How important is blogging to your business? According to the Content Marketing Institute, it’s more important than you might think. In fact, 73% of the top marketing decision makers in B2B and B2C companies are increasing their spending on content marketing this year.
There are many reasons why blogging can be so crucial to your business success, including customer engagement, building your brand reputation, increasing conversions, and improving search engine rankings.
What is blogging?
The word blog comes from a combination of web and log, as in logbook. Originally used as an online diary, blogs have now taken on many different forms and functions. Many brands use blogs to create unique content that reflects their voice and resonates with their target audience.
What is content marketing?
The term content marketing is really just a combination of two disciplines that businesses have been using for years: content marketing and traditional marketing.
The idea behind content marketing is to create or share valuable, relevant, and consistent content with target audiences—and then to promote that content across multiple channels, including social media. Spreading this type of branded content helps drive brand awareness and also frequently converts into leads or sales.
Why start a blog?
Content marketing should be at the heart of any business’s online marketing plan. And one of its most powerful tools is blogging. Blogging allows you to humanize your brand, building trust with customers while also providing them with unique insights they can’t find anywhere else.
When it comes to content marketing, there are no rules, but if you want to get started, here are some things you should know...
Your content needs a purpose. That could mean telling readers about recent industry news or giving them information they can use in their daily lives—perhaps even offering up free resources like infographics and guides.
It’s all about knowing what you want people to walk away with after reading what you wrote or engaging with your content.
By extending free access to valuable information you build a positive reputation for yourself. Potential customers will grow to see you as generous, professional, and knowledgeable.
Developing a strategy for your blog
Any business blogging strategy needs to be considered with online marketing goals in mind.
It’s important to think about how you can use blogging to help build an audience that will help you achieve those goals. That doesn’t mean that every piece of content has to lead somewhere (though it is good practice).
Ultimately, if you want more traffic, leads and sales, then each piece of content you publish should serve as another building block in creating relationships with customers.
The key is consistency (just like everything else in online marketing) and setting aside time on a regular basis to produce quality content. It really does take commitment.
Quality over quantity applies here, so focus on producing pieces that are truly valuable to your target audience. This means doing some research first; read similar articles written by other bloggers to get ideas for your own posts, but don’t copy them word-for-word or you might risk getting into trouble with Google and other search engines over "duplicate content" issues.