How much does your organization spend on content marketing every year?
If you’re like most digital marketers, approximately 30-50% of your total marketing budget goes towards producing and distributing content. And a large portion of that money is likely to be spent on blogging.
But here’s the thing: For many businesses, blogging represents a means to an end. In most cases, that end is generating organic traffic. Sure, getting a large portion of your audience to visit your website via Google does represent a pretty big win. However, organic traffic is not all you can expect to gain from investing time, money, and effort into producing high-quality blog posts. You could, potentially, achieve much more than that.
Are you interested in using your company blog to generate value for your organization and contribute to business growth? If so, here are the top goals you should be setting for yourself when blogging (apart from getting more traffic).
1. Generate topical authority
One of the most meaningful potential gains from investing in a well-planned company blog is topical authority. This is a term that denotes the public’s perception that you (or your brand) are an expert in your field.
Now, having this type of authority may not seem that big of a deal. After all, the quality of your products and services (along with the feedback you get from your audience) should be enough to testify to the value you offer to potential customers. But topical authority isn’t just about branding. It’s also about your ability to reach your audience.
When you produce blog content intending to establish topical authority, you’re essential, working towards several goals. You’re actively investing in content that allows you to:
- Become your audience’s go-to when they research topics related to your expertise
- Offer an in-depth knowledge base that ensures web visitors have the chance to get answers to all their questions without having to leave your website (and potentially convert with your competitors)
- Obtain top SERP positions, which automatically boosts organic traffic to your website (and reduces marketing costs)
- Meet more than a single search intent, ensuring that your content ranks for multiple keywords and types of search phrases
How to build topical authority
As with any other digital marketing strategy, there are multiple ways to build topical authority through blogging.
You might choose to research relevant keywords around which you will produce content. You could consult with your sales and customer support teams to identify consumer pain points no one else in your industry is addressing. Or, you might go into detailed audience research on platforms like Reddit and Quora and find out firsthand what your potential customers want to know about the benefits of your products.
Keep in mind, however, that the one non-negotiable condition for achieving topical authority is publishing high-quality content.
Don’t fall into the trap of keyword stuffing just for the sake of (potentially) grabbing your target audience’s attention. Instead, provide your readers with genuine value, increasing their chances of staying around on your website and having a real chance of becoming your brand’s loyal customers.
2. Create exceptional social proof with customer stories
Reviews and testimonials have a large impact on purchasing decisions. Research from Statista found that 94% of buyers are more likely to use a business after reading a positive review and that 79% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family.
But here’s the thing. Simply showing ratings and reviews on your product pages (or homepage) won’t cut it if you want to ensure business growth. You have to go a step further—and blogging can help you do that.
By dedicating space on your company blog to telling customer stories, you can effectively generate trust, both when targeting B2C and B2B audiences.
For example, a quick look at the Therabody website shows how convincing social proof can be when your products are championed by the right ambassadors.
This brand chose to collaborate with soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. Its ambassador stories section displays quotes from the player and shows off a stunning video of Ronaldo using the Theragun. It also gives web visitors a handy guide they can use to recreate Rondaldo’s warm-up and recovery routines at home.
Don’t fret if your budget doesn’t allow you to go big with influencers and masterful video production. Something as elementary as using your website’s blog section to tell customer stories can be equally effective at showing off the social proof.
For inspiration on how you can do this, check out Affinda. This brand chose to write an article about one of its customers’ experiences with its products, providing potential customers with valuable information on the benefits of investing in the service. This is a low-budget yet highly effective way to show off social proof (and encourage conversions) on a blog.
3. Make your brand ubiquitous
Whether you’ve been in business for minutes or decades, there’s one thing you probably know: buyers will usually invest in the products they’re already familiar with.
Psychologically, this comes down to the mere exposure effect. This phenomenon dictates that, in uncertain times, people tend to go with the options they’re already acquainted with. And, it’s well known that repeated exposure breeds familiarity. So why not use the mere-exposure effect to your own advantage on your blog?
For example, publishing branded resources ensures that every look at your content drives your audience to:
- Be reminded of your brand’s existence, and
- Associate your business with convenience (seeing that the resource is just at the tip of their fingers)
Adobe does a stellar job of using its blog to become omnipresent. By publishing content around popular search terms like color theory and using them to guide readers towards its free tools—like its convenient Color Wheel app—Adobe is making its brand name synonymous with everything design-related.
