5 Reasons to Start Marketing with Blogs Today
Today we’re going to veer a little from our general course to celebrate a special occasion. This month marks the 1 year anniversary of The DCD Blog! We’ve come a long way since our first post last year, making numerous changes to improve our style and content as we have learned more and more about blogging, and how useful it can be for marketing.
For many small businesses, one of the greatest obstacles they face is engaging and informing leads, in hopes of gaining new customers. Blogging is one of the best assets to small companies with a limited marketing budget, since it’s cheaper than buying ad space or paying to host, attend, or sponsor large events.
And it’s effective. Bluleadz.com provides the following metrics regarding blogging’s effectiveness in sales lead generation:
- Less than half (roughly 40%) of US companies use blogs for marketing purposes.
- Companies that blog have 55% more website visitors than companies that don’t blog.
- Business to customer (B2C) companies that maintain a blog get 88% more leads per month than companies that don’t blog.
- Business to business (B2B) companies that blog get 67% more leads per month than companies that don’t blog.
Beyond these stats, blogs can also:
1. Boost Your SEO and Drive Traffic to Your Website
When potential customers are looking for solutions to their problems, their first step is usually to Google it. Typing “data consultants near me,” for example, is much easier than pulling out a phonebook (yeah, remember those?) or sorting through a stack of business cards. Blogging gives your potential customers more ways to find you online. Most company websites aren’t very big, and they aren’t updated very frequently. Adding an SEO optimized blog post to your website adds another indexed page to your site, which gives search engines a heads-up that your website is active and a relevant return for search results.
The longer a SEO optimized blog posts exists, the more leads it generates over time as people continue to make searches based on the topic. Graph courtesy of hubspot.com
Creating blog posts also produces content that people can share on their social media accounts. A low marketing budget means that you won’t likely be able to produce a lot of paid advertisements, but with a blog post, you can share informative content for a relatively low cost. Furthermore, that informative, shareable content doesn’t go away when the day ends. It stays on your website, adding to your SEO and generating search hits long into the future.
2. Demonstrate Your Company’s Knowledge and Skills
People don’t read blogs for product-pushing and advertisements; they read them because the articles are entertaining, thought-provoking, or informative. So while it’s certainly easy to write about your company’s goods and services, it’s not the most effective method of driving traffic.
The best marketing blogs are designed to answer common questions and concerns their potential customers may have. Remember that many people don’t always know that what they want is “data consultants near me” (to use the above example). Often, searches are for phrases such as “database crashed data lost” or “how to clean out old data.” Blog posts let you address these searches and concerns directly, and provide an opportunity to begin building a relationship as a company looking to help its clients, not just profit off of them. If a customer has already had one of their concerns addressed in your blog, they will know you as a reliable resource in your industry, and feel more confident coming to you if and when it becomes time to buy.
3. Keep Your Marketing Strategy Sharp
While writing a weekly or bi-weekly blog is considered one of the cheaper forms of marketing, it still takes a lot of effort and thought to maintain. Blog topics must be informative, thought-provoking, and most importantly of all, relevant. Selecting a new topic to blog about prompts you to consider your target audience, and continually examine their wants and needs. A good way to do this it to monitor what other blogs are doing, or to consider what’s popular in the news. This gives you an added bonus of staying on top of new developments in your industry.
Blog analytics will also help identify just who your audience is. By tracking your readers and noting where your click-throughs are coming from, you can begin to shape the outline of your blog’s demographics. Observing which of your blog topics get popular, and which generate the most shares and comments, can help you identify which subjects your target audience considers relevant and interesting.
4. Build a Connection with Your Customers
Blogging can lend a personal touch to your company’s image. While you don’t want to focus on directly marketing your products, a blog is still the perfect place to discuss current news topics, industry insights, and even your company’s story! This, in turn, allows you to display your company’s perspective, philosophy, and ideals, presenting customers with a friendly face and a pre-established personality, making you more approachable when people are in need of your services.
Furthermore, blogging is not a one-way street. When you make a blog post, you are not projecting your company into the void; through the use of comments and social media, you can create an environment for two-way communication not just with potential clients, but with your industry peers as well. This will allow you to expand your knowledge and increase your ability to provide your customers with excellent service.
5. Present Your Prospects With a Call to Action
A blog doesn’t need to focus on your service or product to make a ringing endorsement; a well-placed call to action at the end of the post could be all it takes to turn an indecisive prospect into a qualified lead. Calls to action should be things like an invitation to download a free whitepaper or fact sheet, or an assortment of links that direct the prospective customer to product landing pages or other offers. Because a customer is already looking at your blog with questions in mind, having a call to action and the correct link right in front of them will encourage them to make an immediate decision.
These are only a few of the many reasons why blogging has become a popular marketing tool.
Interested in learning more about blogging? Check out our previous blog post, Five Steps to a Better Blog for five things you can do to drive traffic to your blog!