According to Hubspot’s 2013 State of Inbound Marketing Report, blogging generated at least one new customer for 67% of companies that blog weekly and 57% of companies that blog monthly. (That rate shoots up to 82% for companies that blog daily!) The 2010 edition of that same report revealed that B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than companies that don’t blog.
Your blog is not just the foundation for your content marketing. It’s your platform to boldly step up and light a beacon, calling out to your best and brightest prospects, and claiming your place as a trusted authority in your field.
Sound too grandiose? Then consider these three proven benefits of building your business blog:
Blog Benefit #1: Build a connection with your target audience.
Your blog posts are the first steps in building a relationship with your readers and establishing that “know, like, trust” factor that’s so important in relationship marketing. Their shorter, more direct format lets you express your personality and unique voice more fully than you typically can in your Services pages, which are more sales oriented.
As you build your base of well thought-out content, you give your site visitors (A.K.A. your future clients!) an immediate sense of who you are and how you operate. They get a sense of who you are and how you do business – your approach, your tone, your attitudes and beliefs. (And this connection easily doubles if you include videos on your blog but that’s a story for another post!)
Don’t be afraid to express yourself in your blog. Your style most likely won’t appeal to everyone – and that’s okay! Not everyone fits your target market. But when one of your ideal potential clients arrives at your site, your blog content is an immediate signal to them that you are like-minded individuals who share a common view, style and approach. Which naturally leads us to benefit two…
Blog Benefit #2: Demonstrate your expertise so readers are ‘pre-sold’ on working with you.
By regularly adding new tips, how to’s and other valuable info to your blog, not only are you more likely to attract prospects who are a good match with your working style but you’re also more likely to be their provider of choice. No need to bid and complete against a number of other service professionals when you’ve already proven that you’re the one best suited to meet their needs.
With each blog post you’re educating readers about your professional services and expertise in different ways. You have the opportunity to help shape the criteria for what a reader needs to look for when buying your type of services and how to select the right provider. The further they read and identify with your methods and ideas, the more your approach will become the standard by which they measure all others.
By addressing your clients’ most common questions, concerns and pain points, you show that you understand their struggles and offer solutions to overcome them. (As an added bonus, you can save time when replying to client and prospect emails by linking them to a post you’ve already written on that topic.)
Blog Benefit #3: Increase traffic to your site.
A blog is a simple way to continually add fresh content to your website. Why does this matter? For three key reasons: search ranking, backlinks, and networking and referrals.
Search ranking – Sites with more content related to a searcher’s keywords tend to have higher average search ranking positions in Google and other search engines. As you add articles to your blog, you’ll naturally incorporate a higher volume of keywords associated with your area of expertise. Your search ranking and site traffic should increase as you build a collection of fresh, relevant and timely information.
Backlinks – A blog gives people something to discuss and share. And sharing, especially via social media, is another key to higher search rankings and more site visitors. A huge added bonus is that each link back to your site expands your reach to whole new audiences that may never have found you otherwise.
Networking and referrals – Generic card exchanges at networking events rarely lead to new business. A better way to stand out is to offer to send someone a link to one of your blog posts that directly addresses a challenge they’re facing. Not only does this help you make a direct and memorable connection, you’re also starting your relationship from a place of giving with a free offer of support.
It’s also easier for colleagues and partners to refer business to you when then can link a prospect to a relevant post that addresses an issue facing the referral prospect and opening the door to further discussion.
Bonus Benefit: Your blog posts can do double duty as articles for your email newsletter and posts on social media! You can expand your audience and improve the ROI on your writing time simply leveraging the writing you’ve already done and sharing your blog posts on as many platforms as possible.
There’s no question that you’ll need to commit time to regularly writing (or recording) your blog. But that’s small trade-off for building a powerful platform to connect with your target audience and attract those ideal clients that make your work fun and rewarding.
Are you posting to your business blog on a regular basis? If not, post a comment below and share what’s holding you back!