Guest post by Solomon Thimothy, CEO of OneIMS and ClickXPosure.
Though more businesses implement blogging strategies every year, others are still hesitant to take the plunge into this type of content marketing. Business owners, especially in niche and B2B industries, often don't immediately realize the role a blog can play for their sites. "Sure," they may say, "blogging works for other businesses. But ours is different. Our industry is different. What's the point in us writing a blog?"
If you're hesitant to implement a blog on your site, or you think that your business is just that one that really doesn't need to, think again. A steadily growing number of businesses—even B2B ones—benefit from blogging on their websites. There's no reason yours shouldn't be among them. So why does your business really need a blog?
Breaking Down the Numbers
Blogging can get you more customers. Period. Just look at the numbers—in 2013, 82 percent of marketers who blog on a daily basis reported that their blog had helped them acquire a customer.
That statistic doesn't stand alone, though, and research shows that blogging can net consistent results—even for niche industries. B2B companies that blog generate over 65 percent more leads every single month than competitors who don't blog. And the ones that don't blog, but try other inbound strategies like social media marketing instead? Their success rate isn't nearly as impressive—only 20 percent of companies that don't blog report that their inbound marketing is generating a positive ROI.
The numbers only tell half the story, though—what is it about blogging that makes it a valuable marketing strategy in the first place?
Why Blogging Works
A blog improves your web presence in more ways than one.
First, the content you publish on your blog creates brand authority that's valuable during your audience's decision-making process. 70 percent of consumers report that content marketing—like blogs—makes them feel closer to a business. Your blog is where you can demonstrate your expertise, educate your site's visitors and delve deeper into what you do. Think of it like a platform that you can use for answering questions your visitors didn't even know they had.
Second, it isn't just what you say—it's how you say it, and that creates SEO value for your site. Search engines place higher value on websites with fresh content, and if you blog, you're regularly updating your site and increasing its search engine potential. Updates alone are just the beginning, though—by implementing a sound keyword strategy and other search engine optimization techniques, you make it even easier for search engines to find you and raise your ranking on results pages.
What Should You Do?
So you know that a blog can be highly valuable for your site, but what's the best way to manage one?
First of all, blog often, and consistently. Businesses that blog daily have a better rate of blog-related customer generation than those that only do it once a month—and businesses that blog multiple times a day do the best of all. Whatever your schedule, though, stick to it. When you start missing deadlines, you start losing readers—and leads.
Second, invest in reinforcements. SEO strategies change as technology changes, and producing quality writing is critical to making the right impression on your readers. No matter your level of expertise in your industry, if your SEO and writing expertise don't match it, you need a professional strategy.
Finally, track your performance metrics. Properly tracking and analyzing your blogging data is the foundation of your strategy's success, and without doing so, you're reduced to guesswork. Which blog entries are your most popular with readers? Which SEO keywords rank better than others? Which of your blogs lead to actual conversions, and which ones result in readers leaving your site? All of this data and much, much more is available to you if you know how to track it, and it's invaluable when analyzing your online performance and refining your strategies.
Blogging is an increasingly popular marketing strategy because of its high potential for both lead generation and SEO. No matter what business you're in, a blog can make a valuable addition to your website—especially if you commit to a content strategy and make the most of your analytics.
Solomon Thimothy is the CEO of integrated marketing agency OneIMS and its B2B online marketing division, ClickXPosure. To learn more about holistic web strategies and more, visit them online or call 1-888-663-4671.