This week I attended a HubSpot webinar on how to “Get More Bang for Your Business Blogging Buck.” The presenters, Connor Sullivan and Mark Kilens, packed so much great advice into the hour, I thought it worth sharing some favorite takeaways.
The topic for this installment was “How Blogging Has Changed & What You Should Do.” While billed as an intermediate webinar for HubSpot customers, any business owner can benefit from this information.
Blogging is Important for Your Business
The purpose of a business blog is to educate and empower prospects and the decisions they make. And with roughly 38 million bloggers describing themselves as “corporate or entrepreneur” content creators, there’s clear adoption in the business community that blogging helps to generate website traffic and gain buyer trust.
Companies that blog 15 times per month generate 5 times more traffic than those that don’t.
B2B companies that blog 1 to 2 times per month get 70% more leads than those that don’t.
When done right, a blog is the most valuable and cost-effective asset your company has, and it provides the fodder for future marketing efforts: ebook offers; reasons to email leads; material to post on social media; and the context-rich SEO that Google’s new Hummingbird algorithm is looking for in high quality websites.
Lovable Marketing Tip: to get the most out of the new Hummingbird algo, write in an educational and conversational tone, and don’t keyword-stuff your blog posts.
85-90% of Your Blog Content Should be “Evergreen”
Evergreen content is material that will be as valuable 5 years from now as it is today. It’s like hiring the cheapest and most effective sales person ever: no work-life balance required, never goes on vacation, never gets sick, and never sleeps.
Evergreen posts appeal to the first stage of the buyer’s journey — when someone realizes they have a problem, and they go online looking for solutions. These are typically fact-based posts that answer the who, what, when, where, why, and how queries your prospects are typing into search engines.
If you’re a realtor, for example, evergreen content might look like this:
- “How to select a realtor in (your city/state)”
- “What to expect in your condo closing costs”
- “Why you need a real estate attorney in (your city/state)”
- “How to negotiate your first home purchase”
- “When to sell your home for the best price”
- “What happens if you’re in contract and the seller dies”
- “What a home inspector does and how to choose the right one”
Lovable Marketing Tip: use a tool like HubSpot’s social media scheduler to constantly promote your evergreen posts (just change up the messaging so you don’t sound robotic).
Strategize a Way to Stand Out
With so many businesses jumping on the content bandwagon, it’s important to put a well-defined blog strategy in place. Your strategy can be created in-house, easily and for little to no expense, during your regular sales and marketing meetings.
Choose a broad topic (e.g. “first time home buyer anxiety”), and brainstorm every question your team has fielded on the subject. Ask everyone to choose the questions they’re most comfortable answering, and write several blog posts with business-specific keywords in the titles. Schedule one or two new posts to go out every week over the next few months, share them on social media, and you’ve got a real, live marketing campaign going on!
Skeptical? Check out how this business owner created 100 blog posts in under 5 hours and saw a $500k-1M increase in his bottom line within one year.
Lovable Marketing Tip: when you start to see ROI from your company’s blog, give bonuses to your writers and show them the analytics on what they’ve created. They’ll not only reap the benefits of longterm inbound leads, they’ll be motivated to write more content.
Before You Blog, Ask These Questions
The best blog posts draw visitors to your site organically and satisfy them to the point that they give up their contact details. If this is your goal, ask these questions before posting new content:
- Does it provide value to your ideal buyers?
- Is it educational enough?
- Have you checked for spelling, grammar and stylistic errors?
- Is the topic driven by genuine reader interest, or are you just trying to rank well on Google?
- Would you bookmark and share this post with friends or prospects?
Lovable Marketing Tip: use a marketing automation tool like HubSpot or free WordPress plugin that provides suggestions as you write. Most will tell you if you’re including target keyword phrases, remind you to include images and edit the meta description, and let you know when you’ve hit an optimal word count.