Blogging is the foundation of content marketing and all of the benefits content brings to businesses. The truth is there is no more effective way to build traffic, authority, brand trust, leads, and sales to your business in an organic, sustainable way than by blogging – whether you’re in the cannabis industry or any other industry.
There are so many reasons why blogging works, but let’s take a look at five of the most important reasons why blogging is critical for cannabis and cannabis-related businesses.
Blogs drive traffic to business websites. It’s that simple. Research has found that websites with blogs have 434% more pages indexed by Google and other search engines, and they get 97% more incoming links than sites that don’t have blogs.Websites with blogs have more than 4x more pages indexed by Google and get nearly 2x more incoming links than sites without blogs.Click To Tweet
Every page on your website creates an entry point for Google, other search engines, other websites, and individuals to find your business online.
Here’s how it works.
Let’s say your website has 10 pages. That’s 10 entry points for Google and everyone else to find your business, because let’s face it, most people go to Google or their favorite search engine to find a business, product, or service they need).
Now, imagine that you publish a new blog post every week for a year. Google and everyone else will have 62 entry points to find you (10+52).
Imagine that you publish a blog post every day for a year. Google and everyone else will have 375 entry points to find you online (10+365).
But that’s not all. Blogging creates a domino effect that increases those entry points exponentially.
When you focus on writing and publishing useful, meaningful, and relevant blog posts that your target audience is interested in, people will share your posts across social media channels and email. They’ll write about your posts on their own blogs, websites, and so on.
Ultimately, the number of incoming links to your blog and website will jump significantly, and all of those entry points lead to more traffic, more brand awareness, and eventually, more sales.
As you gain more incoming links to your blog posts, your authority increases. This doesn’t just include authority among your target audience. Yes, your useful blog posts will help them recognize you as an authority in your field, which leads to brand trust (see #3 below for more details on that), but it also establishes your online authority which leads to more search engine traffic and helps online influencers notice you and your business.
Here’s what that means.
In search results, Google ranks websites that have more authority over sites that have less authority. You gain authority in Google’s search algorithm by publishing useful content that people want to consume and share.
When Google sees people sharing your content in a natural way, its algorithm will view your site as more authoritative, and your pages should appear higher in relevant searches.
Furthermore, as you build authority based on your amazing blog content, your social footprint will expand, and a larger number of influencers will notice you.
You’ll get on the radar screens of people who already have the eyes and ears of your target audience. Ideally, those influencers will like your authoritative content and share it with their own audiences leading to increased brand awareness for your business.
Again, the domino effect of publishing high quality blog content that is useful rather than entirely self-promotional, is very powerful and can lead to measurable results for your business.
When consumers trust your brand, word-of-mouth marketing, loyalty, and sales will go up from new and repeat customers.
By consistently publishing authoritative content on your blog, your target audience will gain trust in your brand. Their comfort-level in buying from your business will increase, and they’ll be more likely to share your content and buy from you.
Therefore, it’s essential that the quality of your blog content matches the quality you want consumers to perceive of your brand. If the two don’t align, consumers will become confused with your brand and turn away from it in search of one that meets their expectations in every interaction.
Confusion is the number one brand killer, so to increase brand trust, make sure every brand experience – from your blog content to your ads, social media posts, in-store experiences, and everything in between – reflects a consistent brand message and image.
If your website doesn’t get traffic, then you can’t get leads from it. A blog that is well-written and provides trustworthy, useful information to your target audience can increase your website’s traffic, and some of that traffic will include prospective customers.
The goal is to cast a wide net through your blog posts and drive traffic to your blog that you can turn into active leads using lead generation campaigns (e.g., lead magnets), newsletter subscriptions, and so on. Once you acquire prospects’ email addresses through an opt-in process, you can nurture, engage, and convert them into sales through email marketing.
This type of lead generation system is extremely effective, but you need a blog to generate the highest returns on your investments.
Once your blog has attracted traffic to your website and grown your audience of existing and prospective customers, you can use it to generate sales.
While your blog posts should never be entirely self-promotional (no one wants to read a constant stream of ads), you can include some self-promotional posts or add a call to action to some of your posts. A good balance is 80-20 where 80% or more of your blog posts and content are not self-promotional and 20% or less can be self-promotional.
That means you can publish a blog post promoting a special sale, a discount, a new product, or anything else as long as it’s useful, meaningful, and relevant to your target audience.
Be sure to link from the blog post directly to a page on your site where visitors can buy or complete the action that you want them to take. The easier you can make the process, the more leads you’ll convert and sales you’ll close.
Key Takeaways about Blogging for Cannabis and Cannabis-Related Businesses
Bottom-line, every business should have an active blog, and that includes cannabis businesses and cannabis-related businesses. A blog delivers measurable growth over time, so make publishing high quality blog content a priority to boost your website traffic, authority, brand trust, leads, and sales.
Susan Gunelius, Lead Analyst for Cannabiz Media and author of Marijuana Licensing Reference Guide: 2017 Edition, is also President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company offering, copywriting, content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and strategic branding services. She spent the first half of her 25-year career directing marketing programs for AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more as well as small businesses around the world. She has been working with clients in the cannabis industry since 2015. Susan has written 11 marketing-related books, including the highly popular Content Marketing for Dummies, 30-Minute Social Media Marketing, Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps, The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing, and she is a popular marketing and branding keynote speaker. She is also a Certified Career Coach and Founder and Editor in Chief of Women on Business, an award-winning blog for business women. Susan holds a B.S. in marketing and an M.B.A in management and strategy.