It is finally 2020 – does your business have a blog yet? If you’re thinking that the days of business blogging are over, think again. Blogging continues to be one of the best ways to market your brand consistently and effectively, and it will remain an integral part of any digital marketing strategy in the years to come.
Not quite sold yet on why your company’s website should have a blog? Here is a list of the top 20 benefits of blogging for business that you may find interesting.
The Top Benefits of Business Blogging in 2020
When your company has a blog, there are a number of different ways that both your business and its stakeholders can benefit. Here is a look at the top benefits your blog can have for a number of different stakeholders including your customers, your bottom line, your employees, your website’s SEO, and even your brand as a whole.
How your customers benefit
1. They are empowered to make good decisions about buying your product or service
The buying process for consumers is dramatically different than it was even a decade ago. With access to the internet and an unlimited amount of information, consumers now prefer to do their own research about products long before they decide to make a purchase. And one of the best ways to help them get that information they need is by providing them with informational blog articles about your products and services.
This is particularly true in the B2B sector, where an estimated 47% of buyers read 3-5 blog posts or content pieces before they even speak to a salesperson (Source: Demand Gen Report). By developing a library of written content aimed at potential buyers, you can help them learn more about your product, understand if it’s a good fit for them, and ultimately decide if they want to take an action like make a purchase, subscribe to your mailing list, or set up an appointment.
You want your customers to be able to make the right decisions about your products, and a blog with relevant content for buyers is a valuable asset for both you and your potential customers.
Types of blog articles you can create to help customers with decision-making:
- Buying guides that evaluate different product options or that you sell
- Exciting product launch pieces with detailed information about new products
- Interviews with product engineers, developers, or creators
- Frequently asked questions pieces aimed specifically for potential buyers
2. They have access to regularly updated and valuable resources
In addition to potential customers, your blog can serve your existing customer base as well. This is especially helpful if you sell products where the users may frequently run into problems or complicated issues (think products like software, equipment, or furniture). By providing helpful advice, tips, tricks, and user guides about your products, your blog can in a sense become a living, breathing user manual that is always up to date.
In some cases, a well-maintained blog with helpful content for existing users can even ease the burden of your customer service team. Most readers prefer to find what they are looking for on their own, and providing that content for them through a blog is a great way to be there for them without exhausting your customer service team.
Types of blog articles you can create for existing customers or clients:
- How-to guides for all of your products and/or services
- Frequently asked questions about a specific product or feature
- Announcements related to product updates or recalls
- Interviews with product developers or engineers that customers may find helpful
3. They can build a sense of trust with your company
Trust is a key component of any business transaction. If a potential customer doesn’t trust your company or your product, they will simply not make a purchase.
Even though it’s not the only way to build trust with customers, a blog is a wonderful avenue where you can strengthen customer trust over time. Offering high-quality blog articles that are relevant to your audience lets them know that you care about them, you understand their pain points, and that you are transparent about your products and services.
There is data to support this claim as well. An estimated 68% of readers feel that blogs help to add credibility to a website (Source: KoMarketing). Additionally, approximately 70% of consumers actually prefer to read about a business with the help of content as opposed to hearing about it through an advertisement (Source: ContentPlus).
Content surrounding your company values and culture is another way to develop trust with your customers. Consumers increasingly prefer to do business with brands who are good corporate citizens and using your blog to promote your company’s charitable and community work is a great way to further demonstrate that you are a trustworthy member of the community (Source: MYC).
Types of blog articles you can create to build trust:
- Interviews with your CEO and other executives
- Showcase pieces about your charitable work or community partnerships
- Quirky articles highlighting your unique company culture
How your bottom-line benefits
4. Blogging enables you to promote your own products and services in an appealing way
Nobody particularly enjoys having their life interrupted by an advertisement – especially now when we are all exposed to thousands of ads each day (Source: Forbes). Sharing information about your brand in a blog is a great way to get your message out there, without annoying everyone who encounters your brand. Blogs are non-invasive, they add value, and they are highly effective at promoting products and services. Potential customers will be much more motivated to make a purchase after reading a helpful article about your product, as opposed to seeing an annoying pop-up advertisement.
Not sold just yet? Consider the following facts: it is estimated that companies with blogs produce 67% more monthly leads when compared to those without a blog (Source: DemandMetric). Additionally, blogging has been found to influence 6% of e-commerce sales. And when a business blogs regularly for 12 months? That number increases to (Source: GetMatcha).
Types of blog articles you can create to promote your own products:
- ‘Sneak Peak’ articles about an upcoming product launch
- How-to guides for using a new product or service
- Special promotional content with coupon codes only available for blog readers
5. You can monetize articles through affiliate programs
Creating articles with the help of affiliate programs is also a great way that your business can monetize its blog over time.
