I believe that blogging, content marketing, and this whole inbound marketing approach is going to change how business in the 21st century is going to be conducted.
Just as there is a growing gap between the rich and poor, there is going to be an increasing gap between successful companies that take the power of this new approach seriously, and the rest of the unordinary enterprises that fail to distinguish themselves. A big part of the reason for this is in not taking blogging seriously back when they had the chance, and are now kicking themselves for not hopping on the bandwagon when it was still in their neighborhood.
That’s something I’m willing to bet money on.
But I have seen so many small and medium-sized businesses that can’t recognize this coming trend. It’s a tsunami that’s going to rock their very foundations when they see traditional marketing and sales methods are drying up, but they just can’t see the coming wave on the horizon.
For example, I have been personally researching the top 100 marketing agencies within the city I live in. You would think a marketing agency would appreciate the power of blogging right?
Twenty-nine percent of them had no active blog whatsoever!
Fifty-nine percent had a somewhat active blog, but it was inconsistent (and if you know anything about blogging, inconsistent blog is almost like having no blog at all)
And only twelve of 100 marketing agencies had active blogs.
Percentage of Marketing Agencies in Calgary Who Use Blogs
Now if only 12% of marketing agencies have active blogs, imagine what that percentage would be for any other industry that isn’t as well versed on the impact of blogging.
The point I am trying to make here is this; if you chose to have a consistent blog that would put you in the top 5-10% of all of your competitors on the market, simply by doing this one thing!
But this is a trend that is moving forward, more and more companies are beginning to recognize the power of this, and the more you wait, the less and less you will stand out from your competitors as consistent, quality blogging becomes the norm!
In fact, the power of blogging can be so strong that there have been companies that were considering bankruptcy, but in one year thanks to consistent blogging and content marketing, turned themselves around into profitable ventures despite poor economic conditions, while the rest of their competition floundered.
Not enough for you? Then let me give you 12 reasons why getting serious about your blog will change your business.
1. You’ll Stand Out From Your Competition
There is a famous book by the title of The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, and essential the point is that by doing the little things every day, the extra 1% that most other people or organizations are not doing, when compounded over time, results in exponential results.
Like doubling a penny over time.
Like I just mentioned, most of your competition isn’t doing this. They are not consistently blogging every week, and by making the proactive choice to get serious just in this, you are already starting to differentiate yourself from your competition, and if your business is relatively small or new, standing out from the sea of your competitors is crucial.
2. Clients Will Respect and Take you More Seriously
As I have commented before, when a potential reader of your site sees that you have been consistently blogging for a long period of time, a first impression, even is just unconsciously, is formed.
As a reader, it’s something like this;
“Wow, these guys are serious, they’ve taken a lot of time to consistently add value and help their readers. They aren’t like most other companies that just have a blog for the sake of it. I need to remember these guys.”
That’s the kind of impression you want to make on initial readers. That’s what’s going to have them follow your website, stick around, and eventually turn to your services if they eventually need them.
But what happens if they see a blog that is inconsistent? An impression is formed that is something like this;
“Meh, looks like these guys are just like every other company, just including a token blog with some posts because it’s trendy. There not serious about helping and providing value.”
How long does it take to undo a first impression?
A long time.
Don’t make that mistake, because if you pull this off, then you will...
When you have a blog that is inconsistent demonstrates amateurism and inexperience (even if that’s not true). Think about it, if you see a blog on a website that only has a few posts or maybe posts only once in a while, are you really going to think they are an expert on that subject?
A blog that is consistent and thoroughly covers the subject material from many different angles communicates authority and expertise. If you know enough to write so many different blog posts (about things that I as a reader have never thought of), then you must surely know your stuff.
Or at least that’s how the thought process of a reader goes like.
3. Better Able to Understand Your Customers
A blog can be a great tool to understand your market better. You can measure reader engagement, comments, and feedback on the posts you publish to see what your readers like and don’t like, as well as figure out what subjects they are most interested in as well as well as potential business needs.
In a sense, blog posting can function as a sort of A/B testing, measuring responses on different topics and narrowing down the areas that generate the most impact and interest.
4. Increased Leads
“B2B marketers that use blogs generate 67% more leads per month that those who do not.”
“Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website.”
“Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5x more traffic than companies that published 0-4 monthly posts.”
These statistics speak for themselves. Having a consistent blog will give you more business, and the best thing about it is it’s a passive form of marketing; you’re not interrupting someone’s day with a commercial or a cold-call. Leads that are generated this way feel like they have been helped by your efforts, rather than interrupted or sold to, which almost every client hates.
In addition to just getting more leads, you also...
...Pre-Qualify Leads and Answer Potential Questions
In sales, few things build rapport with a potential lead or prospect than responding to a question or objection they were thinking about in their head already!
It’s a form of rapport building, by answering something they were already thinking about, it communicates that you think the same way they do, which makes a potential lead or client trust and respect you more.
Blogging can be an excellent way to answer potential questions about your products, possible concerns, as well as pre-qualify any readers into your sales funnel.
But there is also another benefit related to this as well, and that is...
...Nurturing Existing Leads!
According to “Hubspot”, 73% of all sales leads are not ready to buy immediately. They need time to be nurtured and developed along a sales funnel, and blog posts can be an effective way of doing that.
Even better, blog posts can be reformatted and edited into an email autoresponder or a series of email messages automated to be sent every couple of days with some useful information, keeping your leads warm and nurturing them until they are ready to buy.
