First thing first. Digital Marketing to a large extent is dependent on Google and Seach Engine Optimisation (SEO).
Google search engine look for relevance and authority while answering a search query.
Blog on relevant topics helps you to;
Build Relevance – Your website rank for more search queries
Build Authority – Your website rank for higher in search engine.
Every time you add a new blog post you add one page to the Google Search engine. This is an opportunity to get organics traffic to your website. A new post regularly tells Google that your website is active and they should be checking it regularly.
Backlinks are the indicators of the quality of your content. People are unlikely to backlink to your site your product page. They are also unlikely to socially share the product page.
They are likely to backlink your informative blog post. Visitors are likely to share useful content on your blog post.
This way an active Blog is doing a tremendous job to bring organic traffic to your site.
How can a website without an active blog without creating a target audience relevant content rank higher than a website with an active and target audience-centric blog?
Even if by spending money on Adwords etc, Google might rank your website higher, but visitors might not find value on the website if the website only talks about the products.
A surfer who is looking for a product might be interested only in product but not everyone is ready to buy immediately. The buyers’ journey ends with actual buying but it starts much in advance.
Catch them young is true now for the buyers’ journey. Engage them early. Only sell mindset has to change to offering value before the sale. Valuable, relevant blog posts and content is the approach ahead of the curve companies are adopting in the new digital world.
An active blog generating regular target audience relevant content is a very vital and valuable asset for the companies want success in their digital marketing.
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- 53% of marketers say blogging is their top content marketing priority. (HubSpot)
- Blogs have been rated as the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information. (source)
- In 2017, 66% of marketers reported using blogs in their social media content. (Social Media Examiner
In order to understand how companies are dealing with their business blog, I reviewed a few business websites. What I found was:
Some of the BFSI Companies are doing Active Content Marketing with Blog.
- Banks: Citi Bank, American Express Bank, JYSKE Bank TV, Santander bank, Bank of America
- Mutual Funds: Fidelity,UTI MF
- Insurance Companies: Edelweiss Life Insurance, Exide Life Insurance
- Online: Esty, Xero, Zoho, H&R Block,
- Consulting Firms: Accenture, Mckinsey
What I also found was:
- A blog is now finding a place in the top bar of the websites.
- Most PSU banks, many insurance companies, healthcare service providers do not have a blog on their website. This is a big miss. Their private sector counterparts and service aggregators are blog savvy.
- Many blogs were not updated for months and years. This is not good.
- Many blogs were without regular posts. This show no commitment.
- Some blogs were about only company related news and press releases. Not relevant for the target audience. Only internal focussed.
- Many blogs talk only about their products related posts. This remains less valuable and unshareable.
- Most blogs were not reader-friendly. Their posts were with long sentences, longer paragraphs, and complex words.
- Most blogs were not on-page SEO enabled.
- Many blogs were distractive with sudden pop-ups, many images, and links on the page. This creates bad readers experience.
Doing things wrongly not only affect its success chance but also companies fail to understand the advantage it offers.
If my website is pathetic, I will not get the desired result. Without the desired result I will even not consider a website as a digital medium to achieve my purpose. The same is true for business blogging.
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If you do it casually and not consistently, your result also will be uninspiring. Therefore, your focus and investment will also get curtailed.
You will lose the benefit of doing something, which benefits your business, in the right manner.
Learn to do it right and reap the benefit.
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What are the top marketing priorities your company faces?
As per the report – State of Inbound -2018, the following are the top marketing priorities.
How Blog Adds value?
Blogs add value when blogger writing for the Target Audience. Website content is for the marketing purpose, Blog content is for the helping purpose.
It also adds value;
- by making your website webpage heavy which helps it rank better on a search engine.
Websites with a blog have tended to have 434% more indexed pages. (source)
- People (TA) search the internet not to look for your site. They look for some information. Valuable information with proper SEO created on a consistent basis will help your website get better ranking on the search engine when people look for the desired information.
