Many businesses don’t blog because they lack the time, the budget, or the understanding to create content; but content marketing is an untapped, powerful business tool.
Do you want more website traffic? Of course you do! Those businesses who have content drive 7 times more web traffic and a staggering 126% more lead growth than those who don’t. Furthermore, 61% of consumers make purchase decisions after reading blogs with helpful, informative content. So blogging and content creation are smart decisions for any business’s marketing strategy.
Here are 5 reasons why you should be creating content right now:
- Builds Brand Awareness
- Increases Organic Search Visibility
- Nurtures Leads
- Positions You As a Trusted Authority
- Encourages Engagement
Since your content will focus on your buyer persona and their requirements, writing great content builds both brand awareness and visibility. Customers cannot buy from you if they don’t know you exist; it’s like having an amazing little shop with just the product your customers want, hidden down a back alley. If only they knew that your shop existed, they’d get that long-coveted item that they have been searching for for ages.
Most people no longer need to understand or be aware of Starbucks as a brand. For those who like Starbucks coffee, they feel that the green siren is synonymous with good coffee; others prefer Costa, Caffè Nero, Pret a Manger, or the smaller cafe down the road. Either way, people know where to go and which company to look to if they want coffee.
Unless you’re among these big household names, it’s likely that people don’t know about your business yet and the amazing services and products you have to offer. This is where content creation comes in! If you regularly share content (that could mean blogging or posting to social media, for example), you’ll increase the visibility of your business and generate more awareness of what you have on offer so that, over time, your business becomes synonymous with your offerings.
Besides the 19% of people who use Bing or Yahoo, most people search for answers using Google, which is why organic search visibility is so important for any business. In fact, the first page on Google grabs 92% of all search traffic, with 33% of the clicks going to the first result.
That means that the only way for people to find your website is usually in one of these three ways:
Direct traffic: This means typing your business name directly into a browser.
Advertisements: These ads are through paid means, such as PPC Google AdWords ads or social media ads.
Other than those three means of traffic, you can drive brand awareness through organic search. By blogging and optimising your content for SEO, you can improve your chances of ranking higher on Google search pages and reaching your target audience.
Unless you update your web pages regularly, Google doesn’t get to see how fresh and new your content is, but when you write a blog post, your new web page is indexed. This gives you another opportunity to rank in search engines and drive organic traffic to your website.
You also have the opportunity to be discovered on social media by distributing content on your network, which can be shared.
Blog content drives traffic by working closely with search engines and social media; the content announces to Google’s algorithms that your website is still relevant and useful, and that it offers a splendid array of content your target audience will love.
If you rarely update your web pages, what keeps people coming back? After they’ve read your ‘About Us’ section and know your address, what will provide value? Blogs give people a reason to come back to your website, which begins the lead nurturing process.
Each blog post is an opportunity to delight your reader and move through the lead nurturing process. It’s true that before people buy, 47% of consumers view 3 to 5 pieces of content first. If they don’t have the content to view, how can these consumers be convinced that your product or service is right for them?
When you write helpful blog content, include a CTA (call to action) at the end of the post. This should link to a point of contact or a landing page that offers a relevant and free downloadable piece of content in exchange for a visitor’s details (name and email address, usually). Capturing the data of potential customers allows you to assess which pieces of content prospects find most useful and relevant so you can write more content around those topics. Eventually, the goal is to nurture your leads so, over time, they will purchase your product or service.
Of course, not every person who reads your blog will become a paying customer, but each blog is an opportunity to capture details of those who may not otherwise have become a customer. Once you have a person’s email address, you can start sending lead nurturing emails in the hopes that they will be interested in buying from you now or in the not-too-distant future.
When your blog answers questions your audience has, you are positioning yourself as an authority in your field. Your content will be seen as valuable because you’re providing free resources and advice to help your potential customer make an informed decision about your product or service.
Because content is less salesy, then content adds value to your brand. Content gives you the opportunity to help your potential customer solve a problem or teach them something new, fostering positive relationships with your company.
There’s no denying that social media is a powerful tool with vast potential for businesses. But, if all you have to offer on social media are some memes, other people’s blogs, or pithy wisdom, then your feed is only really going to encourage people to visit other company’s websites and not your own. When you have blog content to share, you provide opportunities for your social media following to engage with what you have to say.
Your audience may find your content useful and share it with a wider audience, like your post, or write comments, all of which gives you more reach. A word to the wise: share a mix of your own content as well as other people’s content on your social media channels. This will show that your business isn’t just repping your own services, but also sharing helpful advice that is relevant to your audience. If your audience comments on your content, engage with them; showcasing a real person behind the computer will make your company seem much more human and trustworthy.
Be part of the 81% of businesses who have found blogging useful for driving traffic, engagement, and leads. (And we’d bet that the 19% who didn’t find it helpful weren’t doing it right!) Blogging gives back to you and to your audience, so it’s time to get writing!
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