You most likely already know that having a blog attached to your business’ website is essential and why, but if you aren’t perfectly clear on the function of this kind of blog or don’t even have one on your site, then it will benefit you a great deal to gain an understanding of it.
There’s a reason why most businesses have a website with a content marketing blog, and that’s for one simple reason–they work. If you’re a little foggy on why business blogs work so well, then this article will provide you with a clear explanation of their function, as well as an answer to why they work so well.
A Business Must Follow Where Customers Are Placing Their Attention
Blogging on the Web to promote your business, and ultimately sell product, is the latest incarnation of marketing (aside from the social media connection); however, the soul of it is by no means a new concept.
From the time that American businesses had a product to sell, they have been inventing ways to get the eyes of people on it and persuade them to buy.
At first, it was purely through word-of-mouth, then a sign in front of a shop, then magazine, newspaper, and radio ads were used, and then of course, television ads allowed businesses access to a massive new audience nationwide. Notwithstanding numerous advances in-between, until the Internet finally changed everything and we entered a world of advertising on steroids.
Products & Services Go Online
We now find ourselves in a time when people have the ability to have a complete customer experience on their laptop, tablet, or phone without ever needing to physically go into a building, or even make a phone call, and get virtually anything they want.
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, ecommerce’ percentage of total retail sales in the United States increases by 1%-2% every year, and that augments exponentially since around 2007, meaning that it is reasonable to assume it’s percentage of total sales in the coming decade may begin increasing by 3, 4, 5% or possibly quite a bit more, each year.
It may not seem like a lot, but the U.S. DOC estimates that ecommerce sales for the second quarter of 2018, alone, was roughly $127.3 billion.
This is the basis for the purpose of having a blog attached to your business website. Businesses who fail to tap into this overwhelming online attention will miss out and be left behind, as those companies who capitalize on the massive amount of attention happily snatch up all of the money that you left on the table.
Blogs Are No Longer Just a Creative Outlet
Online blogs have had a progression that seems, at first, peculiar but makes sense when you think about it. When they first started to become popular, it was more of a literary and amateur journalistic tool used by individuals who had something they personally wanted to tell the world (which still exists to some degree), or utilized by more professional people working in fields such as travel, food, and various areas of pop culture.
It was when businesses began to catch on that there was a lot of attention on these blogs that they became appealing as a strong channel for marketing their products and services.
The Basic Function of a Marketing Blog (Content Marketing)
The basic purpose of creating this kind of blog is to target the people who are most likely to be your customers by writing articles that they will be interesting in reading, which in turn brings those people directly to your business’ website.
Then, the idea is that if the “content” you have written appeals to someone who is in the market for whatever you’re selling, then they’re already on your website and may go ahead and buy it. It’s honestly a really simple process that, when executed well, consistently over time, is pretty much guaranteed to bring you at least some new sales, and most likely a lot of new sales.
Keywords and SEO
The last thing you want to do is spend 99% of your time writing the actual content and then take 30 seconds to write the headline (title) right before you post. The headline of your article and subheadings are crucial to perform well in Google search.
The ideal scenario is when someone types their search term into the search box, and your article comes up on page 1; however, this is no easy task. We’re not going into detail here about matching your headlines to the most highly-searched keyword terms, but stay tuned to this series for a full breakdown of how you can do it.
Content Marketing Brings in New Sales
You can find studies all over the Web that claim content marketing through a blog alone is anywhere from 3 to 10 times more effective than direct, in-your-face marketing and paid ads, but all you have to do is give it a serious try to see for yourself how effective it is for driving sales.
Not only that, but it turns out that content marketing is far less expensive, too. There is some cost associated with maintaining a focused and consistent business blog when you take into account the hours it requires to write the articles and salary of someone to do it for you, but the ROI will eventually far outweigh the cost to generate the content.
Why You Should Jump On the Bandwagon
So, after an overview of how it works, you may be thinking to yourself, “There’s no way this would actually work for my business.” That’s where you would be wrong. The beautiful thing about a business blog is that it works universally.
You don’t have to be a strictly ecommerce company, and you don’t really even need to be selling your products online (although it definitely helps), if you’re old-school like that. All you need is a website.
If you’re still living in the Dark Ages and don’t have one, just check out Squarespace or Wix to build one yourself easily and relatively cheaply. And it will look good, too.
Even with an ever-increasing amount of competition in the content marketing arena, there is still plenty of attention to go around. You just need to carve out your space. Here are a few pointers on how to do that.
Learn to Stand Out in a Saturated Space
Something you need to accept right off the bat is that a gazillion other businesses are also pursuing this exact strategy, same as you are. This is one of the most ubiquitous and effective drivers of sales for businesses now, which means that everyone is trying to figure out some magic way to differentiate their content from everything else.
If you just keep it simple, however, then you already have an edge over the majority of marketers. First of all, writing a generic blog with nothing valuable seals your fate before you even get started.
Do your homework, find out what your customers are interested in, and give them content that really holds value to them–even if it’s just entertaining. Be genuine, and create the highest quality content that you can.
There is a reason that you see tons and tons of blogs online every day with new posts coming out constantly, and there is a reason why a huge portion of them are published by companies. This works.
You will be hard-pressed to find another way to bring in new sales that is as reliable and cheap as content marketing. So, now that you have the gist of the whole point of it, stay tuned for many more free articles to come as we continue our series, Building Your Blog 101. See you soon!
What’s Next? Check out all of the articles in our series, Building Your Blog 101:
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1. “Quarterly Retail E-Commerce Sales 2nd Quarter 2018,” U.S. Census Bureau News, U.S. Department of Commerce, August 17, 2018, https://www.census.gov/retail/mrts/www/data/pdf/ec_current.pdf