It’s fashionable in the marketing world to latch on to the latest trends and fads – we’ve seen this time and time again with marketers eagerly trying the various new social media apps and other hot flavor-of-the-month online channels. But one area of digital marketing that is often overlooked, in part because it’s been around for so long, is the relatively “old-fashioned” and straightforwardly simple arena of blogging.
Blogging doesn’t get as much media buzz as these other newer app-driven methods of digital marketing, but it still packs a powerful punch. Publishing a blog is still one of the most effective and long-lasting ways for companies to create a unique niche, build their own audience, and stand out from the competition. In a world of ever increasing visual clutter and digital noise, blogging gives your company a chance to send a strong signal of smart content and forward thinking industry leadership.
Here are a few key reasons why blogging is not dead – and why, in fact, the true potential of blogging for business is just barely beginning to be discovered:
Content Marketing is More Important than Ever Before
In a way, it’s not fair to say that “blogging is dead,” because what used to be known merely as “blogging” is now falling under the larger umbrella of content marketing. More companies are investing in content marketing to drive their overall B2B lead generation strategy, and blogging is a crucial part of that.
Statistics cited by Curata say that 70% of marketers do not currently have an integrated content strategy, but by 2016, 60% of companies are expected to hire a Chief Content Officer or other top executive to have responsibilities for content marketing strategy at the highest levels of the organization. This is a good sign that writing blog articles, doing guest blog posts, and other forms of content marketing are going to be increasingly top-of-mind for companies of all sizes.
Blogging Builds Sales Relationships
For many customers, their first point of interaction with your company is not with a salesperson anymore – it’s with your website. Blogging is still a great resource to educate customers and assist customers with their research – one of the best ways to learn about a company’s philosophy, thought process and overall brand attributes is by reading the company blog.
According to Forrester Research, 74% of business buyers “conduct more than half of their research online before making an offline purchase,” and according to stats from Gartner Research, by 2020, customers will be able to manage 85% of their relationship with a company without ever talking to a human. Having an up-to-date, well developed blog is a great way to build customer relationships without ever being on the phone with a customer.
Blogging Generates Cheap Sales Leads
Every B2B sales organization is constantly searching for new sales leads. But instead of relying solely on the traditional methods of cold calling, advertising, direct mail and other outbound marketing, blogging gives your company a chance to get sales leads from inbound marketing.
According to stats cited by iconsive.com, inbound sales leads are much more cost-effective than outbound lead generation – the average cost of an inbound sales lead is $143 per sales lead, or about half the average cost of outbound marketing.
Blogging Enables Visual Content
One of the great things about blogging is that it’s a versatile, adaptable method of communication – you can do blog posts that are heavily text-based or blog posts that are much more visual. Recently, visual content has become more important in content marketing, since people are more likely to engage with (and share) content that has a strong visual component.
Blogging is not just about writing – your blog can also be a repository of colorful graphs, charts, infographics and embedded videos. Don’t feel like you’re limited to “text only” – blogging has evolved as a marketing medium and there are lots of ways to be creative and have fun with it.
Clearly, blogging has come a long way from the early days when it was a heavily text-focused medium. Companies are still learning how to utilize blog platforms for their marketing strategies, but there are many signs that blogging will continue to be ever-more-important for B2B lead generation and overall content marketing strategy. Instead of paying for attention with traditional advertising, creating and maintaining a company blog will give your organization a powerful platform of “owned media” that can pay dividends for years to come.
Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author, and not necessarily the views of Caphyon, its staff, or its partners.