I’ve heard it all before.
“Blog posts don’t make sales.”
“Who has time to read a post?”
“Blogging is dead.”
I say, au contraire.
If you are marketing to businesses or consumers, you need to have blog posts in your arsenal. Yes, you will leverage other content marketing channels and communication mediums, but blogging should rank high on your list of content assets to develop.
Need some ammo to make the case? Let me give you three.
1. Stats don’t lie.
In a survey delivered to B2B marketers, respondents revealed that blogging (65%), social media (64%) and case studies (64%) were the top three marketing content and formats utilized. In fact, 80% of B2B marketers and 75% of B2C marketers say they include blogging among their current techniques.
On top of that, data shows companies that published 16-plus blog posts per month got about 4.5 times the leads than companies publishing zero to four monthly posts. And 53% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority.
A well-written, informative, engaging post can be developed within a few hours, enabling marketers to push this form of content out quickly and with control on their own platforms.
2. Say it with me: S-E-O.
There is blogging, and then there is blogging smart. The beauty of a well-constructed post is that keyword-rich, search-engine-optimized content can benefit a brand for years to come. Think about the prospects and consumers seeking out intel on the internet. They pull up Google, type in a phrase or question and a list of content resources and links suddenly appear. For example, “What is trended data?” or “How do I cook a turkey?”
Blog posts often turn up on page one as individuals search — and a great post can hold that spot for great stretches of time. Marketers should always be thinking about the intelligence and expertise their brands can offer and build out related SEO content. Natural search and organic rankings are golden, and blog posts can deliver those page one results that drive traffic, views and sales.
3. Hello sales pipeline.
Regardless of whether you are marketing to businesses or consumers, blog posts drive interest to your products and services, ultimately dropping them into the purchase cycle. In fact, one report states 69% of businesses attribute their lead generation success to blogging.
The path to purchase is no longer linear. Consumers engage with multiple touchpoints before deciding to buy. Perhaps they see an ad on TV, engage with a post on social media, read a white paper, attend a webinar and consume content on a blog. In B2B sales, it can take six to eight touchpointsbefore a lead is sales-ready. Thoughtful blog posts can introduce a potential prospect to a brand in a non-threatening, passive way, driving a contact deeper to a company website or product page.
A series of blog posts can also provide a sales team with an array of assets to share with potential clients on LinkedIn, Twitter and via email. Instead of approaching a conversation by diving straight into a product pitch, these posts provide a softer approach to warm up a lead and position a company as a thought leader.
Same goes in the consumer space. Think about companies selling outdoor gear, natural beauty products or food. A series of posts can be created for any of these product groups, educating consumers about surviving the elements, the benefits of going organic or a series of recipes. HubSpot reports internet users in the U.S. spend three times more time on blogs than they do on email. Don’t tell me blogs don’t matter.
There is without a doubt more content in the web universe than ever before — and it’s not all good. Still, compelling, well-written blog posts are not about to go out of style. They have the potential to build your brand, grow and engage your audience and drive sales.
So I say blog on marketers, blog on.