Many people think of blogs for business as just a bland-corporate-diary of sorts. Something to write in when they want to make a company announcement, or sell a new product to names on an email list. But trust us when we say, the reality of a well-run business blog is so far from that.
Effectively strategized content marketing, specifically through blogging, can be an extremely powerful marketing tool for your business. And when done well, blogs can expand brand awareness and enhance the quality of your website traffic overall. The emphasis here is on being done well. A poorly run blog can do quite the opposite- but we won't get into that today. We're here to show you how an effective blog strategy can help your business thrive, and to guide you through the basics of getting started.
Here's why your business' website should have a blog in 2022.
A Content Marketing Overview
Let's start from the top. Content marketing has been on the rise in recent years as the internet, and the ways people use it continue to evolve. In fact, 70% of people prefer to get information about companies from articles or blog posts, rather than from traditional advertisements. That’s a pretty big number.
Through creating and publishing valuable, relevant, and consistent content for a target audience, content marketing strategies work to increase brand awareness, customer trust, and conversions.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a powerful form of marketing that many businesses use either in addition to or instead of traditional advertising. Content marketing focuses on creating, launching, and distributing valuable media content online that caters to a specific target audience.
The overall goal of content marketing varies from business to business, but generally is put into play to grow brand awareness, trust, and success overall.
Why is content marketing important?
There is no denying that we live in a very digital-forward world. Over the last decade, we've seen how businesses that choose to embrace digital marketing strategies flourish in comparison to those that stick to old-school methods. As businesses in this rapidly changing digital world, we must determine whether we will adapt or fall behind.
Content marketing is an excellent way to adapt to these changes. An umbrella term, 'content marketing' refers to blogs, podcasts, videos, emails, infographics, and more. What sets content marketing apart from standard advertising is its unique approach. Content marketing is centered around providing valuable content for users, rather than content solely for the purpose of generating sales.
How can I get started with content marketing?
Getting started with content marketing may seem overwhelming at first, but it doesn't have to be. An excellent first step for getting started with content marketing is simply asking yourself what your goals are. By determining your goals, you'll have to really reflect and get specific about who your current audience is, who your target audience is, and examine how you can effectively cater your content marketing strategy to them.
For example, if your target demographic spends most of their time on YouTube, video content marketing might be a good strategy for your business to invest in. But if they spend more time on Instagram, developing a social media strategy with lots of infographics and engaging content may be more worth your while. And if you're not entirely sure which content marketing strategy is best for your target audience, or if you're looking for more of a 'one size fits all' approach, we'd advise kicking things off with a blog strategy.
While certain types of content marketing may work better for different businesses, blogging tends to be an excellent content marketing strategy across the board. Not only are blogs a marketing approach for nearly 80% of businesses, but blogs can actually multiply a business' conversion rate by 6.
Benefits of Blogs for Business
So you're sold on content marketing- but maybe not 100% sold on how a blog strategy can help your business. That's okay. That's why we're here. Let's get into some of the benefits.
Boost your website traffic
Blogs can boost your website traffic immensely. If you do your research and figure out what questions your target audience wants answered, you'll gain excellent ideas for blog topics to write.
When you've done your research and published valuable content that answers the questions you know there is a demand for, the odds are certainly in your favor for attracting clicks to your blog posts.
Once people land on your blog and have a positive experience with your content, your post will likely continue to gain credibility, perform well in SERPs, and ultimately attract more users to your website.
Establish trust with your readers
Quality content that answers the questions it promises to answer, establishes trust. Period. When you publish blogs that are backed by research and offer sources to support your claims, your credibility is strengthened online. When users have positive experiences with the content that you've published, they'll begin to associate credibility, trust, and other positive feelings with your brand.
Build brand awareness
As we mentioned above, the more positive experiences users have with your published content, the more positive associations they'll begin to develop with your brand as a whole. Building brand awareness doesn't need to be 'in your face' direct advertising strategies. In fact, we'd argue that the more subtle way of strengthening relationships with your target audience is the wiser strategy to effectively build brand awareness.
Build relationships with your audience
If your content is valuable and entertaining, users will begin to develop a relationship with you and the blog posts that they read. When blogs offer education and value, people will begin to trust your brand more, which leads to increased conversions over time.
People are likely to be more inclined to buy from brands they trust, and brands that they have a positive association with. In general, people prefer to give their money where they feel it's rightfully earned. Building trust and brand awareness through an effective blog strategy is an excellent way to generate leads and increase conversions over time.
Repurpose the content
Last (but certainly not least) for our top benefits of having a blog strategy for your business: the endless opportunity to repurpose your content. Repurposing content is an excellent way to diversify your content marketing strategy and reach an even wider audience through multiple media channels. Blogs are an excellent way to hit the ground running with repurposing content.
Here's an example.
Let's say you publish a blog on a topic like, "SEO Mistakes Small Businesses Make", and it takes off. You're noticing a large increase in traffic to your site, and you're noticing a decrease in bounce rate. These analytics give you insight that your content is valuable, and that users are liking what they see. This would be an excellent piece of content to repurpose.
When you go to repurpose this content, it's actually quite simple to do because you already understand the message you're spreading, and all that's left is the fun of crafting it into new pieces of media. An excellent way to repurpose this content would be to turn it into a YouTube video, post the highlights on Instagram, or even turn it into a TikTok. The possibilities are endless with turning successful blogs into other forms of media- and the fun awaits when it comes to getting creative with how you repurpose content.
