Picking up from part one, the trend towards owned content over paid distribution is sweeping over all industries. Whether your company is B2C or B2B, provides a product or a service, has a stacked sales team or just a single, heavily-caffeinated employee, your company’s brand will benefit from writing and owning truly engaging content. Running your blog will help build trust and recognition towards your business and help alleviate the turnoff when you do hit customers with those paid marketing campaigns.
Here are some of the reasons why maintaining a blog will help your company’s sales in the long run.
There’s little more powerful than a brand that presents as authentic to its customers. According to the 2017 Cohn and Wolfe’s Authentic Brands study, 91% of consumers globally indicated that they were willing to reward a brand for its authenticity by making a purchase, investment or an endorsement.. In the U.S., 62% of respondents said that would either purchase or be interested in purchasing from a brand that they viewed as authentic. From the study, companies that graced the top ranks include heartwarming household brands like Crayola, Hallmark, and Burt’s Bees, as well as technology giants Intel, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon.
Out of the top 20 companies in the authentic brands ranking, only Rolex did not not sport any blogs associated with their official corporation. I have linked the blogs I found below, noting that some of the motor vehicle brands have blogs based on location (such as Harley Davidson Dallas).
Diving into these company’s blog posts, some companies like Apple and Lego use their blogs as a newsroom display of feature specific content. These companies tend to have an extremely loyal following which anticipates each new product release with vigor. Other companies feature blog articles that are not specific to their core product or service and instead focus on current events, impact, and employees. These companies tend not to have businesses that revolve around major product updates. For example, here is Visa’s blog post on March 21, 2019 in honor of International Women’s day. Nestle had a similar blog post found here. Posting regular blog content not only engages the audience your company already has, but also proves to newcomers that your company actually cares about its values.
However, you don’t have to be a big, established brand to get benefits from authentic content marketing. Antonio Garcia-Martinez, author of Chaos Monkeys, used blogging as a key marketing tool when launching his startup AdGrok. His frank posts on the tech industry, such as Startup Founders and F*ck You Money caught the attention of many in Silicon Valley, earning him an early round of customers and an eventual acquisition by Twitter.
Keeping up a great blog can also be a great way to educate people further about your company and products. Blogs can be used to help the public get a glimpse of your company culture, your mission and values, as well as specific uses for your product or service. Not only is portraying a strong company culture good for both talent recruitment and investment but it also builds a sense of reliability and fulfillment in the customer for supporting a company that is transparent about its inner workings. Customers like to feel like they are stakeholders in your company and will likely do a brief research dive on your company’s website before committing. Transparency of values is not a difficult thing to implement (if your values are good) and can be highly rewarding for the customer to feel bought-in.
The famous Netflix culture statement is a 4,443 word mountain of employee culture at their corporation. Save for the ever-so-eager Netflix engineer interviewee and talent heads at competing companies, probably no one has read the entirety of this statement. Yet it gets impressive amounts of press and buzz over whether it’s the ideal company culture, whether it’s too hardcore, whether your CS major niece should apply there for a software engineering internship over Amazon, etc. Having a public culture deck and owning up to it is kind of genius power move that speaks for itself.
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Among a wealth of other brand (and sales) benefits your business blog can bring you, SEO is a huge factor. I am not going to attempt to explain how Google awards search rankings because I truly have an infantile understanding of it in its full complexity. I will, however throw buzzwords around as if I know what they mean, so bear with me.
SEO awards some combination of backlinks, content freshness, content length, and domain authority according to this article from Blue Corona. Creating a blog, continually writing fresh and +200 word posts, hosting it on your custom domain (like ours at blog.blogwise.co), and linking vigorously back to your main website will help boost your search rankings.
(Figure from “4 New Moments every Marketer Should Know” from Think with Google)
With a rise in “I-want-to-know” moments from consumers according to the Think with Google infographic “4 New Moments every Marketer Should Know”, improving the ranking of your site is crucial. Ranking on search engines definitely is not a simple or direct task, but the more sources of reputable sites your business is associated with (such as your blog, your business LinkedIn and Twitter), the higher the chances you score that first page (or first hit) glory.
With increasing number of companies - both mature and young - investing in content marketing strategies and engaging with their customers in non-trasactional ways, it is important for you to evaluate whether your startup would benefit from building a blog. While there are dozens of software platforms to assist this process, I hope you check out blogwise to see if our content creation suite will be a good fit for you.
Top 20 Authentic Companies: Their Blogs