Why Blogs Should Still Be at The Center of Your Content Marketing
It’s 2018. The internet is overpopulated with social media sites, videos, infographics, podcasts, GIFs, memes and eBooks. There’s so much of them everywhere you turn, that you can get a distinct stalking vibe ???? Competition on all these forms of content is so huge, it can all get pretty intimidating.
When you come to think of it: there was a time when blogs were the only form of content marketers used to promote their products online. Those days are long gone.
Many content marketers are questioning the importance and relevance of blogs at a time when social media dominates the online sphere. Are they still a relevant format? Or have they lost their sheen in recent years?
Here’s what I believe: Blogs will always matter. Granted, format and addressability may change, the conversation might switch to a more customer-oriented discourse, but without blogging, no business may reach its full content marketing potential. No matter how many funny memes and Facebook live videos you may launch on a monthly basis, without an ongoing blogging strategy, there is no way to prove your audience that you are a relevant business, with in-depth knowledge of your industry and a desire to share that knowledge with your audience.
Blogs Boost SEO
Google loves websites that produce fresh and valuable content to readers. Websites that aren’t updated frequently or provide outdated information are swiftly ignored by the search engine. Now you can’t very well keep updating your about us or homepage frequently. But you can keep updating your blog and use it as a means to provide fresh and relevant information to potential customers.
Moreover, they blogs are part of your website which means they can easily boost your ranking on a search engine’s results page, drive traffic and make your website more visible online.
Each time you publish a blog post, it adds an indexed page to your website signaling Google that your online business place is active and interested in providing fresh and relevant information.
Furthermore, blogs that have an optimum amount of keywords and evergreen content will drive traffic to your website months or even years after they’ve been published. This is called a compounding effect. In fact, Hubspot reported that one in every ten blog posts are compounding, meaning that organic search steadily increases their traffic over time.
Blogs Help You Create (and Grow) your Subscriber/Mailing List
There are few content forms as popular as blogs that allow readers to join a company’s mailing list. Sure you can add a link to subscribe to your mailing list on social media, but visitors are more likely to sign up to your list after reading an interesting blog post rather than an Instagram post.
Blogs are the most inexpensive way to drive traffic to your website and organically grow your mailing list. Subscribers are visitors who are genuinely interested in your products or services. The only other way to get an email list is buying them – which is expensive and, not to mention, illegal.
However, remember to provide a free content asset (for example, a free webinar or eBook) or a discount or an offer if you want readers to subscribe to your mailing list. Visitors are more likely to share their name and email address if they get something in exchange for it.
The Most Popular Long-Form Content
Although blogs are now more visual and media-rich than ever before, most of them are still rife with words. According to research done by Orbit Media, the average length of a blog post is 1,050 words. In actuality, the longer the blog post, the more likely it is to generate ample leads. Curata claims that longer, in-depth blog posts generate 9x more leads than short ones.
Few long-form content formats are as well received and well liked than blogs. Even though case studies, white papers, e-books, guides and checklists have surged in demand, they are nowhere as popular as blogs.
Additionally, blogs are a long-form content that can effectively educate, explain complex terms and concepts, share ideas, express opinions and inform readers in detail about an ongoing offer. In reality, many Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn posts link back to blogs for more information on an ongoing offer, discount, concept or contest details.
Customers that are interested in something you posted on your business’ social media page are more likely to go and read a long-form content (a.k.a. blog) for more information about it.
Blogs Have a Unique Voice
There is a reason why blogging is still a favored tool amongst writers. Long before social media took the internet by storm, blogging was the only means by which wordsmiths could express their opinions. Which is why many businesses today use their blogs to accurately express their values, personality, and opinions of their organization.
Your company has a unique voice and stands by certain values. What better way to show that than in a blog?
Furthermore, because blogs are usually creative, have a unique voice, tone and express the writer or business’ personality, they help readers connect with the author. Blogs are a great way to establish and maintain your relationship with your customers. Research found that 60% of consumers feel engaged or positive with a brand or company after reading custom content on their blog.
Blogs Help Convert Potential Customers to Actual Customers
You know what 99% of all blogs today have in common? A call to action (CTA). Every blog post today has a CTA situated towards the end that asks customers to do myriad things such as subscribe to a mailing list, buy a product, avail a discount or share the content for a referral code.
CTAs are extremely important because they provide leads – leads that can convert potential customers into paying customers.
Blogs Are Still Seen as a More Dependable Content Form than Others
While getting traffic and leads are measurable metrics of blog posts, an often overlooked yet vital unmeasurable metric is that they establish your business as an authority or expert in your industry.
If your business consistently publishes content that is useful and answers common questions that potential customers face, you are more likely to be seen as an authority in your industry.
In fact, answering questions, clearing doubts or explaining a complex process means that prospects will likely trust your brand when they shop for your products.
By now it’s clear that blogging is an essential tool and is far from dead in the online sphere. Using blogs in conjunction with other content formats such as videos, infographics, and mems can help you reach a large customer base.
Chief Content Officer
Annie has over 20 years of experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.
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