You’ve probably heard the overly used phrase “content is king.” Am I right? Although we really need to start using a new slogan, the underlying reasoning is spot-on. Content creation should no longer be an added bonus or feature that your company offers; it should be an integral part of your content strategy. Even though a prospective client’s first action might be checking out your “About” page, rest assured that he will eventually seek your company blog. Without one, your potential clients will look elsewhere for information about your company and industry.
Customers want to know that you understand their industry, problems, and interests, and publishing relevant, high-quality content on your company’s website is the perfect way to showcase this. Here are three reasons why a commitment to blogging can pay off:
1. It provides value to your customers.
Having a consistent flow of outgoing content lets your customers know that they can count on you for more than just your product or service, which in turn builds trust. You need to give them the opportunity to engage with your brand on an ongoing basis.
2. Google will reward you.
Maintaining a blog also comes with pretty amazing SEO benefits. Publishing fresh, high-quality content on your industry essentially sends Google an alert that lets it know there’s an expert in the making. Building reputable authorship not only positions your brand as a leader in your niche, but it can also be incredibly rewarding for your Google rankings.
Think of it this way: The more content you have, the more opportunities Google has to crawl your pages and discover the value you’re creating for your customers.
Bottom line? Create more content.
3. Lead customers to your funnel.
Brands will always have customers who just aren’t ready to buy, whether they aren’t fully convinced yet or simply don’t have the budget. A blog is an excellent way to draw them into the sales funnel without being overly pushy. By providing them with content they find valuable, you’re building trust with someone who might buy your product in the next week or year.
There are plenty of companies whose blogs I follow but am not a customer of — yet. I am a frequent reader of Mint’s blog, MintLife, which offers helpful, relevant personal finance information that I use on a day-to-day basis.
Recently, I visited the blog, and the company had a post on hidden wedding costs, which included a beautifully designed infographic. Staying within your budget when planning your wedding is easier said than done (as I’m slowly learning), so any resource that helps me avoid overspending gets a gold star in my book. As a result, I appreciate Mint a lot more, and although I haven’t yet taken advantage of its product, I’ll know what software to use when it’s time to get savvy with my budget.
Little wins, like offering content your audience needs and wants, is important for your sales process and will have a positive return down the road.
Laying a Solid Foundation
Now that you’re ready for your company to take it to the next level and start blogging, where do you start? Here are four concrete steps to keep in mind as you develop your content:
- Create a content strategy. Having a strategy in place before your blog goes live is crucial to success. Figure out what your audience needs, cull industry insights, and study trends in your niche.
- Hire a content creator — or, better yet, a content team. Although you’re now convinced that your company needs a blog, don’t think it’s a task you can just add to one employee’s agenda. A blog is challenging to maintain and requires a lot — and I mean a lot — of content to engage your audience. Take a look at our list of blogs to inspire your content marketing efforts.
- Schedule in advance. After your strategy is in place, make sure you set a posting goal. You don’t need to announce this to your readers, but you do need a schedule to keep blogging a priority. Again, remember that the more consistently you publish, the better your reader retention will be. Would you eagerly — or regularly — check a blog that only posted once a month? Probably not.
- Be transparent. A blog isn’t a way for you to brag about how awesome your company is in two posts a week. Create a strong voice for your writing, and simply talk to your audience. Let them know you’re not selling them anything and only want to provide valuable content because you care. And while you’re at it, actually care! This is when you can nurture your leads and show the human side of your brand. Have fun with it.
Building a trustworthy brand is one of the most important aspects of maintaining a successful business. Offering quality content on your company blog gives your prospects a reason to engage with your brand and allows your current clients to continue building a relationship with you. Give them something more than the “About” page to read, and you’ll be sure to reap the benefits down the road.
Post by Maya Szydlowski