The Impact of Blogging on Inbound Marketing
While blogging isn’t the only strategy for inbound marketing that you could use to help drive leads, it is still one of the most important. In fact, according to Hubspot’s State of Inbound Marketing Report, blog content ranks third behind social media and email marketing when it comes to generating new leads and making sales. This article explains why blogging can impact your inbound marketing efforts so much, and how you can do it right.
Defining Inbound Marketing
In case you've not read our recent blog article, HubSpot Inbound Marketing: What Is It And How To Do It, here's a snippet of what inbound marketing is.
According to HubSpot, inbound marketing is a business methodology that “Attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them.” While outbound marketing “Interrupts your audience with content they don't always want.” So inbound marketing is really focused on forming connections between your brand and potential customers that have a problem that they're already looking for. You're producing content and putting it out on a consistent and regular basis and you're not knocking on the digital door, so to speak. Somebody is searching for the content that you're creating. And since you're creating it, they're going to find you and hopefully be attracted to you.
So the important part here is that the content you are making is focused on helping the customer solve their problem. The focus shouldn't be on telling the user how superior your solution is. For this reason, blogs are a great way to start building that trust, especially with a new lead.
What is a blog?
So blogging primarily falls into the Attract realm of inbound marketing, which is at the very top of the inbound marketing funnel. This is where you're attracting visitors to your website because you have relevant content to offer them based on what it is that they're looking for. So they have an issue, they have a problem, they have something that they're looking for, and you already have that content out there that you've been producing within your blog articles. And that's when they stumble across it and hopefully click through to your page.
A blog can be created in a variety of ways. You can write it, you can hire a copywriter to write for you, or you could even take a podcast transcript or YouTube video and turn it into a blog! There are a lot of options available, as well as many tools to help you learn and create blogs. Find what works best for you, so you can create a consistent routine.
What kind of content should I make in my blog?
This can vary according to your industry, but a few ways to come up with content are:
Asking your customers what questions they have about your product or service.
Taking your customer feedback and creating informative content in response.
Telling the story of how and why you started your business.
Writing about any new or relevant information regarding your industry, product, or service.
Sharing customer stories (with permission of course).
Interview a relevant professional in your industry and ask for their expertise on a subject your customers would be curious about.
Just remember that you want to keep the content relevant and helpful to the people that will be searching it out for answers.
How does blogging fit into inbound marketing?
So most of these visitors are going to be new visitors, they've never heard of your company before. But you've popped up because you're producing this regular content to attract them. And if that content answers their questions or solves their problem, you start to build trust and hopefully create a new customer relationship.
But what are these blogs doing for you and how is it impacting your bottom line? What I'm talking about specifically is SEO. SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO helps determine how high up your blog appears in Google search results, but blogging helps keep SEO fresh and up-to-date. If you want people to continue visiting your site, the quality of your content must stay fresh. If you stop blogging altogether (especially if you stopped more than three months ago), then this impacts SEO negatively because Google will think nobody is interested in reading about what you're writing about anymore.
Without attracting enough visitors to your site, you'll have fewer people converting to leads in fewer leads to nurture to sales. And search engines favor those websites that offer consistent, helpful, and new content, so that's why it's super important that you're doing this on a consistent basis.
Why should businesses blog?
So I just wanted to give you some quick stats from HubSpot, and a couple of other sources, that will maybe convince you to get on the blogging train if you're not already doing it. So 80% of daily blog visits are unique. And that means you're getting not just more people but new people and new traffic to your website. So a business that blogs daily will see five times more visits than one that blogs weekly. So weekly is got to be the minimum. Daily, you're going to get more visits. 80% of business decision-makers prefer to learn about a company from a series of articles as opposed to an ad. And blogging is just as important in the B2B world. Blogs are going to give your website 434% More index pages in search engines. 70% of blog traffic each month comes from blogs that weren't published in that same month. So this is a long-term play. If you don't see immediate results, don't sweat it. Just be consistent, be true to the process, and continue to blog on a daily or at the very least a weekly basis to get that content out there in the Attract stage of inbound marketing.
What are some best practices for business blogging?
Some things to remember, while you're blogging is don't necessarily blog for people but blog for search engines. So make sure that you're keyword-rich blogs consistently. That's another benefit of blogs, whereas on your website, and on multiple pages on your website, you probably have static keywords that you're using. Whereas a blog that's updated, hopefully on a weekly basis. So you're getting new keywords, and new content out there. And that's going to help your search engine optimization. It's only going to work if you're doing this on a regular basis.
Consistency is really key here. As you continue to add new, helpful content containing those important SEO keywords, you will be building the SEO foundation for your site so you are more and more likely to be found when someone is looking for a solution to their problem via the web.
So that's a quick summary of the impact blogging can have on your inbound marketing strategy. If you have any questions about blogging, creating an inbound marketing strategy, or anything else related to marketing, please contact us. We'd love to help!