Blogs are no longer a nice-to-have marketing tool. The corporate blog is a major driver of marketing leads and revenue dollars, and can be more valuable than advertising when it comes to ROI.
Not only do blogs offer a way to share educational, helpful, entertaining content, they’re great conversation starters for your target audience. Paid advertising still has a valuable place in print and online marketing, but blogs have something an ad can only hint at: proof of expertise.
Here are 10 statistics that show why blog content can be as valuable, or more, than advertising.
1. 9 in 10 organizations market with content. (Tweet This!)
While both print and online advertising feature key messages, ad content can easily become stale. Blogs offer frequently updated content that supports customers’ needs and provides insight they can apply on their own. In addition, blogs are marketed in a way that positions a person or company as an expert, instead of directly selling products or services. The format of blog content can also be diverse (written content, video, audio, or a combination) to appeal to different types of online users.
2. Each month, 329 million people read blogs. (Tweet This!)
Blogs—when done well—attract people with genuinely useful information and give prospects an easy, low-barrier-to-entry way to research topics they care about or check out a brand. Blogs build trust and authority. On the other hand, people are skeptical of ads—especially when they don’t know where a click will take them. And that’s only if an ad is even viewed. Google recently reported that 56% of digital ads served are never even seen.
3. Content creation ranked as the single most effective SEO tactic by 53%. (Tweet This!)
There are lots of ways to get the attention of customers online. But one of the most effective is to show up when your prospects are searching for answers. Content creation is a longterm investment with long-term benefits. It’s quite a bit harder to showcase the same depth of content through advertising methods. That’s why 37% of marketers say blogs are the most valuable type of content marketing. Also, your content continues to work for you long after its been published. In fact, Mike Volpe of HubSpot found that 70% of the leads that came from their blog came from posts that weren’t written in the most recent month.
The Cost Benefits of Blogging
4. 82% of marketers who blog see positive ROI for their inbound marketing. (Tweet This!)
When a company blogs, they can strategically choose topics to engage customers and lead them into the sales funnel. Bit by bit, potential customers return to a site to check out the latest hot topic or a how-to, and each click helps to build their confidence towards a purchase. If you also deliver a quality product or service, customers will continue to read your blog content and comment on it, helping you build brand loyalty and share your content on social media.
5. Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing. (Tweet This!)
The biggest cost for content management is development, strategy, and delivery. But by integrating your efforts, content marketing tactics like email campaigns, blogs, and social media can work as a team to pack extra punch. Instead of creating expensive content that has one purpose or limited use, you can create core content and tweak it for multiple channels. With this method, all your online touch points are covered. If an email campaign is ignored, for example, blogs and social media can be used in tandem to generate new interest.
6. Per dollar spent, content marketing generates approximately 3X as many leads as traditional marketing. (Tweet This!)
If you want quality leads, establishing a content marketing operation delivers a big payoff. Using inbound strategies and tactics to drive people to blog content—where they can learn something of value—is also a lot more effective than driving them to ad content that pitches an unknown product or service. Then, once the customer begins to trust you, the sales lead is not far behind.
Know Your Audience and Where They Hang Out
7. 70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles rather than ads. (Tweet This!)
It’s a safe bet that consumers are a bit wary when it comes to trusting advertising. When you know you’re being actively sold to, it automatically comes with a certain level of suspicion. Yet, customers still want to learn about products and services that are interesting to them, so they reach out through research.
Blog content is the perfect way to leverage customer curiosity and inch them closer to a purchase while at the same time building a level of trust. You are also giving them a forum to interact with you via comments on the blog, which helps build a stronger customer connection.
8. Even though 62% of marketers blog or plan to blog, only 9% of U.S. marketing companies employ a full-time blogger. (Tweet This!)
If you are serious about maximizing the value of content marketing and blogs, get a jump on the competition by hiring a full-time blogger. Marketing team members are focused on managing other responsibilities and may not be good at writing polished, engaging blog content. Hiring a dedicated, professional writer to execute a content strategy paired with great blogs definitely gives you a leg up.
The Power of Search Is in the Hands of the Customer
9. 86% of people skip TV adverts—they want more control over their brand information. (Tweet This!)
People watch the Superbowl for the ads AND the football game, but those ads are very expensive, one-of-a-kind creative works positioned to entertain and maximize exposure. More often than not, customers are trying to work around having to watch ads by downloading shows and speeding through commercials, or using Netflix to avoid them altogether.
Creating engaging blog content and promoting it through social media offers people the opportunity to read or share at their leisure. This type of content marketing is an invitation rather than a request, and a very effective way to connect with customers.
10. 78% of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) think custom content is the future of marketing. (Tweet This!)
If none of the earlier stats have convinced you that blogs can be as valuable (or more) than ads, listen to the insights of CMOs. When you combine targeted email marketing campaigns with blog content that appeals to your potential customers and use social media marketing to direct attention to it, you are creating a powerful content marketing strategy that sets you apart. Be of service to customers by creating useful, educational content that encourages them to get to know your company values, expertise, and—eventually—products and services.
Now take all this blog knowledge and turn it into gold!