"Why do I need a blog?" It seems I get some variation of this question from one of my clients nearly every day. They hear that blogging "is the thing to do" but are not sure of the tangible benefit.
Part of the hesitancy is their reluctance to embrace the new reality of marketing in general and content marketing in particular. They have yet to realize that customers today want to be informed and educated and not simply "sold to."
Another reason is that they're overwhelmed with what is already on their plate and aren't thrilled about adding another task to their "to do" list, especially one that requires an ongoing commitment.
My answer is always the same.
Their customers want to hear from them in ways that they haven't in the past and blogging is the key first step. More ominously, I warn them that the new interactive requirement is not going away and although they may resist, their competitors certainly won't.
They need to get in or they will be left behind.
Here are the five major reasons why they - and you - should be blogging.
1. Blogging increases traffic to your website - The first step in making a sale today is getting people to your site. Regardless of how visually attractive your site may be, people won't be going there unless there's a compelling reason for them to do so. According to the Pew Research Center, one in three internet users read blogs. Providing a well-written blog that informs is a key factor in getting people to visit.
2. Blogging sets you up as an authority - You obviously are competent in your field or you wouldn't be successful. Share your knowledge with your prospects and customers and they will come to look at you as an expert in the field. When it comes to their buying decisions, most people want to be comfortable before parting with their hard-earned cash. They want to buy from people who know what they are doing. Sharing authoritative content will set that tone.
3. Blogging provides a personality - People buy from people. Whether dealing with a one person operation or a multi-site global organization, your prospect's buying decision ultimately comes down to one person buying from another. Producing a well crafted blog provides a voice and personality that will make your customers more comfortable doing business with you.
4. Blogging opens a dialogue - The days of hiding in the back office or behind a monolithic impersonal website are long gone. At least from successful companies they are. Customers want to have input rather than a lecture. Your blog, while informing, can also solicit feedback from your customers - feedback that is crucial to developing and growing your business.
5. Blogging works - There's growing data which shows that posting regular blogs with informative content ultimately generates incremental sales. According to research done by Hubspot covering 2011-2012, companies that blog attracted 55% more visitors to their sites. That same research showed that 46% of those companies generated revenue as a result of their blogs. According to a University of Texas report, the top 50,000 blogs generated $500 million in revenue.
What do you say? Are you blogging? If not, why not?