– JUNE 30, 2020
Think about the invention of the printing press, the massive impact of television, and then the outburst of digital technologies. One common trend throughout this evolution has been the fact that companies are constantly finding better ways to give more to customers and see greater benefits.
In recent years, one such digital medium that does just that and creates value for your business is blogging.
Today we want to expand on the benefits of blogging to business owners to show you just why you should have a blog if you don’t already. And if you do, then we’ve got some tips for you to help you see more benefits from your blogging efforts.
Gillette Understood the Benefits of Blogging Early On
The best example that comes to mind is Gillette’s transition from promoting its razors via local newspaper inserts on weekends to a convincing lifestyle blog that gives tips about shaving.
The brand understood early on that outbound advertising was becoming passé. The time had come to assert themselves as an industry leader when people think about shaving.
They strayed away from outbound strategies and started adopting inbound techniques like blogging that create value for their customer base and helps sell their products in a non-salesy way. This method sits best with customers.
This holds true not only for big corporations but for small businesses too. The benefits of blogging are across the board and can positively impact all businesses of all sizes.
As seen in the example above, gone are the days when the only way to influence a shopper was by seeking out a print ad in a local newspaper. Or announcing a new product on prime time television hoping that your target audience would see and act on your advertisement.
The dot-com boom changed a lot for business owners. And above all how they promote their business to capture shoppers who would flock into stores.
Today advertisers rely on something much more adaptive that creates value. Though the scope of online advertising is huge, we’re going to focus on the topic of blogging and what benefits it brings to business owners like yourself.
Blogging for Business Owners
As a business owner, if you find yourself a little clueless about what exactly is blogging let alone the benefits of blogging, there’s nothing to fear. You are at the right place!
43% of business owners say they don’t know what blogging is or don’t actively blog for their business. In this age of online marketing, these businesses are likely missing out on more customers and sales.
Spoiler alert! – 55% out of the ones that do, use it as their #1 inbound marketing strategy and say they have benefited from it.
A blog is a compilation of thoughts, facts, and expert opinions relating to the business, industry or its audience. It is a written piece of information that lives online and can be accessed by anyone who visits that company’s website.
The world wide web has revolutionized the way business owners think about advertising. Not just in terms of broadcast media and publications. It has changed the way consumers actually consume media.
By opening different avenues for information gathering, this has made companies rethink and often reconfigure their inbound marketing strategy.
Many companies now practice a strategy where consumers come to them for information rather than them pushing sales via outbound strategies to spread awareness about their products.
This, in our opinion, is one of the biggest benefits of blogging. The change in how companies do business.
But there are 11 other amazing benefits of blogging that we wanted to share with you. And we think as a smart business owner you should know these when it comes to blogging for your customers.
Here’s some high level data to start with:
- Businesses that publish regular content receive 8x more traffic
- Blogging helps reduce overall marketing spend by more than 60%
- Blogging helps in achieving 3x more leads
11 Benefits of Blogging as Experienced First Hand with Business Owners
Show that you are an expert in your industry
How your blog looks and the way you write can be made to suit your personality or your brand voice. These things will help your blog to stand out from the rest. And through this, your readers will be able to develop a deeper bond with you. It makes you a transparent brand that they would love to deal with.
Also, blogging is a great way for businesses to share knowledge with their customers about the industry or other relevant interest areas. Successful companies consistently publish blog articles to assert their authority as an industry leader and subject matter expert.
It helps consumers build trust and confidence in your brand. A user who reads your blog often naturally has a relationship with you and trusts you.
This is part of the inbound strategy we mentioned earlier with Gillette. First, you build trust with customers before trying to sell them on your products/services.
Industry Example: Airbnb
The above image is from Airbnb’s Belong Anywhere blog page. It connects readers with guest experiences and destination reviews.
When you think of budget vacations, you would never miss out on checking out Airbnb first.
Have you ever wondered what makes innovative startups like Uber & Airbnb industry leaders and thought provokers? It is things like blogging that make the top of mind when customers are planning their vacations.
Create Value for your customers
Benefit: Add value to the overall customer experience
People don’t follow overly salesy brands. What’s there to follow? There are not interesting stories from a bunch of sales posts.
The most important benefit of blogging is to create value for your customers. You want to provide a better customer experience than your competitors. We cannot stress the importance of this enough.
Blogging without thinking about adding value to customer experience is like going on a trek without shoes on. It’s pointless because you are going to get hurt.
With blogging, you’re giving your customers something for free before they make a purchase. In hopes that free information will lead them in choosing to make a purchase on their own.
