The social media landscape is ever-changing (as we’ve seen all too clearly this year), creating a sizeable challenge for marketers needing to keep up with all the changes and maintain consistent brand presence across whatever platforms are most relevant to their audience.
The social media landscape is ever-changing (as we’ve seen all too clearly this year), creating a sizeable challenge for marketers needing to keep up with all the changes and maintain consistent brand presence across whatever platforms are most relevant to their audience. But even though Twitter, TikTok and the rest scrabble over dominance, the humble blog retains its place on most business websites.
It’s simply too useful to give up. And here is why.
If you churn out the perfect meme and manage your hashtags just right, you might get huge Twitter traction – for a day. But a well-crafted blog post can keep attracting new customers for years. And we do mean customers, not just readers: organic in-bound traffic has a much, much higher visit-to-lead conversion rate than social media or email, and a higher close rate on top of that. What does that mean? It means that if your posts can answer your customers’ questions, you’ll draw them in via search and funnel them straight towards a sale. And since that post can live on the internet for as long as you choose, it won’t get lost in the endless stream.
Your blog is a great opportunity to boost your search engine rankings. It’s not just about keywords (though we definitely recommend knowing which keywords you want to own, and using them judiciously). High-quality blog content also creates an opportunity to earn independent backlinks, which go a long way to convincing search engines that your website is credible. Oh, and every post you add gives Google more content to crawl – which is helpful in itself. Google also learns from your readers’ behavior: visitors who spend time reading your blog after clicking through are clearly finding something worthwhile, giving you a gold star on the algorithm’s scorecard.
As hinted above, you’re not actually writing for the search engine bots. You’re writing for your customers. Whether or not they have articulated this to themselves, your site visitors are not just looking for product information, they are also trying to find out whether they can trust you.
Your blog can reassure them on (at least) two levels. First, of course, it’s your opportunity to convince them that you know what you’re talking about. You can show off your industry expertise, and include tempting details of your product offering. But beyond that, a regularly maintained blog provides proof of life. The web is full of neglected sites from dying businesses; fresh content tells your visitors that you’re still there and still active. Don’t underestimate the value of that.
We’ve already touched on how blog content can attract visitors who mean business, getting a higher conversion rate right off the bat. But if your content provides real value, it can also become a valuable self-driving sales tool, thanks to the magic of sharing. Don’t make your readers do all the work though – you need to do your bit to squeeze full value from your words.
A blog is the only place that really gives you the freedom to include the full range of content possibilities, in terms of both format and content. Whether you want to share an educational infographic, an hour-long video AMA, a 3,000-word technical explainer or a bite-sized listicle – even a meme – you’re not hamstrung by platform limitations. In fact, while something like an Instagram feed demands stringent adherence to a set format, your blog can really benefit from having something for everyone. Use tags to make sure that readers can easily find the type of content they prefer, and have fun.
We’re all sick of ads and sales pitches. We want to make up our own minds. So how do you get the message across to your impatient audience? Through your blog, that’s how.
Blogging gives you the space to answer crucial questions, and raise others the reader hasn't even thought of yet. You can show the benefits of your offering without showing off. A reader who has come to you independently will be far more receptive to your arguments: they are already interested and probably already looking for a solution to their problem. You get to convince them without being pushy, and let them feel like it was their idea all along.
Although we’ve shown how blogging is an invaluable sales tool, it shouldn’t be just about sales. Use your platform to keep customers engaged, entertained, and curious about your business.
Are you convinced yet? Blogs do things no other channel can do, making them an indispensable part of your marketing strategy. Be sure to invest in regular, high-quality articles to maintain the blog alongside your more ephemeral social channels, and reap the benefits. And don’t worry: if you don’t feel equipped to produce all that content, we’re here to help.