Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Reddit. There’s no end to the number of places a business can promote, engage and entertain their customers and potential customers. There’s heated debate over which platform is best for converting readers to buyers. But when it gets down to the actual numbers, according to a recent survey by Ascend2, blogs win hands down. They’re one of the top three most-effective marketing platforms: creating audio/visual content, white papers and article/blog content. Not surprisingly, the three biggest platforms are also the three hardest platforms to execute well. The website that consistently produces quality content, whether it's written, audio or visual, is the one most likely to win the customer.
I’m not surprised to see that blogs are considered to be nearly four times more effective as a social media-marketing platform than advertising on social media. The reason that blogs play into the natural purchasing behavior of prospects is their mind-blowing ability to engage their audience: customers first have a thought. Then they research the idea. Next they consider options. Next they make a decision to buy, wait or drop. Finally, if they decide to buy, they go with the brand that meets their expectations and is the one that they know, like or trust the most.
Blogs naturally support the early stages of research, since they are informative. Blogs may offer consideration options and comments from other consumers. They contribute to the conversation. And if the customer is inclined to make a purchase, they already have an increased “know, like and trust” for the blog, so that site has a leg up on the sale. Readers also consider blogs they read regularly like friends—they go there first for word-of-mouth referrals.