The significant growth in our company (specifically in social media services) in the last few years is indicative of the understanding that social media isn’t an optional part of the overall marketing strategy for businesses anymore–it’s essential. With business owners and corporate decision makers espousing to me these days their need for a social media presence, there still seems to be a lack of understanding of the importance for a corporate blog. And yet, it’s a vital piece to a comprehensive digital media strategy for any business.
When I taught various digital media topics to professionals, I had a social media marketing course, but two levels of blogging courses–it’s that important to understand and incorporate into a business strategy in the digital age.
That’s the first question I am asked when I propose a blog component for a website design and development project. I also hear it when I ask a potential social media client if they have blogging capabilities on their website.
- Drive traffic to your website
- Increase your Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Position your brand as an industry leader
- The viral effect
- Encourage user interaction
- Plug your own products and services to your loyal readers.
Traffic: Having a blog provides relevant, informative content for your website visitors. Basically, blog posts are a reason to visit your site. How many times can you share a link to About Us or Services pages to your website? With a vibrant social media campaign, I can tell you not too many times without the feeling of redundancy (which will lead to a drop off in followers on social media platforms). Publishing a blog post is an event–a reason to promote visiting your website.
Increase your SEO: Regardless of the Google search engine algorithm changes that occur, having a lot of fresh, relevant content on your website will always beat out your competitors in search engine results. This is best done through blogging. And, with keeping your writing relevant to your business, it provides the right keywords, topics and categories you want to be found with when someone is searching for your services.
Position your Brand: The best way to set yourself apart from the competition is to show your knowledge within your industry. Whether it’s tips or what is currently trending in your industry, potential customers will get a sense of your professionalism and knowledge, leading to greater comfort in becoming a client.
The Viral Effect: If your site is built properly, it will have opportunities for visitors to comment on your blog post, but also share it on their favorite social media platform. An excellent opportunity to greatly expand your reach can happen through a popular post going viral (being shared numerous times to where it takes off in a viral nature). Social media sharing buttons should be clearly visible and available on your site so with a single click, the reader can share through their own social media account. We see this quite often being successful with “how to” articles we write for clients.
Encourages User Interaction: Congratulations! You used your social media skills to get someone to click over to your website, they clicked on a digital ad you are paying for, or found you through an organic search. Now, what is in place to keep them there? Blog posts are one of the best ways to keep a visitor to your website engaged. And, as we digital media nerds know all about bounce rates, average time on a site, and all the other fun statistics, the longer they stay on your site, the greater the chance of a conversion (sale, visit to your store, fill out a contact form for more information, call, etc).
Plug your Products and Services: Providing an article that is focused on educating the reader, but ends with a call to action is the best way to put a plug in a blog post. You can write a “5 Reasons to Hire Us” article, but not many people are going to be excited to click on the link to read a sales pitch. It’s also a blog post not likely to be shared. Instead, write an article to inform with a call to action at the end. An example for one of our clients was an article on tips for cleaning out and properly maintaining gutters. At the end, we mentioned if the gutters are beyond maintenance and repair, contact our client for a free in-home consultation. A properly placed call to action won’t deter reading, and yet can lead to a conversion.
I could share even more reasons why blogging is important and many tips about blogging successfully, but I am breaking a blogging length rule as I type: I am currently at a 784 word count (too long). So, I will end here, as any professional business blogger would do, with a call to action.