The Role of Blogs in Your Content Marketing Strategy
Blogs play a vital role in your content marketing strategy, helping to grow traffic, rankings, and customer trust. Find out more about crafting blogs here.
Published: 01 Jun 2015
5 minutes read
It is becoming increasingly rare to find a business website without a blog. In fact, an astounding 76% of B2B marketers have incorporated blogging into their marketing efforts, with the figure set to rise in the coming years.
It’s safe to say, yes – blogging is time-consuming and it can be difficult to get right if you don’t target your audience effectively. Get it right though and blogging is a lead generation machine. Businesses who blog can expect to receive 67% more leads and are 13 times more likely to gain a positive ROI.
A successful blog should be the centerpiece of your website and should be incorporated into every aspect of a successful B2B content marketing strategy.
Get found by prospects
By following the principles of inbound marketing, the first step is to get found by potential prospects. In the digital age, the most widely used method to drive website traffic to your blog is through social media.
The general rule to follow on social media is to refrain from being overly-promotional. Sharing links to your service pages or contact information will be of little use to prospects in the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey.
The opportunities available with social media for industry discussions are limitless. By tweeting and posting links to your educational blog posts you can encourage discussion around your specific topic, presenting yourself and your company as an industry thought-leader – and encouraging click-throughs to your blog content.
With social media’s quick turnover of content, you can continually promote ‘ever-green’ blog posts, meaning a single blog can keep on generating new traffic and more leads?
Whether you’re a pro or a SEO novice, every marketer is aware of SEO’s importance. A consistent and successful blogging programme can have an extremely positive effect on your SEO success. Frequent blogging creates additional unique pages, which Google and its crawlers love. Typically, a website which has more than 300 pages will gain 69% more leads than a website with 60 pages or fewer.
Educate your audience
Of course, the most essential aspect of your blog is the actual content. Blogs are the ideal resource for educating your audience and solving their problems. The purpose of your blog is not to be promotional – this is what your services pages are for. A successful blog works by addressing pain-points expressed by prospects while subtly promoting the unique selling point of your company – be it your expertise on a certain subject matter or a refreshing viewpoint on the topic.
Install trust and build reputation
By blogging with a customer-centric approach, you will help install trust and confidence in your company. Think about it - on what other platform or marketing channel is the focus solely on helping your prospects, rather than pushing services?
A blog however, shouldn’t read like a fact-sheet. A business blog, even within a B2B environment, should be injected with your company’s personality and unique brand voice. Real people will be reading your blog and they want to be able to relate to the writer. Therefore try to be human and approachable where appropriate.
Move prospects down the sales funnel
You may be wondering how prospects become leads if the focus of your blog isn’t on your services. This is the foundation of what we call inbound marketing, which goes hand and hand with the buyer’s journey.
Blogs should act as an educational gateway to more information or a piece of content such as a downloadable guide or an e-book, which prospects are encouraged to download after reading your blog through a call to action.
This process, helps to naturally move prospects through the sales process, eventually leading to them becoming clients through more nurturing content.
Although blogs are mainly used to attract prospects and first-time visitors, they can also be used to convert leads further down the sales process. Take a lead who has previously downloaded your content for example. Considering that they aren’t a new visitor, a targeted blog would be the best approach to convert them, through a stage appropriate call to action such as a free consultation.
- Blog consistently: failing to update your blog for an extended period of time can be damaging to your SEO and search rankings
- Be concise: whether your post is 200 words or 1,000, make sure you get to the point quickly or risk losing the interest of your readers
- Optimise your blog: be sure to include keywords appropriately and use a relevant meta description and alt text for images
- Include a call to action: blogs should never be the last step in a reader’s journey. Include an eye-grabbing call to action which compels people to download your content and progress down the sales funnel
- Reference your sources: not only is it good practice, but linking back to information helps to establish your content as reliable and trustworthy, while increasing the chance of gaining links back to your content