How Businesses Should Use a Blog

Justin Lambert

Written by Justin Lambert on Wed, Oct 01, 2014

The venerable corporate blog stands under the spotlight at the International Content Marketing Museum*, beneath a glass dome, on a gleaming copper pedestal, with red velvet rope surrounding it and millions of marketers oohing and ahhing on all sides.

After all, what other tool can match the blog's versatility, longevity, and effectiveness? Or even come close to its ease and simplicity?

It truly has earned its central place in the history of content marketing.

But it's far from retirement!

Use_a_Business_Blog_to_Boost_Website_TrafficIn fact, dissemeninating a marketing message is a powerful reason why businesses should blog. Blogs are more versatile than ever before, with every major blogging platform offering a host of themes, plugins, and options to optimize any sort of text, image, audio, or video content.

They serve as the driving force behind billions of social shares, and as the digital hubs at the center of millions of inbound marketing strategies.

But, even with all this under the corporate blog's belt, you may be wondering, “Why blog for business?” It's still a good question.

So, rather than trotting out a trite list of business blogging tips you've probably already heard, let me tell you a story instead. It's about a business that had a blog they didn't use much, and what happened when they decided to start using it right.

Case Study: A Training Company That Was Being Schooled

This was no fledgling startup. It was not a tiny company struggling to make a name for itself.

This was the leading training organization in a very small but popular niche industry, with over ten years' history of massive strategic growth and a well-respected reputation for unmatched skill and service.

But their website was netting just 15 unique pageviews per day! And those visitors were hanging out an average of just 23 seconds. Unless, of course, they were among the 88% who bounced after their arrival.

That means that a number of competing companies with less experience and less brand equity, but with more effective digital marketing plans, were stealing the limelight from this training powerhouse. And they decided to turn that frown upside down.

When SPROUT Content was called in, we set about analyzing the wealth of content the company already had in their archives. We had a series of investigative discussions with key members of the executive team and professional trainers with years of field experience. And, we spent a good deal of time on keyword research, competitive analysis, and persona development.

Then, we went back to the company with the results of all that hard work: (you guessed it) they needed to improve  their business blog.

Of course, there's a lot more to the overall strategy: we've developed infographic concepts with them, we've incorporated a three-pronged social media strategy to improve content distribution and networking opportunities, and we're in the midst of helping harness the value of their powerful video backlog.

But the focal point of our entire content marketing strategy for this client is their blog.

And what's been the result?

  • The site now averages 1400 daily unique pageviews – around a 9000% increase
  • The average visitor explores the site for 1:50 rather than the measly 0:23 seconds they stuck around before
  • The bounce rate has gone down from 88% to under 50% because visitors have a lot more to warrant their attention

All of this was achieved with eight posts per month, devised strategically to appeal to the client's target personas and the search terms they're likely to use. All the topics have been generated through casual conversation with client team members who live and work hip-deep in their niche every day, and every post is strategically linked internally to landing pages and deeper-funnel content they already had on hand.

So, getting back to your question, “Why blog for business?” Here are those business blogging tips you've heard before:

  • Set up your corporate blog as the hub of your inbound marketing efforts.
  • Use sound principles to develop a bullet-proof content marketing strategy.
  • Post stellar content consistently, focusing on appealing to target personas.
  • Go into your business blogging efforts with a long-term view.

The results will come, as our experience with this training organization has proven.

Want more information on how a blog and other inbound marketing techniques can boost your business? Learn how to generate leads from your website in our free ebook.

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