How does it work though? Consider the following example. Say your business has fellow business partners within your niche. You can publish articles on your blog that feature their products. If one of your readers goes on to purchase that product, you then receive a percentage of the sale based on an established commission rate. If you have several blog articles that are participating in an affiliate program, this is an easy way to make passive income for your business over time.
If you’re not quite sure how to get started, there are thousands of affiliate programs available through large online marketplaces like Amazon or Wal-Mart. In some cases, you can even find an affiliate program for smaller markets within your niche. Alternatively, you can always create your own affiliate program by forging partnerships with other businesses in your local area.
Affiliate marketing may not work in all situations; however, it is definitely something to explore if you are looking for alternative ways to monetize your blog.
Types of blog articles you can create with affiliate programs:
- Buying guides for related products within your niche or industry
- Product or service review articles where you share your opinions and recommendations
- Featured articles spotlighting an affiliate company’s product or service
6. Your business can expand its reach of potential clients and customers
Tapping into new niches and markets is a difficult task for any marketer – no matter how large or small the organization is. Having a regularly updated blog is one of the best free tools that you can use to help reach these hard to find audiences.
Think about it. When your blog is published, you can share it with your mailing list as well as on your social media. If the blog is relevant and valuable, your network will forward it on or share it with others in their inner circle, allowing for the potential to reach new blog readers and potential buyers. Additionally, you can also use your blogging platform to host guest writers who may be influential in a particular niche or industry. Oftentimes their influence can help dramatically in driving interest (and potential leads) for your product.
Types of blog articles you can create to expand your reach:
- Allow another company or individual to create a guest post highlighting their products or services.
- Create a guest post on another blog that is within your niche but has potential to reach a new audience segment.
- Create a collaboration piece with another organization or community partner where you shine a spotlight on a project or campaign that your company was involved with.
7. You can use a blog to help collect information for potential leads
Informative blog articles can be great for driving visitors to your website, however, they do not always immediately convert a reader into a paying customer. That’s okay though! Blogs are also a great opportunity to collect information from readers who may want to learn more about a product or stay in the loop with your company.
As a best practice, at the end of each blog article, always include a form where readers can sign up for your mailing list. You can even include an option for them to schedule a sales call with a member of your sales team. You can then develop the relationship with this lead further by following up directly or by continuing to send them links to future blogs or newsletters. Many potential customers may not be ready to make a purchase right away, however, they may become a warm lead over time after further engagement with your blog content.
Using blog articles for lead generation has even been shown to work in the real world. Research into this has found that companies who publish more than 16 articles per month generated 4.5x more leads than those who published fewer than 4 per month (Source: HubSpot). This shows just how impactful a blog can be to your overall sales process and bottom line.
How your employees benefit
8. Your employees feel important and connected with your brand
An often-overlooked benefit of business blogging is the fact that they allow a way for you to engage with your employees and make them feel important. Whether you conduct an interview with one of your product specialists or spotlight the accomplishments of a single department, employees feel good when they are acknowledged and included in special blog pieces.
A bonus benefit of using your blog to tell employee stories is that it can also help with recruitment. Potential job applicants will not only be able to see first-hand how much you care about your employees; they will also be able to get a glimpse into your company culture and see if they are a good fit. Millennials and Generation Z are becoming increasingly hard to recruit, and having a blog is one of the best ways that you can showcase how attractive your company is as a place of work.
Types of blog articles you can create to engage with your employees:
- Features on a particular employee or department
- Interviews with executives or experts within the company
- ‘Inside look’ pieces about what it’s like to work at your company
9. Staff can use your blog for their day to day work
While you probably already have a lot of internal resources for employees, your blog content can definitely serve as a supplemental resource. For example, FAQ’s and product guides posted on your blog can offer valuable support for both your sales and customer service teams. If a customer has a specific question about a product, they can easily be signposted to a blog article rather than waiting on hold to speak with a representative. Your staff will also have a clearer idea of what information customers already have access to, allowing them to assist customers more efficiently.
Marketing and communications teams also stand to benefit from having the additional blog content that they can share and adapt for your company’s social channels.
Types of blog articles that can help employees:
- FAQ’s and product guides
- Interviews with employees and product experts
- Product launch updates and features
How your SEO benefits
10. Blog articles help you build backlinks to your website
Building a strong set of backlinks to your website is one of the most important components of any SEO strategy – and blogging can be a massive help for that!
For example, each time you post a blog article on your website, another page of your website is indexed. And if these blog articles provide value for your readers, other blogs and websites will reference your article, providing you with a high-quality backlink. As you continue to publish more articles over time, you can continue to build a strong network of backlinks to your website. Not only that, but your brand will be perceived amongst readers as an authoritative and trustworthy voice in your industry.
