A company blog helps you connect with customers and prospects by providing useful content that can be found through search and promotion. Its many content marketing benefits include increasing your online presence and engagement with an ROI better than online advertising. Let's look at why (and how) to blog.
- Consider that 47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. (Demand Gen Report)
- Content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search advertising. (Content Marketing Institute)
- 81% of B2B companies use blogging as a content marketing tactic. (Content Marketing Institute)
- Businesses that blog regularly receive 55% more visitors AND 67% more inbound links than businesses that don’t have a blog at all, according to HubSpot.
What is a blog?
A business blog is a marketing tactic that earns your business more visibility by consistently creating and publishing shorter-form content in the form of blog posts. One of the quickest ways to be found by search engines, and therefore potential customers, is to have content on your website that can be indexed and is useful. Your total number of indexed pages will keep going up as you publish more and more posts. Companies that regularly publish blog posts have 434% more indexed pages than websites that don’t publish content. What better way to get more indexed pages than adding carefully crafted blog posts to your site?
Your blog will be a key contributor to your content marketing strategy. To be effective, your blog posts must talk to your target audiences and help them understand how your organization or product fills a need.
Your blog needs to include content for the top stages of the marketing funnel (awareness and consideration). While awareness content is likely to draw in new people, more middle-of-the-funnel content will start laying the foundation of a relationship working with your organization or considering your product.
The benefits of blogging for companies
Beyond increasing the number of pages indexed for search engines, blogging is a way to engage with customers and prospects. It is a casual way to talk about the problems or pain points shared by your customers, and how your organization helps to solve the problem.
Google looks for the people who are actual experts in their field and are sharing information via their website. The great news for business owners is that anyone can become an expert in Google’s eyes. If the information provided by a business on their blog is good, Google rewards the business by moving this information to a higher spot in search results.
Your company blog is more content to attract buyers
Having more information about your business or product, in easily digestible short articles, provides more ways to attract website traffic and eventually customers. Having content that talks to your customer, in the language they use, and helps them to solve their problem is useful content that promotes you and your organization.
Better search opportunities
The more content you have, the more opportunities you have to be the subject matter expert in your industry and provide the knowledge people and search engines crave.
Increased website traffic
When your website has more pages, you have better odds of ranking well in search engines.
Every time you publish a blog post, you create a new web page with one more opportunity for your website to appear for the queries people are entering into search engines, and one more opportunity for another website to link to your blog post, giving you more SEO juice – and more traffic.
More online interactions
Your blog posts become content to promote through your social media channels, increasing awareness and increasing online interactions. A good blog post will be shared by others and will gain links from other sites. All of which help drive visits to your website.
How to write for your company blog
Develop a brief that details your audience(s) and key messages (editorial focus) for your blog. You may have several audiences. Not every post needs to talk to every audience. Think about your brand position and how you want to support it. Set a schedule. And, don’t commit to more than you can handle.
Identify your audience and understand your customers’ needs
Identify your typical best customer. Develop a buyer persona — a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. When creating your buyer persona(s), consider including customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals.
Answer their questions or solve their problems
Speak directly to your buyer. Provide useful information they need to solve their problem, without selling. Help your potential buyer by providing useful content that answers a question.
Set a schedule, and keep to it
Consistency is important in blogging. Over time, you’ll gain blog subscribers as well as frequent visitors. Regularly adding new content also helps with search engine rankings and quality scores.
Your blog posts should not be a hard sell. But, offering more information about how your company or product can help is a good way of starting the engagement process. Consider adding a call to action (CTA) or link in your posts that provides product or service information. Add links to other resources that support your post and are helpful to your reader. Be helpful.
Do you have something more to offer? Maybe a white paper, presentation, or ebook?
Key blogging tasks after you write your post
You know your audience. You’ve picked a topic. You’ve done some research and drafted your blog post. Before you publish it, take some time to optimize your post.
Proofing and editing
Ask someone to proof-read your post. Does your post make sense to the reader? Are there any spelling or grammatical errors? Does the headline describe the content of the article?
Optimize for search
Analyze your headline for search with a tool such as CoSchedule headline analyzer. Use keyword phrases in your headings and copy. Be sure to use descriptions for any images. Make sure you have one image that is at least 1,200 pixels wide for social sharing and Google AMP service. But mostly, make sure your post answers the question your customers are searching.
Promote your blog
Now that you published your blog post, you should share it. Start with your own website. Sure, the post is in the blog, but does your website home page also show recent blog posts? Share your post on social media. Which social media platforms you use to share your posts will depend on your company and the content. You may even want to promote your post using online advertising.
Leverage your blog posts even further and include them in an email newsletter from your organization that includes post graphics and teasers with a link to your blog.
How to be a good blog post editor
Ask what’s in it for me? Every blog post should help the reader. That is, why does your intended audience care about what you have written.
Tell the reader what the post is about and WHY it is important to them. Your headline sets an expectation. Tell the reader what you’re discussing in your post, and why it helps them. Don’t worry about appealing to everyone. But, write to a specific person or persona. I find that most writers do this well in their concluding statement. As an editor, I use that to create the opening sentence.
Tag your posts. Using tags in your blog helps link to other useful content on the same or related subjects. It helps your readers explore more content.
Link to others, both inside your blog and on the web. Include links to sources of information and related blog posts. Share other posts from your blog that are related.
Your company blog will help you connect with customers and prospects by providing useful content that can be found through search and promotion. It is one part of content marketing that increases your online presence and engagement with an ROI better than online advertising.