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25 Compelling Reasons to Blog for Business Yesterday

Jul 16th, 2013 34 Reactions 1 Comments

should I start bloggingHave you heard that 90% of companies are using custom content for marketing? Or that consumers believe that blogs are the most useful form of content? There’s a lot of compelling reasons to blog starting yesterday, not the least of which is that it’s no longer a differentiating factor.  There are now nearly 7 million blogs on the internet, a meteoric increase over the 100,000 that existed a decade ago. From increased brand awareness to thought leadership to positive SEO, the reasons to blog are nearly endless. We’ve highlighted 25 of our favorites below:

1. Blogging Leads Are More Qualified

Organic search yields some of the most qualified leads of any form of marketing. One of the most compelling reasons to blog is being able to capture interest from the 89% of consumers who begin their search for branded solutions on a major search engine:

lead-to-customer-close-percent

Image credit: HubSpot

Search leads are more than twice as likely to become customers as clicks from paid search, and are significantly more qualified than social media leads. Creating quality blog articles allows your brand to score high search rankings, and connect with consumers who are already looking for your product.

2. Your Competitors Are Blogging, a Lot

There’s a difference between blogging, and having a company blog that you update so often. The average marketer made 145 website updates in 2012 – assuming the majority of those changes are new blog articles, that’s around 4 fresh articles each week!

Google and other major search engines associate fresh content with authority. Each new blog you publish sends a clear signal that you’re actively investing time in your business, and increases your chances of fresh SEO, a concept that’s illustrated in the infographic below:

Fresh-Content

Image credit: Commercial Web Services

3. Everyone Loves Blogs

If you think that blogging doesn’t work for B2B companies with serious buyer personas, you’re probably doing it wrong. In fact, the Roper Public Institute has found that 80% of B2B decision makers prefer product research through a series of branded articles. Blogging can position your company to deliver information on-demand, regardless of who you’re trying to attract as a customer.

4. You’ll Become an SEO Magnet

Links from other websites send a powerful message to search engines that you know exactly what you’re talking about. The more fabulous content on your website, the better your chances of becoming a resource for other content creators. In fact, businesses that blog generate 97% more inbound links:

companies-that-blog-vs-those-that-don't-blog

Image credit: HubSpot

5. It Powers Up Your Customer Acquisition

Blogging is a tool for self-expression and positive PR, but it’s also a powerhouse tool for customer acquisition. In a recent survey of bloggers, it became clear that the majority of corporations creating custom content were clued into the secret that it’s an amazing way to generate new business:

reasons-why-you-blog

Image credit: Zemalf

Why is it so effective? One of the reasons to blog is that it’s an avenue to provide value to your prospects without cost. Positioning yourself as an educator and resource builds trust, and makes prospects more likely to return when they’re ready to purchase.

6. Other People Are Already Creating Content

Nielson has found that 45% of consumers turn to social media to talk about companies, and 35% contribute to online review websites. Regardless of whether or not your company is creating custom content, people are already creating content about you. One of the most brilliant reasons to blog is that it allows your company to positively contribute to conversations occurring about you online.

7. It’s Easy ROI

Anyone who says that it’s difficult to ascertain the ROI of content marketing might not be doing it right. In fact, the math surrounding reasons to blog is pretty simple. 92% of companies who blog multiple times daily have acquired a customer through content. The more you blog, the more likely it is you’ll win new business. When Gary Vaynerchuk wrote “the more content I create, the more luck I have,” he knew exactly what he was talking about.

8. Consumers Are Hungry for Content

Aren’t there already enough blogs on the web? Actually, the opposite is true. The biggest challenge facing professional content marketers isn’t writing the kinds of articles that convert customers or content promotion, it’s writing enough:

challenges-marketers-face

Image credit: iMedia Connection

We’re definitely not saying that self-publishing is easy, because it isn’t. However, rest assured that one of the simplest reasons to blog is that your competition is struggling to keep up with demand.

9. It’s Not Demographic-Specific

Blogging isn’t just for young people, or women. Everyone reads blogs, and a recent study by Sysomos of over 100 million articles confirmed that consumers of all ages are consuming custom content:

blogs-age-demographics

Image credit: Sysomos

Sure, blog consumption is slightly skewed towards millennials, but that doesn’t mean you lack reasons to blog if your ideal customer is a baby boomer. The truth is, people of all ages are utilizing blogs to research products and services.

10. It’s Free Market Research

Remember when corporations had to spend thousands of dollars on focus groups to compile consumer insights? Blog marketing metrics can yield an abundance of market research, if you’re willing to take a look into the data. Comments act as qualitative insights into how prospects and customers perceive your business, while traffic metrics can reveal a wealth of information about your visitors’ social media usage. Regularly analyzing your social referral traffic to determine whether Facebook, Twitter, or other networks are driving the most clicks can reveal which platform you should focus on.

