A stale website is a digital marketer’s worst nightmare. Yet, without a regular and consistent blog, it can be hard to keep content fresh. No matter your industry, sharing relevant and helpful information is an important way to engage with customers, leads, and prospects while driving valuable traffic to your site.
The data backs this up. According to HubSpot, 88 percent of B2B companies are using blogs as a content marketing tactic. Of these businesses utilizing blogging, 43 percent admit that it’s the most important content resource they have.
Yet, blogging requires a lot of work. It takes time to determine relevant categories for your personas, interview experts on these topics, write your content, and format and publish your posts on a regular and consistent basis. As digital marketers with a lot of other tasks on your plates, you may be looking for a more specific answer to the importance of blogging in digital marketing.
We get it. Blogging eats up a lot of time, so ROI is critical. So here are 6 reasons why blogging is important for digital marketers, and why you should continue to prioritize your blog as a valuable asset to your business.
1. Blogging Drives Website Traffic
Perhaps the most obvious reason why blogging is an important part of digital marketing, is the boost it gives you in both search results, and website traffic. With 93 percent of online experiences beginning with a Google search, it’s essential you appear in search results. Posting regular and relevant blog content can help you rank higher within search engines. Here’s how:
- The more consistent a person blogs, the more often search engine spiders are drawn to that site to crawl the page.
- Because of consistent crawling, search engines then deems your site as active, and more relevant than static sites.
- Active sites are crawled on a regular basis and will rank higher for the keywords their content is targeting.
Think of your website, and your blog, as a publication that needs to be updated regularly. This is one of your most valued marketing assets as a digital marketer. A blog helps you stay relevant with customers, prospects, and search engines. And relevant content drives more traffic.
2. Blogging Generates Leads
When your site is optimized strategically, your blog has the potential to convert the traffic it generates into high-quality leads for your business. High-quality blogs keep traffic coming back. And repeat visitors are more likely to turn into a subscriber or customer.
Blogging to generate leads does take some strategy. If you don’t take the time to optimize your site for conversion, you’ll miss out on those valuable leads. So along with posting regular blog content, keep the following tips in mind to use this content to convert readers:
- CTAs - Are you asking your traffic to convert? If you’re just ending your posts with nothing more than an invitation to share or comment, you’re not tapping into the full potential of blogging. Be sure you have strategically placed CTAs throughout your post. This means providing traffic with plenty of places to convert at the top, middle, and bottom of your blog.
- Gated Content - Another option is to gate some of your most valuable content with a form. If the information is helpful enough that your reader would find value in downloading it, why not take advantage of it. Use the form to capture pertinent information such as their name, company, email address, and if necessary phone number.
Share Your Blog Content - Don’t be afraid to leverage your blog throughout your other digital marketing campaigns. Post to social media, share links in emails, even consider guest posts and comments on industry-relevant sites. Social sharing buttons on the bottom of your blog can also encourage readers to share your posts on their own platforms. This will help generate more traffic and more conversions.
3. Blogging Builds Brand Authority
How do you want to be perceived by your customers? You spend a lot of time and resources branding your company as authority figures in your industry, and experts on your services. Blogging is one of the best ways to show off this knowledge. And it’s what customers and prospects are looking for.
According to CMO Council, nine out of 10 B2B buyers say online content has a moderate to major effect on their purchasing decision. Forty-seven percent of buyers view at least 3-5 pieces of content before they contact a sales representative, and a whopping 96 percent of B2B buyers look for more information from industry thought leaders before buying.
Bottom line - brand authority matters. Blogging can help build value to your brand while showcasing the wealth of knowledge you have. But strategy is key. When blogging to build brand authority focus on the following:
- Think about what’s important to your target market and audience. How does your product or services benefit them?
- What are the pain points that your potential buyer is searching for? How can you help them solve these pain points?
- Think about frequently asked questions surrounding your products or services. Can you write content that provides helpful answers and insights?
Blogging to build brand authority is all about painting your business as a helpful and knowledgeable source of information. This means thinking hard about the content you’re writing and evaluating whether or not it’s acting as informative to your audience. Maybe this means ditching that post you were writing about your company’s latest award and instead, writing a comparative guide on the pros and cons of your services.
4. Blogging Establishes Trust
Marketing is all about trust. Blogging is one of the best ways to build it. Over 80 percent of U.S. online users are reported to trust information and advice they read in blogs. By establishing trust with your readers, you’re more likely to build loyal customers, boost sales, and improve overall brand recognition.
But just writing and posting anything isn’t how you establish trust with your blog. You have to know and understand your audience, their pain points, and the hesitations they might have about doing business with you. Then you can use your blog to address these concerns. Here are some blogging tips to help you establish trust with your readers:
- Use Social Proof - Whether that be case studies, testimonials, or quotes, make sure you always provide examples for your readers to relate with, and proof that backs up your claims.
- Address Elephants in the Room - Don’t be afraid to write about things like price, pros, and cons, or product comparisons. Trust with readers develops when you show your audience you’re not afraid to admit that your product or service isn’t always the best in every situation.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Talk about Competitors - Not every person visiting your site is going to be a good fit for your business. So don’t be afraid to talk about your competitors, and recommend alternatives. By putting the best interests of your readers first and foremost, you’ll establish credibility. Even if that particular reader isn’t a good fit for your company, they’ll be more apt to recommend your services if they can feel they can trust you and your brand.
5. Blogging Develops a Brand Identity
Consider this - 82 percent of people feel more connected to a brand after reading custom content. Why? Because content provides your business with a story. It personalizes your brand. And people relate more to the face behind your company.
Use your blog to establish a voice for your brand. Whether that means having individual employees author their own posts, or including personal storytelling, don’t be afraid to be authentic and showcase the people behind your logo. This type of blogging will create a connection between your reader that’s an essential step in today’s buyer’s journey. Share your values and missions as a business on your blog. Be real. A company’s blog is a powerhouse for brand identity. Don’t be afraid to leverage it.
6. Blogging Improves Customer Engagement
If you’re blogging the right way, then your actively posting about the topics that are causing concern with your customers and personas. And to do this effectively, you have to start engaging with your customers. Blogging makes this a priority and forces you to have these essential conversations with your buyers. By directly engaging with your customers and their questions, you’ll not only create more effective content, but you’ll keep your audience coming back.
Blogging is Essential to the Success of Digital Marketing
A regular and relevant blog presence is a critical part of any effective digital marketing strategy. Regardless of industry, blogging will help your customers and prospects feel empowered. They want to feel educated and informed. But if they can’t find the answers to their questions on your site, they’ll seek out other sources.
Effective blogging will attract, convert and retain web traffic. If done correctly, blogging can very likely be one of the biggest revenue drivers of your business. The key is to keep your buyer personas in mind and blog about what’s helpful and relevant to them. The results will be rewarding.