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To blog or not to blog?

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More than a good story

A blog is an important aspect of a finance content marketing strategy that can inspire, inform and convert your target audience, and unlike paid advertising, a blog continues to work hard for you even when your spend turns off. Blog posts help bolster your SEO, attract and nurture new leads and improve your brand awareness. With 89% of content marketers using blog posts in their marketing mix, quality content is something your customers have come to expect from the brands they choose to engage with.

While many finance brands see blogs as a time-intensive nice-to-have rather than a critical part of their marketing strategy, blogging is a powerful tool to drive customers down the funnel. Businesses that utilise blogging as part of their finance content marketing strategy have seen 13x their return on investment than businesses that don’t. Customers want custom content and will purchase products or services from a business that supplies it, with 60% of consumers saying that blogs influence their purchasing decisions in the early stages of the buying process.

Businesses that utilise blogging as part of their finance content marketing strategy have seen 13x their ROI than businesses that don’t.

Write finance content that lasts

By focusing on writing evergreen content that addresses your target audience’s questions in the language they’re naturally using to search, your blog can help ensure your finance brand gets found for years to come. Evergreen content will continue to do the hard work, even when your paid advertising stops.

You should select and create content that is based on the needs and interests of your target audience. There’s no one size fits all list of topics that work for finance brands, instead finance businesses must take the time to understand their target audience and selectively produce content specifically for them. Through the creation of a documented content strategy finance brands can align the needs of their audience with the objectives of the business, finding the sweet spot that fulfills both parties’ needs.

While you may think that content can’t compete with your other acquisition channels, research shows that content marketing generates over three times as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 62% less. This is because unlike other methods of lead generation, content marketing gives consumers information without asking them for anything in return. Studies show that businesses that utilise content marketing as a key strategy experience 7.8 times higher annual growth in unique site traffic.

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SEO and blogs – the keys to success

Blogs are an opportunity to strengthen your SEO strategy and can complement your other marketing materials. 70% of finance marketers would agree and believe SEO is more important than pay-per-click marketing.

SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads have a 1.7% close rate. Blogs are important for SEO as they allow you to utilise long-tail keywords, encourage backlinks to your finance brand and allow you to link back to your own website. With long-tail keywords having a 3-5% higher click-through rate than generic searches and the top websites in Google’s search engine rankings having 3.8 times as many backlinks as the ones below them, blogs are key in generating greater website visits.

Whilst the most important aspect of a blog post is that it provides important and informative content that’s relevant to your audience, the length of the content does play an important role in best-practice SEO. Long-form content (blog posts that are over 1000 words) is ideal, with search engine rankings punishing content they view as ‘thin’. Yoast recommends blog posts should be a minimum of 300 words, in order for search engine’s not to consider your content low-quality. On average, long-form content outperformed short-form content by 40.54%. This is because longer content provides more opportunities for backlinks, well-researched and high-quality content and allows you to include a greater amount of long-tail keywords and variants of your keyword.

While anything over 1000 words is considered long-form content, a study done by HubSpot found that articles that are over 2500 words generated the most leads for brands. This isn’t to say go out and just write long content, it is instead an indicator that varying your word length for different topics can provide a variety of benefits. You also need to keep your audience front of mind, monitoring and testing what delivers the best user experience and resonates most. If a subject is simple then there’s no reason to write a long-form article instead you should always prioritise high-quality content.

Overall, creating regular, high-quality blog content is key to best-practice SEO and can help strengthen your website’s position in the search engine rankings.

Get connected and build loyalty

Just like a face-to-face chat or a phone call, blogs allow you to connect with your customers and build brand loyalty. People like companies that benefit them, with 131% of consumers more likely to purchase from a brand that provides educational content. Blogs allow you to form a connection with your customers by allowing them to understand your values and how you align with their needs, with 56% of customers saying they will return to a business that “gets them”. Creating customer loyalty is a great way to boost profits, as simply increasing customer retention by 5% can boost profits by 25-95%.

Whilst creating content is important, it’s vital that you have a strategic and intelligent approach to what you’re writing. Ensuring that content is targeted to your audience is key when it comes to blogs. With over 600 million blogs on the internet, it’s critical that what you’re writing is directed at your customers, otherwise, you won’t generate productive leads. By creating a content marketing strategy that highlights the capabilities and expertise of your business whilst targeting a select audience, your blog posts will have much more success by not simply generating leads but also profit.

Blogs may seem like a menial marketing strategy but they can reap great rewards when used as part of an ongoing content plan. Blogs can strengthen your SEO strategy, build brand loyalty and generate leads. Having a blog will ensure you remain competitive and can be the critical push customers need to purchase from your business.

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Ella Boyd
Having graduated with an English Literature degree, Ella understands the power of great words. With extensive experience in copywriting for a diverse range of businesses and executing marketing strategies for financial brands, Ella is an expert in crafting content that connects with customers. When not at work, Ella is running an ultramarathon, practicing her cycling skills for her triathlons or reading a book with a cup of tea.