Business blogging - posting regular content about your industry on your own company website - is frequently cited as one of the most powerful ways to boost online visibility and attract potential customers to your site.
The question most business owners want to know is: Does it work?
If it does, then what's the minimum they need to do to get the maximum return on investment?
Does business blogging work?
Business owners want to know if it is worth investing part of their marketing budget on developing and maintaining a business blog. The best way to answer this question is to look at some real examples and study the facts and figures.
This is how one niche recruitment agency used blogging to boost candidate applications.
The decision to invest in blogging came after a budget review revealed that despite an increase in spend on online job sites, the number of applications had fallen and the quality of the CVs received had been poor. The Content Market was already writing fortnightly blogs for the business and sharing these via twitter and LinkedIn. This was having some impact in raising the profile of the brand and as a result the website was already ranking well in search engines for key market terms.
Could greater blog frequency and content marketing activity replace traditional advertising as a way of attracting more candidates of the right calibre? We tried it for three months. Instead of fortnightly blogs, we wrote twice a week on topics related the the industry and to recruitment. We carried out surveys to gather data to share in press stories and blogs. We shared content from the website daily on LinkedIn and Twitter. We wrote LinkedIn posts related to topics that appeared on the blog.
Most importantly of all we kept an eye on Google analytics and set some goals so that we'd know how many candidate applications had come directly from online searches or social media links.
After three months the project had been a resounding success. Our goal had been to attract one good quality candidate per quarter (roughly equivalent to the results that were being achieved through advertising on one of the top job sites) and we achieved more than one a month. As a result we are continuing with the campaign and over time we are seeing even more impressive results. If you would like to read more examples of how content marketing works in different industries please get in touch.
How to make sure you get ROI on content marketing spend
Few businesses have specialist writers in house and it is rarely cost-effective for them to do so, unless the organisation is fairly sizeable. That said, almost every business needs a writer who can create good stories on their behalf. The trick is to find a writer or content agency that will get to know your business so that they can write the way you would write - accurately and with a touch of personality.
Content agencies like The Content Market are also digitally astute and understand how content needs to be shared to gain maximum visibility - not just with anyone but with the people you're trying to target.
Clients regularly tell us that as soon as one of our posts hits LinkedIn or one of their other social media channels the phone starts ringing as their contacts start spotting it. Often contacts will say that they hadn't realised the company provided that particular service.
Be known for what you do
Business blogging is all about visibility and awareness - reminding people you're there and making sure they know what you can do.
Business blogging is an opportunity. It's an opportunity to share case studies, award wins, appointments, client deals and new products. It's an opportunity to be seen and it's an opportunity to be found. Those opportunities are hard to quantify in terms of ROI but every time the phone rings - each like, share and comment - is a positive response to your content marketing campaign. People are reading your news and learning about your business and one day - perhaps not today but some time in the future - they will need someone like you and they'll remember that you can help them.
How much time and money should you spend on content marketing
Costs vary hugely from agency to agency. The main thing that affects your costs is the frequency of your business blogging. We recommend doing it at least once a week but if you can do it two - or even three - times a week, so much the better. Some of our clients even ask us to blog daily for them.
However frequently or infrequently you blog, make sure you share your work. The more you share, the more readers you'll attract and that, after all, is the reason why you're blogging for your business in the first place.