Business blogging is a marketing tactic that uses blogging to get your business more online visibility. A business blog is a marketing channel (just like social media, direct mail, email marketing, etc.) that helps support business growth.
I had a co-worker email me the other day asking for a blog post about the benefits of business blogging.
“It’s for a friend,” she said.
Sure it was.
I told her I’d shoot over one of our up-to-date blog posts about why businesses should blog and … I couldn’t find one. Whoops. Quite the meta mistake.
So I’m doing it now. If you’re trying to explain one of the core tenets of inbound — business blogging — altijdgeil to your boss, a coworker, your mom at Thanksgiving, whomever, then send them this post. I hope it helps.
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The Benefits of Business Blogs for Marketing
First, if you don’t know what a business blog is, this post, “What Is Business Blogging? [FAQs]” should get you up-to-date. (And if you’ve only recently started your business, check out this comprehensive guide on how to start a business, including marketing, sales, and customer service tips.)
On the same page? Cool. Let’s move on to why you should use blogging as a marketing tactic.
1) It helps drive traffic to your website.
Raise your hand if you want more website visitors. Yeah, me too.
Now think about the ways people find your website:
They could type your name right in to their browser, 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 on top of what you’re already getting.
You could pay for traffic by buying an email list (don’t you dare!), blasting them, and hoping some people open and click through on the emails. But that’s expensive and, you know, illegal.
You could pay for traffic by placing tons of paid 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 any traffic? In short: 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 think about how often you update those pages. Probably not that often, right? (How often can you really update your About Us page, you know?)
Well, blogging helps solve both of those problems.
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 organic search. We’ll get into more of the benefits of blogging on your SEO a bit later, but 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 new content to surface.
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 — 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 social media manager to come up with brand new original 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. Quite a symbiotic relationship, if I do say so myself.
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) It 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. The way this works is really simple: Just add a lead-generating call-to-action to every blog post.
Often, these calls-to-action lead to things like free ebooks, free whitepapers, free fact sheets, free webinars, free trials … basically, any content asset for which someone would be willing to exchange their information. 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 for a free offer
Visitor clicks call-to-action 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
If you scroll down in this blog post, you’ll see a call-to-action button. In fact, 99.9% of the blog posts we publish have call-to-action buttons … and yours should, too. 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. That’s okay. No one converts 100% of the people who 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) It 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. And if you need to tie the impact of blogging to a less fluffy metric, consider measuring it the same way you measure sales enablement. Because at the end of the day, that’s what many of your blog posts are. Think about the sales enablement opportunities blogging presents: