According to the Content Marketing Institute, 72 percent of marketers are producing more content than they were one year ago. Why? Because creating quality online content is key to increasing sales. Here are a couple other statistics to think about: three out of four marketers say compelling content is a driving factor in closing sales, and 60 percent of customers feel more positive about a company after reading quality content on its website. What is content marketing? How does blogging fit in to it? Why should you care?
What is Content Marketing?
The official definition from the Content Marketing Institute is, “a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience.” What differentiates it from other marketing? The key term is “valuable.” Customers want to consume it, unlike traditional advertising that they usually try to avoid. Content marketing can come in many different forms, including infographics, books, websites, podcasts, videos and blogs. Instead of traditional sales techniques that require a salesperson to convince the customer they need a product, content marketing allows the client to find the content and realize they value it. By the time the client contacts the business, they have already decided it is a trusted source of what they need.
Four Big Reasons to Blog
Think about content marketing, specifically blogging, as a way to educate people. You’re not necessarily educating them about your products, but that is an inevitable outcome. Your goal is to get readers to know, like and trust you enough to want to buy from you. There are numerous reasons to create quality content via a blog. However, most lead back to these four. It’s a cycle. Good content attracts visitors, and those visitors help you attract even more visitors.
1. Get higher page indexing.
One of the biggest challenges for small businesses is search engine optimization. If customers can’t find you through a Google search, the business is lost. The same is true of other search engines. According to an infographic created by UK marketing firm Content+, blogs give websites 434 percent more indexed pages and 97 percent more indexed links. How does that affect search engine optimization? It helps in a few different ways, each of which support each other. High-quality posts will attract the attention of other bloggers within your industry. They’ll link to your article, which is housed on your website and contains links to your product. Your linked posts being shared across networks will attract the attention of Google’s algorithms, indexing your site for high-quality keywords.
Here comes the second piece of the cycle. Search engines also evaluate bounce rate when indexing your site. Simply put, your bounce rate lowers the longer someone stays on your site, and you want visitors to stay on your site as long as possible. If someone clicks a link to your site and immediately clicks ‘back’ to the search list, that’s a bounce. Higher indexing will lead to more people finding your high-quality content. In turn, more people will spend more time on your site, lowering your bounce rate and bumping you up a little more in the search engine’s indexing algorithm.
The third piece of indexing is that it generates high-quality leads. When your blog specifically answers the question input by the user into the search engine, you’re providing the specific answer to the customer’s problem. Compare it to old-fashioned cold-calling to find people who want to buy a new vacuum. Instead, now you have people with a broken vacuum searching for you. Higher indexing equals more high-quality leads, which turns into more conversions.
2. Gain credibility.
It’s important to remember that blogging is not advertising. It’s marketing or branding your company through content. It’s a chance to position your company as a trusted resource in your industry. For example, a real estate agent could blog about his or her company, awards they have won, numbers of recent sales or other company-specific topics. While those subjects may be appropriate at times, think bigger. Blog about frequently asked questions from sellers or buyers. Discuss legislative issues important to potential buyers, such as recent changes in FHA loans. Explain terms related to mortgages and home buying. These topics will attract buyers and sellers simply seeking information. However, the agent is subtly carving the perception of their credibility as a trusted resource in the real estate industry. Secondly, commentary on news and legislative issues often attracts the attention of larger industry bloggers. Links or quotes within their blogs will further increase your credibility and indexing (back to No.1).
3. Easily integrate a blog with your existing strategies.
Don’t think of blogging as one more task to handle. Most likely, you are already doing some type of marketing, whether it’s your existing website content, an advertising campaign or a comprehensive social media plan. Blogging is an additional tool in your strategy and integrates perfectly. In fact, it will most likely add credibility to your existing strategies. Link to your blog via Facebook, Twitter, your website or any other online vehicles you are currently using. Further integrate by adding links in your blog that allow customers to share your quality content via their social media outlets. How important is this strategic integration? According to the infographic mentioned above, 67 percent of Twitter users buy from brands they follow and blogs are 63 percent more likely to influence consumer decisions than magazines.
4. Invest little.
For business owners, marketing comes down to time and money. What investment will reap the most benefit? When the right strategy is put in place, blogging can require minimal resources compared with the return on investment. “We haven’t spent a dime on our own content marketing or even that much time. Ninety-five percent of the success we’ve experienced can be traced to a handful of articles,” said Joshua Steimle, CEO of MWI in a recent Forbes magazine article about content marketing.
Though it’s not usually quite that simple, it is a task that’s easily outsourced. According to a report from The Social Media Examiner, 58 percent of marketers said “original written content” is the most important kind of content, scoring higher than other visual aids and videos. However, creating “original content” can be challenging for business owners with limited time. That’s where hiring a blogger comes into play. Professional bloggers offer fresh content for a reasonable price. Here’s the added bonus: their content is often better than what the business owner would create. It’s hard for entrepreneurs to detach themselves from “sales” writing. A professional writer knows how to write about topics that will grab the attention of both clients and industry leaders, as well as how to incorporate effective links. Skip the research, data gathering and writing. Outsource to a ghost writer and focus on the task of taking care of all the new leads that will come in.
Some investment of time and money is required to maintain a quality blog, but the payoff is there. In fact, the Content Marketing Institute estimates 60 percent of B2C marketers plan to increase the amount they allocate to content marketing because they’ve already seen a return on their investment.
Build your credibility. Position yourself as a trusted resource. Generate more leads. Start reaping the benefits of providing quality content through a blog. BlogMutt provides access to hundreds of professional writers. Our flexible service can provide the quality and quantity of content you want. Contact us to find out more about our services.
Editor’s Note: This post is an example of the longer posts we now offer. You can choose a plan that gives you posts at 250+ words, 600+ words, 900+ words, or 1200+ words. The posts are not only longer, but are written by more experienced writers.