Blogging was actually found to be responsible for 97% more inbound links when compared to other marketing channels (Source: DemandMetric); making it a foolproof investment for your digital marketing strategy.
Practical tips for building quality backlinks:
- Make sure that your blog articles are high quality, relevant, and provide genuine value to your readers.
- Don’t be afraid to ask other blogs and websites to link back to your article, as long as it is relevant.
- Avoid using ‘black hat’ link building tactics that can potentially harm your website in the long term.
11. Blogging can help your website rank for certain keywords
Organically ranking your website for certain keywords can get extremely competitive, and oftentimes you need more than just a good landing page to ensure that your website ranks on the front page of Google. Publishing blog articles that are rich in keywords specific to your niche is one of the best ways to let search engines know that your website deserves a spot at the top.
By targeting relevant keywords with your blog, you are letting Google know that your business is a knowledgeable, trustworthy, and authoritative source capable of answering users’ search queries. However, make sure that you avoid using tactics such as ‘keyword stuffing’ when writing your articles. This provides value to no one and Google’s algorithms are becoming increasingly advanced and many websites have been punished for similar tactics.
Practical tips for writing keyword-rich articles:
- Make sure your keywords flow naturally within your writing.
- Try to incorporate your target keyword in the article title, at least one subheading, and a few times within the regular text.
- Take time to research relevant keywords in your niche, and don’t be afraid to experiment with both long-tail and short-tail keywords.
- Do not ‘stuff’ your articles with too many keywords – Google does not like this and readers can spot this tactic.
12. Blogging helps to brings visitors and traffic to your website
As mentioned previously, each time you post a blog article on your website, a new page is indexed in Google. And each new page is another opportunity to drive traffic to your website.
Unlike sales pages targeted at buyers, blog articles enable you to attract a much broader range of visitors of varying levels of interest in your business. Not every potential customer is ready to make a purchase just yet, however, by offering valuable and interesting blog articles, you can help to nurture your readers throughout the entire buying process. As an extra bonus, blogging can also attract attention from news organizations or other brands who may be interested in spotlighting your business on their platform – a great way to get some free PR.
The more visitors to your website the better, and blogging is a great way to drive a range of consistent traffic over time.
Practical tips for using blogs to drive traffic to your website:
- Make sure to share each blog article on all social media channels.
- Publish frequently – research has found that companies who publish more than 16 blogs per month get approximately 3.5x more organic traffic than those who publish less that 4 articles per month (Source: HubSpot).
- Include links to your blog articles in e-newsletters.
- Don’t be afraid to personally share links to your article to relevant news sources or fellow bloggers (this can also help with link building).
How your brand as a whole benefits
13. You can gradually and deliberately build your brand’s digital reputation
Your brand’s digital reputation is a long-term effort that cannot be built in a day. And while you can certainly build your reputation through other avenues, regular blogging is one of the best ways that you can deliberately tell your company’s story in the way that you want it to be told. Article by article, you can make important announcements, provide valuable resources for your readers, and ultimately build trust with your stakeholders over time. Without a blog, you lose all of this control and must rely on other online publishers to tell your story for you.
Practical tips for using your blog to build your reputation:
- Always be honest – never lie or exaggerate the truth, this can come back to haunt you!
- Take some time to research what your audience wants and needs from your blog – this includes your customers, employees, and other stakeholders such as investors and the press.
- Align your blog with the overarching company strategy. This ensures that your blog is a worthwhile investment and capable of helping the company meet broader business objectives.
14. A business blog is a safe space to highlight your culture and accomplishments
Maybe your company has just won an award, or, perhaps a member of your team has made an important discovery. Your readers may be interested in this information, but how can you tell them about it in a tactful way?
You could send out some press releases and wait for news coverage to come to you – or, you could post the story yourself in your company blog to get the news out as fast as possible. Blogs offer you the safe space to celebrate these accomplishments, no matter how big or small they are.
You can also use your blog to highlight interesting things about your company culture that potential customers or employees may find interesting. Does your company headquarters have an office dog? Do you have a special nap room for tired employees? Do you host a yoga class in the breakroom every Friday? This type of ‘quirky’ content performs well on social media and shows readers that your company has a personality.
Practical tips for highlighting your culture and accomplishments:
- A little goes a long way when sharing your achievements. Try to limit these posts so that they do not dominate other content that is intended for your customers.
- Involve your employees – but make sure they are not overwhelmed with extra work.
- Make sure to get permission from all parties involved that the information can be made public on your blog.
- Don’t be afraid to create light hearted and fun content around your culture – both customers and employees love reading fun articles that aren’t too focused on making a sale.
15. Your brand has a place to stay relevant by responding to trending topics
Sometimes things happen in the headlines and your company needs to respond to or take a stand. If you need to update your customers and stakeholders on your stance on a specific trending topic, doing so in a blog article is the best way to ensure your response is well thought out, clarified, and published in a safe place for all to see.
