Today’s consumers are nothing like they used to be two decades ago. Gone are the days when people would buy a product just because they stumble upon an ad on a billboard or TV. Nowadays, consumers not only want but expect, to be educated on the matter before they go on purchasing a product. And while education-based marketing is not something entirely new, the means by which brands do it have changed significantly.
Statistics show 77% of internet users read blogs, which makes blogging a solid strategy to build authority, raise brand awareness, and attract leads. This is why more and more businesses started integrating blog posts into their marketing strategy, and the results speak for themselves. Close to 80% of companies integrating blogging into their marketing strategy reported it helped them acquire new customers and deemed blogging critical to their business now.
But in order to be successful, blogging needs to have a purpose and a plan. Just as any business activity you are accustomed to. Otherwise, you will be investing time and resources into something that won’t generate the desired results.
Below, we will discuss more about the benefits of content marketing and blogging, as well as outline some simple methods to integrate blogging into your existing strategy.
How content marketing fits into the customer journey
As we already established, blog content can be used to inform customers and help them make an educated decision prior to purchasing a product. But did you know you can use content to map out the customer journey from start to end? This is called content mapping and revolves around understanding your customers on a deeper level so that you can create content suited for each stage of the customer journey.
Very few customers go straight from discovering a product to buying it. Usually, after a consumer finds out about your product, they spend some time on your website, think about the product for a while (days, weeks, or even months), stumble upon a retargeting ad, and only after that, they buy. The key takeaway here is that people can take a lot of time before they actually buy a product, and you need to be there to guide them.
Content marketing usually sits at the top of a funnel strategy, helping you build brand awareness and engagement, but how can you get it to help you convert?
The first step is to learn everything you can about your customers through market research and then create a customer persona, which should include general demographic information, their goals and pain points, their main sources of information, their role in the purchase process, and their primary objections. Once you determine who you are selling to, you can use content to guide them through every stage of the sales process: awareness, consideration, and decision.
Why blogging should not miss from your marketing strategy
Now that we established how content fits into the customer journey, it’s time to discuss how blogging can take your brand to the next level.
- Building brand awareness
Blog content can help you build your brand and create awareness by telling your customers who you are, what you stand for, and how you can add value to their life. Make sure you post on a regular basis and ensure the content stays true to your values, so that you can create a unified brand image.
- Increase authority
People usually buy from brands they trust, so if you want to increase sales, you will need to show them that you are a trusted authority in the field. The best way to do so is by blogging on topics related to your niche and ensuring that you only post original and well-researched content.
- Increased traffic from search engines
If you are not familiar with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), you need to get up to speed right away. Search engines crawl the web and, based on keywords, determine which results to show when someone searches something online. Blogging can help you appear in search results for more keywords and gain organic traffic.
- Developing a community
Consumers love companies that do more than just sell products to them. Through blog content, you can spark up conversations and engage people, developing a community that values your brand principles and becomes a loyal customer base.
- Generating organic leads
This is one is perhaps the most rewarding benefit of a solid content strategy. Through blogging, you can transform website visitors into leads, which have a much bigger potential to turn into paying customers. Find ways to integrate lead magnets in your blogging strategy, so that you convince people to actually give up their contact information.
How to integrate blogging into your strategy
A good content marketing strategy will help you position yourself as an authority in the field, engage readers, build brand authority, and generate more leads. Here is how you can ensure its success:
- Write on topics that your consumers find engaging
If you want your blog posts to be effective, you need topics that your audience finds interesting. Stick to your industry, so that you can easily associate the content with your products or services. Stay away from general articles that don’t provide insightful information and always consider topics that relate to your audience’s main pain points
- Deliver value with each blog post
Don’t commit to writing blog posts just for the sake of doing it. Ensure the information you post is valuable to your customers, so that they can start perceiving you as an authority in the field and not just another brand that does marketing because it has to.
- Speak with your audience
Your readers will use the comment section to tell you what they think, but if you want to keep the conversation going, you need to challenge your audience. Ask questions throughout your article and invite people to comment, then ensure you respond to their comments and acknowledge their efforts.
- Reward your most engaged readers
One way to generate leads is by offering rewards to those who are willing to enter your list. Invite readers to subscribe to your website to keep up with your posts and, once they do so, offer something in return. It can be an exclusive e-book, customized content, or even discounts.