Are there any benefits of blogging? Sure there are. For decades, entrepreneurs have promoted their businesses through content marketing. The form content marketing has taken has differed over the years though.
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.
Actually 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 we’ve 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
Yourself 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 or news 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. 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.
In addition, 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. Firstly, 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 sales 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.
When 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 an amazing 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