Blogging is awful.
I hate it. You hate it. And, according to a recent survey, 96% of our agency hates it. (For the record, that’s everyone except Abby Hill, MBB Content Strategist, Blogger Extraordinaire. But more on her mad skills later…). I get it. I really do. But as much as I hate it, as a marketer, I also love it. Here is why it works for our agency and why it can be beneficial for you as well.
Having a consistent and quality blog is an important piece to a marketing plan, especially for a small business. At MBB Agency, it is one of many tactics we use to help us grow our brand awareness and engagement.
While it’s not easy, there are benefits to maintaining a blog. For one, a blog is key to keeping us active online and top of mind for prospects. It helps keep us present in both the Kansas City business and agency communities, which is a key goal for our agency. Having a relevant and compelling blog also helps drive traffic to a website through organic search and inbound links. At MBB, blog posts are shareable content for monthly emails and across all of our social channels. In addition, links within each post help direct readers to other valuable pages on our website, such as work and case studies.
Can a blog actually impact a company’s bottom line, though? Well, yes. Companies that have blogs receive 67% more leads that those that don’t. In fact, two of MBB’s newest clients came in through our website. Moreover, through this owned content source, we are able to prove out our position as an agency with strong creative blended with even stronger thinking.
Having new content with clear keywords on a website will allow more opportunities for the website to be found in search. At MBB, organic traffic is the leading source of traffic to our website. While the majority of this traffic is from branded search terms (MBB Agency, Muller Bressler Brown, etc), 20% of this organic traffic is through blog posts. But, its important to note, not just any blog post will do.
Heineken vs Pepsi Example
In April 2017, the advertising world erupted when Pepsi released an ad attempting to address recent social issues and unite Americans by having Kendall Jenner walk through a protest (or, in this case, a street party) and hand a police officer a Pepsi. The ad made light of the recent “Black Lives Matter” movement that swept the country at the time. It was quickly, and for good reason, described as “tone-deaf” and, eventually, pulled by Pepsi. Soon after, Heineken released an ad called “Open Your Mind” that also addressed controversial political and social issues that individuals faced. This ad was immediately praised for its authenticity, simplicity and diversity.
In the midst of the twitter tantrum that took place as a result, MBB was quick to analyze the situation and publish a blog post about it. This blog post, “Heineken vs Pepsi: Mixing Product with Politics” alone had a significant impact on the traffic to our website, driving nearly 200 new users to the site.
Why was our Heineken vs Pepsi blog post so successful? We acted quickly on a relevant topic that we knew would resonate with our target audience. Remember Abby Hill, MBB Content Strategist and Blogger Extraordinaire? She rose to the challenge of not only covering the topic in-depth and providing insightful, original commentary, but also on a tight turnaround, during a time when the industry was only beginning to discuss the correlation between the two ads. Our timeliness and thorough coverage paid off. Even today, our website is highly visible when searching for articles on this topic.
Writing a good blog post may come easy to some, but establishing and maintaining a blog doesn’t happen overnight and shouldn’t be done on a whim. At MBB, we knew if we were going to blog, it would need to be quality content that resonated with our target audience and didn’t drain our resources. So, we took a step back and asked a few tough questions. Who did we want to talk to? Who wanted to listen to us? What do they want to hear? Why do they want to hear it? So on and so on. Meeting after meeting. Slowly and strategically, a content strategy was created. While a blog is just one piece of content in a content strategy, it is certainly an important one. But implementing it is a whole other story.
How do we get members of our agency to write weekly blog posts? Intimidation, primarily. When a writer’s blog is due, they receive a dodge ball on their desk reminding them to not drop the ball. We are asking, sometimes begging, individuals to not drop the ball on the blog. Literally. We are hoping they see the bigger picture, too. While writing a blog post isn’t always easy, especially when we are buried deep in client work, we try to keep in mind that our next blog post could play a part in landing our next client. And isn’t that why we’re here in the first place?
Establishing a consistent and compelling blog is not easy. Even with a seamless (er, semi-seamless) process in place, sometimes it feels like pulling teeth. From a bear. A very hungry bear. Sometimes, when someone tells me there is no point to our blog, I am tempted to throw in the towel. But, on the other hand, I love seeing our company’s name pop up on a Google search for “Heineken vs Pepsi.” I love knowing someone spent five minutes and forty seconds reading one of our blogs after they viewed our work page and before they filled out a “Contact Us” form. I love that our social followers, reach, engagement and clicks are all up quarter over quarter because we share our blog content through multiple social channels.
But, most importantly, I love throwing blog balls every week. I really do.