We've heard all the excuses of why business blogging and content marketing are bad ideas: it doesn't help SEO (not true), the market is oversaturated (with bad content and blogging, that's for sure), it doesn't generate leads (you're doing it wrong if that's the case), it doesn't make sales (again, you're doing it wrong if that's all you care about). However, it only takes one really reason to convince that content marketing and business blogging are good ideas: consumers like it.
Yes, Consumers Like Great Content!
That's right, consumers actually like, and prefer, the content companies create. A study from the Custom Content Council found that 73% of consumers prefer to get information from a company in the form of a collection of articles over an advertisement. The study doesn't specify how those articles are presented, as that collection could be in an ebook (like our How to Blog ebook), a blog like this one, or maybe a kit or a resources page. What makes this even better is that this same study also found that 77% of consumers understand that the company’s goal for content creation is to sell them something. Since consumers know that, any businesses out there that want to get involved in business blogging and content marketing don't have to emphasize the selling aspect when it comes to the content you create. Consumers get it, so you don't need to push it.
Content Creation Needs to Be about the Customer
Since consumers already get that you are trying to sell something, don't make the point of all the content you create to be to make the sale right then and there. Instead, create content that provides value and targets their interests. For example, if you're a cloud computing company, all your content shouldn't be about why people need to purchase cloud computing services and how great your company is. Answer some of the most common questions about cloud computing. Respond to industry news or add a cloud computing twist to any news that's somewhat relevant. Talk about what cloud computing can do, and what problems it can solve. Over 65% of consumers like that custom content marketing targets their interests, and all those angles mentioned would target the interests of those who like cloud computing, or are considering cloud computing services, or are maybe comparing vendors.
Content Creations that's About Value
Those topics also provide information that's of value, which is not only crucial to building customer trust and brand awareness, but it's another thing that consumers like. Over two-thirds of consumers, from that survey mentioned, said that they feel that custom content from a company is valuable. Why is it valuble to them (besides offering the very information they are looking for)? It's valuable to them because it addresses their needs. Traditional, interruptive, outbound marketing and advertising doesn't do that. It's valuable because the content actually helped them, whether that's answering a burning question, or showing them how to do something, or teaching them something new. That's what consumers what, and that's what your customers want, so make sure that's what you deliver.
Content Creation is a Worthwhile Marketing Practice
If all that's not enough to convince to get involved with content marketing and business blogging, then we're not really sure what to tell you. We've pretty much said that consumers, which probably includes your target demographic, would love to read what you create. Perhaps we should mention that 61% feel better about a company that delivers custom content AND are in turn more likely to buy from that company. So, consumers don't just like and prefer content creation, but it will actually help in getting them to buy from you. You know, that whole making sales and generating leads thing.
Getting started with content creation, or keeping it going can be difficult. Maybe you just need a few more ideas. Here's out list of 101 business blog ideas that you can download now and use right away (and maybe not strictly for blogging either). Click the button below to get the list!