Blogging seems to be the latest bandwagon that everyone's jumping onto, but is this just a fad or can blogs really bring ROI to your business? To answer that, first consider the shift that has happened in customer buying habits. Prospects are going online to search for information, and they are doing so very early in the buying process. Consumer habits are more on-demand than ever - it’s about “what I want, when I want it.” It’s switching from convincing customers you have what they need to attracting customers and helping them discover it. It’s about outbound marketing vs inbound marketing. And with any good inbound marketing plan, blogs are key. The question is not if you should blog; the question is, can you afford not to blog? Here's why:
SEO: Making Friends with the Search Engines
When's the last time you went to the second, third, or 5,126th page of search results when you Googled something? Chances are, you found what you needed on the first page and didn't look any further. That's what your customers are doing, too, which means page one is the Holy Grail when it comes to being seen by searchers. The latest Google algorithms support quality content as the way to get your site ranked, which means blogging helps demonstrate that you've got important things to say to your audience while enabling you to sprinkle in a few necessary keywords to get the web crawlers' attention.
But does blogging really make that big of a difference to the search engines? It sure does! Websites with blogs have 434% more indexed pages (meaning there are 434% more pages that have the potential of being on page one of search results pages, or SERPs). Additionally, an increase in traffic is directly proportional to an increase in publishing blog posts. Once you publish 24-51 blog posts, your traffic can increase by as much as 30%.
Positioning Yourself as the Industry Expert by Divulging a Few Secrets
Blogging enables you to position your business as the industry expert. Think about it. You want your customers to see your brand every time they go to Google and ask a question. If you're able to achieve this, it won't take long before people realize you're the real deal. In fact, companies that publish 16 or more blog posts per month get about 4.5 times more leads than companies that publish zero to four monthly posts, according to HubSpot. When it comes to lead generation, content marketing produces three times more leads than paid search advertising, meaning this is how you get to your prospective customers before your competition even knows they exist.
Invite Engagement with Intelligent Email Marketing & Landing Pages
Build a relationship with prospective customers by using intelligent email marketing. Invite them to engage with your content and attract leads to your website with landing pages that invite them to provide contact information that you can use to help them step further into the sales funnel. Your blogs should send people to your landing pages or encourage them to sign up for your newsletters so you can capture that all-important lead generation data or even ask a few easy qualitative questions. Then, your follow-up campaign is actually helpful and relevant to that individual.
Answer Questions That Are Being Asked
Blogging just for the sake of having a post this week isn't going to cut it. Quality content is key. Don't just write about the latest charity involvement or the office birthday party. Fill your blogs with valuable information that both your consumers and the search engines find useful. What keywords are being searched in Google? How can you write blogs to alleviate your customers' pain points? Connect with your consumers by blogging about the answers to the questions they're asking.
After all, the sales process has changed immensely in recent years. Whereas once upon a time, prospects depended on salespeople for information when making buying decisions, they now turn to Google to gain knowledge before they even enter the buying process. Once they contact a salesperson, the decision to make a purchase has likely already been made.
Your CTA is Your BBFF
Your CTA (call to action) is your blog's best friend forever. Not only must your blogs have a purpose, but they must also invite action. Always, always, always give the reader an opportunity to take a step, and a next step, and a step after that. Each CTA is an invitation for a potential customer to learn more, engage more, and ultimately (and at the right time), do business with your brand. 60% of people cite purchasing a product after initially reading a blog post about it. When you've crafted easy-to-follow CTAs that continue the education process, you're leading people right into the sales funnel.
Wouldn't it be great if your website actually generated ROI? According to WordPress, there are 409 million people reading more than 20 billion pages each month, and 71% of B2B buyers claim they consume blog content during their buyer journeys. Bottom line: if you're not blogging, you're missing out. At fuze32, we understand the strategy behind the concept. Curious to know more? Download our inbound marketing case study and read the results for yourself.