Blogging is a hobby, not a marketing tactic.
Blogs are for B2Cs, not B2Bs.
Blogs are for B2Bs, not B2Cs.
E-commerce sites don’t need blogs.
Blogging is dead.
I’ve heard dozens of reasons for not having a business blog and, in almost all cases, I think they’re hooey. In the Age of the Internet, digital marketing is imperative for almost every type of business—and a blog is a key ingredient.
There are many reasons for adding a blog to your company’s website, but I’m going to highlight the three most important. If you’re not already blogging (or not doing a consistent job of it), these reasons should convince you it’s time to start.
1. Generate Traffic
Most people don’t end up on a web site by typing in a URL. They typically search a keyword or phrase and click on one or more of the returned results.
Moving your company up in the rankings can take a lot of search-engine optimization (SEO) work. A blog isn’t the only factor, but it can make a big difference. Google loves fresh content, yet many businesses offer only static websites.
Maintaining an active blog can go a long way in setting you apart from the competition.
Start by choosing keywords or phrases your clients are likely to search, and then incorporating those into quality, educational content.
Each blog post you publish becomes its own page on your website, which expands your reach and opportunity to be found. That’s because Google regularly indexes updated (not static) website pages.
Every piece of new content you pump out will increase your chances of moving up in search-results rankings.
Great content may also be shared by your readers via their own social media channels. Each of those shares can be seen by hundreds or thousands of other people, who may click and read. The exponential reach of that sharing is unlimited—and totally free to you.
2. Establish Authority
A blog is a direct line of communication with your potential customers. It gives your company a voice, allowing you to show off your personality and share your knowledge.
If you provide great value over and over again, readers will believe you’re a trusted and expert voice for your industry. They’ll see you as a leader, not a follower.
If your content is consistently helpful to your readers, they’re much more likely to feel confident about buying from you.
To become a go-to source for buyers in your industry, you must frequently publish blog posts that address their needs and concerns.
To generate content ideas, think about the questions customers frequently ask you or your salespeople. Your responses to each of these can become its own lengthy and helpful blog post. Also, offer your company’s take on the latest news and trends in your industry to showcase yourself as thought leaders.
Blog posts aren’t press releases. For every one post you publish about your company’s products, services, successes, etc., you should publish at least four others that in no way promote your company.
The goal of a blog is to educate customers and prospects, not hit them over the head with a sales pitch.
Unsure whether your post should make the cut? Before you publish anything, always ask yourself this one critical question.
3. Boost Sales
Yes, a business blog is all about education, not promotion. That doesn’t mean, however, that it’s not also a useful sales tool. After all, it’s driving traffic to your site and those readers are clearly interested in your area of expertise.
If you’re doing it right, a blog is a killer opportunity to generate hot leads for your business.
How do you convert readers into buyers? It starts by collecting their email addresses. With those in hand, the world is your oyster. You or your sales team can target them with enewsletters, promotional pieces, or direct inquiries about their purchasing needs.
So how do you get readers to fork over their email addresses? You can (and should) have a sign-up form on every page of your website and with every blog post, but that may not be enough. The best method is to offer a “lead magnet,” or some free bonus the reader receives after signing up via email. (See my nifty example at the bottom of this post.)
Also known as a call-to-action (CTA), a lead magnet moves a reader up in the sales funnel from anonymous stranger to warm lead.
The CTA could be an introductory consultation, a webinar, a whitepaper, a case study, an ebook, a checklist or worksheet, a free trial, or anything valuable enough to give up contact information to receive.
Don’t expect 100% conversion rates. Many readers will always remain lurkers, and that’s okay. It means they weren’t your ideal customers anyway. Those who do sign up for more information are exactly the types of people you want to target.
If your content is gaining no traction after time, however, you’ll want to reexamine what you’re sharing. It may not be attracting the right readers or delivering enough value.
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