Is Blogging really going to benefit my business?
The simple answer to this question is ‘Yes’, blogging will benefit your business. But you can’t just create a blog and leave it as a static, dead page on the internet. Your blog has to be dynamic and alive – it is the platform that facilitates your conversations and creates dialogue with a global audience. In an earlier post we highlighted ways in which businesses can create a successful blog.
MarketingSherpa’s 2009 Social Media Marketing & PR Benchmark Guide provides a comprehensive overview of why Social Media Marketing is important. We looked at some key aspects of the report and came up with our evaluation of why blogging is an important component of the Social Media Marketing mix and how it can greatly benefit businesses:
1. Brand Awareness and Engagement – As Inbound Marketing techniques take precedence over traditional marketing practices, more and more companies are working to create an online presence. With putting up a website online comes the challenge of projecting a positive brand image. It is all about being found and getting heard. Blogs help businesses get found by their customers. Through a blog, a business can create meaningful content which helps to create brand awareness. It also helps brands engage with their online customers.
2. Better Search Engine Visibility – Blogs are platforms that effectively facilitate powerful online conversations. The best part about having a blog is that it will dramatically increase your Search Engine rankings. Content on a blog gets updated more frequently than content in other parts of the site. This gives businesses a better chance to rank for dozens of keywords. If you produce remarkable content people will share your content on their sites – on micro blogging platforms (e.g. twitter) and on various other Social Media sites (Facebook, Digg, Linkedin etc.), this in turn will make your site more popular with Search Engines.
3. Greater outreach: Increase in your Web Traffic – When your Search Engine visibility increases your traffic will definitely increase. A recent study conducted by Hubspot shows that active blogs draw 6.9 times more traffic. Hubspot states that, “We can infer from the chart that blogging, which is equivalent to content building, helps attract more site visitors. The rationale is similar: more blog articles mean more chances to create something that grabs readers’ attention and indirectly build up a company’s reputation.”
4. New relationships – Creating a brand online or harnessing powerful communication through online channels can only happen when you make your brand more accessible. One of the key benefits of putting content on a blog is that it will attract new people to your site and help strengthen existing relationships with your customers. Remember that people are already having conversations about you on the internet. It is important that you have a voice and you project a positive image for your brand. Putting content out there helps in getting found by potential customers and it opens the field for dialogue. Content on a blog can be easily accessed by a global audience; this helps brands create new meaningful relationships.
5. Ongoing Dialogue – Traditional marketing channels always dictated what the brand was or how it could be perceived. With the increased adoption of social media we have seen a shift in that trend. Today, it is all about having a conversation with your customers. Blogging is a multi-way platform (brand ↔ customer, customer ↔ customer) and you can no longer dictate.
• “Your brand is no longer what you say it is, it’s what they say it is
• Social media is where they-customers, prospects, journalists and other influences-are having conversations (reviewing and talking) about your brand
• They’re forming and sharing opinions that will impact your brand. Therefore, a social media strategy is needed to cultivate interactions and dialogue”. (Omniture report 2010)
Blogging is one of the core components of a great social media strategy. Through a blog you can engage your customers, readers, prospects, journalists, tech experts etc. into meaningful conversations.
6. Brand Leadership – Studies by Omniture, MarketingSherpa, Hubspot etc. have revealed that in our social media led societies people are already having conversations about your brand. Blogging can help nurture your brand online. The content of your blogs can help you brand yourself as a “thought leader” in your industry. It can also help you gain your customers trust and loyalty.