The business benefits of blogging – and how to sell them to your boss

As a marketing manager, you know that creating and maintaining a good, effective blog for a business isn’t easy. It takes time, thought, skill and budget. You also know that the business benefits of blogging absolutely outweigh the costs – but getting your boss on board is another matter.

Here’s a refresher to help you state your case – with metrics you can track to help demonstrate the return your blog will be able to generate for the business.

1) Driving traffic to your website

There are many places we can create and host content these days, from social media to publishing platforms like Medium. These all have their advantages but there’s a key problem – you’re not in control of those platforms. As Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, says: “Don’t build your content on rented land.”

Because your blog sits on your website, you’re in control. It also makes it a great tool for attracting visitors. This can be done in different ways (e.g. via search, social media, or direct outreach) and is useful for a number of reasons, not least of which is that the more people you attract to your site, the more people you are likely to convert in some way.

What to track: Look at which page your website visitors land on first. If the percentage arriving through your blog increases, you know it’s doing its job attracting people to your site. You can also set up Google Search Console to show you which blogs are attracting the most visits from different keywords.

2) Improving your website’s SEO

Even if your primary means of attracting people to your blog is via social media, publishing blog content on your website will improve your site’s SEO in a number of ways:

  • Rich in key words: As you build up your blog content, you will naturally be building up the keywords that people use to find your website, especially long-tail keyword phrases, which have lower search volumes and competition but better conversion rates.
  • More indexed pages: Simply by adding to your website regularly via your blog, you’ll be signalling to Google that your site is an active and relevant one.
  • Increase dwell time: Great content will keep people reading. This increases their dwell time, something search engines look to as part of deciding how authoritative the site is.
  • Opportunity for internal links: By linking your blogs internally (e.g. by creating a series), you can further increase the dwell time.
  • Opportunity for backlinks: This is where other sites link to yours, increasing your Domain Authority (DA). Great content is more likely to attract backlinks than mediocre content.

What to track: There are lots of ways to judge how successful your content is for SEO, from where you rank for a given keyword to the volume of organic traffic you get.

3) Creating a source of content for your social media channels

A blog is foundational content, giving you something you can share and repurpose to engage with your audience across your social channels.

Think about this article, for example. It wouldn’t take all that much work to turn it into a series of social posts, each featuring one benefit. This could take the form of a visual carousel on Instagram, for example.

You can draw out and share a single quote or statistic, use the premise of the blog to pose a question for your audience, or link it to a sales message. And you can mix up the formatting too, recording the key message in audio or video form.

What to track: To showcase how your blog supports your social strategy, you could track how much time you spend creating social content, as well as engagement levels.

“Blogging isn’t just about generating lots of attention at the top of the funnel – it’s also about helping to close the deal once your audience is further along their buyer journey.”

4) Converting traffic to leads

According to DemandMetric, companies that blog get an average of 67% more leads than those that don’t. Wherever a particular blog post is positioned in terms of the buyer journey, it can help your audience move one step along with an appropriate call to action.

If your audience is still unclear about their problem – what the RH&Co blogging framework calls ‘in the dark’ – you would start with softer CTAs encouraging them to read another post, sign up to a newsletter or follow you on social media.

Later, you might suggest that they download a piece of even more valuable content in return for their email address. And by the time you get to the ‘almost ready’ stage, you can step your CTA up and recommend that your reader books a demo, contacts your team or buys your product.

What to track: Think about which metrics are most important to you. This could include newsletter sign ups, lead magnet downloads, demos booked and so one.

5) Supporting your sales team

Blogging isn’t just about generating lots of attention at the top of the funnel – it’s also about helping to close the deal once your audience is further along their buyer journey.

Bottom of funnel content includes objection busters and process posts. As an example, we have a post titled How can you blog for my business if you’re not an expert in my subject?. We know this has helped several marketing managers get buy-in from their boss in order to bring us in to work with them.

Bottom of the funnel content can be shared on social media but it’s particularly effective when used proactively by your sales team to help convert leads into sales.

What to track: It’s rare that a blog post will close a deal in isolation so your best bet here is to get qualitative feedback from your sales team. They’ll be able to tell you whether they’re getting good results from the content they’re sharing.

6) Establishing expertise

The best way to convince someone of a business’s expertise is to demonstrate it. A blog is a platform on which to showcase the knowledge your subject matter experts have.

Blogs that help establish expertise include educational and problem-solving ‘how to’ posts and opinion-filled thought leadership. Over time, creating this kind of original blog content will establish your brand’s expert reputation, building trust with your audience.

What to track: This is a much harder one as a) it’s just not that easy to quantify expertise and b) it’s a longer term strategy. Some indicators of expertise, however, could include press coverage, invitations for speaking engagements, and backlinks (which in turn is great for SEO).

7) Attracting talent

This one might not be on your radar but it’s a super powerful benefit, especially in competitive employment markets like tech. 

If you’re on a recruitment drive, your blog can be a great tool for broadcasting your company culture and values – and how they play out in real terms. This not only makes you more attractive to the right people, but can weed out the wrong ones before you get started on the CV sifting.

What to track: This is another tricky one to get definitive numbers for but, if you link culture posts to CTAs directing the reader to a careers page or job advert, you can set click throughs as a KPI. That said, don’t dismiss the qualitative data – several of our clients have had candidates referencing the blogs we’ve created for them in interviews, so listen out for that. 

One final business benefit of blogging

The great thing about blogging is that it has a cumulative effect. It won’t quickly go out of date like a social post, or need to have more money ploughed into it to keep it generating results like PPC. 

Once you’ve pressed publish, it’s there for good. And as you publish your 10th blog, you will still be getting traffic from your first, with no additional effort.

Of course, generating this kind of value does rest on being committed to blogging as a long term strategy. You may get some results from publishing a handful of posts and then stopping but blogging isn’t a quick fix.

Online marketing guru Neil Patel says you need to give it at least 6 to 9 months, while Joe Pulizzi – who founded the Content Marketing Institute – writes in his book, Content Inc, that it’s more like 12 to 18 months.

So when you’re presenting your marketing strategy and looking for sign off on a budget for blogging, be sure to set the right expectations. But have confidence too. Blogging is a hugely powerful tool that will generate demonstrable results in time.

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