Mention "content marketing" or "inbound marketing" to an industry expert, and chances are you'll get an excited smile back. Seriously, just try to utter those words in our office without starting a heated, perhaps overenthusiastic discussion about them (Pete and I are both guilty of this).
It is, you have to admit, pretty exciting stuff. Both concepts are deeply intertwined and quickly becoming essential in the digital marketing environment, providing superior performance and ROI than traditional outbound efforts.
We’ve talked before about inbound marketing and the importance of content on your website, whether you’re in the B2B market or at the helm of a startup. All of it has a seemingly simple core than can help you significantly increase your digital marketing success: blogging.
Here are 3 ways in which blogging can help grow your business.
1) Added Organic Traffic
Perhaps the most obvious advantage of blogging for your business is the fact that you'll increase your brand's exposure and attractiveness on search engines like Google, in a variety of ways.
Blogging about a specific keyword related to your industry means you'll be more likely to appear in search results when people type in that keyword. Blogging at least once a week also means that search engines crawl your website more frequently, picking up new content and ranking your site higher as a result.
And speaking of search engines: The more links you get to your site, the more highly regarded you will be in the eyes of Google, Bing, etc. That's precisely why businesses who blog regularly generate 55% more site visits and receive 97% more links to their websites than businesses who don't take advantage of blogging.
2) Lead and Customer Generation
Of course, the advantages of blogging don't end there. Site traffic means little if it doesn't turn into leads and, eventually, customers. Fortunately, business blogging delivers in this area as well.
According to HubSpot, 57% of businesses who blog once a month have received at least one customer following their efforts, and that number rises with the frequency of new posts. If you blog once a day, you have an 82% chance of generating a customer through that blog.
Considering that writing new posts requires little more than your time and effort, it's no surprise that marketers who prioritize blogging are 13 times more likely to achieve positive ROI than those who don't.
3) Thought Leadership
Naturally, increasing your site traffic along with your lead generation and customer acquisition are crucial ways in which your blog can help your business grow. But there is another benefit of blogging that, because of its intangible nature, often gets overlooked: the ability of blogs to grow your thought leadership.
Digital marketing can be difficult. Especially if you’re a small business, you're often reaching out to complete strangers who have never heard about your product. The difficulty lies in gaining the trust of your audience that your products or services will hold their promise and exceed expectations. And the only reliable way to do just that is to increase your thought leadership.
Think about it from your customers' point of view: Would you rather buy from a company you've never heard of, or one that you know is an expert in their industry? The answer is obvious, and blogging can help you move from the former group into the latter.
Blogs are among the most trusted digital channels available. When members of your target audience read your blog, they'll be much more likely to believe your claims than they would be seeing a banner ad or social media post.
By blogging regularly on industry topics (and using keywords that enable your audience to find you via search engines), you position yourself as an expert in your audience's mind. As an added bonus, the content may even be relevant and informative enough for your audience to begin sharing it among their peers, adding exposure to your business without any cost or effort on your end.
Added SEO traffic, lead generation, customer acquisition and thought leadership are three crucial ways in which blogging can help grow your business. Are you ready to take that step?