Blogging is still in its relative infancy. If we go back just ten years, your average customer wouldn’t have even heard of blogging.
That is no longer the case. The marketing world is moving on quickly in the face of an entirely new (and arguably more effective) form of advertising – content marketing – which focuses on education and information rather than the hard sell. At the centre of that storm is blogging.
You may already appreciate just how valuable blogging can be for lead generation and sales, but what if you need to put together a cogent argument to get the go-ahead from your boss? That’s what this article is for.
With the above said, read on to discover five things about blogging that your boss should know.
1. Blogging is Cheaper (And Arguably More Effective) Than Traditional Advertising
According to Search Engine Journal, ‘inbound’ leads (i.e. customers that come to you) cost 60% less than ‘outbound’ leads (i.e. customers you have to go to).
Furthermore, Social Media B2B found that companies who blog generate 67% more leads than companies that don’t.
These are the kind of statistics that should not be ignored.
In terms of the effectiveness of blogging (which is a common theme throughout this article), Content Marketing Institute reported that 80% of business decision-makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus in an advertisement.
The bottom line is simple: your customers want to be educated, not sold to. And guess what? Blogs are for educating.
2. Blogging is the Number One Way to Drive Search Engine Traffic
Search is now a ubiquitous part of most people’s lives. Google processed 18 billion searches in the US alone in August 2014. Furthermore, according to an an Ipsos survey, 61% of global Internet users now research products online before purchasing.
However, the problem is this: your company’s website is unlikely to rank in Google on the back of its static content alone. Search engines want to see valuable content being regularly added to websites; it is one of the many ways in which they adjudge the value of a website as a whole.
That’s where blogs come in. According to Hubspot, companies that blog have 97% more inbound links. And when it comes to boosting your website’s rankings in the search engine results pages, inbound links (of quality) to your site are arguably the biggest single influence.
3. Blogging Enables You to Truly Connect With Your Customer Base
At the beginning of this article I alluded to the notion that most people are now familiar with the concept of blogging.
Let me now put that allusion into more concrete terms: according to the Content Marketing Institute, eight out of ten people identify themselves as blog readers. And according to Hubspot, 46% of people read blogs more than once a day.
In short, your customers are waiting to read what you have to say about your business, products and services. All you need to do is create the content for them.
Blogging is a truly unique medium of communication for businesses and customers. It enables you to foster two-way conversations with the people who ultimately keep your business in profit. Not only can you use blogging to directly generate more sales, you can find out who your customer is, what they want, and what they like and don’t like about what you do. This kind of information is extraordinarily valuable.
4. Blogging Can Establish Long Term Relationships With Potential Customers
This means two things:
- Half the qualified leads you interact with will buy from you, if you give them the necessary time and space.
- Those qualified leads will spend more money if you educate them about and inform them of your products and services.
Blogging enables you to establish a long term dialogue with prospective customers who may not be ready to buy yet. Rather than the ‘brute force’ method of persistent (and costly) advertising, blogging can be used to inform and educate your prospective customer base over a period of weeks, months or even years; giving them the easy opportunity to come to you when they are ready.
5. Blogging Gives Your Company a Voice
Unless your business model is to offer a product or service for a lower price than everyone else, you need to find a way to set yourself apart from the competition. This can be done in many ways, but one thing is for sure: the most successful businesses are those with a personable and relatable brand.
With that in mind, a blog enables you to tell your business’ story; to give your customer’s something to hang their emotional hat on. It gives you a platform from which you can talk about your business’ history, why you do what you do, and why customers should choose you above the alternatives.
A blog is also an ideal platform for talking about your new products and services in a personable manner (think more friendly conversation and less press release).
Give your customers an opportunity to see the people and personalities behind the brand through your blog, and you will find that they are inclined to be far more loyal than they would be otherwise. And oh, it might be an idea to forward this post on to your boss 😉
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