The impact content marketing has on your business and clients continues to grow in 2018. Content marketing can give you better results than paid search, social media, PR and even SEO. Yet, however, plenty of marketers and small business owners underestimate its power.By not investing more of your time and resources into creating valuable content that grows your online presence and makes people familiar with your products or services, you’re missing out on a lot. The easiest path to get the attention of potential and loyal customers is by having your very own platform - a business blog that you’ll keep updated and will fill with expert advice and engaging pieces of content.
Let’s see why starting a blog is key to your success in business and what first steps you should take as soon as possible:
Why Start a Blog
1. Expanded Reach
By setting up and growing a business blog, you have the chance to be found by people at any moment of the day and anywhere across the globe. Expanding your reach with content creation includes getting traffic from search engines and social sharing. All of these are also trust signals for Google that you’re running a platform that readers find valuable and because of this, your rankings will be boosted.
That’s because each of your blog posts that you’ve taken the time to research and write well will have the potential to rank for a certain keyword and be found by the right people. Or someone can accidentally find it on social media, decide the share it with their following, after which a certain number of people will visit your site to see what else they can learn from you.
2. Showcase Your Expertise
Blogging is a fantastic opportunity to make your brand known by becoming an expert in the field.
Did you know that 80% of people appreciate learning about your company through custom content? That means you owe it to your audience and to anyone out there who will eventually land on your blog to publish professional blog posts as often as you can and make them unique and helpful.
3. Employee Engagement
Another great reason to have a blog for your company is to engage your employees by having them produce content. They can be ideal sources for user-generated content as they are the ones being around clients all day.
We've come to believe that this is one of the most genuine types of user-generated content. That's because it builds trust and improves the company reputation as the feedback coming from employees is something clients will be able to relate to. In addition, it's a sign of loyalty. And everyone wants to work with an organization with loyal employees.
There's great value in allowing workers to create content. Aside from the benefits for the business, it's also a way to help them improve their communication skills and grow together with the brand.
4. Lead Generation
Having a blog is directly related to lead generation. You can turn visitors into buyers by building trust with your long-form informational articles and practical how-to guides. In fact, 47 percent of buyers viewed at least 3 pieces of content before reaching out to a sales rep.
Through content creating and promotion, you can grow the traffic to your business blog, improve your online presence and build a name for yourself in your niche. Now that you know why you should start a blog, let’s see what the steps are.
How to Start a Blog
1. Create Your Strategy
It all begins with your vision for the business blog. Create your strategy by setting up a meeting with those involved. Decide who will run the blog, marketing, communications, and HR.
Include competition analysis as part of the preparation process. Know how others are doing it and learn from them. This will also help you think of your unique approach to content creation and distribution.
2. Define Your Audience
Who are your readers and how can you reach them? One of the top aspects of running a successful business blog is to have an effective reader persona (include both demographics and psychographics) and know exactly where these people are spending time online.
They will probably be using 1 or 2 social media channels more than others. Find your most successful channels analytics and start being active there. Take into consideration the specific times of the day when people are most engaged on these networks.
3. Think of How to Stand Out
When it's time for content creation, take a firm decision to put quality over quantity. Even if you only publish twice a month but you include plenty of data and step-by-step tutorials, your blog strategy will work better than producing one 500-word post on a daily basis and not having the time to distribute it effectively. Make sure you add visuals too as images in an article can lead up to 94 percent more views.
Decide what topic you will focus on. It’s better to niche down. You can always start covering a broader field in the future. But for now, focus on writing specific, well-targeted content for your audience.
Know how to differentiate yourself from the crowd. Competitors won’t be a problem if your content is truly empowering, engaging and filled with facts and tips. Also, Google will love it if it’s above 2,000 words and optimized in a natural way.
It’s important to begin outlining your articles from the moment you set up the blog. Don’t publish anything until you have at least a months’ worth of blog content. This is a sure way to always be ahead of yourself and keep posting new pieces on a regular basis.
4. Decide the Authors
Last but not least, who will write the content? Will you employ someone part-time for content production, hire freelancers, or have the marketing team write the posts? Consider your budget, goals and the alternatives before coming to a conclusion.
Don’t forget about user-generated content. It’s authentic, leads to social recognition, creates a community around your brand and helps connect with your audience.
People have an easier time making a buying decision when they hear recommendations or just the honest opinion of peers. That's why the best user-generated content begins with those inside the company, as mentioned earlier.
There are plenty of ways to allow both your employees and customers to be part of the content creation process. That can happen with a social media campaign or welcoming their feedback, reviews, and opinions. There are simpler ways too that can make a big difference over time, such as encouraging comments on your blog and responding to them, for example.
To find out how you can use Employee Advocacy to boost content marketing, download our free guide below!