11. Blogging “Sharpens Your Sword”

Marcus Sheridan believes blogging saved his business for multiple reasons, a phenomenon he refers to as “sharpening your sword.” It’s a metaphor for the research and thought which go into quality content creation, which include the following benefits:

  • You’re continually researching trends and new developments
  • You become better at explaining things in your customers’ language
  • You learn how to answer all of your customers’ questions

If you’re still grappling with reasons to blog, consider this: it makes you smarter and more knowledgeable about your field. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

12. It’s a Branding Tool

While the idea of branding can spark some controversy among marketers, consider that one of the reasons to blog is that it allows you to claim more internet real estate in your company’s unique voice. Each article you produce is an opportunity for educating consumers not only about your industry, but also about your values, voice, and brand personality. This can feed into better brand recognition, which spurs loyalty and preference:

branding-blogging

Image credit: Blog Engage

13. Compelling Content Creates Multiple Points of Contact

Sales and marketing professionals have known something for decades: people purchase from companies they trust, which isn’t built overnight. In fact, it typically takes around 7 points of contact for a consumer to be ready to buy. Compelling blog content makes people want to subscribe, which allows you to continue communicating after their initial site visit. One of the best reasons to blog is that it allows you to nurture leads and provide your sales team with better-qualified leads.

14. It Creates Offline Opportunities

You know another amazing one of the reasons to blog? It positions you as an expert, which opens up a wealth of opportunities in both the offline and online realm. As Sprout Content’s Dechay Watts points out, many journalists consider business bloggers a primary source for stories. From speaking engagements to traditional media features, blogging expands your presence so you can stand out enough online to be heard throughout your niche.

15. Modern Consumers Are Always Connected

The meteoric rise of mobile technology means that consumers are always reading content. In fact, ComScore studies have found the average person uses their smartphone in the morning, their PC during the day, and a tablet at night:

UK-Mobile-Device-Preferences-Statistics Image credit: Smart Insights

Tablets and smartphones are definitely here to stay, and one of the most pressing reasons to blog is that people are consuming more content than at any point ever before. For more on the amazing growth of mobile, check out our article 50 Amazing Mobile Marketing Statistics Which Will Move You to Action.

16. $118.4 Billion. That’s Why

If you had any lingering concerns that content marketing is a bubble that’s about to burst, it’s an enormous industry. Brafton estimates that companies will spend around $118.4 billion on custom content this year alone. The growth of the field shows no signs of slowing, which is one of the most powerful reasons to blog.

17. Traditional SEO is No Longer Effective

3 or 4 years ago, small businesses could soar to the top of search ranking by dedicating budget to SEO. However, times and search engine algorithms have changed significantly, and one of the best reasons to blog is that great SEO is nearly impossible without it. Purchasing links and stuffing your website pages with keywords is more likely to get you banned from Google than ranked well.

18. It’s Probably Easier Than You Think

There’s a good chance that your company already has enough custom content to serve as fodder for your first few dozen blog posts. Resources for blogging could include emails from your sales and customer service team, internal training documents, and any number of other tools you’re using. HubSpot’s Corey Eridon writes that simply sharing an Excel Template became a high-performing blog post for their company. Repurposing might not be one of the most glamorous reasons to blog, but it’s certainly a reason that the practice is easier than you think. For more ideas on how to use what you have, see our article 17 Ways to Repurpose Content and Triple its Lifespan.

19. Outsourcing Is Totally Painless

Around 44% of marketers are currently successfully outsourcing their content marketing: 43% of them use some outsourcing while 1% of companies outsource all content creation to freelancers and agencies. If you’re not convinced you’ve got the bandwidth to create enough content, rest assured that companies are using the tactic with success. To learn more about why your fear of writing won’t trump all the reasons to blog, delve into 10 Great Advantages of Outsourcing Content Creation.

companies-that-outsource-content-creation

Image credit: Sprout Content

20. Authority Matters More Than Ever

Google’s head web spam fighter, Matt Cutts, has stated in recent interviews that website authority will soon matter more than ever to your ranking in search. Authority isn’t built overnight, but rather through social signals, organic backlinks, and creating unique content. If you needed any more reasons to blog, your articles could be crucial to establishing your company as an expert in your niche.

21. It’s a Tool for Retention

Every small business owner has heard that acquiring a new customer is 5 to 10 times more expensive than keeping your current clients. However, few know that one of the reasons to blog is that it allows you to keep in touch with your clients. 64% of marketers are currently using content to achieve retention goals.

22. Blogs Are Brilliant Content Marketing

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by companies who are creating an abundance of content, which can range from case studies to videos. However, 59% of marketers believe that blogs are the most effective form of content marketing. If you don’t have the budget or time to try niche networks or eBooks, understand that nearly 6 out of 10 marketers stand behind all of the many reasons to blog.

23. They’re a Decision-Making Tool

There’s a number of statistics which clearly connect content creation with ROI, but one of the most exciting is that 21% of consumers consider blog articles a primary tool for deciding on purchase decisions.  Consumers don’t just read and bounce, they evaluate articles to pick vendors.

24. It’s a Cultural Shift

50% of CMOs – arguably some of the most knowledgeable individuals worldwide about the state of marketing – believe that blogs are the status quo. A particularly interesting study by eMarketer discovered that half of chief marketing officers think blogs are the norm:

Reasons-to-launch-blog

Image credit: Heidi Cohen

25. You’ll Capture Market Share

71% of companies who blog have gained more attention in their industry as a result of their content creation. The more articles you write, the better chances you’ll gain of standing out against your competition. Perhaps the best reason to blog we know is that it’s a tool for winning in your niche.

What were your deciding reasons to blog? Are there any other benefits you’d add to this list?

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10 Actionable Blog Tricks to Skyrocket Your Sales | test

Jul 26th, 2013 - 7:32 am
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