In the world of digital marketing, where tactics and trends change so fast they can induce whiplash, blogs can feel like a relic of yesteryear (1994 to be exact, according to HubSpot). Here at Informatics, our Digital Marketing team is often asked if blogs are still relevant for a modern world where video is king. "Is anyone even going to read this?" is a common refrain.
Don't put down that metaphorical pencil just yet. Whether you're chugging along on a decades-old company blog or considering a new one for your startup, we're here to tell you that blogs are still essential tools for creating a complete online presence and driving website traffic.
To put it even clearer: Yes, you need a blog.
While video has definitely soared in popularity, the blog remains a staple of any digital marketing strategy worth its salt. Here are some recent stats that bear that out:
- 77% of internet users read blogs (OptinMonster)
- Small businesses with blogs generate 126% more leads (DBanzon Design)
- B2B marketers who use blogs receive 67% more leads (Hubspot)
- 68.8% of the most active bloggers say they see strong results from publishing frequently (Express Writers)
- Long-form content gets an average of 77.2% more links than short articles (Backlinko)
These numbers reinforce the fact that blogs generate both readers and leads, but there are a couple other important contributions they make to your brand:
Blogs Can Build a Healthy, Thriving Site
Sure, you can technically maintain a healthy site without a blog. If your pages load quickly and your links aren’t broken, you’re probably in okay shape. People who already know your brand and are determined to find you will probably find you.
If you want your website to thrive, however, that’s another story. Thriving means attracting new users daily and growing your conversion rate. It means having a higher domain authority than your competition, so Google and Bing show your site to potential customers first.
Achieving these things will require you to be constantly generating and optimizing content that appeals to search engines and readers. The most effective and efficient way to do that is through regular blog posts.
Here at Informatics, our content team puts a lot of effort into our client blogs to make sure their sites thrive. We conduct thorough keyword research quarterly to determine which topics users are searching for. Then, what we choose to write about and which words we use are fueled by past blog performance, highly searched phrases, and emerging trends. To boost domain authority, we make sure we're internally and externally linking.
Blogs Keep Your Audience Engaged
Today’s marketers must go beyond simply publicizing a company's products and services to attract loyal customers. A survey by Salesforce found that 80% of customers said the experience provided by a company is as important as what they sell. This means brands need to be providing added value, or reasons to engage with you before and after a purchase.
One of the most effective ways to do this is through your blog. Think of consistent and relevant content as the breadcrumbs that keep your audience coming back. Here’s how your blog can provide added value:
By Generating Ideas
Idea-generating blogs provide helpful suggestions related to what you sell. The key is to use your products to paint a picture for your audience. For example, a company specializing in outdoor gear might create a blog on “Five Essentials for Whitewater Rafting.”
IKEA’s blog, IKEA Ideas, has earned a loyal following among its audience. Users can click into room categories and find ideas that suit their unique vision, whether that be a “light, airy bedroom that’s an oasis of calm” or a “sustainable bedroom with timeless style.” This type of format serves as a resource and keeps IKEA’s audience coming back whenever they need inspiration.
By Being the Go-To-Source
Consider explanatory blogs your opportunity to showcase your knowledge and build industry credibility. Especially great for service industries, these types of blogs are typically written by experts and aim break down complex topics or information. For example, an insurance company could write a blog on “How to Calculate Replacement Cost.”
Explanatory blogs can go beyond terms and processes, of course. Since the average person doesn't sift through statutes, court rulings, or research papers, industry experts commonly use blogs to make new laws, regulations, and findings more understandable. If you’re looking for a prime example, check out the Orlando Health Children’s Hospital blog. They keep up with pediatric research studies so that parents can consider them their go-to source for information on childhood illnesses.
By Appealing to Lifestyles
Considered a “softer” blog, lifestyle blogs offer “slice-of-life” content your audience can relate and aspire to. The goal is to build an emotional connection and improve brand sentiment. This type of content typically doesn’t include a hard sell, but it does promote shares, comments, and overall awareness.
Lifestyle blogs work best when your demographic has a narrowly defined interest or attribute, like weightlifting or being an educator. The Pioneer Woman brand sells decorative cookware, but its blog posts frequently center on recipes, DIY crafts, and fashion trends. Even though users aren’t “adding to cart” right after reading, they’re building a very real connection with the brand that will lead to long-term loyalty.
If you find yourself struggling to generate engaging content, know the content team at Informatics is happy to dive in. We'll show you how to craft blogs that pull in users or we can generate them for you!
Ready to drive traffic to your blog?
Our content team is ready to write!