- Valuable blog posts are shared by the readers, websites are not. More shared posts make the website more popular and generate more traffic.
- Blog posts generate inbound traffic. This is far better than push marketing activities. Lead generation and conversion rate are better when the traffic is inbound.
Companies that Blog have 97% more inbound links and B2B companies that Blog generate 67% more leads.(1)
- Consistent and strategic blog posts can help companies achieve thought leadership status, help in talent acquisition, demonstrate the good work that a company does like a good corporate citizen.
- All the above ultimately help the companies to address the priorities mentioned above.
The key is long-term commitment and consistent posts.
How to do the Blogging Right?
This is very important. Doping it right defined doing for the sake of it or doing with an intent.
- Define the Purpose.
- Define the Target Audience (TA).
- Define Different TA Persona.
- Define the Problem Target Audience want to Address. (their Goal)
- Define their Journey Stages.
- Decide the Frequency of posts.
- Decide the Tone, Voice, and Key Phrases.
- Decide the types of Blog subjects.
- Decide the Measurement matrix.
- Decide the Promotion plan.
Blogging is a planned activity with consistent commitment. It is not a haphazard, occasional when the budget permits or seasonal marketing activity.
“First thing’s first, you have to budget. I don’t just mean money. Although, you’ll probably need that, too.
I also mean time. This will take up a lot of it, but the payout will be worth it.” Neil Patel.
Blogging is not only for large companies. The fact is smaller companies can compete with the larger companies by their smart blogging strategies.
Companies who can’t afford to do a massive ad and marketing campaign, blogging can do wonder for them.
Consistent blogging with the right SEO enabled posts can help companies reach the top of the search engine.
Great blog posts can build a great online brand.
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Remember: Do not get tempted to write only about what you sell. Always write about what your target audience wants to read.
Your sell target is not their problem, their problem is your sell opportunity.
What to Blog About?
This is the key question. Your blog should add value. Offers insight. At the same time, it should be interesting.
The best way to approach what to blog about is to remove dust from your business mission and vision statement.
For example, if your business mission statement is:
Making people healthy and beautiful, naturally.
Is it necessary it should only be achieved only by selling to the people? If no, then the company can create a blog which actually promotes awareness of how to live a healthy and beautiful life naturally.
Here is one more mission statement of a bank:
To establish a high-quality, customer-centric, service-driven, private Indian Bank catering to the ‘Future Businesses of India.
Here catering to the future business not necessarily means by offering services with service charges. It can be expanded to offer knowledge services which are insightful to the future business of India.
The bank can blog about what they learn while dealing with the customers about banking and borrowing. This could be a great service to the future businesses of India.
Why Fidelity Money is writing about the promotion? Here’s how to get promoted—according to 7 managers
- Would you dare to invest in a subject which you are not directly dealing in?
- Would you resist the temptation to do any product marketing with your post?
- Would you dare not to add any link to any of the company products?
There are several such target audience specific posts on their blog.
This kind of selfless act wins the content marketing and blogging space.
“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch of a drill. They want a quarter-inch of hole.” Theodore Levitt.
To take the quote deeper, even they are not interested in the hole. They want to put their kitchen jars on the shelf. Which means the deeper you want to know what your TA want, chances are higher they will notice you and deal with you.
The question is whether you want to write about the drilling machine which you sell or the hole or the shelf or how to have an organised kitchen? The choice is yours.
Remember the choice is also with the TA whether to read what you write or no. If they read and want to read more and more of what you write, a relationship is established even without your sales and marketing message /team reached him or not.
Recently I spoke to one startup entrepreneur. He informed me inbound lead conversion is about 75% which is far greater than push marketing approach. Qualified inward traffic will come when they found you not when you find them.
Business blogging is powerful. Done right, it serves multiple purposes.
Are you doing it right?
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Yes, all digital marketing efforts remain less effective in the absence of an active Blog. The benefits to the target audience and its usefulness in SEO, make vibrant Blog a mandatory Digital Marketing Asset.