Some things you could share would be a helpful checklist, ideas, recipes and so on.
The more your potential customers can get from you for free, the more loyal they will be when they become customers. Educating first before selling is always a good tactic!
Industry Example: Etsy Marketplace
Etsy is a marketplace for creative goods. It’s an e-commerce based business like Amazon but for craft decorative products like handcrafted candles, homemade decor, etc. From a business point of view, they bridge the gap between sellers and users.
But what makes it so big and recognizable?
The fact that users rely on them for their creative needs & ideas. Much can be attributed to their inbound strategy – which is their blog, Etsy Journal.
This blog consists of articles, checklists and ideas that don’t promote their products directly but instead gives out ideas and inspires users. They aim to add value to their users who, in turn, trust the brand to meet their creative needs.
Search engine optimization is more than just ranking. It is a long-term tactic to make your business visible above your competition in search engine results. There are a couple of ways to do that.
One of the ways is to write blog posts around keywords that your customers search for. This is a great way to make sure you’re publishing relevant content. And when the search engine algorithms come crawling, they find your blog to have used the popular keyword multiple times. Due to its relevance, they determine to rank your business higher on the search results page.
There is a lot of on-page and off-page optimization that goes into this but this is one of the big benefits of blogging for business owners.
Benefit: Rank higher in search engine results
Industry Example: Insurance companies are the perfect example here. Have you ever Googled what to do after a car crash? You’d probably see something like this.
The top three results are all from different companies. This highlights one of the most important benefits of blogging. Businesses that blog consistently can leverage online tools to increase their visibility in searches. You can also generate more blog topics from the searches you find popular among your customers. This is a great tactic in using blogging to your advantage.
Business owners can use blogging as a way to collect emails of interested prospects by asking website visitors to subscribe to your blog posts. You can then add these users to your marketing funnel. Where you can then send more communications and promotions about your business. The more touch points you have with a customer, the greater chance you’ll have of them converting.
Benefit: Build email lists of interested customers for future marketing touch points.
Industry Example: Beauty blogs use blogging to their benefit a great deal when it comes to collecting emails for marketing purposes. Beauty brands often give out tips and best practices. As a part of this experience, they encourage their readers and visitors to sign up for their newsletters to receive consistent tips or features. This tactic can be applied to many other industries.
Demand generation is the first step in lead generation tactics that capture interested or potential prospects via a contact form. Demand Generation is the part where businesses need to generate enough demand from the market to be able to sell to them. Businesses often use blogs and content presentations as a channel to announce new products, features, and inform customers about their brand and the solutions they can provide.
Benefit: Create and cultivate an interest in your brand and products
Industry Example: Apple
Apple is a great example of demand generation via content presentation.
Each year when an iconic software or product is released, leaders at Apple give a detailed keynote presentation to excite brand followers about the new release. Steve Jobs started this, and it continues even after his passing because it works.
In the most simple terms, there are three stages of capturing a customer to your business.
- The Awareness Stage
- The Consideration Stage
- The Decision Stage
The benefits of blogging can be extended across all three. And it is even more important to understand that all three stages play an equal assertive role in converting a customer.
For example, checklists and tips in a blog post can help attract a new customer and get him or her interested in your products or services.
Additionally, “how-to” topics can be convert customers in the consideration stage that might need a little push and a little more info about a product.
And finally, testimonial content marketing can help a customer in the decision stage who may need social proof before purchasing from you. Blogging is an important element of the lead conversion process.
Benefit: Push a customer through the lead conversion process (awareness, consideration, decision) without “selling” to them.
Industry Example: Slack
Slack, an internal messaging tool for workplaces, fits best when we think of the benefits of blogging in terms of aiding in lead conversions. When a user browses through Slack’s pricing web pages or opts to receive a custom quote, they are greeted with communication regarding customer Slack Stories. A blog dedicated to customer success stories. This can very well prove to be the final sales tactic that makes a potential customer convert.
Get Exposure & Visibility
Sometimes, business owners feel their money is better invested in things like operations and management of the brand rather than advertising and promotions. But then how do build awareness about your business without spending resources to promote it?
As we tell our clients, blogging is oftentimes the answer to many of their questions. If your blog truly creates value for users, search engines are going to pick it up. No matter what. This strategy is a great way for brands to house information about new products and services on their website. Where users will visit not just to get the information they are looking for, but they will also learn about the business in general.
