Is blogging still an indispensable marketing tool for businesses?
Well, if you believe some of the doubters out there, I guess you would probably say that it is no longer essential. Many would no doubt argue that business blogs have been largely superseded by social media marketing and micro-blogging. There’s little doubt that social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have transformed the way companies communicate with their target audience, but it’s fair to say that blogging is still arguably the most effective and complete way of building a brand’s online presence.
Let’s face it, there’s only so much you can say with 140 characters.
Blogging lets a business engage fully with its audience, and gives it the opportunity to flesh-out the company message: they can share their knowledge and wisdom in depth, and keep customers fully informed of all the latest developments and products. Business blogging is definitely still alive and well, and here’s why.
Most entrepreneurs and businesses now understand and appreciate the importance of establishing a company’s presence in the digital space, however, many companies place too great an emphasis on building an exciting website. Now obviously a functional and attractive website is vitally important for any business as it’s the gateway to the brand, and first impressions are after all crucial. However, what’s often overlooked is what happens next. What happens after the customer has found the brand? What do you do then? Well, the imperative is that the business has to engage with its audience to retain their interest. The best way to keep their attention is by blogging. Good business blogs will tell the audience what you do, why you do it better than anyone else, and most importantly of all, convey your passion and enthusiasm for your chosen field.
Blogs are like manna from heaven for information-hungry customers. They are a great resource for any customer who wants to learn more about your business. Websites, by and large, are formal and practical. Blogs on the other hand are generally more informal: they give companies the latitude to be as serious or as playful as they like. If you prefer you can look at blogging in this way: it’s a place for your business to chat with your customers and share experiences: you can tell them all there is to know about you, and they can reciprocate. They can even give you advice and tips on what sort of products and services they’d like you to provide. You could almost call it real-time, consumer-driven product development. A blog not only invites people to spend some more time on your site, it also gives them a look into your company’s people, products and the things you think are important.
Businesses should never lose sight of the primary purpose of blogging, which is to provide meaningful, engaging and interesting content for people to consume. However, the other advantages of blogging should also be born in mind too. A blog will also inadvertently improve your website’s Search Engine Rankings. By creating relevant, brand-focused content and information about the services your brand provides, search engines like Google will be more likely to hone in on the keywords that feature prominently on your site.
However, in order for any company to reap all the benefits of having a blog, it is essential that the content is updated regularly. Old content speaks volumes about you and your brand, and sends out the wrong messages to both customers and search engines. It tells your customers you don’t care enough to put in the required work to update your content. The best content should always try to be topical and fresh, to ensure that customers and other websites and blogs will link to your blog. All of which help your website’s SEO.
Blogs and social media.
Your company blog and social media accounts are a match made in heaven. Social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are the perfect platforms to share your blog and get people talking about your brand. Because blogs are often not as prominent as a main business website, it’s up to the business to spread the word and get your content noticed. Regularly sharing of useful blog posts via the social media increases traffic to your blog and website, which ultimately provides greater exposure for your brand. Furthermore, the inherently viral nature of social media could help your posts spread through social networks, helping you to reach new audiences and connect with your existing fans.