Why setup a blog? Is it really the marketing holy grail it is often made out to be? While not blogging won’t put you at a huge marketing disadvantage, it certainly has proven to be one of the easiest way to reach out to customers and prospects alike. Blogging enables you to educate your customers, establish one-to-one relationships, and drive qualified leads to your lists like few other marketing methods.
The idea behind blogging is to address the problems and needs of your audience, meaning visitors to your business blog will not only get the information they seek, but may perceive your solution as ideal for their problem, too.
With that said, here are 7 goals that your business blog should target:
1. Your blog should answer why you exist
Inbound is based on the understanding that contemporary customers are trying to understand not just the how’s or what’s of your product/service but their why’s as well. Not saying what and how are not important questions, rather the goal here is to showcase your value and why the experience you provide is better than similar offerings out there.
In order to establish a relationship between your (ideal) customer and your company (instead of just portraying yourself as a quick touchpoint in their purchase journey), s/he will need to understand (sometimes, at a deeper level) why you’re doing what you’re doing. And, a blog is a perfect space for your business to display that.
2. Your blog should add value to your marketing effort
According to Content Marketing Institute, 81% of B2B companies use blogging as a content marketing tactic and by the look of things, this number will keep rising. The Cranberries summed it up pretty well with their song: ‘everybody else is doing it, so why can’t we?’
That being said, a business blog should be part of a marketing strategy, not something to put up just for it’s own sake. The internet is filled with blogs that just sit there gathering digital dust precisely because they have no marketing objective or forethought behind them. There should be clear goals, strategy, planning, and schedule even before you key in your first blog post. In case you want to know more about blog creation, I suggest that you read Everything you’ve always wanted to know about content creation and start building your Buyer Persona.
3. Your blog should educate your customers
Content Marketing is the product of the understanding that customers’ buying behavior is changing globally. They want to be educated and well-informed, not compelled. A great example of this phenomenon is the prolific increase in banner-blindness over the past few years. Today, 47% of global internet users use an Adblock because they consider ads as annoying, excessive, and intrusive.
In the digital era, customers are more aware of what they want and how they want to be approached. Everyone likes the security of knowing their purchase is an adequate one, after all. If they can find good information on your blog before someone else’s, then it’s more points for you.
4. Your blog should establish a solid brand
Part of your blog’s reason to exist is to establish you as a thought-leader in your field. This means:
1. people trust what your blog says;
2. they might share your content and engage in your discussions (including social media);
3. they will perceive your business as trustworthy on the subject you are discussing on the blog.
Another advantage is that when you offer personalized content, you send a message that you are willing to go farther than the next guy and give that person the information s/he needs, which in turn expands your network Speaking of which…
5. Your blog should build connections
Inbound Marketing is all about building one-to-one relationships, specifically those that are aimed at establishing an empathetic connection with your customers – putting you in your customer’s shoes, so to speak.
A blog that is well-structured, focused, and consistent can be the bridge for establishing lasting relationships and an ongoing space for attracting qualified prospects into your pipeline. Remember, if you connect with your buyer before they decide on a purchase, the chance of getting more qualified leads increases.
Successful blogs from brands like HubSpot, Close.io, Buffer, SaaStr, Growth Hackers (amongst many others), become both a resource to their clients and a bridge for connecting companies, entrepreneurs, investors and potential leads. The keywords here are relevance, consistency, and engagement. Simple put, if you’re not building trust, you’re not doing Inbound.
6. Your blog should increase your ROI (and data tells you that!)
We live in the fact-based decision-making era, so here are some interesting trends and statistics that show blogging may have a positive impact on your business (the following data is based on a list of Marketing Statistics published by HubSpot).
About 43% of marketers say blogging is their most important content type (Social Marketing Industry Report, 2017). Demand Gen Report of 2016 says that 47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales representative. So, chances are high that your ideal customer is looking for some content online related to your product/solution and wants to get educated before buying.
Besides, a business blog may have a direct impact on your budget and on your ROI – It is 13x more likely to have a positive return on investment (HubSpot, 2019). The Content Marketing Institute (2017) also found that content marketing gets three times more leads than paid research advertising.
Still unsure about how to collect these data from a business blog? Read more about it here: How to prove your content marketing ROI.
7. Your blog should be part a long-term strategy
Time is a non-renewable resource, and content marketing allows you to use it efficiently as it often takes more than one click to establish a consistent, qualified, and lasting relationship. Something other marketing methods often struggle with. A business blog is a good way to start that relationship. This is not a one day/week strategy that will solve a limited problem with some shock therapy (which doesn‘t mean that there won‘t be short-term results – there will be!). But if businesses are talking about building one-to-one relationships, educational content, qualified leads, specialization, and brand solidification, they must understand the value of time, and which strategies can help them use it best.
Need more inspiration to start your business blog? We got you covered. Here are 10 Successful Content Strategies to Inspire You.