According to PageFair 2017 Global Adblock Report, more than 615 million devices now have ad-blocking software. People are taking action against the overwhelm of paid ads.
But as a business owner, how do you combat the ad blockers and get your message to your target audience?
Content marketing, that’s how.
It’s becoming an ever-more essential tool for businesses to stand out online.
Content marketing is a strategy that uses different forms of content to build audience relationships, capture attention, increase engagement and to give your brand a voice people can relate to.
In fact, content marketing generates over three times as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 62% less.
It’s also vital for appearing organically in search engine results. In this day and age, if your business website doesn’t have a blog, you’re missing out.
Originally, a blog was where people would go to vent, voice their opinion or share their passion.
And these days, it’s still used for this.
But a blog can also be used as a powerful marketing tool.
Whether you own a small or multinational business, blogging is one of the most important aspects of content marketing.
The best part about content marketing and keeping a blog is that it doesn’t cost a lot in comparison to the revenue it can generate.
In this post, I’ll go into 13 ways blogging helps your business.
Your blog is not only a marketing tool but it’s also a publishing platform for your business.
It’s a direct line of communication, connecting your business with your prospective customers. Allowing you to broadcast to them what your business is all about.
Your business blog should be used to connect with your customers on a personal level. And your goal should always be to educate them, before thinking about pitching to them.
That way, you can build trust with your customers and in turn, loyalty. These type of customers are best for your business as they’ll continue to return.
By maintaining a business blog and continuously publishing content, you effectively give your business a voice.
And with that voice, you create an online personality that people can associate with your business.
You can also encourage other businesses to read your blog. This is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge about the niche or industry that your business is in.
By showcasing your knowledge, skills and professionalism to other businesses, you can open doors for future opportunities, potential contracts or business deals.
According to HubSpot’s data, brands that blog consistently see an increase in ROI.
Branding is essential for businesses.
Its purpose is not only to get recognition and be picked over your competitors by your target market.
It also delivers a clear message about your business and confirms your credibility. It also connects target prospects with your product or service, motivating them to buy.
By using your blog you can get your brand in front of consumers.
But having a blog doesn’t guarantee you instant ROI. It takes persistence.
And it also requires a strategy, tied in with your content marketing.
Successful business blogs are those with an active and developed community.
This takes place in the comments sections, with people actively communicating, collaborating, sharing and providing further information on the topic.
Having an active comments area on your blog posts allows you to create a community of people with shared interests. It’s also a great place to learn more about your audience.
It’s a free, yet powerful, marketing tool to get insights into your audiences habits, queries and pain points.
As a business, you need a community that you can tap into for engagement and find out how you can use your brand to help provide these solutions.
It’s also a great place to expand and grow your brand by attracting similar followers and buyer personas.
As mentioned above, blogging helps you get in front of the right people to demonstrate your knowledge of a niche or industry.
By consistently providing content that answers peoples pain points or educates them you’ll be seen as an authority in that industry.
It’ll also establish habits in your target audience, who’ll see your blog as a place to find answers they’re looking for.
As you grow your blogging library with relevant content, your vote of confidence also grows, along with your followers.
Your content can be referred to from other sites giving you valuable backlinks, to help get your website ranked with SEO and increase website traffic.
Every blog post or article that you publish is a new and separate page that search engines will need to crawl and index.
This gives your website more chances to be found online and boost your SEO rankings for keywords targeted.
By creating a content marketing calendar and sticking to it, you’ll be creating content consistently and on a regular basis.
Google loves this! Their algorithm will interpret when you post and send their bots to crawl your site accordingly.
When blog posts are published randomly they’ll take longer to be indexed. If Google send their bots and there is no new content, next time they’ll take longer to send them.
Keeping your website fresh with content is a great way to let the search engines know that your website is current, up to date and ready to be included in the rankings.
Google takes blog post and website engagement into account when determining the order of rankings.
If a post receives positive engagement through comments and social media likes/shares it has a better chance of getting ranked higher. As Google will rate it as an authoritative post.
And the more content you fill your website with, using different topics and keyword research, the better chance you have of getting your website found by your target audience.
On top of that, a well-created article or blog post has a huge chance of being referenced by another website who will link back to your website.
Acquiring backlinks is one of the best ways to improve the search engine ranking of your content.
By improving your website SEO you can reach your ideal customer organically, saving you on paid advertising.
Business blogs shouldn’t involve direct promotion.
Instead, it should offer free products or services, such as eBooks or mini-courses that provide value and educate the potential client.
