Google finally announced what many of us already knew last week, that they are more interested in quality content than keyword-stuffed text. Whilst in recent years social media has grown to become one of the most powerful marketing tools, blogging seems to have taken something of a back seat.
However, blogging and well written articles retain their ability to push your site up the ranking as well as provide good content for a business’ social media campaign. If your company doesn’t have a blog in place, then you should bear in mind that your competitors probably have – and they will be winning.
Blogs are great for small and medium sized businesses and currently, 68% of smaller companies utilise them, as opposed to 55% of large corporations. This is due to the fact that blogs represent an excellent marketing opportunity at a low cost.
As the infographic shows, whilst many companies use articles as their primary marketing tool and social media marketing the secondary, blogs come in a close third in front of more traditional tactics such as newsletters.
What can a blog do for your business?
As aforementioned, a blog can drive your site up the search engine rankings as you produce regular fresh and interesting content to your site. Doing this daily can have a real impact on your marketing; 46% of those surveyed said that having a blog had a positive impact on sales through their website.
Blog content can also reduce the need for searching for industry relevant content for your social media campaign too. Instead of looking for daily updates that are pertinent to your industry, you simply publish a link to your blog. This can somewhat automate the social media side of things as you can link your Facebook page to Twitter so that each time you update your Facebook status, Twitter automatically tweets the link for you.
However, it’s always worth remembering that a business blog is for your company, so a daily blog of your personal interests isn’t likely to become a helpful tool. When starting a business blog, remember to gear the content to your industry whilst keeping it fresh, interesting and accessible enough to attract potential customers.
One of the beauties of social networking for many customers is the open nature of it and blogs should be no different. Blogging platforms all come with an option to allow comments and this shouldn’t be disabled as the point is to open and maintain a useful dialogue with existing and potential clients.
Once this has been established, it’s vital that you keep the dialogue going in order to understand your customers better. A customer who can discuss a pricy product they are thinking of buying will do so from you if you are willing to go out of your way and explain the benefits of that product or even tell them why it’s not for them and suggest an alternative.
Other points to consider before you begin blogging are:
•Whether to include your blog on your site or a free blog url – it’s better to have it on your site if you can integrate it easily enough, this allows for a seamless look to your brand – if you can also keep the same theme across Facebook and Twitter then you will build a strong brand, so long as you manage it well.
•Your target audience – this is something you need to think long and hard about; who are your target audience and why. Of course, as a business, you will have covered this in an on-going plan anyway, now is the time to really put it into practice and make it work harder for you.
If you’re a small company and don’t have a blog, you should definitely get one. They’re cheap to run, even if you pay a third-party to write them for you and they drive traffic and search engine results and more – what do you have to lose?