I had been slacking with our content marketing strategy for a few months. The hardest part about blogging is being consistent. I made a decision to start blogging more frequently, and put out an article about the 5 Reasons Startup Founders Blow Through Money. When readers clicked through, 82% ended up reading the entire article – scrolling all the way to the bottom. Markerly tracks these user engagements, so I looked at our dashboard and it showed that reason #3, and in particular, the sentence, “If you’re spending money on marketing and you don’t have a blog, you’re doing it backwards” was the most popular quote on the page–with 4x the amount of engagements. Read more about this by clicking here to skip to #4 on this post.

[Markerly tracks where your mouse is moving, text selection, pinching in on a screen, etc., and gives actionable analytics on what parts of your blog are getting the most interactions while also turning all text, photos and videos shareable. Select text on this post and see what happens!]

So often we wonder how we can creatively market our products and services and don’t see the most obvious, cost efficient way–blogging. Sometimes we are blind to what’s right in front of us. So here are 5 reasons why blogging is the best ROI:

1. You’re SO Smart!

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 2.19.58 AM

When you click through to a blog it’s because you are hungry to learn more about that subject. Your interest level is high. You are interested enough in what this blogger has to say that you will take time to read their thoughts and opinions. You expect to learn something, whether it’s a new craft or SEO tips.

Why it’s important: The best thing for a brand to do is use their passion to help others learn.  It increases brand awareness and establishes the brand as a thought-leader, and “experts”.

Results: “Experts” get asked to speak at conferences, and are sought after when others have questions. What better way to build your brand than to be an expert?

Example: Blog.Kissmetrics.com – experts in using data to market and grow your business.

2. Own Search Results

Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 6.26.26 PM

Ask yourself what types of keywords the readers you’d like to attract would search for. When you search for ‘tips to improve my SEO’ look at the blog results that pop up. Figure out what term you want people to search for and then blog for those results.

Why it’s important: It’s much more effective to appear in Google’s organic search results than it is to appear in the the paid spots.

Results: If you blog for those keywords and readers find you organically they will respect and trust your brand more.

Example: Markerly.com and articles about Markerly come up when you search for “how to get micro content sharing” – yes it’s niche, but it brings us traffic and is something that bloggers are interested in adding. It’s free!


3. Bloggers Hold The Key To The Kingdom

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 12.07.51 AM

Imagine you’re a payment company – Stripe, WePay, PayPal, Square, PayByGroup — whatever. You’d probably want to appear in search results when someone types in, “What’s the best way to accept payments online?” If you search that phrase you’ll see results from bloggers, not from the aforementioned companies! Bloggers are so valuable – engage them and thank them when you appear in these posts and give them great experiences so they write about you!

Why it’s important: Many blogs appear very high in search results and if a blogger doesn’t like your brand they’ll let others know. One thing that will never change is that word of mouth is the best form of advertisement.

Results: Your brand will appear as being one of the top contenders when users are searching for reviews or suggestions.

Example: Lifehacker.com has incredible pull even though the article is older. You’ll see advertisements for WePay and Square, but what is a reader most likely to click on? The photo above says it all. Drive more users to your product by getting it written about by bloggers.


4. Market Research

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 12.18.27 AM

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 12.18.57 AM

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 12.19.24 AM

Why did I write this post? It’s because Markerly told me that readers were most interested in a particular sentence about blogging from a previous post. If you look at the screenshot, one of the sentences at the very top of the page had a low engagement, and another sentence towards the very bottom of the article had a high level of engagement showing that readers scrolled all the way through to the bottom of the article and found that topic most interesting.

Why it’s important: Listening is one of the most important things a company can do. Listening helps you find product to market fit more accurately. Listening also brings you closer to your audience.

Results: Your product will evolve. Naturally.

Example: “Listening” to how readers engaged with a previous post of mine, and writing more about it as shown in the picture above.


5. Two Way Communication

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 2.28.26 AM

We all know that it’s important to monitor what people are saying about your brand on social media. By blogging you are able to put an idea or a thought out there and see how others respond.

Why it’s important: Humans are complex creatures. We can’t predict with 100% accuracy how any person will react. If your target audience disagrees with what you write, listen and alter your messaging!

Results: Become more connected with your readers. Know what their hot-spots are, what ticks them off, what pleases them, engages them, and what they want to share and talk about. You’ll increase your readership.

Example: Danielle Morrill is a popular blogger and I’m always impressed at how well she monitors what readers are saying about her content. She’s always engaging as shown above and clarifies/writes further based on the pulse of the readers.