Does our business really need a blog?
It's a question many executives have asked themselves in recent years. Due to the popularity of social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, traditional blogging can seem a bit superfluous.
The truth is, if you want to grow a business, either B2B or B2C, blogging is still an effective way to increase visibility and attract customers. And, in this blog (see what we did there?), we’re going to share with you the four main reasons every business should still strongly consider blogging.
4 Reasons Why We Recommend Having a Blog For Your Business
If you're a busy marketing director wanting to eliminate extraneous initiatives, ditching the company blog can be tempting. In fact, Gina Bianchini, founder, and CEO of Mighty Networks, insists that building "deep interest networks" is now a more effective growth strategy than blogging.
But, notice that blogging is the method Bianchini is using to promote her business, trying to position her chosen medium as a less effective medium than the one she is promoting.
Kind of ironic, wouldn’t you say?
It’s sexy and provocative to announce that conventional methods are “dead.” I don’t know how many blog posts I’ve read proclaiming that blogging is dead. Again, ironic.
So, why should you consider building a business blog?
1. Build Perceived Authority
What do you consider to be a more reputable source: The New York Times or Bob Smith's blog? If you're like most people, you probably place more trust in the former.
Of course, just because the newspaper is world-renowned doesn't mean it's the most trustworthy source on every topic. Major news outlets get stuff wrong surprisingly often. However, people trust them because they have established themselves as "authorities" over time.
Thus, the reason for wanting to be perceived as an authority on any given topic is obvious: The more people trust what you have to say, the more likely they are to buy your products and services.
So, how does one build authority online? The best business blogs consistently create content that addresses the questions, concerns, and desires of their ideal customers. The more thoughtful content they produce, the more customers and search engines begin to see them as a reliable source of information.
While the ROI of "perceived authority" is difficult to measure — beyond looking up whatever number the internet gods have bestowed upon your domain — the indirect impact isn't hard to see. Consistently publish quality content, and you will notice it's a lot easier to close leads. By the time, a prospect talks with one of your sales representatives, they will have already qualified themselves.
2. Increase Organic Search Traffic
Do you know what else comes along with perceived authority online? Free traffic. As reported by HubSpot, companies that publish more than 16 blog articles per month experience nearly 3.5X more traffic than those publishing less than four articles per month.
The more content you publish with long-tail search queries, the more search engines will take notice and increase your position in the rankings. For example, an Automotive Repair Shop might receive a fair amount of traffic from people searching for "automotive repair shops," by placing the keyword on your homepage.
However, think about all those people wanting to buy new tires. They might have questions like:
- How much should I spend on new tires?
- When should you replace your tires?
- What brand of tires is best?
The Auto Repair Shop can answer questions like this on its blog. Every time the shop publishes an article, it's one more indexed page on their website. The more keyword-rich pages are indexed, the more search engines will drive organic traffic to their site.
3. Better Serve Customers
Not only do all those blog articles increase SERPs, but they also provide a superior customer experience. If your prospects are already searching for information related to your products and services, why not be the one who provides it for them?
If you're regularly communicating with your sales team, and making yourself aware of frequently asked questions, you can provide answers in the form of articles. You can also come up with helpful topics by perusing social platforms like Quora, Reddit, and Amazon.
Having a business blog will allow you to directly address prospective customers, while educating them about what your business does. Not only does this create a superior customer experience, but it also provides an opportunity to showcase the personality of your business.
4. Get More Qualified Leads
Finally, blogging works particularly well for B2Bs because of their longer sales cycles. On average, B2B buyers read between three and five pieces of content before engaging with a sales representative. Blogging is the most efficient way to provide them with the information they need to get to that point.
Furthermore, there is a direct correlation between pages indexed and leads received. According to HubSpot, business websites with 401 to 1,000 pages of content get 6X more leads than those with 51 to 100 pages. If you're thinking that's of blog articles, you're right!
However, reaching the tipping point is worth the effort when you consider the fact that keyword-optimized posts deliver compounding results over time. In fact, approximately 90% of HubSpot's monthly leads come from posts that weren't published in the current month. Sometimes years ago!
Not only does each post potentially boost SERPs, but it also provides a fresh opportunity to nurture leads. Partner every article with some gated content (e.g. eBooks, webinar recordings, free trials), and you will increase your likelihood of opt-ins.
Here's what the blog lead nurturing process typically looks like:
- Prospect comes to blog article via search engine.
- Prospect sees call-to-action (CTA) for a free offer.
- Prospect clicks CTA, which takes him to a landing page.
- Prospect submits his information in exchange for the offer.
If you haven't already noticed, all of our blog posts wrap up with a corresponding CTA. Without our blog, we wouldn't a). Have a fraction of the organic search traffic we do and b). Have an effective way to transition leads from Top-of-Funnel (TOFU) to Middle-of-Funnel (BOFU).
Is Having a Business Blog Right for You?
Despite the recent bad press, blogging still works. It's a fantastic tool for B2Bs seeking qualified leads without having to break the bank. With that said, results won't come overnight.
Our clients typically see a measurable increase in organic search traffic within 8-to-12 months of consistent blogging. That translates to around 60-to-80 articles minimum. While having a business blog doesn't deliver immediate results, your efforts will snowball to deliver predictable traffic over time.