5. Increased Readership and Engagement
Getting your readers engaged with your content is a fantastic but often overlooked way of developing a relationship and a sense of community between yourself and your clients. Consistent blogging shows that you care about your readers, that you are serious about helping them, and that genuineness is extremely refreshing in a sea of information only meant to try to get a sale out of someone.
Happier readers are more likely to recommend your site to others as well, and the snowball grows on and on from there.
6. Building a Blogging Atmosphere can Change Your Company Culture
Now hear me out on this one.
When a company gets serious about writing a blog that helps and adds value to otherwise, it starts a change in corporate culture in a similar fashion to the idea of a butterfly flapping its wings causes a hurricane across the ocean.
You and your team become more other-focused and less focused on making sales for yourselves. As a former employee, I can testify that working for a company that only cared about making sales, and everything it did was to fulfill that aim. It just never motivated me. But working for companies where management sincerely cares about adding value, and it’s genuinely not BS, makes one feel excited.
This is something that sets apart winning organizations from the losers, that sense of working for something greater than making money, of fulfilling a mission, a goal!
This might be a little off topic, but I think further emphasizing this point will be of help to you.
Ever heard of a man called Samuel Pierpoint Langley?
He was an exceptionally brilliant astronomer, inventor, and pioneer in aviation. He was given $50,000 by the War Department of the United States to come up with a flying machine. He held a seat at Harvard and was extremely well-connected with some of the most brilliant academics and thinkers in the field, and was beloved by the press and media.
He had money, influence, the best talent, and by conventional standards, everyone would think he had a sure as heck chance of figuring out how to make a machine that flies.
But he didn’t, you know who did?
A pair of poor brothers who ran a bicycle shop, had no college education, no fame nor reputation, no connections, and just a rag-tag team of volunteers;
They are the famous Wright brothers.
So why the heck did the Wright brothers and their team defeat Langley’s team in this endeavor, despite the latter’s overwhelming superiority in financial, social, and intellectual capital?
Let me tell you why, because Langley only cared about money and the fame. The moment the Wright brothers succeeded he gave up, wasn’t interested in improving or further developing their invention, he genuinely didn’t care about furthering this cause, and he just wanted the fame and success of being the first.
That’s why his team wasn’t so passionate about his mission.
But the Wright brothers did care! It was more than just money for them, it was their mission, and there team caught that vision, and it made all the difference in their success.
Back to the main point
This isn’t some history tidbit; this is a process that has been working throughout all of history; from military conflicts to revolutions, great expeditions to crusades and all the way to today. Companies that might be new to their industry, or have an inferior product or whatever other deficiency they might have can be overcome through a great team culture based on a higher purpose rather than just making as much money as they can.
If you’re a small business owner with a few employees or maybe even more than that, getting serious about a value-adding blog can be the first step in this transformative process. You can get your other team members involved as well, turning a blog from a solo activity to a team activity.
7. You Will Attract Better Employees
That history lesson I gave you about Langley and the Wright brothers wasn’t for nothing, utilizing a blog seriously and getting your team involved can not only help transmute a corporate culture, it can also help attract better, higher quality employees.
For example, if I am a high-quality employee that’s passionate about the topic of marketing and am looking for an employer to hire me, I am much more interested in working with a company that is passionate about the same topic as well, rather than a marketing company that isn’t as passionate about the same topic and is more interested in just making money.
Even if they pay more!
Passionate, mission-drive employees, the type that every company is eager to find are looking around for employers of similar passion and dedication. Seeing a blog post filled with dedicated, inspired, and helpful content communicates the kind of attributes such an employee would look for in a company.
8. Increases Your Brand Awareness
This goes without saying. By regularly publishing material that is helpful and liked by your readers, you will be recommended to more and more people, your search engine optimization will grow tremendously, and by focusing on a mission of adding value, your Brand will begin to stand out from the crowd.
Simply having a logo or website and some social media isn’t enough to build a strong, effective brand this day and age, you have to backup that nice, fancy design of yours with genuine, strong content and build a reputation from that as your foundation.
9. Your Blog Posts Become the Foundation for Other Content Packages
By continuously publishing blogs posts, you are creating a wealth of information and potential knowledge on your website. After a long enough period, you can compile some blog posts on similar topics together, updating, editing and changing the format and publishing this new file as a free (or paid) e-book, guide, template, whitepaper, or any other potential value add for your readers.
If a finance blog has accumulated say 15 different blog posts about day-trading Bitcoin, for example, these 15 posts can be used as the raw material for a larger free e-book, let’s say “Your Personal Guide to Day-Trading Bitcoin as a Beginner.”
This is going to help even further increase your reader engagement and satisfaction, since you are offering even more value-adds on top of the blogging you are already doing.
10. Forces you to Keep Learning and to Stay on top of Your Industry
Committing to a consistent blogging schedule forces you to keep learning about your industry and consistently stay on top of events and trends that are going on. If you are having someone else do the blogging for you, like a freelancer or another employee, then it allows you to be able to learn from the writings of your writer, like a newsletter in a sense.
Whether you are doing the learning and writing yourself or are learning from the writings of an experienced writer you have commissioned, having a blog allows you to stay on top of your game and abreast of all developments.
Now, this has been a longer post than usual, and if you read through the entirety of this, you have my respect. The power of serious and committed blogging has a lot of potential, and it’s really up to business owners whether they want to take it seriously or not.
Regardless, I hope this has given you some food for thought.
Until next time,