in the form of educational blogs — offers some surprising benefits for businesses.
Blogs Drive Traffic to Your Website … and Exposure to Your Business
From an SEO standpoint, if all you have on your website is a handful of content pages or a few dozen product pages that you rarely update, the search engines will eventually stop visiting, and your rankings will go down. To make sure your website is consistently showing up in top keyword search results, you have to create new content on a regular basis.
To quote Corey Wainwright of the HubSpot Marketing Blog:
“Every time you write a blog post, it’s one more indexed page on your website, which means … one more opportunity for you to show up in search engines and drive traffic to your website in organic search.”
Blogs Provide Unique Content for Your Social Media Channels
For most companies, keeping up with a daily social media content calendar can be challenging. But if you’re posting a weekly blog, then that content can be dual-purposed as social media marketing content with the added benefit of driving social media followers to your site.
Note that social media posts tend to get more attention when they’re accompanied by a visually intriguing image. In fact, according to Jamil Velji of the BuildFire Blog:
“Researchers have found that colored visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%, which is definitely worth the few minutes it’ll take for you to find and attach an image.”
Blogs Can Help Build Your Email List
If you’re blogging about do-it-yourself solutions to specific problems, then readers who’ve been helped by your articles will usually want to read more of your work. Whether it’s through a simple sidebar email signup box that appears on your blog pages, or through the offer of a free e-book that offers more in-depth details on the basic how-to information presented in one of your posts, your blog has the power to bring more qualified prospects to your email list than almost any other list-building strategy.
Just be sure to acknowledge new subscribers right away by sending them a series of welcome or cultivation emails to continue building positive customer relations. Pam Neely of the Pinpointe Marketing Blog adds:
“… depending on which study you cite, welcome emails get anywhere from double to quadruple the engagement rates of regular promotional emails. But the benefits don’t end there. According to the Return Path study (and others, too) welcome emails cause subscribers to stay on your list longer, interact with it more often, and even spend more money.”
Blogs Build, Strengthen, and Humanize Your Brand
In the current digital marketing age, it’s not enough to simply offer products and services on your website. Prospective customers and clients want to be invited backstage for a behind-the-scenes look at your brand’s inner workings. Successful businesses who embrace the art of storytelling — taking the time to explain to customers exactly why and how they do what they do — are capitalizing on the consumer’s desire to bond with and understand your brand.
An honest, well-written, and sometimes entertaining blog provides a great avenue for achieving just that. To quote an article from the Starkmedia Blog:
“A blog gives your website viewers the opportunity to get to know you on a deeper, more personal level. … According to Quick Sprout, 60% of consumers feel positive about a corporate brand after reading their blog, and 61% have made a purchase based solely on a blog post.”