Benefits of blogging for business: studies show that businesses gain enormously from blogging!
It is ironical that out of millions of small and big businesses, only not even a hundred thousand are perhaps maintaining a blog. Some big corporations do, but their blogs are an insignificant part of their portal, and the blog is there just because the developer created it. It lies in a corner, without much activity. Blogging is taken as a luxury to be indulged in by companies with lots of IT and PR guys.
It may be true that all types of businesses need not maintain a blog. It is also true that some local businesses would better connect with clients with social networking entities. It is also true that in the case of small businesses, blogging can be a big bother which may not give much benefit as it will not be maintained well. [Please see the last section for more discussion on maintaining a business blog well.]
Yet, It would be worthwhile for each business to look seriously at blogging. If, after all considerations, blogging does not look promising, it may be dismisses, but not before that. A number of top marketing experts recommend that businesses should maintain a blog.
|Business blogging: it pays... in many ways!|
Let me share some findings about blogging by businesses:
- In a study done in 2017, 66% of marketers reported using blogs as part of their social media content strategy, says Social Media Examiner.
- Social Media Examiner also found that about 61% marketers are likely to use blogging in their B2C (business-to-consumer) marketing. Interestingly, even more (three-fourths of all marketers) are likely to use blogs for B2B (business-to-business) marketing!
- KaPost has found that content marketing (blogs suit very well as a medium for content marketing) generates 3 times more leads than paid search.
- 89% of B2B marketers say, content marketing has a very important place in their marketing strategy. (Content Marketing Institute)
- Nearly half of marketers said in a study by Databox that given the chance to start their content marketing over, they would focus on blogging.
- 53% of marketers say blogging is their top content marketing priority, says a HubSpot study.
- HubSpot also found that return-on-investment got a 13 time boost when marketers gave top priority to blogging as part of content marketing!!!
- HubSpot also found that websites of companies get about 97% more links when they blog.
- A study by Tech Client has found that websites with blogs have 434% more indexed pages on Google!
- Blogs are rated as the fifth most-trusted source of online information. (HubSpot)
- DemandGen reports finding that 71% B2B buyers use blogs as one one of the inputs, in their buying process.
- DemandMetric says, 60% of people surveyed said they bought a product after originally reading a blog post about it.
- Social Media Today has reported that 61% of Americans spend thrice the time in consuming blog content than in reading email content.
While blogging is ignored by a big majority of businesses, some companies excel in using their blog for connecting, informing, updating, feedback... The top technology companies usually announce new products and ideas through their blog. Some are reported to be using internal blogging for getting ideas from employees and creating an overall participative atmosphere.
How blogging benefits businesses
The above studies give ample evidence that blogging indeed benefits companies well. Many top executives of reputed firms have also shared that they find blogging useful in connecting with their clients (which in turn leads to brand loyalty) and getting rich feedback.
Progressive firms and businessmen are known to use blogging very effectively for various purposes such as topical discussion, sharing updates, getting feedback and as part of content strategy and social media strategy for overall gains. They make the company blog as the hub of content, sometimes more than the website, because of inherent advantages of blogging (i.e. frequent refreshing, engagement, new thoughts, possibility of multiple contributions and crowd-sourcing of content, etc).
For those still skeptical and wanting to know 'what does blogging do for a company', let me share key benefits of business blogging:
- The blog drives traffic to your main website, because the blog is a refreshing content bowl that attracts visitors more than the static website or portal. Blog has been found to work as SEO for the main site.
- The blog helps convert traffic into leads because you are able to use informal and engaging ways to convince the visitor from the stage of giving information to making a buying decision.
- A well-maintained blog (stand-alone or as part of the company portal) shows that your company takes its job seriously. It adds to the authority of the company and (if the blog contains high-quality content) establishes it as a thought-leader in the industry.
- By serving content that has great value, blogging gives long-term results as compared to social networking and email messaging.
- When you use the blog for communication at a deeper level, with loyal customers, contributors, partners etc, it improves loyalty and customer relations.
- Blogging has been found to be one of the most cost-effective ways to promote the business: not by advertising but creating content that promotes itself.
Best practices for business blogging
It has been reported that a number of Fortune 500 companies maintain a blog but they use the blog to occasionally announce something about the company or to promote their products as if copy-pasting their advertisements on the blog. Some companies' blogs were found not updated at all.
* Just having a blog for the sake of it is not enough.
* If you want your company to gain from blogging, you need to make blogging a part of your content marketing and social media strategies.
* You will need to think of ways to make the blog fulcrum of your online content activities. Align blog actities with your marketing plan and get relevant posts written on it.
* Decide what will be the main goal of the blog: to drive traffic? to share information and updates? to announce products? to be a storehouse of technical information on your subject?...
* If you yourself or your company is exceptionally experienced or has done some pioneering work in your field, use the blog to establish yourself as leader and thought-leader.
* If you do not have people to design an appealing blog and then write good stuff (engaging and friendly, interesting, SEO optimized, action oriented), hire people.
The list does not end here. There are hundreds of possible ways you can maintain the blog and harness its potential.
The last point: If you are the owner or head of the firm, please think of opening a blog with your identity either as part of the firm's website/ portal or a stand-alone blog.