You know that any business with a website needs a steady supply of quality original content. However, it’s not necessarily as obvious to your client. While you’re familiar with many aspects of content marketing, your client may not be.
For example, suppose your client sells sporting goods online. They already have leads coming to their product pages, so why should they invest in content? It’s your job to show them that a blog is a simple but surprisingly powerful tool to build credibility while also bringing targeted traffic.
We’re here to help with some powerful ammunition to use when talking to clients so you can easily show them the value of content. You’ll then have a one-stop reference to use in RFPs, client meetings, or phone calls with clients when they ask you that pesky question: why write a blog?
Marketing’s Two Biggest Problems
Your clients want solid reasons to start a blog and publish content. Remember, business owners are practical people who prefer facts and statistics to theories. A good place to start is by pointing out how content addresses two major hurdles faced by all marketers.
That is, turning leads into customers. Many businesses already have lead-generating systems. Whether they use paid advertising, email marketing, or press releases and other PR tactics, they may already have a steady influx of leads. This doesn’t mean, however, that their leads necessarily convert into sales.
Content is often the missing link that warms up and converts leads.
2) Generating Traffic
It’s one thing to have a website but something else entirely to get a steady supply of targeted visitors. There are several ways to get traffic, many of them expensive and time-consuming. Pay-per-click ads and other online advertising, for example, definitely generates traffic. It’s also quite costly, though, and it often takes quite a bit of trial and error to create profitable campaigns. Another option is SEO, which is a complex and time-consuming process – and one that’s largely driven by content.
The Solution: Content Marketing
Content is the solution to both of these related problems. Here are some of the key advantages to creating content.
1. Creates awareness.
Content builds awareness for brands as well as specific issues about which customers need information. One of the advantages of content compared to advertising is that it has a higher perceived value. Blog posts aren’t directly selling anything, but provide useful, educational information. Readers are then motivated to find out who’s creating this content and what they offer.
75% more B2B customers reported using content in their buying decisions than they did a year earlier, so this is clearly a growing trend.
2. Converts traffic to high-quality leads.
Many traffic generating strategies aren’t well targeted. Content, however, lets marketers plan keyword-driven blog posts that address the exact concerns of the audience. People who visit a blog are looking for a certain type of information—nothing beating them over the head to buy, in other words. Search engines also crawl these pages and index blog posts, helping them rank well.
This is one of the reasons that 79% of bloggers report that their blog delivers results.
3. Transforms leads into customers.
After turning traffic into leads, the next step is to nurture these leads into paying customers. Content helps with this as well.
One of the crucial factors here is blogging daily—in other words, creating content on a regular basis. In fact, 82% of marketers who blog daily reported getting at least one customer from their blog.
4. Nurture fans & promoters.
Content is the first step towards transforming customers into fans and brand ambassadors who actively promote products. This is free publicity, and the very best kind. People are more likely to trust the opinions of other customers than an ad.
91% of B2B buyers are influenced by word-of-mouth when making buying decisions. To generate this kind of influence, you need informative content.
These benefits work in a synergistic way, making blogs a powerful tool for getting more traffic, leads, and customers.
Showcase Your Content in a Blog
A business blog is the perfect accompaniment to a business website. It brings targeted traffic to a site, which is helpful for generating leads and selling products. It’s easy for readers to jump from a blog post right to a product page. Or they can click on the contact page, fill out an opt-in form, or call the business.
Another important advantage of a blog is that it gets more valuable over time (provided you keep adding content, of course). Each blog post is an opportunity to create targeted traffic around a keyword or topic. Start off with a few subjects that relate to common customer issues. Over time, however, a blog has the potential to blossom into a comprehensive resource on a subject. This is the way to build a high-traffic authority site.
There are many examples of sites whose authority rests on a strong blog. For example, Digital Photography School has a large collection of articles on techniques, equipment, and related topics. Or, to toot our own horn, the BlogMutt blog has a good selection of posts covering all aspects of content writing. The same principle works for any niche or industry.
Let’s Put a Plan Together
One of the main reasons that businesses don’t blog or create much content is lack of time. According to a survey, the average marketer spends more than 3 hours writing each blog post. There’s also the issue of expertise. Just because someone is knowledgeable about an industry doesn’t mean he or she is an expert at writing compelling content on that subject. That’s why it makes sense for businesses to outsource their content strategy to agencies (like you!). In fact, 64% of B2B marketers outsource writing.
For more information to help you convince clients about the value of a content creation strategy, download our agency content kit.