Blogs may be ubiquitous in today’s digital landscape, but blogging in its current form is quite different than it was when it was first introduced (and referred to as a “weblog”). So, it’s understandable that many people are still confused about the medium and unaware of how valuable of a marketing tool it can be. In fact, one of the top questions we receive from clients is, “What is a blog?”
We’ll start with the answer because it’s simple, really: A blog is an online publication.
That’s all there is to it – although how a blog is executed can vary widely. For example, it can be part of your website or it can be a standalone website. It can be personal (more like a diary) or it can be professional. But ultimately, it’s a place where you publish content that is of interest to your readers.
When it comes to business – B2B and B2C – blogging is a powerful tactic to attract leads. However, you should never start a blog with the intent of generating sales (that is the quickest way to fail). Rather, a blog should be a resource for your customers, providing them with information and positioning your place in the market.
Mistakes to Avoid
This type of content generation is not the right approach for every company – don’t let someone try to convince you otherwise. Ideally, blogging should be just one piece of your marketing strategy. So, determine how it supports the other tactics you have in place and go from there. Consider the following:
- What is the goal of your blog?
- Who is the audience for your blog?
- How often will you post – and why?
- Who will serve as the author(s) of your blog?
- What topics will you cover?
- What type of imagery will you use?
Honestly, there is no “right” way to blog. While your posts should be high quality and thoughtful, if you get too hung up on the details, you will be doing a disservice to your customers and your company. At the end of the day, consistency is what’s really important. If you blog with regular frequency and maintain a consistent voice, your blog is more likely to become a highlight of your site.
In terms of your posting schedule, quality is always better than quantity. If your posts are well-written and useful, you will attract a larger audience – and your SEO will improve, as will your leads. The best way to provide value for your readers is to write for them, not to serve the interests of your company. Consider the questions you receive most often and the pain points your customers experience and then address them in writing.
We also recommend that as you develop your blog, you keep a “Blogging Style Guide,” so that there is uniformity among all of your posts in terms of formatting, word choice, and tone.
The Real Value of Blogging
Not convinced? Here are just some of the reasons you should consider a blog for your company website:
- Blogging gives your company a point of view and a voice. Your blog is your company’s opportunity to build authority and establish expertise as you muse on industry trends, respond to relevant news, and provide a unique but meaningful perspective that your customers will respond to and respect.
2. It’s free PR. We don’t believe that the press release is dead – not by any means. But, a blog is certainly a PR vehicle in its own right. Now you can announce company news and share company updates on your own terms and on your own website – accessible to everyone. In fact, many journalists pay attention to stand-out blogs, using the information to fuel their stories.
3. It makes you think. While blogging can be time-consuming, it forces you to take a step back and dig a little bit deeper into topics that concern your customers and your industry. Use the opportunity to fuel your creativity and share a post that you will be proud of.
4. It gives you insight into your audience. Because a blog lives online, you’ll have access to key analytics about your audience. By determining which blog posts are resonating the most with your customers, you may be able to better tailor your offerings to them, making as-needed adjustments.
5. It fuels SEO. A blog means that your website is updated on a more frequent basis, so it’s being crawled by search engines more often. If your content is popular, your website is more likely to appear higher in search engine results than it otherwise would.
6. It drives traffic to your website. New content will bring new eyes to your website. This is especially important today, as people more frequently rely on the internet to research and make purchasing decisions. Good blogs have a call-to-action in them. This helps to convert those leads to actual sales. Even if those leads aren’t ready to buy now, your brand will be top-of-mind when they make a decision.
7. It’s cost-effective. If your company is tight on money, marketing budgets can get cut. Blogging, however, is an affordable tactic compared to many others, and, as noted above, its overall impact is often much deeper than that of other approaches.
8. It humanizes your brand. Blogging gives your company a face, showcasing your brand and highlighting the things that you care about. If have multiple authors from within the company, it gives access to the people that your customers may be in contact with, making them more likely to want to reach out and work with you.
Time to Get Started
You don’t have to go it alone when it comes to blogging. We can help you develop and execute a blogging strategy that will support your company’s goals and attract new leads. We can also work with your team to craft and publish blog posts that match the tone and brand that your company wants to portray.
If you’re interested in launching a blog or improving the strategy behind your existing blog, we can help. Contact us for an honest evaluation of what blogging can do for your company.
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