Stuck on content ideas for your business? The best place to start is to think about what’s driving your customers crazy.
- Do they need help using your product or service?
- Are they unsure about how to handle a problem that your business addresses?
- Are they searching for solutions just like what you sell?
Putting yourself in your target customers’ shoes is one of the easiest was to generate ideas for your blog.
Now, you may be wondering if you really need a blog or content marketing in general. Maybe most of your business comes from referrals. Or your sales team does the majority of the selling legwork.
Even if you’re happy with your current business results, blogging can help you maintain that business. When done right, it can help you grow your company and generate long-lasting results.
This guide explains the benefits of content marketing for businesses of all sizes and includes business content examples that you can use to attract and convert more customers and outpace your competition.
Why content marketing is important for business?
Content creation for your business provides you with a way to give your leads and customers valuable information. That, in turn, can help you build trust and authority in your brand.
According to a HubSpot study of 1,531 small- and medium-sized businesses, companies that blog have:
- 55% more website visitors.
- 97% more inbound links.
- 434% more indexed pages on search engines.
In addition to website traffic benefits, blogging helps you build more effective relationships with readers which can turn them into customers. A study of 488 buyers who represented $4.2 billion in purchases across 25 industries found it takes an average of 8 touches to secure an initial meeting or achieve another conversion with a new lead.
Think of each piece of content you share as a potential touchpoint with your leads and customers. Your business blog can:
- Position you as a thought leader in your industry
- Increase your brand’s visibility on search engines and elsewhere online, such as on social media and guest blogs
- Improve customer trust in your business
According to Oberlo, Google is the most popular website in the world, with more than 8.5 billion searches per day. When people need an answer to a question, they usually turn to Google to get a quick result. When you’ve optimized your content with the keywords people are actively searching for and your content comes up in search results, you can provide the solution those leads are looking for.
Consumers also use online channels like social media and forums like Reddit to get opinions and advice before they make a purchase. Users of these channels may share helpful content from your brand to provide the answer. That puts your business at top of mind when the consumer is ready to convert.
A major advantage of blogging for business is that your blogs can work for you long-term. For example, some of your most successful posts can be regularly updated and continue to bring you traffic, leads, and customers year after year.
In terms of return on investment, compared to more traditional methods, you can save money and build deeper relationships with customers through blogging. Content marketing plans are continuous. They’re not one-and-done campaigns like a short-term radio spot or Facebook ad. Your content can live online for decades to come.
Plus, business blogging is measurable and gives you plenty of data to work with. You can learn exactly what types of content your target leads and customers want to see, so you can continually improve your blogging strategy and results. It’s difficult to obtain the same types of insights from a billboard on the side of the road.
Examples of effective blogs from marketers
Whatever type of business model you have, whether it’s B2B orB2C, there’s room in the blogging sphere for your business. Let’s look at a few diverse business blogs marketers have created to build relationships with leads and drive conversions.
Hootsuite is a social media post scheduling tool that enables businesses and those who work in social media marketing to plan posts in advance. Hootsuite members can also view their social media engagement in a single dashboard.
The brand’s blog has hundreds of helpful articles on topics relating to social media strategy, as well as a free resources section on social media topics like how to grow your Instagram following and build up your YouTube page. People who are looking for help with social media might visit Hootsuite to develop their knowledge, then sign up for the product as a customer.
Airbnb is a vacation rental company based on a home-sharing model, where property owners rent out their properties to travelers online.
Visit the Airbnb blog, and you’ll find lots of tips for travelers. Posts have titles like “Staying on the Murray River,” “Feeding Alpacas in Crookwell” and “Destination Guide: The King Valley.” When people search topics like these, Airbnb can provide the information searchers are looking for.
The blog also has posts like, “Who Books Airbnb and Why? Or Why Not?” These types of posts educate readers in the consideration phase to help move them farther along the buyer’s journey.
The Airbnb blog also features a ton of content for property hosts. This type of content educates Airbnb host members, which can keep them engaged with the platform so that they grow their Airbnb offerings as hosts.
Save.com is full of content geared towards the brand’s savvy shopper target lead. The site functions similarly to a newspaper publisher. It has dozens of articles in categories like Entertainment, Beauty & Style, Health & Wellness, Home & Family, Recipes & Dining, and Savings Tips.
The brand sends out a physical coupon book to households. Visitors to the site get to find answers to queries like “Where to Buy Cheap Books Online & Find Book Deals” and “How to Save on Your Next Trip to Six Flags”. After checking out the articles, visitors might be compelled to follow each post’s call to action to sign up for a free Save coupon book.
How to use content marketing to grow your business?
Effective content marketing for businesses provides helpful, relevant, accurate, and engaging information to readers and customers. There are lots of ways to achieve this goal with your digital marketing efforts. Below are some ideas for content ideation that supports business growth.
1. Answer questions
Ask your customer service team, sales reps, and social media managers for the most commonly asked questions they get from leads and customers. Each question can be addressed in its own blog and link back to an FAQs page on your website.
Question posts can be really helpful for SEO, especially when the title of the post is the exact question people are searching for. Type in potential questions to the Google search engine to see related questions you can feature as subheads or additional posts.
2. Address customer pain points
Create buyer personas that tell you about the sales funnel and customer journey so you can know their problems. For example, say you’re a university trying to drive enrollment for an online graduate school program. Your target customers might be wondering “how to pay for a master’s program”. Or, they might be interested in a graduate degree because they feel stalled at their job and want to further their career.
Blogs that address topics like these give leads the information they need to make informed decisions. By proactively presenting solutions to customer pain points, those customers might be more likely to purchase from you when they’re ready.
3. Develop thought leadership
Thought leadership posts can drive brand awareness in your industry. Take a financial services company that offers business loans. When the next government regulation affecting the industry emerges, this company can post a blog on behalf of the leaders of the business that explains the company’s position on the new regulation.
The company’s target audience might have a search intent of learning more about this regulation. This type of post provides helpful information and can nudge a lead along the customer journey.
4. Provide helpful services
Blog content provides a way to deeply connect with customers and develop relationships. Imagine you’re a hotel in Paris. You might target people who are making searches like “things to do in Paris” and “places to visit in Paris”.
Instead of a short blog post whose focus is on promoting your hotel, your blog team could create in-depth travel guides that provide visitors with everything they need to know about the city. You can still promote your hotel at relevant moments in the content, but the focus is more on helping people so that they come to trust you. By building that trust, you make potential customers more likely to choose you for their accommodations.
Use blogging to improve marketing return on investment
Blogging can be a consistent lead-generating tool for your business when you blog about the topics your target customers are interested in. According to Hubspot, businesses that prioritize blogging see an ROI that’s 13 times higher than businesses that don’t.
Your blog efforts can help you:
- Climb up online search results
- Build brand awareness
- Generate trust and authority in your industry
- Convert visitors on your website
Get blog topics, including evergreen content ideas, by mapping out the customer journey. At each step, think about what questions the buyer is asking and what pain points they have. What are some blog topics you could create that address those issues?
Measure your blogging efforts to see what type of content is most effective for your brand. Compare the leads and conversions you get from your blog with other marketing strategies to see how the ROI compares. In many cases, blogging is the best way for brands to promote how what they offer solves customer pain points.
If you’re interested in blogging and creating content for your business, including ebooks and guides, ClearVoice can help. Learn about our managed content creation services.