Benefit: Increase brand visibility
Industry Example: Tesla’s Blog
Companies like Tesla spend very little on promoting their business. So how are they so popular? Instead, they rely on adding value to their community with blogs and articles that will earn a story in a publication anyway. This is their way to spread awareness about new products and features. And sometimes, the only way.
Build Your Network with Influencer Marketing
Another way blogging can benefit business owners is when they work with influencers as a part of their content marketing strategy. You would generally give an influencer your product to have or use in exchange for a blog post reviewing the product and your company. The key here is to make sure you work with an influencer that your customers admire or follow.
This is an important benefit of blogging, often overlooked by business owners. Think of yourself as a new business owner. Your business is young and has few followers. So your blog most likely will not make a large impact initially. Influencers, on the other hand, already have hundreds of thousands of followers that they can promote your business to with a simple blog post reviewing your product.
Benefit: Wider reach with influencer marketing
Industry Example: Home Depot when introducing a new range of furniture, tools, and hardware, challenged a group of influencers to build out a stylish patio using just Home Depot’s products.
The idea for the brand was to document how easy their tools were to use. And the influencers wrote all about it on their blog sites, which Home Depot their shared on their site and social platforms thus helping the brand to achieve a widespread reach.
Inbound links are links on other web pages that link back to your website. Other than being a great SEO growth tool, it finds its place among the benefits of blogging as well. As we discussed earlier, blogging creates value for customers by giving out tips and important information about the business or industry in general. If these blog articles are valuable enough to solve a customer problem, they might get picked up by other websites or blogs too.
When other sites link to your information, it looks like a strong recommendation to Google. Just like with any product, the more someone recommends it, the more you want to use it. These digital recommendations (backlinks) helps increase your website authority and signals your website as favorable to the search engine algorithms.
Benefit: Backlinks increase your domain authority and ranking in search engines.
Industry Example: The New York Times is a great example of this. Though it has made its mark with news coverage, it maintains its own blog too that talks about its opinions about different topics ranging from healthcare to technology. The topics are so relevant and touch everyday lives of people that brands often link back to the New York Times when citing about a similar topic.
Blogging is also a great way for customers to leave comments about your business. Because of the easy availability of blogs on a brand’s website, blogging has become an extension for customers to learn more about what they like and don’t like.
Customers can share stories with other users about your products/services. Or just leave feedback on the blog pages. Similar to social listening, brands can easily adjust their marketing/advertising strategy accordingly based on the engagement and feedback they receive on blog posts.
Do you have any other benefits of blogging you’ve noticed for your business? Share them with us in the comments below. See what we did there 😉
Benefit: Blogs can be inviting enough for users to leave feedback and opinions.
Industry Example: Trip Advisor
One such example is Trip Advisor’s blog that mentions different holiday destinations around the world. Each blog post is concluded with a comment section where users can leave their opinions, feedback, and suggestions about the location if they have visited it. This is a great way businesses can take advantage of feedback, engage with customers, and improve their business.
Stay Ahead of the Competition
A business that has an active blog on its website is more likely to get a visitor to make a purchase. A recent marketing study concluded that 55% of users are encouraged enough to buy from a business if they have a consistent and interesting blog. A business with a steady blog is not only seen as an expert by users, but it also creates value that indirectly helps a consumer choose products and services.
Benefit: Have a better market share over competitors.
Industry Example: American Express
American Express is probably one of the best examples to note when it comes to using blogging to stay ahead of the competition. While other competitors were busy talking about their new products, American Express saw a rise in small businesses across North America and decided to capitalize on that. They started a blog that shared ways business owners can grow their businesses and how the community should support small businesses.
The tactic was successful because these blogs were not promotional in nature but sponsored a dear cause of how American Express supports small business owners and their dreams. This gave a unique competitive advantage to the brand as it now represented the very idea of doing business.
The Benefits of Blogging Don’t End There…
We’ve seen all of these benefits first hand with our blog. So we know these tactics work, and we know they’re true.
The benefits of blogging don’t just stop with you having a blog on your website. If you can divert enough traffic to it, soon you will start to see an uptake in sales. People will not only start trusting you more but also buy more products from you. It can be a key tool in your marketing arsenal.
Our team of content wizards has worked with clients across multiple industries. There are many types of blogging tactics that suit a business and it’s target audience. Finding the right ones for your brand is all it takes. And we can help you out with that.
We are a full-service digital marketing firm that manages more than just blogging for your business. We can also mange your SEO, social media profiles, website design, and email marketing to increase your blog traffic, leads, and conversions.