As a result, Adobe ranks highly on search engine result pages for high-volume design terms. More importantly, Adobe is one of the most successful providers of SaaS products in its industry, with an almost 30% market share in graphic design software products.
The budget-friendly approach to brand ubiquity
If you want to use your blog to make your brand ubiquitous, you don’t have to develop complicated tools and web apps. There are much easier methods of giving your audience helpful resources they will enjoy using.
Asana is a great example of a slightly less resource-intensive approach to brand ubiquity through content publishing. The brand compiled a comprehensive guide to launching a product, which acts as a handy checklist.
In this checklist, Asana uses its industry know-how to empower readers to achieve business success. The article includes actionable information—links to templates, advice for exploring additional resources regarding product releases, and information from relevant research that readers will find helpful when planning a launch.
The result? A valuable resource Asana’s target audience can come back to time and again when planning a product launch, making sure that they’re not just successful in their endeavor but end up associating their success with the brand’s advice.
4. Help customers get the most out of your products
Content marketing also plays an important role in encouraging customer loyalty.
Well-written blog posts have been proven effective in engaging new readers (and making them more likely to invest in your brand’s products). On the flip side, content aimed at current customers can help nurture these existing relationships.
For example, sharing posts dedicated to helping your buyers get the most out of their purchase increases their likelihood of choosing your brand the next time they need a similar product/service. The reason is straightforward: they’ll remember that your company delivered a great deal of value for money (which is what people look for in the first place when buying products).
Besides additional revenue, helping customers get more out of your products gives you the chance to:
- Increase your store’s customer lifetime value
- Enjoy a higher ROI with all of your marketing tactics
- Have a stellar reputation in your industry
What types of blog posts can you produce to nurture customer loyalty?
Publishing even elementary how-to posts is an excellent tactic, especially if the articles in question are tutorials that aim to improve the overall customer experience.
For example, Sola Wood Flowers’s guide to flower home decor instructs users on how to do something new, but that’s not the end of it. It also:
- Inspires readers to explore their creativity
- Ensures that they’re successful with their creations
- Maximizes their chances of purchasing their next flower arrangement kit from the brand
Levi’s is another excellent example. A couple of years ago, this brand published a handy article instructing its buyers to wash their jeans less and teaching them the tricks to them hold onto their favorite pair for a longer time.
By following the advice from this guide to denim care, Levis’ customers don’t just reap the benefits of having their jeans look better. They also stand to save money, as proper care extends the lifespan of denim, improves the fit, and even offers the advantage of being environmentally friendly (which is what many people are looking to be right now).
Another alternative is to explore creating product guides. They’ll help potential customers make better purchasing decisions.
Fire Pit Surplus does this with its Best Concrete Fire Pits of 2022 blog post. It compares the pros and cons of ten popular products, helping readers choose the one most efficient at solving their pain points.
Note how the brand’s content marketing team uses text formatting to draw attention to unique features. It’s a super-easy effect anyone can recreate. Yet, thanks to being UX-friendly, it works, ensuring that readers notice and comprehend the value delivered by different products.
5. Introduce new product features
Customer demands constantly evolve, as people learn about their individual needs the more they use a product. Plus, the world is changing so quickly that the solutions that worked last year may not cut it anymore.
Given this state of things, you need to continually improve your offer in order to keep your brand successful.
You can do that through small changes, like increasing the number of customer service agents. Or, you can go big and provide free upgrades or develop CX-boosting add-ons.
Whichever course you take, the way you inform your audience of new features is going to impact their opinion of your brand.
By using your blog to introduce new product features, you can:
- Go into detail, thanks to the unlimited space blogging provides
- Show precisely how the changes in your products impact your customers
- Use these posts to position your brand as an entity that puts its customers’ needs first
All of this will help build credibility for your company and, consequently, drive sales.
For an exceptional instance of a business using its blog to introduce product updates and new features, check out Rootly.
Every week, this business adds a new feature to its product. However, the way Rootly does the introductions is what stands out.
