Given this quality of audience attraction and retention, blogs can be used for various purposes and can also be monetized in several ways. In recent years, we have seen a proliferation of blogs focused on marketing and business, oftentimes one being an online business in itself. If you own a business and also have a blog, this might be a good time to take a look around and maybe try and use it for marketing your business — to drive traffic and conversions on an unprecedented scale.
Are you interested in finding out how you can do that? Keep reading.We will take a look at the history and the present scope of blogs to start with; thereafter, we will discuss why blogging can be an anchor for digital marketing endeavors, followed by a rundown of various ways in which you can turn your blog into a digital marketing vehicle.
So, let’s begin!
Blogs first appeared in the 1990s, when the internet was making slow but steady inroads in various walks of life — from universities to households. “Blog” is a shortened portmanteau for “weblogs”, formed by the combination of the words “web” and “log”.
Initially, blogs were simply used like diary entries — but on the internet; where one would furnish personal accounts of their lives. Blogs have come a long way since then, growing on to include media and writing on news, business, lifestyle, music, movies, food, economics, and so many more topics — you name it!
At first, blogging was only recognized by a few visionaries for the marketing tool it could become. They started with providing information, updates, and news to their customers using their blogs, in a bid to attract more customers to their businesses. It did not pick up all of a sudden, but slowly and steadily started becoming an effective tool for customer attraction.
From there to this day, blogging has undoubtedly transformed itself into one of the most important tools wielded by businesses to drive more traffic to their websites and increase conversion rates. Today, more than half of the world’s population is connected to the internet (approximately 4 billion people), therefore, there couldn’t have been a better time to include blogging in one’s digital marketing strategy.
Statistics have shown that blogging can increase your leads by 67% and also increase the links on your website by about 97%. That said, a blog can direct traffic towards your business’s website as an effective digital marketing strategy is centered around the same. The only prerequisite is to execute a blog well; we shall delve deeper into how we can do so.
What is Blog Marketing and Why focus on it?
Simply put, the process of reaching out to your business's target audience through a blog can be termed blog marketing. It is the process of publicizing, advertising, and promoting a website, a business, a brand, or a service through blogs. The process can include placing ads, giving recommendations and reviews, promoting via entries on third-party blogs, and cross-channel flow of information across multiple blogs.
There are several reasons why you should focus on blog marketing as a part of your digital marketing strategy:
1. Blogs help in attracting new customers
Combining relevant content with SEO strategies such as keywords, meta-descriptions, and headlines, blog posts can help in directing more traffic to your website, thereby increasing the exposure of your brand. In addition, every time a new blog post, a new page gets added to your website — helping with SEO as Google and other search engines get a reason to crawl your website for indexing new content.
2. Blogs help in promotions
Articles (and text in general) are preferred by companies for placing links to their ads, as they hold authority over other media because of greater credibility. Today, creative ways are preferred over traditional methods of advertising, and blogs are nothing but a reflection of one’s creativity. Therefore, a blog can be an effective means of advertising to a modern audience. That said, these articles can be supplemented by other media(or links) such as relevant videos, images, and infographics — to increase their effectiveness.
3. Blogs help in building reputation and authority
When your blog is focused on specific topics that help you retain the audience, you are bound to gain a reputation and become an authority in the said domain. Reputation goes a long way in increasing your credibility because it is preceded by trust.
4. Blogs help in creating brand awareness
Blogs are handy in showing a personal side of your business to your customers and prospects. Posting new and educational content on your blog can make it comprehensive and showcases knowledge about a product or service. In this way, you can reinforce the image of your brand in the market.
Custom content, tailored to your customers is the way to go in this direction. It makes your audience feel more connected, helping them in trusting you and your endorsements. Remember, trust and brand awareness go hand in hand.
5. Blogs help in getting insights into your audience
Writing a business blog requires thinking from the perspective of your readers, which in turn makes you ask yourself questions like what the user might want to know, how to facilitate that knowledge, how to impact the reader to consider taking action based on that information, etc.
Not just that, it is also helpful to gauge analytics for your blog, using tools like Google Analytics — this can help you in figuring out how your audience thinks and feels, what topics are the most popular amongst them, what content do they end up sharing on social media platforms, and other micro details relevant to you.