You can provide these products or services in exchange for their email address.
Your goal, as mentioned earlier, should be to get followers who are loyal.
And by getting them to sign up, they trust you enough to provide their email address.
You’ll still need to build your relationship further by providing more valuable content through the email channel, but they’re now part of your marketing funnel.
Email lists are a marketer’s best friend. They’re a free and direct channel through which you can contact your potential customers.
The only costs are your business email account, email CRM software and if you choose to have an email marketer as part of your business structure.
You can use this list to keep your customers updated with changes to your website and when you publish new content.
By giving them freebies and rewards along with the new content, you can slowly convert them into paying customers.
In between emails containing (free) value for them, you can promote your products, services or discounts/sales. This requires email marketing campaigns.
If you’re constantly pushing your products or services without providing free value, you run the risk of a higher unsubscribe rate.
Strategically provide opt-in forms on your website and on your blog, making it easier to sign-up.
B2B businesses that keep a blog receive 67% more leads than those that don’t.
Once you’ve attracted a follower/reader and satisfied their needs through an interesting blog post, free downloadable or course. And you’ve enticed them to provide their contact details.
You can then move them down the sales funnel.
Optimizing your contact or opt-in forms is a great way to use your blog to increase conversions on your website.
The following are components of using your business blog as a lead generation tool.
A visitor has discovered your business through your blog, using search engines, backlinks or social media platforms.
A call-to-action is a piece of content intended to persuade your visitors to take action. In paid advertising, it can be a “buy now” button. In a blog post, it can be an enticement to leave a comment or subscribe to your email list.
Forms can be embedded anywhere on your site or hosted on a landing page. The purpose is to use the form to collect visitor information in exchange for something of value.
Like an offer!
As mentioned in the sections above, the offer should be something of value to the visitor. And to increase leads and conversions that offer should be something free.
Social media is one of the most valuable tools you can use for promoting and growing your blog.
And vice versa.
By keeping your content relevant and sharing it on social media, you can grow your social media audience.
Announcing a new blog post or article on social media is a great way to connect with your audience. It also keeps them interested.
To be successful you’ll need to know how each platform works and what type of content each platform user engages with.
That way you can optimize your content to be shared, liked, pinned or tweeted. With the goal of driving traffic to your website and promoting engagement.
Including “click-to-tweet” stats or quotes makes it easier for your followers to share instantly.
Creating infographics that include stats, information or research data can grab your readers attention. And it’s another way to get other websites to reference your research with a backlink.
You can use video content as an alternative option to your existing posts. People like videos and by providing this option it’s another channel to share your content.
Blogging should never be about what your business wants. It should always be about what your customer needs.
The art of selling is not selling!
Sounds counterintuitive but trust me, providing solutions to your customer’s pain points selflessly, is the best way to gain their “purchasing trust.”
They’ll subconsciously link the value that your content provides to products and services you also provide.
Figure out what problems your customers face by engaging in the comments sections or by creating polls on your social media platforms.
What problems do you need to solve for them before they’ll continue down their buyer journey?
You should structure your blog posts around, providing an answer to the question, queries or pain points that your target audience has.
And by answering these, you’ll increase your chances of online exposure and drive more prospects to your website.
Above all, you’ll keep yourself updated with the latest information in your niche or industry, and keep your own knowledge current.
This is essential if you’re to portray yourself as an authority or industry expert.
When running a business it’s easy to spend so much time engulfed in your own products or services, you can lose touch with what your competitors are doing.
Or if there are changes in the industry.
By researching the latest information for your blog posts, not only do you benefit from fresh content and all the benefits mentioned above.
But you’re also effectively absorbing the latest data and current trends.
Creating content for your business blog gives you the incentive to always be developing your skills and knowledge in the field.
Writing a blog gives you the incentive to continuously develop your knowledge and stay on the cutting edge.
It takes constant work to stay current and progress further in your expertise.
But blogging gives you an invested interest in your study, business and expertise.
By maintaining a blog for your business, not only can you build your brand and develop a community. But you can also use it to boost your SEO rankings.
Driving organic traffic.
You should always provide value and solutions to your reader’s pain points. You’ll be the authority or “go-to” person in your industry.
Educating your visitors builds trust.
When people trust, they tend to commit. And they’ll be in a better position to move through the buyer journey.
Do you have a business blog or are thinking of starting one? But don’t know how to create a content strategy.
We can provide a recipe for your blogging success, so, get in touch today.