If this reality hasn't hit you already, blogging isn't just for topically obsessed nerds anymore. If Richard Branson (founder and chairman of Virgin Group) can find the time to blog on a daily basis (sometimes multiple times a day), is it really too good for you or your company?
Facetiousness aside, you are very likely aware that we've entered the age of online business. You probably don't have to go looking any further than your own home town to realize that many traditional brick-and-mortar stores, in every industry, are shutting down. Online business is quickly becoming the standard and the future.
Having a social media presence is important, but I don't believe any online marketing strategy is truly complete without the implementation of a blog. There are many advantages to starting and maintaining a blog as a company. Presented here are a few reasons I would consider to be some of the most important.
1. SEO Benefits
However, you can't just stuff your blog posts with keywords and expect to get ranked. Search engines have gotten pretty smart these days, so the best practice here is to write rich, informative content that is intended for human eyes and not just for search engines. You will only see SEO benefits from organic, strategic growth. Writing posts that target specific keywords and topics is a must.
Blogs have been known to increase website traffic for many businesses. We already talked about the fact that blogs have various SEO benefits, so as you post more content to your blog, naturally you will generate more of a pull.
Some of that will come from search traffic and new visitors, but you will also create more of a reason for your loyal customer base to keep returning to your site. If they are already sold out to your product or service, providing them with more information is only going to strengthen your relationship with them.
Moreover, as you create more content, you will have more to share with your social media followers. If you're able to grab their attention, they will want to check out what you've put together. Since consistency is important both in blogging and social media, the two work very well together.
Blogs allow you to reach your target market and interact with them in a new way (that is, if you're not blogging already). Think of it this way. If your business sells cameras, for example, you could provide helpful reviews and comparisons. You could answer some of the most commonly asked questions about your products. You could provide how-to guides and infographics.
There are a variety of ways to draw people in using headlines and keywords. Once they're on your site, you can have them follow you on your social profiles, join your mailing list or subscribe to your feed depending on what call to actions you use. You might even turn some of your new visitors into customers. You can also facilitate conversation with a commenting system, a forum or both.
Do you have an upcoming exhibition, trade show, conference or convention that you want to promote? Blogs can be utilized to promote your various offline efforts, especially those that are available to the public or other companies in the same industry.
If you're launching a new product, promoting a new e-book or white paper, encouraging participation in a survey, contest, or promotion, guess what? Blogging is a great way to draw attention to those things too.
Blogging isn't always easy work. Immediate results are rare. It will take determination and long-term doggedness to earn the types of benefits talked about here. However, the effort is worth it.
Furthermore, the time it takes to research and write great content can be considerable. As long as you go in to it understanding these realities, you won't get discouraged when you are writing your 100th blog post and nobody has commented on any of them yet. Create an editorial calendar, devise a long-term strategy and don't be afraid to iterate and try new things along the way.