More businesses are using blogging as a way to stretch their marketing dollars. Instead of spending thousands of dollars for pay per click ads or even (gasp!) print ads, marketers are beginning to understand that blog posts have a greater shelf life & longevity, and create the opportunity to really share their knowledge and expertise.
Here are just five reasons the blog post is the new ad unit, inspired by Hubspot's list:
1. Search engines love blogs.
Spending time to write an interesting blog post filled with relevant keywords increases the chances of it being found online again and again. Ads expire, blogs don't.
2. Social media spreads the word.
Adding social media sharing buttons (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.) to your posts makes it easier for readers to share your content and extend the reach of your blog. You can't share a pay-per-click ad.
3. Blogs can easily be found later.
When you create a blog post, it comes with a permanent internet address (called a permalink) that allows readers to bookmark it for quick reference later. It can be next to impossible to find an online advertisement that you saw last week.
As you blog, you are creating a "backlist" which is a history of your work or a compilation of all of the blogs your brand has published. Those older articles can still be found in search engine results, bookmarks and favorites lists. So, that post you wrote last year could actually repeatedly expose your business to new audiences with no additional effort or expense.
4. Blogs attract business.
Blogs allow you to educate potential customers, not just sell to them. Though both online ads and blog content should contain clickable calls to action (your blog does, right?), more people believe in blogs over ads. Forbes reports 32% of online consumers trust a stranger’s opinion on public forums or blogs more than they trust branded advertisements.
5. Blogs allow engagement.
A blog post easily starts a conversation with your readers which could keep them coming back for more. Ask for feedback and opinions in the comments section, and you've added perspective and encouragement from your readers. Pretty soon, you'll have built up a community around your blog. There's no engaging with online advertisements.
All of these reasons demonstrate how blogging can give you the most bang for your buck. While pay-per-click advertising may seem like advancement from print advertising, blogging is the better and most cost-effective alternative for today's marketers. Some companies spend thousands of dollars a month on pay-per-click advertising that could generate just a few leads. But using your budget toward blogging services and an editorial calendar will help your business focus on quality leads.
Whether you are using in-house hourly talent or outsourcing your content to a content marketing agency like SPROUT Content, the cost of a blog post should be more easily justified when you know how long it lives on.
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