When speaking to potential clients about their social media strategy and blogging, they often ask me what is a blog, and why should they even do it. You can use blog for several different purposes, depending on the industry you are in; for example: you can share the company news, announce events or give a resume about the event that you just organized, you can share useful tips, you can answer frequently asked questions, share case studies, recipes, recent works, customer feedback, trending topics in your industry and your thoughts on it, and more.
But why blog at all? I usually give them four simple answers, which have proven correct with all our clients:
1) It helps drive traffic to your website;
2) It helps in increasing your search rank;
3) It helps you establish authority, and
4) It helps you get more leads.
Recently I came across a blog post on Hubspot, which confirms my points and gives a nice explanation of them. I couldn’t have put them better myself, so if you had doubts about whether you should start a business blog, read the benefits of business blogging below. I am certain you will find it useful.
1) Blogging helps drive traffic to your website.
How do people find your website?
- They could type your name right in, but that’s an audience you already have. They know who you are, you’re on their radar, and that doesn’t help you get more traffic.
- You could pay for traffic by buying an email list (don’t you dare!), blasting them, and hoping some people open and clickthrough on the emails. But that’s expensive, and, you know, illegal.
- You could pay for traffic by placing paid search ads, which isn’t illegal, but still quite expensive. And the second you run out of money, your traffic stops coming, too.
So … how can you drive additional traffic? In short: by blogging, social media, and search engines. Here’s how it works.
Think about how many pages there are on your website. Probably not a ton, right? And then think about how often you update those webpages. Probably not that often, right? After building a website, companies usually have months or even years without updating it. (How often can you really update your About Us page?)
Well, blogging helps solve both of those problems.
Every time you write a blog post, it’s one more indexed page on your website. It’s also one more cue to Google and other search engines that your website is active and they should be checking in frequently to see what content you’ve published that they should surface. Every new indexed page is one more opportunity for you to show up in search engines, and drive traffic to your website through organic search.
Blogging also helps you get discovered via social media. Every time you write a blog post, you’re creating content that people can share on social networks — Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and others, which helps expose your business to a new audience that doesn’t know you yet. Blog content also helps keep your social media presence going. You’re strengthening your social reach with blog content and driving new website visitors to your blog with your social channels.
So, the first benefit of blogging? It helps drive new traffic to your website and works closely with search engines and social media to do that.
2) Blogging helps convert that traffic into leads.
Now that you have traffic coming to your website through your blog, you have an opportunity to convert that traffic into leads.
Just like every blog post you write is another indexed page, each post is a new opportunity to generate new leads. And the way this works is really simple: Just add a lead-generating call-to-action to every blog post.
Often, these calls-to-action are things like free ebooks, free whitepapers, free fact sheets, free webinars, free trials … basically, any content asset that someone would be willing to exchange their information for. To be super-clear for anyone unfamiliar with how traffic-to-lead conversions work, it’s as simple as this:
- Visitor comes to website
- Visitor sees call-to-action button with a free offer behind it
- Visitor clicks call-to-action button and gets to a landing page, which contains a form for them to fill in with their information
- Visitor fills out form, submits information, and receives the free offer
You could also simply put a call-to-action invitation for readers to contact you for more information on a given topic, a free consultation, or other service or product you could offer. That is how you turn that traffic coming to your blog into leads for your sales team.
Note: Not every reader of your blog will become a lead — and that’s okay! No one converts 100% of the people that read their blog into leads. Just get blogging, put calls-to-action on every blog post, set a visitor-to-lead conversion rate benchmark for yourself, and strive to improve that each month.
3) Blogging helps establish authority.
The best business blogs answer common questions their leads and customers have. If you’re consistently creating content that’s helpful for your target customer, it’ll help establish you as an authority in their eyes. This is a particularly handy tool for Sales and Service professionals.
Can you 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 their salesperson? “Establishing authority” is a fluffy metric – certainly not as concrete as traffic and leads, but it’s pretty powerful stuff.
4) Blogging drives long-term results.
You know what would be cool? If any of the following things helped you drive site traffic and generate new leads:
– Trip to Hawaii
– Going to the gym
– Getting your hair blown out (amirite, ladies?)
– Watching Game of Thrones
Good news! That’s what blogging does — largely through search engines. Here’s what I mean:
Let’s say you sit down for an hour and write and publish a blog post today. Let’s say that blog post gets you 100 views and 10 leads. You get another 50 views and 5 leads tomorrow as a few more people find it on social media and some of your subscribers get caught up on their email and RSS. But after a couple days, most of the fanfare from that post dies down and you’ve netted 150 views and 15 leads.
Only it’s not done. That blog post is now ranking in 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 you’re surfing in Hawaii, picking up your kid from school, and hitting your snooze alarm, you’re also driving traffic and leads. One hour of effort today can turn into hundreds of thousands of views and leads in the future.
Fun Fact: About 70% of our traffic each month comes from posts that weren’t published that month. Whoa. >>LA76 note: And that is true for our PR & Social Media Blog as well as for our Travel & Design Blog.
There are other reasons businesses might want to blog, but I think they’re smaller and stray from the core benefits of blogging.
For instance, I love to use our blog to test out big campaigns on the cheap – before we invest a lot of money and time into their creation. I also love to use our blog to help understand our persona better. These are great things, but they’re not the whammies.
If you’re looking to start a business blog or get more investment for one you’ve already started, the reasons above are a great place to start arguing your case.
Are you already well underway when it comes to business blogging or are you just starting out? Share your thoughts on business blogging below and what you’re looking to get out of it.
If you’d like an advice or help with creating your blog, or establishing the strategy for it, contact us for a free consultation at info@LA76.com.
At LA76 Strategic Design we currently provide blogging services to the following clients: Capella Pedregal, Capella Ixtapa, Luxury Villa Collections, Surfit Baja, Pisces Real Estate, Karla Casillas Weddings & Events and others. See more of the services we provide to our clients and portfoilo here.