"Do I really need a blog for my business?" is one of the questions that I get asked a lot in my business growth coaching program. The question usually leads to a series of Q&A-style discussions about the why, the how and the benefits of business blogging.
In case you are still wondering why some businesses who are as time poor as you and I have decided to invest in a blogging strategy, here is a list for you.
1. You want to drive traffic to your business site.
Blogging helps bring more traffic to your business website through, hopefully, fresh and relevant content. According to Hubspot, companies that blog actually enjoy 97% more inbound traffic.
By committing to a blogging schedule, the first benefit that you will enjoy as a business blogger is a regularly updated business website through content creation. And this is a very good thing, because majority of businesses do not update their website. Without an active business website and fresh content materials, it is very hard to draw traffic to your business and be noticed online.
As we turn to the online world more and more when seeking information, businesses who are able to fulfill this ever-increasing desire for information with useful content will attract more traffic to their website and eventually become the go-to business in their industry.
Just think of the business model that Google is founded on. In most countries around the world, Google is the go-to place when you want to find information online. They have climbed to the top position, because they have mastered the art of being an information provider.
So any businesses who want to increase their branding and online exposure, blogging can be a great way to drive traffic to their business website.
2. You want to rank better online.
All businesses want to be noticed. If you run a TV ad, you would hope that you have the money to get your ad aired during the prime time. Equally, if you are online, you certainly hope your business appears, if not within the top 3 search findings, at least on the first page of people's search results.
To rank high on search pages and be noticed, fundamentally you need to put your business out there - preferably not costing you too much. Content creation has, therefore, become an important marketing tool for businesses to gain more exposure in the digital space.
If you have not yet made the connection between content creation and search ranking, here is why. Google prides itself in its ability to match relevant and quality information to online queries; a business that regularly produces high quality, well written and optimised content will attract Google's attention.
Google loves a well-maintained website, which gives out the "we care" signal. Google then translates this excellent caring attitude into a better user experience. In this instance, Google thinks a better user experience is created through relevant and quality content. Any businesses that can improve online user experience will be promoted and favoured by Google, hence receiving better ranking.
This is the reason why blogging can help with your search ranking online.
3. You want to build your industry authority.
Believe it or not, nearly 50% of us spend more than 15 hours a week online outside our work in activities such as watching videos, reading news and reviews, being part of social media and shopping.
As access to the internet becomes easier with technology, it is likely that we will spend even more time online in the coming years. Businesses who can capitalise on this growing online audience by establishing their voice and industry credibility will ultimately be the winner.
What better way to show your worth than share your knowledge with others through blogging?
4. You want to grow an online community.
According to WordPress's 2006 data, over 409 million people read more than 23.7 billion pages every month globally. The demand for information is so great that even online marketing super stars like Neil Patel have to relentlessly pump out interesting and high quality content to satisfy their followers.
For businesses who are yet to have a loyal following, blogging is a good way to start building an engaging community. While many outbound marketing strategies produce short-lived and possibly once-off results, blogging is a "slow-released" strategy that demands consistent commitment to engage your target audience.
Although the level of commitment may seem high, businesses who persevere and invest in a long-term blogging strategy will enjoy continuous media exposure and the benefits of a highly targeted and engaging community.
The saying: "the more you give the more you get back" definitely holds true when it comes to blogging.
5. You want to generate leads.
Long time ago when blogging was more of an online diary, no one would have believed that one day blogging would become a genuine lead generation tool. And indeed, blogging is a good way to generate and qualify leads for businesses.
Not only blogging has become a legitimate lead generation tool, its effectiveness in lead generation has also been proven. Data from the State of Inbound Lead Generation study by HubSpot has shown that on average, companies with blogs produce 67% more leads per month than those without blogs.
The graph below tells the relationship between Google indexed pages and lead generation. A clear positive correlation between median monthly lead growth and number of Goggle indexed pages can be observed. The message is very clear: the more indexed pages you have by Google, the more leads you are going to bring in for your business.
This bring me to my next point - saving money.
6. You want to grow your business without going broke.
Is blogging free? Of course not. Anyone who tells you otherwise really has not got a clue.
Blogging is not free, because it takes time to produce high quality content regularly and time is money. This is the primary reason why many businesses outsource their blogging effort to a content marketing expert like us (feel free to contact us for your content marketing needs).
If you decide to throw in videos and other forms of content such as infographics and e-books for your business blog, then blogging will cost you more than just time unless you have in-house content creation capability.
Clearly, blogging is not free.
But is blogging affordable? Compared to other traditional marketing practices, the answer is yes. Using TV commercials in the United States as an example, according to Fit Small Business, it can cost up to USD 1500 for a 30-second local commercial. A usual 30-second spot broadcast nationally can set you back USD 123,000 as of 2016. The cost will then go up very quickly in an unattainable fashion if we start talking about placing an ad at special events such as Super Bowl, which can go into millions.
Now I can see where some of you savvy business owners are going with this: "Sure, blogging may be cheaper, but if I don't get any return, then the money is wasted anyway."
A fair question and I am glad you asked. Luckily for us, there is hope as Demand Metric reported, content marketing strategies such as blogging generate approximately 3 times as many leads as traditional marketing per dollar spent. Here is your return on blogging.
All of the sudden, investing in blogging for your business doesn't sound too bad after all.
7. You want to stay in touch with the market.
Gone are the days when businesses could demand customer's attention by simply introducing new products or through a few cheesy advertisements. Customers nowadays have become extremely sophisticated and value meaningful interaction and demand having an experience instead of a transaction with your business.
It is, therefore, absolutely critical for businesses to "keep their finger on the pulse" in order to stay ahead of the game. There are many ways that businesses can invest in keeping up-to-date with the market and blogging is definitely one of them.
Through the virtue of blogging, businesses will engage in practices to better understand their target audience and thus, becoming more attuned with customers' needs and expectations. Businesses can also gain market insights from competitors' blogs by reading about the type of content being shared and liked.
If your business is lucky enough to have a loyal fan base already (perhaps as a result of your blogging strategy?), then you certainly should engage your community and perform market research through online surveys and even in-person workshops, if suitable.
Blogging is more than just pushing out content. Leveraged correctly, businesses can benefit from it greatly.
Take Home Message
Blogging has proven to be an effective long-term marketing strategy that will see business grow. Businesses of any size can benefit from blogging through implementing a solid blogging strategy.
Want to learn more about how to blog successfully for your business? Join our next FREE Business Blog Challenge. Grab your spot here.
About The Author
To connect with Suzi Chen, visit her bio here.