Few businesses have the social savviness to keep websites, social media accounts, and blogs rolling out all at once. Why? Because it takes time and effort, though the investment has potential to draw in new customers and create more Web-based conversions. There are other benefits of blogging, too, like educating your current and potential consumers, increasing search traffic, and establishing yourself as an online authority in an industry.
Before we jump into what to blog and how often, you need to have groundwork down to help support your campaign. It all starts and ends with a website; while you likely blog using an outside platform, posts are easily routed through a homepage and can help generate traffic. The premise behind a quality webpage is to keep it active. You do this by publishing information and giving people a reason to visit, whether they directly search out your company’s name or find their way to a landing page via social media or a blog.
You’ll also need to secure social media accounts like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. The first three are a given; make sure your business info is up to date and you keep your newsfeeds rolling. When it comes to Google+, Google’s Authorship is currently the top way to get your blog discovered through the search engine. By tying your blog to your name and Google+ profile, queries are more likely to pull them up because you’re more likely to be an authority on a subject.
Blogging with the Pros
As mentioned, there are benefits of blogging that go beyond generating traffic. Blogs actually win business, though few companies put forth the effort to create meaningful, attractive blogs that pull in customers. Here are a few ways your pro blog can benefit your company:
- They add an indexed, business-friendly page to search engines
- Blogs allow you to better connect with consumers as well as other businesses
- Social media is influenced by expert blogs
- Can help increase email subscription numbers
- Grants a voice to a business
- Allows writers to exchange ideas with readers
- Blogs also help companies learn how to tap into 21st century marketing trends
- They can share authentic information about a company that clients want to read
The last tip brings us to an important difference between strict marketing and blogging; the best blogs refrain from obsessive, self-promotional content. There is a time and place for a sales pitch, but one of the benefits of blogging is that you casually convince readers that you are an authority that is informed and interested in connecting with them.
The purpose of any online campaign is to generate traffic. On one hand, companies could count on physical handouts like business cards that have URLs, social media accounts, and other info that encourages consumers to directly find their assets. Or websites can utilize email lists, though click-through rates on emails are rather low. You could also pay for online ads that link people to your website. Or, you could earn conversions when people directly type your name into Google. That, however, is only useful for pulling in people who already know who you are.
One of the perks of blogging is that people don’t have to know your company exists. Instead, they could search out keywords like, “What kind of mortgage should I get?” or “How do I stay healthy?” These phrases are Google-friendly and will likely link to Google Authorship blogs that answer those questions. Once readers click the links it’s up to you to decide where they go; your website? Your blog platform with links to your main page?
Understanding blog perks doesn’t help unless you are able to form blogs that people want to read. In essence, this breaks down into three different elements:
- Inform: The best blogs inform the audience in a non-preachy way. Find a topic about your industry or marketing vertical and make sure it speaks directly to the reader, not over their heads.
- Conversations: Blogs and social media go both ways. Respond to comments and farm for hot topics that your readers want to know more about. Keep track of the likes, shares, and follows with everything you write.
- Authentic: Among other benefits of blogging, you finally have the opportunity to share real, unfiltered information — don’t let your readers down!
Photo by: Melonie Dodaro
Thanks for making the connection between social media marketing and content creation; the two can’t thrive without each other! I like to see businesses taking on an agile approach that incorporates the feedback from social fans within the topics they cover for blog posts – these practices truly get to the heart of customer engagement online.
National Benefit Builders, Inc. (NBBI) were engaged in the building and marketing of a regional dental network that eventually became the largest independent network of its kind in the NY/NJ area.http://nbbihome.com/