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So, you’ve decided to throw some weight behind your marketing campaign and settled on blogging — great choice!

Despite the buzz surrounding podcasts and video content, blogging remains as relevant and powerful a marketing tool as ever.

Let’s break it down.

All marketable content is designed to do the following:

Drive Traffic

Blogging is an excellent vehicle for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which, in short, is a marketing tool used to increase online visibility through organic means. Rather than using ads or other paid methods SEO focuses on using keywords and crafting websites that are search engine friendly to land online content higher in the search engine rankings. You can learn more about SEO here.

In addition, blogging creates a central resource that visitors will continuously turn to. Once on the site, you have the opportunity to direct them to other areas; for example the Services or About Us page.

Convert Leads

In addition to making your business easier to find blogs also give you a place to house your lead magnets — useful incentives offered to potential customers/clients for free in exchange for their email address. If you think about it you’ve probably received a lead magnet before; maybe it was an ebook or a weekly industry newsletter for the cost of your email address.

Adding these lead magnets within or at the end of your post keeps visitors on your site and increases the likelihood of converting them from leads to actual customers.

Blogs also perform double duty in providing your business with subject matter for social media. Promote the blog or share helpful topics and other resources. All of these things create great conversation starters to better engage your followers. You can even recycle blog posts over time filling up the occasional content calendar gap.

Establish Authority & Trust

Finally, blogs help to cement your business as an authoritative and trustworthy voice in your industry. As your consistency creates a resource for your audience that resource will generate a level of trust. Visitors will begin to trust not just the information but your brand and services as well.

Now that we’ve discussed the value of blogging let’s get into

Who

Determine who your audience is early. Are you writing to teachers, multi-medium artists, restaurateurs? Identifying your audience will give your business’s blog a focus and provide cohesiveness to your work.

What & Why

Be clear on the intention behind the blog. What are you trying to communicate or share and why is this information useful?

Where

This aspect is a bit of a decision. You can choose to self-host your business blog or post on a separate platform. For example, lots of companies and even individual business owners post on sites like Medium or LinkedIn. The benefits of posting on an established site include:

Built-in Traffic — Instead of building an audience and generating traffic to your site jumping on to a large entity like Medium or LinkedIn allows you to tap into a large existing readership.

Easy Posting — Type, paste, or upload your newest post, add an image, include a link back to your site and done.

High Ranking — Remember SEO and how it helps to move your content higher in the search engine results? Larger platforms already rank fairly high which means your content will too.

And don’t forget posting on established platforms means no design or site upkeep on your part. Simply choose the site that is most aesthetically pleasing and post.

On the other hand posting to your company’s site also comes with its own set of benefits:

Control — All sites have guidelines and terms, and those terms may or may not be in alignment with your content and how you want to publish it. When you choose to blog on your own site, you get to play by your own rules.

Longevity — Remember Windows Live Spaces, Posterous, or My Opera? At one time they were all active blogging sites — they are now defunct. Blogging on your own site protects your business and your work from the constantly changing tide that is the internet.

When & How

Whether it’s Monday morning or Saturday night choosing when to post is entirely up to you but try to consider who your audience is and when new content would work best for their schedule — why post on Wednesday if your target audience likely won’t get to it until Friday?

Also, how will you produce and manage your blog? Does your schedule offer enough time to draft, proofread, revise, post, promote, and engage with followers/commenters on a weekly basis? Does your team have enough manpower to add a blog to their plate? If so great! If not perhaps hiring some outside help like freelance writers and content managers, or utilizing automation tools would be a good idea.

All in all, blogs are still an incredibly relevant marketing tool for any business or entrepreneur looking to improve on their marketing strategy. Now that you know the value and the basic how-to of blogging you can move forward in creating a blog that will attract and convert new leads for your business.



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