There are many more than just five benefits of blogging – but after you read these five, you’re going to realize that you have more than enough information to make sure your efforts continue on.
Today, I am hearing a lot of questions regarding “Should we continue…” and “How can we improve…”, so let’s start off with the benefits and then get into the fundamentals (in a future post).
Benefit #1: Connect & Establish Your Business as a Thought Leader with Your Audience
The vast majority of your target audience is either unaware of your business or has a fuzzy perception of who you are, what you do and how you might benefit them.
That said, they are still out there in the world, gobbling up information (content) so that they have answers to their questions and an understanding of their options.
That’s where you blog content comes in.
They search. Your blog content pops up in their organic search. They like it. They come back next time they have a related question.
They talk to their family, friends, neighbors, co-workers. Those people forward your blog posts to them because they know the blog post addresses an area of interest for this person.
When seen as a thought leader, you are also seen as a solution provider – but don’t push the sale too early in the customer’s buying process because that risks shattering the trust that is developing.
Benefit #2: Boost Organic Search Results & SEO
Search engines want fresh, relevant content to present to the people using the search engines. That’s why consistently producing and publishing blog posts helps Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines find your posts to index and, with the right keyword strategy, your posts show up on search engine results pages (SERPS).
Also, tied to Benefit #1, is the opportunity to receive backlinks as other sites link to your posts – and backlinks are viewed as an endorsement of authority or thought leadership by the search engines which results in even higher listing on SERPS.
Benefit #3: Lead Generation & Building Your Email List
First they come for your posts – then, they decide they would rather subscribe to your email newsletter and have you deliver the news to their Inbox.
That’s the first step down the sales pipeline, baby. Now it’s easier to start and manage an on-going conversation with them because they have made themselves know to you.
Benefit #4: Build Trust Through Value
In the early stages, the buyer (consumer and business) is looking for information. Once they gather enough information, they start to analyze, evaluate and rank their options so they can start to move forward in their decision-making process with a few options that really stand out to them.
Your blog posts will be sharing information they need but also building trust because you are focusing on providing them unique value. In the beginning, it’s information and later it will be through your products and services – but you need to take your time and not rush the buyer for risk of harming the trust that is being built over time.
For example, if you have ever been on LinkedIn before, you have probably been hit with the “Invitation to Connect Sales Pitch.” This is when a total stranger reaches out to you and requests to connect and become part of your LinkedIn network…then, about 1 second after you accept the offer, you get a request for a 10-minute phone call to discuss how this new contact’s product is right for you.
Don’t be that person. Don’t push for a sale as soon as you meet a new buyer. Take time to build trust. Use the time to ask questions, qualifying the buyer and giving you the insights you need to overcome objections.
Benefit #5: Customer Retention, Loyalty and Referrals
You know it – when you help someone and provide them with a unique, valuable solution, they are more likely to come back to you for future needs and even refer others that turn out to be great customers too.
Your blog posts and their delivery via email are a great way to share new opportunities for your customer base to consider – which adds to your ability to increase retention rates and referral rates.
Too many businesses focus on the closing the sale – and then disappear once before the echo of the cash register ringing has disappeared. Blog posts and emails will help you stay in-front of your customer base and continue to reinforce your position in their mind as a thought leader.
And all that leads to more business over a longer period of time, along with referrals.