Words by Amy Fowler
I am firmly of the belief that original, fresh content is the cornerstone of any business’s online marketing strategy. If you have a good body of content to work from, then the other elements of your marketing plan will fall into place much more easily, such as your on-page SEO, link-building, social media and email marketing.
Here are my top ten reasons why blogging is great for business:
1. Fresh content for your website
If you never updated your blog, and your website simply existed as a collection of static, unchanging pages, what reason would your customers have to return to your site? A blog is a chance to tell your new and existing customers that your company is still alive and kicking, and that your website isn’t just sitting there gathering dust.
2. Become an expert in your field
If you are in professional services, or another related B2B industry, then one of your USPs will be your knowledge and expertise. What better way to showcase this than through a blog, allowing you to comment and advise on topics that are relevant to your target market. One word of advice – don’t share too much. There is a fine balance between making your customers aware enough of the issues to seek your advice, and giving away all your trade secrets!
3. Be the human behind the brand
It may sound like a cliche, but people buy from people. The first step in winning sales is to win the trust of your clientele. Only when they trust you will they part with their hard earned cash – and return to you again and again. Starting a blog gives you a very effective way to win that trust, as blogging reveals the human behind the brand. Adding humour to your posts, or blogging about things going on ‘behind the scenes’ at your company can be great ways of adding a human element to your blog. Blogs needn’t be formal and business-like, in fact it is usual for blogs to be written in a slightly more chatty tone than website pages. Obviously, keep language clean and don’t say anything you wouldn’t say to your mum!
4. Give your network something to share
People love to share information and resources online with their network – whether on their blog or website or on social media. The more interesting and relevant you can make your posts to your target market’s needs and requirements – and the more you answer a question that needs answering or create something unique – the greater the likelihood it will be shared. Where blog posts or other content are quickly shared across multiple networks due to their interesting or unique nature – this is called viral marketing. This can have extremely positive implications for your search engine rankings, your web traffic and ultimately, your business.
5. Improve your search engine ranking
There are over 100 different variables that influence Google’s algorithms, and they are constantly changing. However, it is widely assumed that an important one is the freshness of a website’s content, how often it is updated and the number of pages that a website has. Since every blog post constitutes a new page for your website, blogging means that your site is constantly growing with new material relevant to you, your customers and the phrases your customers are searching for. Blog posts are great for picking up ‘the long tail’ of searches, for example where someone types in a long question such as ‘how do I ensure effective SEO on my blog’. Instructive posts will get a good PageRank for these kinds of searches.
6. Your blog posts can feed into your social media
When I work with businesses on social media strategy, particularly those who are short of time and resources, I encourage them to plan their social media posts some time in advance. If you run a blog, you can use tools such as Tweetdeck to automatically post your blog article titles on your social media profiles when you post them. This automatically populates your social media profiles with fresh content, meaning that you don’t have to think up separate posts for social media on a daily basis. Clever, eh? I recommend to break up the blog posts with a few more interactive posts on your social media – such as asking your network a question.
7. Expand your expertise
There is no better way to improve your knowledge of your subject than to write about it. The more you blog, the more you will consider other subjects to write about and deepen your knowledge by researching different areas of your field. Although at first you may not know what to write about, you will find that you develop your blogging ‘voice’ and start to consider blogging about all sorts of topics you may not have considered before. See it as part of your continuing professional development in your subject.
8. Freshen up your marketing materials
Be careful with this one, as Google can penalise you if you are publishing too much duplicate content across your website. However, blogs can provide you with some great copy for your marketing materials, whether it’s an email campaign, a press release or print marketing.
9. Give something back
Whether or not you have blogged before, you’ll certainly have read other people’s content and passed it on to others. Blogging is a great chance to get your voice heard, but also to provide information to others in return for information you have gleaned from others in the past. By blogging you are helping contribute to the free dissemination of information on the web, which is a beautiful thing!
10. It’s never too late to start
You can start a blog at any time, and on any topic. I can guarantee that in a year’s time, you’ll be glad you started now. I heartily encourage you to take the plunge, go for it, and have fun!