The ancient art of blogging has come a long way since the early days of the Internet. For every industry, occupation, niche, interest and hobby, there are countless companies and individuals posting their thoughts, experiences and opinions about everything they can think of. From the sustainability of cryptocurrency to the best things to see and do in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to the controversial subject of who shot first, Greedo or Han.
But with so much digital saturation, are blogs still a viable marketing tool? Do people still read them? Are they worth the time and energy it takes to craft each carefully worded sentence?
The answer to these questions, dear reader, is absolutely, undoubtedly and for sure, 100% yes.
In 2016, Blogger, the nation’s largest blogging platform, reported they receive 46 million unique visitors every single month. That’s like the combined populations of Texas and New York. That’s why 67% of B2B marketers and 56% of B2C marketers use blogs as a tool in their social media campaigns.
But why are blogs so critical to online marketing? I’m glad you asked.
Blogs build a stronger relationship between you and your audience
You wouldn’t be doing what you’re doing if it weren’t for the passion you have for it. Sharing that passion with your customers, especially ones that feel the same as you, creates a connection that goes well beyond that of business owner and customer. It creates a bond between the two of you that’s much more than a simple transaction. It makes you part of the same community or tribe.
Plus providing content that’s relevant to your industry or niche puts you in the position of expert, teacher or mentor. And while you can have some fun (I’ll get to that in a minute), I can’t emphasize the importance of the word relevant enough there. If you’re an astronomer, you can’t just post a bunch of pictures of your dog in a pirate costume and expect people to believe you when you tell them you know everything about the Westerlund 2 star cluster.
Blogs enhance your SEO
Blogs are also an incredibly powerful tool for improving your SEO. To understand why, you need to know that Google currently runs eight search algorithms, codenamed Hummingbird, Pigeon, Mobile, RankBrain, Panda, Possum, Penguin and Fred. Honestly, they sound like the worst collection of superheroes ever, but together they work together to check your website for keyword, relevancy, age, location, originality, mobile-friendliness and quality of content.
So of those factors that Google uses, which do you think is the most important? If you said bacon, I like the way you think. Although it’s completely wrong, I will give you partial credit for thinking outside the box. If you said quality of content, give yourself a gold star. And a piece of bacon.
Quality content that is relevant, original and engaging is king when it comes to Google’s search rankings and marketers know it. That’s why there’s so much online. Check out some of these fun statistics about life in the digital ether:
- 1 billion+ web pages in existence
- 2 million+ blogs posted every day
- 70,000+ videos viewed every second
- 2 billion+ active users on Facebook alone
- 35 million emails sent every second
- 5 billion google searches every day
That’s a lot of noise. So to be heard above all the clamor and clatter, you have to provide real content to appeals to your audience. In fact, 80.5% of marketers list ‘writing amazing content’ as one of the top three keys to a building a successful blog.
Posting regular content on your blog also keeps your site fresh (another important search factor) and lets your audience know you’re still in business. And because you’re building up an archive of content for you site, those blogs will help drive more traffic to your site, ensuring long-term success.
Blogs support your social media campaigns
For those who live for social media campaigns, a good blog can go a long way towards more clicks, shares and retweets. Sharing a blog on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn gives your followers something with substance, teaching them the secret knowledge you’ve promised them so they can finally start that cult of all things you. Or it could just persuade them to buy your product or service.
Posting links to your blogs through your social media also gives your followers an easy way to share your products, services or brand to a potentially huge audience. All it takes is a few people to share your post and the exposure begins to grow exponentially. Shares and clicks turn into more traffic for your site, which converts into sales, which turns into great success. Why do you think all those B2B and B2C marketers love blogs so much?
Blogs help you be more… you.
When you write a blog, you have the unique opportunity to humanize your business. Let your hair down, bring the music down a notch and get real with your audience. Tell them your brandstory about who you are and what you’re about.
If your great-grandfather started the company selling nose-hair clippers out of a burlap sack outside of Wrigley Field in Chicago, embrace that quirky origin story and share it with the world. If you’re passionate about the plight of the rare slow jam lizard (Reptilius chillaximus), let people know about it.
And remember that time you were reading this blog and I said you can have some fun with your blog? Yeah, that was awesome.
But seriously, if you want to inject a little humor in there, do it! Who am I to judge? Besides, laughter triggers the brain’s emotional reward center and delivers whopping amounts of dopamine, serotonin and endorphins, all of which make you feel like a rockstar. And if your audience can feel that way just from reading your blog, imagine how they’ll feel when they use your products or service!
Bottom line… there are no rules that say you have to have a blog to help your business. I’m sure Coca-Cola, Nike, Starbucks and Target could all do perfectly fine without one. But a blog can do a lot of good for your business. Besides, to quote Matthew McConaughey, “It’d be a lot cooler if you did.”