Friday, June 30, 2017

The Building Better Blogs Series: #1 -To Blog or Not to Blog ...

by Melissa Macaulay Federico, The B2B Branding Company --

Once upon a time, businesses had an onerous decision to make. Should they take a risk, climb out on a limb, and invest in creating a website for their company? Or should they stick with the tried and true tools and tactics they’d always used? This was a tough one. I mean, who knew if this online stuff would really catch on?

Fast forward to 2017 and many businesses are still on the fence about blogging. The only difference, however, between then and now is that blogs are already widely accepted forms of content marketing, that customers expect most businesses to publish a blog, and that a myriad of tools and techniques have emerged to help marketers derive the very best return on their blogging investment.

So, why all the angst?

It boils down to the same old thing: Decision makers want to see that there is a viable business case for investing in a blog. Because, all misconceptions aside, it’s not “free,” it’s not easy, and it’s not typically something you want to hand off to a high school intern. (No offense to the growing number of industrious, blog-savvy high schoolers out there).

business blogging content marketing
Photo: Flickr

Making the Case

Boost Your Business’ SEO - Search engines respond to fresh, new content. Every new post gives Google and other search engines something to sink their teeth into. According to a well-known HubSpot study, websites with blogs have 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links.

Increase Customer Engagement with Your Brand
-Blogging is a way to connect with visitors to your website by offering them information that has value to them, and using that content to strike up a dialog. Try posing questions in your posts or enable and encourage comments. If you are attentive to your readers’ comments (read and reply), you create affinity through a relationship of sorts. Not to mention gain better understanding of what they want and need.

Industry Leadership – You don’t have to be the head of a multi-national conglomerate to be an expert. Trust and credibility come from communicating relevant and valuable content (i.e., ideas and information). This is one place where small businesses can gain a competitive advantage over their larger competitors.

Extend Your Reach – Every blog post is an opportunity for sharing via email, social media, or [the holy grail]: Word of Mouth. Blog posts can be linked to, tweeted, emailed or discussed face-to-face by your followers and you.

What does this mean in dollars and cents?

Quiz: More readers mean more traffic, more traffic means more leads, and more leads mean more ____?____.

If you said “Sales!” you’re absolutely correct. In fact, Hubspot has reported that marketers who prioritize blogging in their content strategy and marketing mix are 13 times more likely to enjoy a positive return on investment than their non-blogging colleagues.

Your ROI will vary somewhat depending on your goals and your line of business, but here are a few stats to support the business case for blogging.

If your business is still on the fence about blogging, let’s hope this has given you a starting point for planning and launching your company’s blog. There’s no doubt that the bottom line potential for a well-managed blog is real and quantifiable. But, take careful note, the most important words in that sentence are “well-managed blog.”

Your efforts and investment will live or die on how well you plan and execute your blogging tactics. Over the next few posts, this series will tackle what “well-managed” means in terms of real actions. So, stay tuned for more, and don’t be bashful about sharing your questions and experiences.

Next up in our Building Better Blogs Series: “Getting Your Ducks in a Row - Resources Required for Launching Your Business Blog”

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