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The allure of smart and stylish video content draws in many online marketers. But don’t be fooled. Good old-fashioned written content still has a valuable role to play in a brand’s success.

In fact, 55 percent of marketers list blogging as their top priority for drawing in customers, according to a 2018 HubSpot survey. These marketers understand that frequent, high-quality blog posts lead to increased traffic.

What Is a Blog?

Sure, “blog” is a common online term, but not everyone has a solid idea of what it means. That’s because blogs can take on many unique styles — in terms of length, tone and content.

In general, you can picture a blog as a public diary. Individuals, businesses or groups can publish blogs, and their regular postings are usually informative or entertaining. Whether a blog post focuses mostly on facts or opinions, the writing tends to be informal. The exact style depends on the business’ voice and its target audience.

Bloggers must always keep that audience in mind. If a blog doesn’t strike the tone, or if it gets bogged down in jargon, readers will tune out. Speaking of which — you’re still with us, right?

What Are the Benefits of Blogging?

Blogs have been around since the earliest days of the Internet, and they continue to stick around for numerous reasons. Here are a few ways your business can benefit from having a high-quality blog.

A Blog Increases Inbound Traffic

Perhaps the biggest benefit of a blog is increased inbound traffic. When you write an especially useful or entertaining blog post, other individuals and businesses online will reference it and link back to your site. Businesses that blog regularly benefit from 97 percent more links to their sites than their non-blogging competitors, according to HubSpot.

A Blog Keeps Your Online Content Fresh

Search engines like websites with updated content. Readers like websites with updated content. Stale content will hinder your traffic and public perception of your brand.

A blog is a simple way to keep things fresh. Use this section of your site to talk about new products and the latest trends that affect your industry. On slower news days, opinion pieces and how-to guides can keep your valuable blog content flowing. If you have trouble coming up with blog topics, consider hiring a professional content creator to help out.

A Blog Shows Off Your Knowledge of the Industry

If you run a landscaping business, your blog probably won’t contain a review of mountain bikes or a guide to making coffee blends. Write about topics that are relevant to your business; this allows you to assert yourself as an industry expert.

You might be tempted to only write content that promotes your services. But if you want to create truly valuable content for your readers, cover industry news and trends as well. A blog is useful for advertising, but it’s also your chance to establish yourself as a trustworthy source of information.

Prioritize informative content over plugs for your products. That’s not to say you should avoid mentioning your services altogether. But your customers will appreciate — and reward — your willingness to do more than just sell, sell, sell.

A Blog Gives Your Brand a Unique Voice

Sometimes offering a new and outstanding product or service just isn’t enough. You have to know how to pitch your ideas to potential customers in a way that helps you stand out from your competitors.

One way to do this is to develop a unique voice for your brand. How do you address your customers? Are you straightforward, concise and respectful of the customer’s time? Or is your brand’s voice more playful and spontaneous?

A blog gives you an opportunity to experiment with this aspect of your business. As you come up with new blog ideas, you can monitor older entries and determine what content was most captivating.

A Blog Allows for Increased Customer Engagement

Businesses sometimes include comments sections below their blog posts. This gives customers a way to respond to the provided facts or opinions. Make a habit of asking readers, “What do you think?” Customers can voice their concerns about the industry and what they like or dislike about your brand’s latest moves.

You can also link to your blog in social media posts. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter give customers yet another way to communicate with you. No matter how you decide to engage your customers, remember to respond regularly. Neglecting to interact with them can make your brand seem detached.

A Blog Is Cheap

Worried about paying for a blog? Despite all its aforementioned benefits, a blog is a relatively cheap business tool. If you’re a proficient writer and have the time, you can handle the task yourself. However, a professional writer or editor who’s knowledgeable about your industry and search engine optimization techniques can produce incredibly valuable blog content.