Tips for Writing Effective Blog Posts
Now that we've gone through the basics of incorporating a blog strategy into your content marketing, let's get into some essential tips for getting started with writing effective blog posts for business.
1. Don't just talk about you
When you start blogging for business, one of the number one things to avoid is only talking about your brand. People are typically off-put by content that is clearly written for the benefit of a company, and would much prefer to read content that is written in their best interest. Put yourself in the readers' shoes, and provide valuable content according to their needs. Your blog's success and brand as a whole will be better off for it.
2. Don't just try to sell something
Another big "don't" when it comes to writing blogs for business should be pretty obvious: don't just try to sell something. Your readers should not feel as though your blog is a ploy to get them to buy something. In fact, they're likely trying to avoid being lured into a sale if they're headed to an article to answer their question as opposed to a product or service landing page. By instead focusing on answering their questions, you will leave them with a better association with your brand in the long run (which may actually encourage them to buy from you over other businesses down the line).
3. Do try to connect with your reader
People are more likely to support brands they feel connected to, and using your blog is one of the best ways to connect with your audience. When you go to write your copy, aim to "speak" directly with your readers. Blogs are meant to be informative and easy to read, so don't get too stressed with sounding overly professional. Keep the tone conversational and light, but be direct when it comes to answering the questions your audience has.
4. Do offer valuable content
If we haven't stressed this enough by now, your business' blog posts should be genuinely helpful for your audience. Readers should always come away from your blog with something that helps them out. This way they'll grow trust with your brand, reference you as a solid resource, and be likely to give you business when they're in need of what you have to offer.
5. Do use a content calendar
While not required, there's no denying that content calendars lay the foundation for a successful and sustainable blog strategy. Without a consistent content calendar as your blueprint, your blog posts will likely lose momentum over time. Consistency is key when it comes to crafting a blog strategy that grows successful over time. When you use a content calendar, it's much easier to stay on top of deadlines, achieve goals, and post consistently. For tips on how to create a content calendar that works, visit our blog post here.
How to Promote Your Blog
Now that you've got the blog creation basics under your belt, it's time to plan a promotional strategy for your content. Navigating the right strategy for promoting your blog can seem like a daunting task at first, but it doesn't have to be.
Our advice: Stick to the basics.
Get personal, not pushy
Sharing your blog with personal connections who you know and trust is always an excellent first move. Posting a link on your LinkedIn with some words about your latest write is also an excellent strategy. But don't try and push it too hard.
People generally don't like to be forced into things, especially when they think they're being sold to. Instead of focusing on the quantity of clicks and views your content gets in the first few weeks of being posted, choose to focus on the quality. It's easy to get discouraged by lower metrics than you expected when you clicked 'publish', and over-analyzing these is a slippery slope to go down.
By focusing instead on the quality of your engagement, you'll be much better off. You'll gain better insight into your target audience, know that everyone on your page genuinely wants to read what you've got to say, and be able to effectively improve your strategy by paying attention to how well different posts perform.
Write content in the best interest of your readers, and the metrics will follow. Write content solely for the purpose of boosting your traffic, and your target audience will catch on and fall off- quickly.
Elevate Your Content Strategy: How to Take Your Blog to the Next Level
Let's say you already have a blog, or you don't yet, but you feel like you have a solid understanding of how to start one. Either way, that's awesome. Here are a few tips for you to take your blog strategy to the next level.*
*Many of these tips are actually quite simple, and we highly encourage incorporating them into your blog production process to enhance your content marketing strategy.
Optimize blogs with SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) lays the framework for a website to rank well in search engines like Google. SEO refers to the process of improving a website in an effort to increase the quantity and quality of its traffic. By optimizing your blogs with an SEO strategy, you'll see an increase in page traffic due to higher rankings in search results, completely organically. Not sure how to get started with SEO? No worries. Check out our blog post here or chat with us about developing a custom SEO strategy.
Include images in your blog
Including images in your blog posts increase your blog views by 94%. If that statistic isn't convincing enough, just remember to consider your audience. Would you prefer to read an endless scrolling block of text, or would you rather discover content that is broken out into digestible sections with supporting images? That’s what we thought.
Embed videos in your blog
Embedding videos into your blog is another powerful way to enhance your posts. Users actually spend 88% more time on websites that have videos in comparison to those without. And with the rapid growth of video content popularity in recent years, this number is highly unlikely to go down anytime soon. Embed relevant videos into your blog posts that add value to your content, and you'll be golden in 2022.
Use internal and external linking
As you'll notice when you begin to learn more about SEO techniques for optimizing blogs, using internal and external links within your web page content is always an excellent move. Linking externally to referenced statistics, or internally to relevant pages on your website both are effective in building credibility for humans and search engine crawlers. Be sure to incorporate linking in your blog content strategy to help your blog posts reach their full potential!
By incorporating a blog into your content marketing strategy, your business' opportunity to grow multiplies immensely. With a blog, you have the opportunity to connect with your audience on a deeper level, increase brand awareness, convert traffic into leads, and lay the framework for long-term business growth.
Ready to get started? Good!
Work with a digital marketing team
At Eternity, we create and execute effective blog strategies for our clients every day. Our team has extensive experience helping businesses' digital marketing strategies flourish through content marketing, SEO, web design, and social media management. If you're ready to take your digital marketing strategy to the next level, want to learn more about what we do, or simply want to say hello- reach out today!