In addition to providing a screenshot of the new product function, the brand also specifies the exact customer pain point this element solves. It includes a quick user manual to ensure its customers can start using the feature right away. Plus, it concludes each post with a list of other improvements like notable bug fixes.
6. Boost conversion rates
Content marketing is seldom regarded as a mechanism that directly boosts sales—and for good reason.
When a potential customer is searching for an answer to a particular problem, they value objectivity and clarity over a sales pitch. As a result, content marketers tend to value information that helps the customer over information that boosts their own conversion rates.
But it doesn’t mean we should have zero expectations for our blogs to assist in moving products out the door.
The key is to optimize blog content for search intent.
When a content marketer can identify a particular search action as having commercial intent, they’re able to create content that speaks directly to the searcher’s desire: finding information that helps them make an imminent purchasing decision.
High-quality content like this in-depth review of 2022’s best adjustable beds takes the reader’s position in the customer journey into consideration and aims to give information that helps them make a decision that’s right for them.
In these cases, some sales-focused language isn’t only permissible, it’s downright necessary. Even though the reader is still likely to appreciate objectivity, they’re aware that these types of articles are likely to have a promotional slant. And, in many cases, this is what they’re looking for. They want to see long-form content telling them why a particular product or service is better than another.
Succeeding at creating content like this is a win-win. Your customer gets the information that helps them make an important purchase, and you convert your blog into a legit sales channel.
7. Associate positive emotions with your brand
Emotional branding is a crucial component of driving business growth. After all, most consumers don’t make their buying decisions rationally. Instead, the products and services they purchase are greatly determined by their emotional response to the way those products are advertised.
The great thing is that you can use content marketing to build strong emotional bonds between your brand and your audience.
For example, you can use your blog posts to show how much you care about helping your customers solve their pain points. Or, you can address current issues that your potential customers care about. You can even employ language they use to ensure that your brand comes off as authentic, relatable, friendly, and familiar.
The result of adopting emotional marketing practices is that you get a pool of potential buyers who like your company, are more likely to convert, and recommend your products to their friends and family.
An excellent example of a brand using its blog to build emotion-driven relationships with its audience is this post from Bay Alarm Medical.
Knowing that its potential customers include senior citizens struggling with health problems (or their caregivers), this brand bases its content strategy on an empathetic approach to the issues its target audience deals with every day. On its blog, the brand discusses things like caregiver stress, warning signs for declining health, and tips for improving overall wellbeing despite limited mobility.
The key to making this approach work for Bay Alarm Medical is hitting just the right emotional note. So, for the content to resonate with its audience, the brand needs to:
- Make it clear it understands their struggles
- Offer solid advice
- Position its products as viable solutions to the discussed pain points
- Avoid coming off as aggressively sales-oriented
8. Support niche marketing campaigns
Another superb way to employ your company blog to encourage business growth is to think about how it might serve your paid advertising efforts.
When designing PPC marketing campaigns, the trick is to direct the traffic to a relevant landing page. Yes, many businesses send Google Ads or social media clicks to their homepage. However, if they’re making niche-specific value propositions, this approach could mean a wasted marketing budget.
Instead, if you’re trying to attract customers with specific pain points, invest in blog posts that will support your niche marketing campaigns.
This is what KURU Footwear does, dedicating landing pages to several medical conditions its products help eliminate. If you check out the brand’s plantar fasciitis landing page, you’ll see that it’s super-relevant to someone Googling the phrase “shoes for heel pain” or “shoes for plantar fasciitis.” There are lots of explanations, advice, and tips for pain management.
If, however, KURU Footwear chose to direct traffic to its homepage, it might have missed a valuable opportunity to prove its authority on the subject of shoes. It would also have seen a lower conversion rate because the contents of its landing page wouldn’t have been optimized for search intent.
Utilize blogging for business growth
As you look for ways to get more out of your content marketing strategy, the best thing you can do is define multiple objectives for your company blog.
Focus on goals that go beyond generating traffic. Don’t get caught up on metrics like page visits, time spent on site, or bounce rates. Instead, find ways to use your blog posts for more than raising product and brand awareness.
Ultimately, getting creative with your objectives and post types won’t cause any negative effects. But, if it has even the slightest chance of contributing to business growth, it’s safe to say that it’s well worth playing around with.