It can be tempting to respond to trending topics solely via social media. However, social media posts have the potential to spiral out of control and before you know it, your post has taken on a completely different meaning than what you had originally intended. By laying out your statement originally in a blog post, you can make sure that your message is controlled and aligned with top management. Once your article is published, you can then share it on social media if appropriate.
Trending topics aren’t always of a sensitive nature though. Blogs can also be a great way to promote your business during topical holidays as well. Consider silly holidays such as “talk like a pirate day” or “National Ice Cream Day” – these are all wonderful opportunities where you can engage with what is going on in the rest of the world, and make sure that your products and services remain top of mind. Your readers will appreciate the light hearted content, and once they visit your website through your blog, they may even be tempted to make a purchase. When writing blog articles around awareness days, make sure to always link to any of your relevant products or services. This is the best way to maximize this content to make sure that your blog continues to drive sales and traffic to your sales pages.
Practical tips for responding to trending topics:
- If the topic is super sensitive, make sure to run your article by your legal or communications team if you think it is necessary.
- You don’t have to speak out about every headline or social issue – but you should be aware of what is important to your customers and employees.
- Make sure that you understand all sides of the story before asserting your company’s position.
- Work together with your social media team to ensure that you have a backup plan in case the link to your blog goes viral.
- Use the help of an editorial calendar to understand holidays and awareness days that may be relevant to your brand.
Additional Benefits to Consider
16. Consistent blogging can help your brand find its voice
Even if your company has a clear product or service proposition, it can take a lot of time to develop a brand voice that resonates both internally and externally. Blogs are a great way for you and your team to develop the brand’s tone of voice – one blog at a time.
Not quite sure how your company stands on a trending topic? Use your blog as an opportunity to explore and express your stance. Not quite sure how to develop a casual tone of voice when engaging with customers? Use your blog to nail it down.
Practice makes perfect, and consistent blogging can help you to refine the tone, sense of humor, and overall vibe of your brand. This can be particularly helpful when crafting future marketing campaigns, developing internal trainings, and strategically positioning your brand.
17. A blog provides an opportunity to test new ideas and gauge potential interest
Blogs allow a ton of flexibility for your company to experiment with not just its brand voice, but also its marketing strategy. If you want to explore a new product idea or niche but not quite sure if it’s worth the investment, create a blog article as a test and see how it performs on social media and in search.
You can even gauge your readers’ interest by asking them to fill out a questionnaire at the end of the article. This feedback can be invaluable for your company’s future strategic planning. Market research can be very expensive, however if you have a solid blog with regular readers, you already have a built-in sounding board for new ideas and campaigns. While this isn’t the only market research tactic your company can use, it is still a viable and flexible way to gauge public interest in a topic.
18. Regular blog content can support your social media strategy
Constant social media management is something that can become exhausting for companies of all sizes. Finding and sharing relevant content, commenting on trending topics, and engaging with other accounts is a time-consuming task for even the best of digital marketers.
Blogging is one of the best ways to ensure that your social media team stays inspired and aligned with your company’s narrative. By having this valuable content to share regularly, your company’s social media manager’s can focus on optimizing and sharing the content in bite-sized pieces. Additionally, you can also reduce the costs allocated to content marketing planning. By having a consistent theme across both your blog and social media platforms, your bloggers and social media managers can perform their jobs more efficiently and within a common purpose.
19. Blogs help to organically grow your niche and industry
Making sure that your particular niche remains top of mind in the public sphere is one of the other secondary benefits of blogging. Even if the majority of your published content is not directly focused on converting sales, you can still use these blog articles to grow the demand and interest in your niche as a whole.
In many cases, potential customers are totally unaware about your product and how it may help them. A business blogging strategy can help you to create content for these individuals so that they understand more about your products and services. Even if they are not necessarily ready to purchase your product, as long as they stay engaged and informed about your industry, they will be more likely to make a purchase down the road when compared to someone who knows nothing about your product or niche.
20. Blogs empower your company to own its narrative
At the end of the day, maintaining a consistent blog on your company website is one of the most cost-effective ways of ensuring that your company’s narrative and story is established in the way that you want it to be. As the owner of the blog, you have complete control over how you respond to trending topics, how you provide value to your customers, what your company considers important, and which achievements you choose to highlight about your company.
Without a blog, all of your stakeholders – including your customers, employees, the press, and suppliers – must use other evidence to form their thoughts and opinions about you. With the help of a blog, you can help to form that opinion for them in a way that gives you full control. You no longer have to rely on the press for positive news coverage anymore – you are empowered to put your own messages out their in the digital world, and you can provide a ton of value for all of your stakeholders in the process.