To be successful in marketing it is an unspoken requirement that you must be able to evolve. Adaptability in the face of ever-changing trends and technological advancements is how we stay ahead of the curve, but there are some out there who are just a bit too keen to sacrifice older, tried and tested methods on the altar of the new. It is these marketers who would likely tell you, with the air of a music elitist going through your iTunes account, that long-form content and blogging, in particular, is dead. Well, they would be wrong. Wrong wrongety wrong.
Whilst the idea of medium and long-form content in a world of constant distraction and shortening attention spans might sound counterintuitive, blogging is in fact more popular now than ever before. GrowthBadger suggested recently that there are now over 600 million blogs out there in the void, and by all accounts this number is still growing even as we take our first tentative steps into 2021.
So why are blogs still relevant as a marketing tool? Are they really that useful to you as a business that you have to spend hours planning, writing and promoting them? We think so, and to prove it we’ve ranked a few of our top reasons below. So, if you’ve never blogged before or if you tried it briefly but didn’t stick with it, here are a few good reasons why you should give it a go!
With regard to the continued effectiveness of blogging and long-form content there are still those that would argue against, but here’s the kicker: over the last few years, enterprising services like Hubspot have repeatedly found that businesses who regularly publish informative and engaging blogs receive more traffic and increased leads. In fact, among those marketers who argue for the case of blogging, over half say it is their number one inbound marketing priority.
Blogs and long-form content are also an invaluable tool for potential customers to learn about your products or services. The most famous example of this is Gillette, who became the OG bloggers when they started publishing articles on different methods and styles of shaving. By engaging their audience with their products in new ways, they generated excitement and – guess what – a lot more sales in the process!
Seriously, get a load of this…
Think about the ways in which your content can educate customers. Guides and How-to’s can help your audience to see your product in a new way or a new application, possibly even one they hadn’t previously considered. At the same time these pieces of content build trust as your readers engage more and begin to see you as an industry authority.
Always keep your sales funnel in mind. Each piece of content should serve a purpose and by creating more content you are keeping your audience engaged and moving slowly, inexorably towards that final goal. Even if someone enjoys your content but doesn’t require your services right now, they will be far more likely to think of you when the time comes.
One of the biggest changes in 2020 marketing was the rise of video content, with short, informative videos proving the most popular way to keep users engaged. “But wait!” I hear you cry; “That’s about as far from a long-form blog as it’s possible to get!” You’re right, but despite all of this blogging continues to increase in popularity.
Put into the context of the year we’ve just had I can think of two immediate reasons why this might be the case. The first, simply, is that more people during 2020 found themselves in a situation where they had more time to spend reading; the second is the increasing desire among consumers to feel like they know and trust the company they are buying from (we will cover this in more detail below).
Without trying to sound too downbeat, 2021 looks – at least for now – like it’s going to be more of the same, so we can only expect these highlighted trends to continue. So, if you weren’t on the blogging train last year, this could be an opportunity to get on board and start making some noise. Choo choo!
I’ve touched on this briefly, but in my opinion the growing need among people to respect and trust the companies they buy from is an enormous subject, with causation that spans everything from environmental irresponsibility to avoidance of tax, interference in government policy, treatment of workers, the polarisation of Brexit – the list goes on. What is clear is that consumers are increasingly turning their backs on larger corporations in favour of smaller businesses that they trust and that they feel they are contributing to. If you are one such business, blogging is going to be essential.
Blogging and writing long form content are particularly useful to small and medium sized businesses as it helps to sculpt and define their brand to an audience who may not be as familiar as they would be with a bigger, international company of similar nature. If this sounds like you, then use your blogs to teach customers about your company, about you and your vision – give them a reason to feel invested. You may have heard us talk about B2H marketing in the past – all it means is that your customers want to be treated like humans, not statistics, so write and engage with them on a human level and you WILL see results!
Blogs and long-form pieces are great for SEO. In fact, Google actually likes it when you add new posts or pages to your website, or when you shake things up a bit. It reinforces those all-important keywords and reminds Google that you have a functioning website that is in active use.
When you write, always make sure you’ve got your relevant keywords to hand, so you can refer to them. At the same time, Google will punish you if it thinks you’re deliberately “stuffing” keywords into your work, so don’t go overboard, just keep it natural.
At Tulpa Digital we’ve blogged about everything from taxi services to plasma treating equipment and everything in between! If you need help creating an effective and engaging blog, get in touch to see how we can help.