Blogging has evolved beyond recognition in the last decade. Once considered an amateur pursuit for people to share opinions, blogs are now an integral part of marketing. It's a source for some of the most valuable content online, filled with useful and relevant information.
It is worth remembering people don't only go online to purchase. They use the Internet for information, news and research.
As such, businesses are increasingly seeing the value of having a blog for lead generation, rankings, awareness and more. Let's take a look.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Google is always looking for authoritative and fresh content. The technology giant regularly updates its algorithms to improve search results. Google's full list of filters isn't known but it does include keywords and the number of links to your site. A survey found companies that have a blog receive 97 percent more links than those who do not.
Having a fully optimized blog will help drive traffic to your site and therefore boost the revenue of your business.
Your blog is the one area of the Internet where you have complete control of the content. It provides an opportunity to share your personal thoughts and ideas within the industry. By focusing on producing high-quality, relevant content, you can position yourself as a thought leader. Authoritative posts lift the brand of your business and are more likely to get shared across social media.
It is an excellent platform to promote your products but complement those posts with informative content. If you simply write about your products and nothing else, your blog will have little value.
Digital marketing agency Demand Gen, found that 47 percent of customers look at 3-5 pieces of content online before making the first step to a purchase. This shows the real value people place on high-quality posts. Finding it on your blog will improve the perception of your brand.
Coordinating your blog with a social media strategy is a powerful combination. Having fresh content on the site immediately gives marketers something to talk about on Twitter or Facebook. The interactions can work both ways. If you or your marketing team see something interesting on social media, you can share your thoughts about it on your blog.
This keeps the stream of content flowing and keeping engaged with your customers. By making your posts easily shareable, you can increase your reach even further.
Engage With Your Customers
You can engage with your customers in a number of ways. To pick up from the point about social media, here's a graph showing the most shared posts by content length. The results are decisive. The longer the post, the more shares they get:
This data was collected by OkDork, which looked at the top 10 percent most shared articles through BuzzSumo. The findings drive home the point readers prefer lengthy, informative content.
Having a comments section below the posts is another good method of interacting with your customers. Allowing them to share their thoughts and you responding to them is an effective way to bring positivity toward your brand.
How to Do It
It's a challenge for any business to create an active, successful blog. More so if you are a small business with limited resources. Before we go any further, the bottom line is this. The key to any successful blog is to produce high quality and relevant content for your audience.
However, it is true frequency matters. HubSpot found that companies who produce 16-plus blog posts a month generate 4.5 times more leads than those who publish 0-4. There are a number of steps you can take to address the issue of finding content:
Guest Posts: Inviting key industry influencers to write on your blog is an excellent way to provide added value for your readers. Offering a new perspective and adding variation to your content will keep the audience engaged. There is also added value in backlinks, which can boost the SEO of your site.
Roundup of Influencers: Why settle for one when you can get eight? Roundup posts are popular with business blogs and the format is simple. Ask one question relevant to your niche and get eight different ideas, tips, and advice.
Infographics: The brain processes images 60,000 times faster than words. So, infographics are great for presenting information in a visual way. They are also the most shared type of blog posts, reflecting the fact readers find them highly engaging. Blogs that use infographics see 12 percent more traffic than those who don't.
Listicles: The much maligned format is also highly effective. Earning a defense from the New York Times, listicles are used to deliver scannable, stimulating, and shareable content. Leading marketing guru, Neil Patel, also found that 61 percent of the best performing viral articles in 2016 had a number in the title.
Conclusion The benefits of a business blog are obvious. A well-written, relevant, and updated blog can drive traffic to your business. Authoritative posts, sharing industry knowledge can make you a thought leader in your field. Combining your blog with a social media strategy can also keep your customers engaged with your brand.
The challenge of coming up with content can be met with innovative ideas and inviting other key influencers to write on your blog. Doing so would create value for your readers and, in turn, your business. You should also seek to diversify the way you deliver content. Mix up simple posts with infographics and listicles. Focus on creating long-form content over short snippets.
Following the steps laid out, even a business with limited resources can deliver a high-quality blog that drives traffic to its website.
About the Author Karl Kangur is the founder and CEO of MRR Media, offering growth solutions for SaaS businesses. Aside from his main business, he has sold many other of his own ventures as well as advising successful companies around the world.
Karl Kangur, Director of Marketing at Smash Digital, is a seasoned business professional with over 14 years of experience in the industry. He is an expert in transforming marketing efforts to drive growth, with a proven track record of delivering measurable results for businesses across various industries. From e-commerce stores to media sites with hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors, Karl has practical experience in all aspects of digital marketing. His mantra "Great Execution is the Ultimate Differentiator" reflects his focus on delivering results from the start. As a seasoned marketer, Karl is the go-to person for business owners looking to generate more sales and drive demand for their products and services.