Written By The Art of Business Content Team
Back in November, we went back to basics and wrote a blog with helpful tips on successfully building your online presence. Today we want to shine a spotlight on content marketing and blogging in particular, which is an important way for you to build your business’s online reputation.
To put it plainly, content marketing is all about marketing your business with content. While its definition is simple, there’s a lot to the content marketing process.
As a business owner, you have to plan, create and share carefully curated content in order to attract your target audience, inform them about your products and services, engage them meaningfully, and turn your audience into customers.
While content marketing is widely heralded as a powerful tool for business owners, it’s still an area that a lot of companies struggle with. According to a recent statistic, 64% of marketers need help building a better content strategy.
There are different types of content marketing, including social media content marketing, video content marketing, infographic content marketing, and podcast content marketing. In this article, we want to focus on a pillar of content marketing strategy. This is an element that can be central to all of your content marketing endeavours. We’re talking about blogs.
Don’t underestimate the power of a blog. Although it may have started as a way for people to share their personal lives online – which is something it is still widely used for today – over time, blogging has also evolved into a staple of business marketing.
The data on this topic speaks volumes. Here are some great statistics collected by Finances Online that help illustrates just how important blogging is for businesses:
37% of marketers believe that blogs are the most essential type of content marketing
86% of content marketers use blogs as part of their marketing strategy
80% of companies that use blogs as part of their marketing strategy said that they acquired customers from blogging
Actively blogging can increase an organization’s ability to generate leads by 126%
A lot of the benefits of blogging are fairly obvious. A blog is a form of social media, perhaps even the oldest one. It allows you to communicate your message to your audience and – if you include a call to action or even a comment section – a blog can provide a way for your audience to communicate right back!
There are many reasons why blogging is a worthy pursuit. Here are a few you may or may not have thought about.
I know, I know. I can almost hear a voice in the distance saying “just because your friends are doing it doesn’t mean you should”. But in this case, it’s entirely justified. 91% of B2B marketers and 85% of B2C marketers respectively said that their companies blog or use other forms of content marketing.
The reason why so many businesses invest in blogging is because of the benefits of blogging! We’ve mentioned some of the benefits of blogging above. These include increased lead generation, and getting more customers. You’ll find a few more benefits below!
A blog is a great way to drive traffic to your website. Businesses that blog get 55% more website visitors than businesses that don’t blog. Blogging can help your chances of showing up on search engine results pages as the more blogs your business puts out, the more content that search engines can crawl and index. This could mean that your website is better positioned as a relevant answer to potential customers’ questions.
Some sources rate blogs as the fifth most trusted source for online information, and 70% of people would rather learn about a company through articles than through advertisements. By blogging, you can help position your brand as a trusted source to your audience. You can show your audience and your customers part of your business’s value to them.
Your blog can have a life beyond your website. We previously mentioned that you can make blogging central to your other content marketing endeavours. This refers to the fact that you can repurpose your blog content! You can use the content from your blog as the basis for a podcast or a video. You can also share links to blog posts on your social media accounts, like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter!
Whether you’ve been blogging for your business for years now, are just getting started with your company blog, or are somewhere in between those two points, here are a few tips on how to make sure that your business’s blog has an impact.
Try to align your blog with the other elements of your marketing strategy, because at the end of the day, your blog is just one piece of the puzzle. If you’ve got any important events or even promotions running, your blog is a great place to talk about those and give them more visibility.
Posting on your blog can be challenging initially if you’re not sure what to write about. If you can brainstorm a few blog ideas ahead of time, that can help your efforts to post consistently. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Here’s an article with a few blog ideas you just might find useful. If you need a little help with the planning process, you can find some tips on successful content planning here.
Don’t be intimidated by the word “regularly”. There’s no real consensus on how frequently a business should post on their blog. While we can’t say for sure that you should post every day, or once a week, or once a month, for example, it’s still clear that you should post consistently.
That just means posting so that your readers can anticipate the release of your next blog. You can set the frequency based on what’s best for your business. Generally speaking, though, the more blogs the better. Some sources claim that businesses that produce 16 or more blog posts per month experience 3.5 times more traffic than blogs that post less than 4 posts per month.
43% of people admit to skimming blogs. The way that you format your blogs matters. Break up your article with headings and subheadings, use bullet points and lists, add images, and write shorter paragraphs! Make it easier for your readers to pick out what’s important to them.
While you write, it’s best to think about the SEO of your blog. That will help new posts drive traffic to your website! There’s also a lot of value in updating and improving existing blog content if you’ve already posted before. You can make sure that older content is still accurate, and that the content is SEO optimized.
We can’t overstate just how important SEO is. In fact, we’d say it’s so important that it deserves its own article. We’ll explore SEO in a bit more depth in an upcoming blog. Stay tuned!
As HubPost so aptly asked: what’s a blog post without a call to action?
A call to action on your blog is the perfect way to encourage your readers to take real strides toward becoming a customer. Ask your readers to leave a comment, book a call with you, sign up for your newsletter, share your blog, or even follow you on social media.
Just like effective copywriting, effective content writing relies heavily on the addition of a call to action. Make your call to action persuasive to convince readers to act. Make it as simple as possible to motivate your readers to actually take action.
One of the best things about marketing online, as opposed to in a magazine or newspaper for example, is that you can use analytics to find out what is and what isn’t working. You don’t need to guess your way through your content marketing strategy.
You can get key data on blog post traffic, reader engagement, and conversions, which you can compare between posts. This way, you can refine your approach to blogging for maximum resonance with your audience.