Many within business circles doubt the importance of blogging marketing. Some still think in the terms of what the blog’s initial use was. The term blog comes from the combination of “web” and “log” or “weblog,” and was eventually shortened to “blog.” In its beginnings, in the Nineties, blogs were primarily personal online diaries. And if you think exclusively in those terms, how can you use such a tool for marketing?
On the other hand, those doubting the effectiveness of blogging marketing say they think in current terms. As The Balance Small Business points out, blogs now “include writing and media on topics such as news, politics, music, food, business, and much more.” These days practically everybody who’s online has and writes a blog. The line of thinking here goes that in such a setting, the blog scene is oversaturated and blogging marketing can only be a waste of money.
But is that so? And, what encompasses the term blogging marketing?
Actually, we can start with the definition of marketing here. According to First Site Guide, “the marketing process involves a business effort to reach out to as many people as possible. The result of well thought out marketing strategy should be a higher number of customers. It makes it possible for the business to grow, increase profits, establish brand recognition, and give value to its clients.”
Blog marketing is the process of reaching your business’ target market through the use of a blog. “Blog marketing includes the creation of textual, audio, or video content on your blog site. It’s a practice that has a direct impact on a brand’s discoverability.”
As TBSB adds, many people have created businesses from blogging all on their own, as opposed to having a business first and then blogging.
Essential elements of blogging marketing
What can be included in blogging marketing? Practically, anything. A blog and/or blog posts can be in a form of text, audio, or video content. Blog’s open form gives possibilities that can range from direct advertising to presentation of reports, press releases up to the formulation of new business ideas and projects.
It even makes it possible that the business itself does not have to use its own resources for a blog. It can outsource its marketing, or it can use blogs run by others through affiliate marketing.
Why use such possibilities? As First Site Guide (above) points out, no matter how good your service or product is, it is essential to put yourself in a position to be more discoverable. “When a person is searching online, websites that offer quality content related to phrases typed into the search bar will emerge in the top results. It allows brands to increase their visibility and search engine traffic.”
But then, you can also check some of the blogging statistics. For example, as one internet researcher points out,
- an overwhelming 77% of Internet users regularly read blog posts;
- 65% of content marketers say they have a documented content strategy;
- 71% of B2B buyers consume blog content during their buyer journey;
- Blogging influences 6% of eCommerce sales (12% for businesses that blog regularly);
- Content marketing is 62% cheaper than traditional marketing;
- Content marketing produces 3X more leads than the paid search;
- 60% of people purchase a product after originally reading a blog post about it.
To put it succinctly, blogging experts HubSpot point out four benefits of blogging marketing:
- It helps drive traffic to the website that uses it;
- Higher traffic can easily convert into more leads;
- Blogging marketing helps establish authority;
- In the end, all of the above brings long-term results.
What are the pros of blogging marketing?
Some of the statistics presented above can already give you an indicator what are the pros and benefits of blogging marketing.
- If blogging marketing is 62% cheaper than traditional marketing, it is obvious that it is inexpensive to start and run. The costs of setting up a domain name and web hosting are quite low. For them, you get a powerful marketing tool.
- Blogging platforms offer ease of use. Quite a few blogging platforms operate on the principle of cut and paste. Often, even for absolute beginners, it takes an hour or two to set up a blog.
- Blogging marketing builds website traffic. As long as your blog constantly has new content, online visitors will have a reason to return. It can be updates, new products, or just tips and tricks.
- Search Engine Rank Improvement. This is one of the reasons many businesses and entrepreneurs use blogging. The higher their SEO ranking is, the more visitors their web pages have.
- Gains trust and credibility. Besides introducing new products, for example, presenting business models, ideas or introducing entrepreneurs, gives online users a better idea of who they are dealing with. Through a blog, you can prove your expertise in a certain subject matter.
- Direct conversation with your market. Sure, everybody uses social media for direct communication. But blogs offer that possibility too. This is a basis for building trust and rapport. It also gives the possibility to get feedback and present efficient customer service.
- In the end, blogging marketing provides more revenue opportunities. Blogs have the possibility to accept additional advertising or get sponsorships. They can also promote affiliates, all of which can provide an additional source of revenue, particularly for smaller businesses.
And what are the cons?
As with any concept, with pros blogging marketing offers, there are cons too.
- First of all, building good content for a blog takes time and effort. You don’t just drop a piece of a text and few images or a video and think it will do the job. A good, effective blog requires careful planning, and that in itself takes both time and effort.
- You cannot expect immediate results from blogging. If done right, they will come gradually. Not every entrepreneur is willing to pay for a writer, designer, or video expert, only to see the fruits of such an investment in a year or so.
- Blogging requires consistency. An inconsistent blog is very often a worse thing than no blog at all. If there are no regular posts, if there are amplitudes in the qualities of those posts, visitors are going to notice that easily. And inconsistency certainly does not bode well for trust and long-term relationships.
- Blogging marketing needs to be marketed too. For blogging marketing to work, people have to visit the site. But to do that they have to be aware that such a blog exists. So, a prospective blogger has to know what is his target market and how to attract visitors to the blog.
Tips on how to do it
In brief, you may have your blog up and running in minutes, but getting it to reap benefits and rewards can take both time and effort. Still, in the end, those benefits and rewards can be quite substantial, even for big businesses.
So how should any prospective marketing really work? Here are some brief tips:
- Prepare a detailed blog marketing plan. What are your goals with a marketing blog? Are you just going to provide direct advertising, or are you going to diversify your content with other useful information, like tips and resources? The more diversified your blog is, the more visitors it will have. You also have to decide how often will you update the blog. As you may expect, more updates more visitors, particularly returning ones.
- Creating the blog itself – You have to carefully choose a blogging platform that suits your business the best. Free blogging platforms may be free, but they usually do not cover all the needs of a business. When creating the site, you should use the same logo as exists on your company website. Consistency is essential.
- The moment your blog goes live online, it should have content to show. Quite a bit of it at that. Readers who see only one or two posts might never come back. After an initial abundance of content, you can switch to the posting plan you have in mind.
- Advertise your blog through your social media outlets and vice versa. Mutual integration of social media and blogs is easy, but also very effective at the same time.
- Always reply to comments. Feedback always gives positive results. Of course, that excludes spam posts which you should delete as they come.
- Blogs encourage email signups. Offering subscriptions to new posts is a very effective tool.
Taking it to another level
It is quite obvious that the pros of blogging marketing outweigh its cons. The numbers present quite a telling story and setting up a blog and running it may seem like a relatively easy task. At the same time, the costs are much lower than for some other forms of marketing. So, blogging marketing is certainly one of the paths to take.
But, as noted, you need careful planning, and reaping rewards might take some time. Latter in particular, if the quality and consistency of the posts are not high usually associated with business blogs.
Still, you can overcome these obstacles by engaging professionals, particularly freelancers.
Have in mind that you can see the true effects of blogging marketing if it is of high quality. This means that it not only has to have good sales points but to be informative and entertaining. Of curse, it has to have consistent new content that is both audibly and visually attractive. To achieve that, help from qualified professionals can be essential. BunnyStudio can certainly help you in that respect. From setting up and design of your site to writing its content. That also includes specialty tasks like audio ( say, podcasts), video, or other specialty tasks.