Now that we have a better understanding of why blogging should be on your digital marketing agenda, we should move on to talking about how you can build on blogging to make it an effective part of your digital marketing strategy.
How can you use blogs in your digital marketing tactics?
Let’s discuss some basic steps that can fetch results for your business blog:
1. Be Clear of Your Purpose
It is vital that you are aware of the goals you need to achieve with your blog. Being aware of the targets starts from having clarity on the purpose of your blog because the purpose directs the type of content you publish. You can have digital marketing goals like:
- Attracting new clients
- Sales increase
- Generating and converting leads
- Creating brand awareness
- Traffic growth on your website
Based on one such goal, or any other, your blog can find its purpose. Once you have settled on deciding the purpose of your blog, you can start publishing relevant content. Your blog is sure to make an impact because you know its purpose —as you are not confused about your goals.
2. Find a Target Audience
The next step is to identify the relevant target audience for realizing your digital marketing goals. The success of a blog is directly proportional to know who are you writing for. The target audience dictates various aspects of your blog like the content published, the format of your content, tone of the blog, etc.
The target audience for your business may not align with the existing target audience that you might have. Therefore, you should take help from tools like Google Analytics to test run a few blog posts and thereby study their performance among various pools of audiences. Doing this gives you an idea about the audience pool that would help you in achieving your goal(s).
3. Identify the Interests of Your Target Audience
Following on the last step, once you have identified your target audience, you must identify their interests. When you know what the readers are looking to read, you can tailor your content around those interests — this ensures sustained engagement on the blog. Having a better idea of how you can help your audience can give you a head start towards making a solid first impression among new users.
4. Produce Content that Is Legitimately Helpful
Not just that, once you understand what your audience wants, you can churn out content that can be truly useful for them — eventually helping your business. Such content is appreciated by readers. If your content can add value to the lives of your audience, then they are sure to come back to your bog. Therefore, rather than staying completely business-centric and pushing content with blatant sales pitches, focus on integrating value into what you publish. The key is to devise ways to incorporate products and services within the content without letting them be the center of attention.
5. Integrate Calls to Action
Always lead your audience to the actions that you want them to take. You can do so by integrating specific calls to action within your content. These calls to action can range from selling a product to signing up for free trials for a service. Once you learn how to strategically place these within your content, you can generate desired results.
6. Build a Network
Building a network can increase the output of your blog manifolds. You can achieve this by connecting with fellow bloggers in your industry — the process is called networking. Reaching out to bloggers for growing your network is a time-intensive task and requires patience but also pays rich dividends.Networking can be beneficial for you in several ways, such as:
- Collaboration opportunities with successful bloggers
- Guest posting on popular blogs
- Generating more links to your blog
- Getting more shares on social media platforms for your content
- Multiplying your blog’s overall reach
7. Keep doing it
If you are looking for overnight success let me get this straight: it is not going to happen, and you are wasting your time. Like every good thing in life, patience and persistence are the keys to unlocking success with your blog. It will take time before you start seeing tangible benefits coming out of your blog because making it popular requires patience.
Building a name and sustaining an audience will require continuous efforts from your end, including the regular posting of quality content on the blog. If you can wait and are ready to put in efforts, don’t worry, you will see growth in due time, and it will be significant. The bottom line is: stay put, and keep doing it!
Some Tips to Make Your Blog Stand Out from The Rest
- Maintain frequency in your posting habits. Post regularly without a break to earn loyalty from your target audience.
- Give your readers clear actions to perform so that your business can stay on track to achieving the goals you have set. Integrate these actions within your content.
- Work on SEO and stay up to date with the keywords that you use. Using vague and irrelevant keywords can dent the prospects of your blog landing in the top search results. Take the help of various digital marketing services available in the market to avoid any unnecessary mistakes.
- Construct headlines that are enticing enough for the audience to click on.
- Work on boosting your backlink profile to get an upper hand over your competitors.
- Make sure that your blog is visually appealing. Looks matter. Nobody likes to stay on a bland-looking and visually boring blog.