Blogging is better than advertising. For those of you who think I am making a bold claim, allow me to make my case. While advertising continues to skyrocket in cost, blogging can be done for very little or even completely for free. Advertising has become little more than white noise in many venues where consumers are so accustomed to seeing and hearing sales pitches that they automatically tune them out.
Blogs, on the other hand, include information that the consumer is actually looking for, and you are able to provide them with it. A significant percentage of people read blogs every day. Even if they do not have specific blogs that they follow, they are on social media and are clicking on those links shared by their friends. If you think of each article link shared as a word of mouth referral, you will be anxious to provide your customers with blog entries that they will be eager to share.
You don’t have to take my word for it. Statistics compiled by HubSpot speak for themselves. Using data collected in 2013, they have discovered some facts that many of us long suspected to be true.
- Companies with 51 or more blog entries receive 48% more traffic.
- Companies that blog 15 times each month receive 5 times more traffic than those with no blog.
- Blogging just 1-2 times each month generates 70% more sales leads than websites with no blog.
- Sales leads are doubled by increasing frequency of blog entries from 3-5 times per month to 6-8 times each month.
If you weren’t convinced by that gut feeling that told you blogging was a good idea, be convinced by the cold, hard numbers that prove it.
Maybe blogging 15 times each month – or even a couple times a month – seems daunting. A multitude of services can provide quality content for much less than you are currently spending on billboard rental. Our Journeyman plan can do the blogging for you, so check it out.
At best, advertising campaigns are able to catch the eye of potential customers and convince them to visit your business or website. More often these billboards, commercials and costly printed materials are found annoying and are quickly discarded.
The same is not true for blog articles. Through your blog, you are able to create a connection with your clients and potential customers because you are providing them with something more than a sales pitch. Your blog can be used to address commonly asked questions, product information, and helpful tips. Readers will learn to trust information from you and look to you for answers.
Creating an online community through comments and social media sharing will do more than generate leads. It will build loyalty among your customer base, which will lead them to do your advertising for you. You will earn more customers through word of mouth and article sharing than you ever could with advertising dollars.
Your blog will do more than attract new customers and enable you to share your expertise. When you begin reading through the comments that your article receives, you will find valuable feedback that you can act upon to improve your business.
If an article generates comments from readers wishing that you stocked a certain product or provided a specific service, this is priceless information to have. You may also receive complaints. This is a good opportunity to publicly display your customer service skills by replying with a solution to the customer’s problem. It also gives you information to act upon to avoid the same issue in the future.
Customers are likely to be bolder in an online forum, such as blog comment section than they would be if you asked them for opinions up front. Use your reader feedback to develop future blog articles, hone customer service procedures, and adjust product offerings.
Consumers are not necessarily impressed by advertising campaigns. They have learned not to trust them or buy into claims that companies make in them. If you write a blog with quality content, you will be able to establish yourself as an expert in your industry.
People trust the information in blogs and are even willing to purchase products based upon your word. In 2013, a study by Social Media Today found that 81% of those surveyed trust the advice they read in blogs, and 61% had made a purchase based on information read in a blog. I challenge you to hold an advertising campaign with those kinds of numbers.
When you write a blog that is directed toward giving your readers advice and information that they want and need, they will not see it as a sales pitch. They will view you as an expert in your field who they can trust, which will naturally lead to their purchases.
You can start blogging simply by turning your phone on video mode, then start shooting on the job site, some quick editing and you have a post for your blog. If you don’t have time, blogging is part of our Journeyman plan from our Contractor’s Toolbox, so check that out if you don’t want to blog on your own.