We live in an information world–one where information can be accessed with the simple click of a button. Have a question? Type it into a search engine like Google and find hundreds, thousands, millions, and possibly billions of companies that are trying to attract you to an answer on their website. When doing research on search engines, it’s common that you’ll see a blog post show up ready to educate and inspire you. And today’s buyer is really looking to build trust with those they do business with. To build this trust, the buyer consumes content before making a confident decision. In fact, 47% of people consume 3–5 pieces of content before taking the first step towards making a purchase.
If you want your business to be found, then you need to create a content strategy that focuses on attracting and gaining the trust of your ideal audience. This is where business blogging comes in. Business blogging is a marketing tactic that uses blogging to get your business more visibility online. Your business blog is a marketing channel (just like social media, direct mail, or email marketing) that helps support business growth.
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Your business blog is a key component to the inbound methodology’s attract stage. You don’t want just anyone coming to your website. You want people who are most likely to become leads and, ultimately, happy customers.
How do you get them there? You attract more of the right customers with relevant content at the right time — when they’re looking for it. Let’s talk specifics about why your business should consider blogging as a key marketing tactic. To start, it helps drive traffic to your website. Think about how many pages your website has. Probably not many. Now think about how often you update those pages. Probably not often. Well, blogging helps solve both of these problems.
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Every time you write a blog post, it’s one more indexed page on your website, which means it’s one more opportunity for you to show up in search engines and drive traffic to your website. In fact, websites with a blog tend to have 434% more indexed pages. That’s a lot of opportunity. Blogging also helps you get discovered through social media. Every time you write a blog post, you’re creating content that people can share on social networks, like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, which helps expose your business to a new audience that may not know you yet.
Blog content also helps keep your social media presence going – instead of asking your team to come up with new content for social media (or creating that content yourself), your blog can serve as that repository of content. You’re strengthening your social reach with blog content and driving new website visitors to your blog via your social channels. That’s quite the symbiotic relationship.
Next, it helps convert traffic into leads.
Now that you have traffic coming to your website through your blog, you have an opportunity to engage that traffic and convert them into leads. Just like every blog post you write is another indexed page and an opportunity to show up on search engines, each post is a new opportunity to generate leads. In fact, search engine leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (like direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate. But keep in mind that not every reader of your blog will become a lead. That’s okay. No one converts 100% of the people who read their blog into leads.
Next, it establishes your business as a thought leader in the space. The best business blogs answer common questions their prospects and customers have. If you’re consistently creating content that’s helpful for your target audience, it’ll help establish you as an authority in their eyes. Blogging can especially be a helpful tool for sales and service professionals. Imagine the impact of sending an educational blog post you wrote to clear things up for a confused customer, or how many more deals a salesperson could close if their leads discovered blog content written by them. “Establishing authority” as a thought leader within your industry is a fluffy metric — certainly not as concrete as traffic and leads, but consider your blog posts as helpful sales enablement drivers.
If prospects find answers to their common questions from blog posts written by people at your company, they’re much more likely to come into the sales process trusting what you have to say because you’ve helped them in the past — even before they were interested in purchasing anything from you. Additionally, prospects that have been reading your blog posts will typically enter the sales process more educated on your place in the market, your industry, and what you have to offer. That makes for a far more productive sales conversation than one held between two relative strangers.
And salespeople who encounter specific questions that require in-depth explanation or a documented answer can pull from an archive of blog posts. Not only do these blog posts help move the sales process along more swiftly than if a sales rep had to create the assets from scratch, but the salesperson is further positioned as a helpful resource to their prospect. And lastly, it drives long-term, sustainable results.
Let’s say you sit down for three hours and write and publish a blog post today. Let’s say that blog post gets you 115 visits but no new leads within the first month. That post is far from done. That content will soon rank on search engines. That means for days, weeks, months, and years to come, you can continue to get traffic and leads from that blog post. So while it may feel like short-term results or bust, in reality, the initial effort you put in can turn into hundreds of thousands of views and leads in the future.
For example, SmartBug Media, one of HubSpot’s partners and top-tier agencies, published a blog post in December 2013 which received 115 visits in its first month of being published. However, over the past 58 months, this blog post received 4,767 visits, which resulted in 230 new leads. And this is just one post… This blog post had a relevant topic — creating a lead nurturing funnel — that didn’t decay over time.
HubSpot research analyzed 15,000 companies and found that posts like these that are always of interest to readers account for 38% of total blog traffic across our sample. Hopefully this demonstrates the value and need to consider creating and scaling a blog for your business. Because taking the time to do so can help you, your business, and your customers grow better together.