The social media landscape is ever-changing (as we’ve seen all too clearly this year), creating a sizeable challenge for marketers needing to keep up with all the changes and maintain consistent brand presence across whatever platforms are most relevant to their audience. But even though Twitter, TikTok and the rest scrabble over dominance, the humble blog retains its place on most business websites.
It’s simply too useful to give up. And here is why.
1. EVERGREEN CONTENT MEANS LONG-TAIL RETURNS
If you churn out the perfect meme and manage your hashtags just right, you might get huge Twitter traction – for a day. But a well-crafted blog post can keep attracting new customers for years. And we do mean customers, not just readers: organic in-bound traffic has a much, much higher visit-to-lead conversion rate than social media or email, and a higher close rate on top of that. What does that mean? It means that if your posts can answer your customers’ questions, you’ll draw them in via search and funnel them straight towards a sale. And since that post can live on the internet for as long as you choose, it won’t get lost in the endless stream.
- How to do it: Keep in mind what result you want. Not every post should be a sales pitch, but each one does give you an opportunity to draw your readers a bit closer – invite them to sign up for your newsletter or download free resources.
- And don’t forget: “Evergreen” is its own reward. Don’t be disheartened if your posts aren’t getting traction immediately: top-ranking search results are rarely the newest. Good content will pay off many times over, but you have to give it time.
2. BLOGGING IS SEO MAGIC
Your blog is a great opportunity to boost your search engine rankings. It’s not just about keywords (though we definitely recommend knowing which keywords you want to own, and using them judiciously). High-quality blog content also creates an opportunity to earn independent backlinks, which go a long way to convincing search engines that your website is credible. Oh, and every post you add gives Google more content to crawl – which is helpful in itself. Google also learns from your readers’ behavior: visitors who spend time reading your blog after clicking through are clearly finding something worthwhile, giving you a gold star on the algorithm’s scorecard.
- How to do it: Seize the opportunity to expand your keywords beyond the core terms where everyone is competing; blogging gives you the chance to be more creative in what questions you can answer.
- And don’t forget: Quality matters. To get those backlinks and sticky visitors, you need to write content worth reading.
3. CONTENT BOOSTS CREDIBILITY
As hinted above, you’re not actually writing for the search engine bots. You’re writing for your customers. Whether or not they have articulated this to themselves, your site visitors are not just looking for product information, they are also trying to find out whether they can trust you.
Your blog can reassure them on (at least) two levels. First, of course, it’s your opportunity to convince them that you know what you’re talking about. You can show off your industry expertise, and include tempting details of your product offering. But beyond that, a regularly maintained blog provides proof of life. The web is full of neglected sites from dying businesses; fresh content tells your visitors that you’re still there and still active. Don’t underestimate the value of that.
- How to do it: Establish your authority with intelligent, meaningful articles that address your audience on their own level. Don’t be shy to weigh in on hot topics in your industry – as long as you have something worth saying.
- And don’t forget: Consistency matters. Stick to your regular content schedule to show your active presence.
4. IT’S A SELF-REINFORCING AUDIENCE MAGNET
We’ve already touched on how blog content can attract visitors who mean business, getting a higher conversion rate right off the bat. But if your content provides real value, it can also become a valuable self-driving sales tool, thanks to the magic of sharing. Don’t make your readers do all the work though – you need to do your bit to squeeze full value from your words.
- How to do it: Think of all the ways you can promote and repurpose your blog posts: share them on LinkedIn to promote engagement and build community. Republish them on third-party websites to underline your thought leadership. Revive old posts in your newsletters to drive new traffic.
- And don’t forget: It goes both ways. Your blog posts themselves can include list-building tricks like offering downloadable resources, and sharing buttons that prompt readers to visit your social channels.
5. YOUR BLOG IS YOUR PLAYGROUND
A blog is the only place that really gives you the freedom to include the full range of content possibilities, in terms of both format and content. Whether you want to share an educational infographic, an hour-long video AMA, a 3,000-word technical explainer or a bite-sized listicle – even a meme – you’re not hamstrung by platform limitations. In fact, while something like an Instagram feed demands stringent adherence to a set format, your blog can really benefit from having something for everyone. Use tags to make sure that readers can easily find the type of content they prefer, and have fun.
- How to do it: Remember that anything can be a blog post. Got a recording of a webinar? Put it on the blog. Invested in graphics for a brochure? Use that in a post. Answered customer questions on Twitter? Yep, you can turn that into a quick article too.
- And don’t forget: This doesn’t mean anything goes. You need to have a credible, consistent tone of voice, but the blog can bring all the facets of that defined brand personality together.
6. IT’S THE PERFECT SOFT-SELL TOOL
We’re all sick of ads and sales pitches. We want to make up our own minds. So how do you get the message across to your impatient audience? Through your blog, that’s how.
Blogging gives you the space to answer crucial questions, and raise others the reader hasn't even thought of yet. You can show the benefits of your offering without showing off. A reader who has come to you independently will be far more receptive to your arguments: they are already interested and probably already looking for a solution to their problem. You get to convince them without being pushy, and let them feel like it was their idea all along.
- How to do it: Think through what answers your customers need (not just about your products, but about the business problems your products can address), and what level of detail is right for each reader. It might be worth creating a series of different posts on each topic, targeting different readers – the business case and the technical case, for instance.
- And don’t forget: You don’t have to explain everything in one post; in fact, linking to other content is a great idea. Keep each article focused on a specific topic, but use glossaries and FAQ pages to support your argument (and guide customers around your site).
7. IT’S GREAT AFTER-SALES SERVICE
Although we’ve shown how blogging is an invaluable sales tool, it shouldn’t be just about sales. Use your platform to keep customers engaged, entertained, and curious about your business.
- How to do it: Address your existing customers with posts that encourage them to get more out of their products (“have you tried?”), highlight new features, and inform them of relevant industry developments.
- And don’t forget: Visitors might be coming to your website as a troubleshooting step. If your post is describing a product feature, for instance, you might include some details on how to use it, and where to go for help if needed.
Are you convinced yet? Blogs do things no other channel can do, making them an indispensable part of your marketing strategy. Be sure to invest in regular, high-quality articles to maintain the blog alongside your more ephemeral social channels, and reap the benefits. And don’t worry: if you don’t feel equipped to produce all that content, we’re here to help.