It seems that wherever you go online (for work at least), business-run blogs, YouTube channels, podcasts, and infographics are almost everywhere. Companies large and small produce helpful content alongside their more static, sales-driven web pages. But why?
Well it’s all down to an incredibly popular digital marketing tactic called “content marketing”. Before we delve into the ins and outs of how blogging can transform your online presence, we need to understand a little about this popular digital marketing concept.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a kind of digital marketing wherein companies publish shareable, helpful content like blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, and so on. The aim here isn’t to directly promote the company through salesy language and offers, but rather to spark interest in the company’s offering by sharing useful, relevant branded media.
Content marketing enables your company to take on a more advisory, consultative tone. All types of content marketing media have their pros and cons, but blogging in particular has the potential to transform your digital success – at least in our opinion. How so? Let’s delve deeper.
Sidenote for those reading in spring/summer 2020: COVID-19 preparedness measures mean that many of us are working remotely and relying heavily on the internet for information. Working from home naturally limits the ways that companies can sell their products/services during this time. In-person sales consultations are out. B2B direct mail campaigns will collect on doormats of unoccupied workplaces. Fewer people are out and about to see poster or billboard advertising. In times like these, focusing on digital marketing avenues is essential. If you’re able, then this is a great time to start blogging!
The Transformative Power of Blogging
Out of all of the available content formats, we feel that blogging can revolutionise your online presence in a way that other content types just can’t. Here are 7 reasons why…
Related Article: 4 Powerful Reasons Why B2B Blogging is Absolutely Essential
1. Blogging Provides Unparallelled SEO Benefits
Let’s start with the biggest reason why we feel that regular blogging can transform your online presence: frequently published, high-quality text-driven content is great for search engine optimisation (SEO). When a website is updated regularly with relevant, keyword-rich text, search engines will generally rank them favourably for appropriate keywords. Original, well-written blog posts about in-demand topics give your brand a fighting chance of being found in search by those who need what you’re selling.
Regular blogging also provides more contextual data for search engines like Google to judge your whole website’s fitness for search placement. Search engines find text easiest to read and process, so blogging blows graphical content media out of the water from a search indexing perspective.
Besides, expanding your company’s branded corner of the internet is never a bad thing!
2. Blog Posts Are Highly Shareable
Despite the powerful SEO benefits that blog posts provide, you shouldn’t just rely on Google to get your blog in front of willing readers. Thankfully, blog posts are incredibly shareable, and an ever-updating “library” of blog content provides excellent collateral to share on social media or through email marketing.
Blogs are shareable for readers too – if you impress someone enough with a useful post, they may well share it with friends, colleagues, or social followers. People are unlikely to share a strictly sales-orientated page from your website, but they may well share a useful blog post. Helpful, lighthearted content can be enjoyed by pretty much anyone in your niche, whether they’re relative strangers to your brand, ready to buy now, or they’re somewhere in between.
3. Blog Posts Are Much Easier to Produce In-House Than Visual Media
Though it’s easier than ever to produce visual media for your brand thanks to high-definition smartphone cameras and tools like Canva, these graphics can easily fall short without trained design or photographic knowhow. But if a member of your team is great at explaining complicated ideas or is simply a naturally gifted writer, then you already have a potential blogger in your midst (depending on their other workload of course!).
All creative skills get better with practice. There is a steep learning curve with any kind of audiovisual media production – not just in terms of learning the “right ways” to do things, but in learning the editing software required to execute the work at hand. However, a budding writer/editor only needs a basic word processor in order to practice their craft (though a cursory knowledge of HTML may help too).
4. Blogging is Easily Outsourceable
Thanks to the proliferation of online collaboration and sharing tools, it’s easier than ever to work with an external content writer if you don’t have the in-house capacity to blog regularly. When you use content management systems like WordPress, you can even set up access for external parties to submit articles for review directly through your website.
There are a number of options when it comes to choosing how to outsource writing. You can seek the services of a freelancer, find a dedicated writing agency, or approach a fuller service marketing agency (like OLCO Design!).
5. Content Catches People Who Are Already Looking for Answers
Much like PPC search advertising, content marketing intercepts people who are already hunting for information within your niche. Blogging can lead to increased search visibility, which is understandably great for brand awareness.
Consider what happens when a brand’s blog post appears in search. If the searcher isn’t familiar with the brand in question, then a friendly, useful blog post will serve as an excellent introduction; if the content answers their query, then they’ll leave with a positive view of the organisation. If the searcher has prior knowledge of the brand in question, the blog post will simply remind them of the company’s existence and potentially draw them further down the sales/marketing funnel. Content is great for growing brand awareness and for turning complete strangers into interested prospects.
6. Content Encourages Reciprocity
We’re naturally quite reciprocal creatures. If you scratch the reader’s back with high quality content that answers their questions adequately, they’re more likely to remember you when they need your services.
7. Content Brings a Personable, Consultative Angle
By listening to your audience and giving them accessible, useful, non-salesy resources which dovetail nicely with their needs, you reinforce your place in their minds. Making your brand a destination for regular, well-thought out content paints your team as industry experts and thought leaders.
Addressing frequently asked questions through content can also make sales conversations easier. Most businesses get asked the same questions time and again, meaning that their sales representatives have to give the same answers ad infinitum. However, content marketing provides the opportunity to potentially get these questions out of the way before the prospect even contacts you.
Getting Started with Business Blogging: A Few Considerations
Hopefully you’re starting to consider the impact of blogging for your business. But before we go any further, there are a few things to consider, even if you’re looking to outsource.
Blog Posts Should “Live” on Your Website
Though you can publish blog posts through free, external services like Medium or LinkedIn’s in-built article-writing function, it doesn’t mean you necessarily should. We strongly advise that you incorporate blogging functions into your existing website – this way you’ll be able to reap all of the SEO and web traffic benefits.
Good Blogging SEO Requires Preparation
To give your articles the best chance of success in search, you need to establish what search terms people are using to find relevant information about your industry. This is called “keyword research”. When you discover the kinds of language that your prospects are using in search, you can mirror that language in your blog posts, increasing the chance that you’ll show up in relevant search results.
Successful blogging also requires an awareness of search engine optimisation (SEO). A blog post’s page should be keyword-rich; include optimised images and metadata; and feature a structured, hierarchical HTML layout.
Think About Your Content Strategy
The blog topics and frequency you choose shouldn’t just be “what I feel like writing about, when I feel like writing about it” – though it’s great to work when inspiration strikes! You need to consider the strategy that underpins your content efforts. Putting together a content strategy can get quite complicated, but here are a few questions to get you started:
What do you want to achieve from blogging? Set some SMART goals for your blogging journey.
How are you going to distribute your blog posts? Are you going to drive traffic using social media or email marketing?
How frequently would you be able to publish new blogs in house? Alternatively, what is your budget for outsourcing?
What kinds of topics are your competitors covering with their content? What topics do your audience want to hear more about?
What tone of voice are your competitors using? What tone of voice do you feel is right for your company’s blog?
Ready to Begin Your Blogging Journey?
Are you keen to reap the benefits of blogging but can’t take care of it in-house? The content marketing experts at OLCO Design team will take all aspects of blogging off your hands. We’ll work with you to formulate a meaningful content strategy, enabling us to research topics, establish popular keywords, and write search engine-friendly content totally on your behalf – only reverting back to you for final approval. But with our help, you can keep your blog ticking along with minimal input.