The Numbers Don’t Lie
First, the facts: 1) Blogs generate 67% more leads than other content marketing; 2) 81% of online consumers trust information from a blog; 3) 61% of those consumers have made a purchase based on a blog; and 4) 60% feel more positive about a company after reading its blog.
Why are blogs so powerful? There are several reasons, which we’ll get to, but let’s start with a scenario.
A Blog Awakening
Mr. and Mrs. Brown have just become grandparents for the first time. It seems to them, in all their years of parenting wisdom, that their grandchild sleeps too much…like, 22 hours a day. They’re worried, but they don’t want to be those grandparents – the ones who stick their noses where they don’t belong. Besides, the baby’s parents aren’t exactly complaining about getting a full night’s sleep.
To gain reliable information about their new grandchild’s sleeping habits, the Browns search online with such questions as “How much is too much sleep for a newborn?” or “Can a baby sleep too much?” or (if they’re really thinking ahead) “Will a baby who sleeps too much become a lazy adult?”.
Bang! Answers, answers, answers. Some are scary (we all know those “Dr. Google” searches!), but most assure the Browns that excessive sleeping in a newborn is, in fact, quite normal and even healthy. Whew. And bless that baby supplies website whose blog offered them the most complete, authoritative information on babies and sleep.
Say, after a few months, when their grandchild proves that she is indeed capable of opening her eyes for more than two hours a day, the Browns are looking for the crib they offered to buy when baby was old enough to move from her bassinet. Where do they go? You got it – the baby supplies website that eased their insomnia over their grandchild’s hypersomnia.
Benefits of the Blog
• Website Traffic. Having a blog is a very inexpensive way to drive traffic to your website. In our scenario above, the grandparents were drawn to – not pushed into – the baby supplies website because of a need for information. The company’s blog provided it, without a hint of a sales pitch.
• Search Engine Recognition. The dynamic nature of blogging will keep your website active and ranking healthily among search engines. Most website pages are relatively static, not changing much, but each blog post creates another indexed page on your site that is recognized by search engines.
• Social Media Sharing. If it’s good, your blog content – which should be either informational, educational, inspirational, entertaining, or a combination thereof, and never sales-oriented – can be shared on your social media (repurposing your blog content) and is likely to be shared on consumers’ social media, driving even more traffic to your site. If you enable comments on your blog, you’ll gain even greater consumer engagement and insight into your audience.
• Trust and Authority. People search the Web for three basic reasons: “Answer Me” (46%); “Educate Me” (26%) and “Inspire Me” (28%). Keeping our scenario in mind, if you can answer your customers’ questions and satisfactorily address their concerns, you are an authority in their eyes, especially because the blog is owned content that comes from you, not a third party.
• Lead Generation. Think again of the grandparents in our scenario, who bought a crib from the baby supplies company whose blog provided such valuable information…not about cribs, but about babies and sleep. It should be clear why that company was the one they chose to purchase from. That’s the real power of the blog.
• Compounding Results. Without delving too deeply into the forest of evergreen and decaying blog posts (click here for more about compounding blogs), suffice it to say that the more blogs you write that are relevant anytime, the more impact they’ll have over longer periods, picking up steam, rather than dying off. Blogs you wrote weeks or months ago are still ranking in search engines and still earning you consumers’ trust and prospective business.
Relationships: A Real-Life Blog Story
Let’s leave our scenario behind to offer a real-life example of the power of blog, whereby a man named John Thorsen came to learn about one of his ancestors. Thorsen is a Danish American whose random Google search for his great-great grandmother, Emma Thorsen, resulted in his discovery of a popular weekly blog associated with the senior living community Emma founded 125 years ago. He had no idea of the influence of his relative or what she accomplished, and his life and family are newly enriched by what he’s learned. Talk about the power of a blog! While Thorsen’s case is unique, a regular blog can capture and hold a faithful audience following for years to come.
Blogging is influential and affordable. How many content marketing strategies can you say that about? However, (there’s always a “however,” right?), it can be time-consuming and difficult to discern which topics to discuss. Blogging also requires skilled writing and proficiency with SEO (search engine optimization). The right marketing team can help plug you into the Power of the Blog.
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