Building and maintaining a highly optimized website plays a crucial role in your online marketing and branding strategy. However, in today’s socially connected and digitally enhanced economy, businesses must do more.
“One of the most effective ways to build brand awareness, while providing relevant and useful content to your target audience is through consistent blogging. Blogging is an inexpensive way for small businesses to drive traffic to their site, enhance inbound marketing efforts and attract more perspective customers.”
According to information found on CBO, approximately 80% of companies committed to blogging as a part of their marketing strategy acquired customers through their blogging efforts. Additionally, 82% of businesses admit that blogging is critical to their success.
That doesn’t mean you can throw up a sub-standard blog with boring content that’s irrelevant. If you want blogging to work for your small business, you need to publish informative, well-written content with customer engagement in mind.
Blogging is fairly simple and inexpensive but as Search Engine Journal points out, it can continue to provide benefits long after publishing.
Take a look at five ways a blog can help your small business today and in the long-term:
1. Increases Website Traffic
“A blog gives people a reason to regularly visit your website, especially if you post frequently and deliver quality content that’s entertaining, useful or both,” says Search Engine Journal.
According to Hubspot, B2C and B2B companies achieve more traffic and leads through frequent blogging compared to companies that blog sparingly or not at all.
Not only is more website traffic good for your business, but it can lead to increased lead generation, product inquiries, and more conversions.
But you must create content that addresses your target audience’s pain points. You also want to make sure that your headlines accurately describe the body of your blog post and that your content effectively delivers that message.
2. Helps You Get New Customers
When consumers find informative, engaging blog content on the products or services they’re researching, it can help sway their opinion and determine where or who they’ll purchase from.
Publishing useful blog content allows your potential customers to research solutions on their own time and contact you when they’re ready to make a purchase. A consumer looking for new apparel, for example, could benefit from the blog of small clothing boutiques that post weekly or monthly style predictions and seasonal outfit coordination tips.
Every blog post should inspire the desired action. You might want people to read a related piece of content, for instance, fill out a form to get a quote or call you directly to set up a demo or consultation.
If you frequently update and optimize your blog, using SEO best practices, your blog will function as a 24/7 tool for nurturing customers and bringing in more leads.
3. Makes Your Website a Destination
Have you ever come across a blog that was so good you wanted to read it in your spare time? Well, you can create your own want-based blog that people will naturally gravitate to in their leisure time.
Unlike need-based blogs that focus on providing answers and connecting readers to the solutions your business can offer, want-based blogs concentrate more on fueling demand for something your readers didn’t know they wanted at first, such as beauty products or handy gadgets.
“The key is to make your content interesting and engaging enough that people will want to read them for fun. Over time, you can create a connection with your readers through the tone and content of the blog and foster brand loyalty.”
Source: Search Engine Journal
4. Acts as a Business Portfolio
For businesses that need proof of past successes, it’s important to have an easy way to show potential clients what kinds of results they can expect, points out Search Engine Journal. With a few high-quality photos of your work, your blog can function as a portfolio that you can direct potential clients to.
Depending on how it was built, blogs created on content management systems such as WordPress are typically easy to update, even without a lot of technical knowledge.
After you’ve uploaded some of your work, you can provide people with a simple link that will direct them to your blog so they can view the quality and value of your work online.
5. Keeps on Giving
Months after a blog post goes live, it continues to attract new leads, nurture and engage current customers and help you increase sales.
That doesn’t mean you can stop posting new content. Search engines are always crawling websites for fresh, relevant content. When your business creates blog posts consistently, you will provide Google, Bing, Yahoo with new content to index. The great thing is, though, older posts can remain relevant to your readers for a long time.
In fact, old blog posts that have obtained authority/ranking over time and continue to bring in organic traffic can easily be updated to serve current marketing goals. Depending on the article, all you need to do is make a few small tweaks for the post to retain its usefulness and bring in good leads.
Although we’ve only discussed five benefits here, there are many other ways blogging can help you build a sustainable business, including establishing your business as an industry leader, serving as free PR, improving SEO, and creating a community of people with shared interests.
Blogging is a good marketing tool that all businesses—regardless of size—should be taking advantage of because it’s cost-efficient and drives large returns.
In fact, a HubSpot survey discovered that 60% of businesses made more sales because of blogging and 61% of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from a blog.
Isn’t it time your small business started enjoying the benefits that blogging clearly offers?