Continuing our A-Z of marketing we are talking about blogging. The truth is that blogs are one of the most effective ways you can promote your business today. In the age of content marketing, the more useful information you can offer your customers and potential customers the better. You may have heard the term content marketing used a lot recently and it is something that you should be including in your marketing activity.
So what is content marketing? In a nutshell, it’s offering your customers information that they will find useful without obviously selling your products and services. Content marketing includes activities such as whitepapers, eBooks, vlogs, informational videos, hints and tips, and of course blog posts.
Running a blog is cost effective, easy to do with the right content, and can offer your business a number of key benefits such as:
- Encouraging engagement with your business and its products and services – people love to read information that is designed to be useful to them. If you provide engaging and informative blog posts you will build up a following of people interested in the information, and hopefully, the products and services you provide. Research by Content Plus shows that company websites with regularly updated blogs result in 55% more visitors.
- Positioning your business as a thought leader – this is perfect for high information and knowledge based industries such as marketing, IT, business consultancy, accountancy etc… or industries where the values of purchases are high and involved such as car manufacturers and retailers, or leisure and travel companies. By putting useful, informative, and non salesy blog content onto your website, or contributing as a guest blogger, you can soon build yours and your company’s reputation as a thought leader in your industry. People buy from people and companies that know what they are doing.
- Increase trust – if someone has never brought from your organisation before, or they buy from you rarely, you can build an element of trust through your blog. As people read the information you put out there they will begin to get a better understanding of who you are, what you do and the benefits of using your products and services. This will build an element of trust and hopefully encourage them to purchase from you.
- Increase your organic rankings in relevant search results – new and well written content is hugely beneficial to businesses in terms of being placed higher in organic search results, in fact Google has recently made changes to its algorithm so that useful content, such as blog posts, are rewarded more highly. According to Content Plus, blogs give websites 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links.
- Increase your market reach – people love to share and if you are providing useful and informative content on your blog it will be shared. This will increase awareness of your brand, products, and services; your audience will expand naturally, all you had to do was post some great content.
As with any marketing activity, if you do decide to add blogging to your marketing plan, there are pitfalls you should try to avoid. We help a number of clients get noticed through their blog so here are some tips for doing it right.
- Pick the right topics – the topics have to be useful and something that people would want to read. Offering advice, hints and tips, or an explanation of industry developments are always useful places to start.
- Jump on anything newsworthy – if something comes up in your industry that’s relevant to your customers, for example new legislation, a technological development, or even a failure of some kind, get your blog writer on it immediately. As news spreads people will be searching for relevant content, if you are one of the first to provide it you could get more exposure that you could ever get through paying for a print advertisement or attending an exhibition.
- Make sure your blogs are well written – this goes without saying, but for your opinion and information to be trusted your blog posts must be well written and easy to read. If they’re not people could switch off from the message you are trying to get across and you have lost any impact.
- Respond to comments – allow people to comment on your blog posts and you could receive some interesting insights and get into some useful discussions. Showing that you are happy to engage with people on your blog is great for your reputation.
- Market your blog posts – once your blog post is live you need to let people know that it’s there. Post a link on your social media networks and include the link in any email marketing you do. You can also find relevant topics on social media networks such as LinkedIn and on other blogs and comment on the topic whilst pointing people to your blog post. As you go on and your followers increase your content will be shared by them, it’s a bit of a snowball effect.
If you are looking for some help planning, writing, and marketing your blog posts then give Michelle or Kate a call on 0330 088 9277 today or use our contact form here.