If you don’t know much about HubSpot, take a moment to review some of their interesting posts and services. I often check in with them to gather supportive data on any kind of presentation I’m working on, and to see what information they may have on blogging’s impact on search engine data, traffic and even leads.
Really, what is it about blogs that make us marketers like them so much? Here’s a graphical comparison from HubSpot that takes a look at six key factors and illustrates why blogs are so powerful in comparison to the average website:
Focused on Education
A good website often integrates education into it’s messaging as a way to build credibility to help move prospects to buyers. But in the overall sales process, there are many factors that help to achieve this end goal, and a limit as to how much any individual will engage education before moving on. Your end goal is, and should always be, convincing new viewers to engage you and buy your product or service.
Blogs, on the other hand, offer nearly unlimited opportunities to analyze, educate, question and converse with your target audience. Your blog gives your marketing team a unique chance to test different approaches to presenting your information and to do it without always being concerned about pushing people to the next step.
The Freedom to Associate
Blogs provide a far broader opportunity for a writer to explore topics that may catch the prospects attention, but may not deeply rooted in the sales process for the specific product or content. Websites should be about moving the prospect through the sales process to a purchase, which limits the ability to explore content that might be off that process’ mark. B
Use a Softer Sell
Websites tend to be “hard sell” – and move the prospect as quickly as possible to the sale. There’s a certain level of hard sell that has to be implemented on a standard business web site. As blogs tend to have less of a hard sell focus, you can provide content designed to answer questions and build trust over time. Soft sell techniques often are more appealing to a segment of the market you may be missing with just a website.
Defining Your Personality
Customers want to have an personal relationship with your brand. The bigger the brand, the more difficult it can be to not be perceived as a cold, corporate brand. Smaller brands may also have a similar challenge in that they may not be seen as credible or capable. Utilizing a blog in your mix can help bigger companies appear more personable, while smaller companies can not only reach a much wider audience, but establish a greater sense of stability and credibility over time.
Messages Spread Quickly
Corporate sites tend to be static, and give little reason for visitors to return once they’ve had a chance to review its contents overall. Return visitors may come again for another purchase, or to compare pricing and services – but it’s often impossible to tell where the content has been changed on a website.
As blogs are frequently updated, visitors know at a glance what’s new, and might even monitor the changing content via RSS feed. This opted-in monitoring creates an open channel that can be shared through all types of social media – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Plaxo, etc. Sometimes this sharing can be done automatically, helping spread the messaging much more quickly thank conventional channels.
Engaging In Conversation
If blogs provide one advantage, it’s the ability to conduct a conversation with your prospects. Most people simply don’t engage with a website as they would a blog, which often inspires true dialogue that is helpful to the company, and to the prospect or customer. Data gathered in these conversations can provide the precise feedback you need to adjust your product or service to meet the real demands from your target market.
Get Back To Your Blog
So you haven’t launched a blog, or maybe you’ve abandoned yours for lack of attention and interest. We’d suggest you rethink that, and reengage. While there’s no replacement for a well designed website for selling products and presenting your company, there’s also tremendous value in using your blog to reach out to new customers that can’t be done with a traditional website.I
This blog will continue to offer you insights to brand marketing, as well as cover news that is of interest to our team. Please make use of it, and let us know what you think and believe. If you do the same for yourself – your sales will improve, and you’ll be thankful for the time and effort you put in.
Have you been thinking about a blog? Do you have one that you haven’t been keeping up? What successes and failures have you had in your blogging experience?