Customers are always seeking information about products and services online. They now have a wealth of information to choose from, between online searches, social media sites, forums, and blogs. Blogging is one area that companies need to pay attention to – like social media marketing, it’s an excellent way to increase your company’s visibility online. There are also added benefits that you can’t get simply from online advertising and social media marketing.
If your first reaction is “A blog? Why?” you’re not alone. Blogs came before social media, and it’s intuitive to think that consumers want the “sounds bytes” of information and no longer want to spend time reading blog posts. You may have other concerns about blog writing for your company, including:
- It doesn’t seem like a good fit
- It’s too time consuming to find content & blog consistently
- You don’t have the staff to dedicate to blog writing
These are common concerns, but if you take a look at the benefits, you’ll see that this can be a vital part of your online presence.
Increased visibility/better SEO – if you have a strong online presence, blogging will only help. It will also help with SEO, getting your company closer to the top of the search engine results.
Think of it this way – your website has great information about your company. Blogging can give you the opportunity to provide deeper information on your products and services, as well as other relevant industry information. Research shows that companies who have blogs have a 67% increase in leads – there’s a reason for that.
Here’s a great example. Our company offers a range of mystery shopping services. One blog post from some time ago focused on B2B mystery shopping. The post was written and published on our company blog. As time passed, because the blog post title was so specific, it has reached first page status for a google search for B2B mystery shopping. While website pages have proper meta tags and are SEO friendly, the addition of a focused blog post on this topic has helped gain traction and reach more people who are searching for this service. We have gotten new clients from people who came across the blog post, looked at our services closer because of it, and contacted us.
Serve as an industry expert – current statistics indicate that 81% of consumers trust blog posts over other content found online. So, it seems to be that customers may start with an online search or looking at a company’s website or social media sites, but having a wealth of information in the form of a blog can go a long way.
Additionally, because your company provides deeper information about products and services on a blog, you will have the unique opportunity to find solutions to customer’s problems, which is why they’re seeking your products/services in the first place. If they are deciding between a basic website and a website that offers a blog filled with product information, tips, and other relevant information, they will likely choose your company since you have built that trust factor before the consumer even does business with you.
Give your social media marketing team a hand (cross promotion) – once you create blog posts, the content (or even a portion of it) can be easily repurposed for maximum effort. Highlighting content from a blog post on your social media sites, or including a recent blog post when a customer asks a question on Facebook can be invaluable. The additional benefit is that you are continuing to link to your blog from other sites, which in turn links to your website. We all know that inbound links play an important role in SEO and how well you do in the search engines. This content is not only helping with SEO, but gives your social media marketing team more content to work with. They will thank you for this!
Here are some tips if you are considering starting a company blog:
Use a simple platform and subdomain: using a simple platform, such as WordPress, will make life easier. They offer a simple interface and tools to ease the process. By placing your blog as a subdomain (ie blog.yourwebsite.com or yourwebsite.com/blog), it will help your site with SEO as your blog builds strength.
Join forces across departments: blogging will be more effective and less of a burden if it is a shared experience. Blog writing should incorporate those from marketing, sales, customer service, and even upper management. Why? This will provide a better range of information that is written, as each department has its own message and experience in the industry. Additionally, it will take the burden off of one or two people and get more of a buy in from your company.
Content creation: start with your customers: this is another reason why it’s important to pull a variety of departments into this task. By talking with each department and learning more about customers, creating content will be much easier. For example, your customer care department knows the “pain points” for customers and what the most frequently asked questions are. Customers are telling you what they want to know – turn that into blog posts and it’s a win-win situation for customers and your staff.
Outsource blog writing services: if this sounds great, but you still think it will be more effort that your company can give (or afford), outsourcing this component is definitely an option. Blogging services can take the burden off of you but still give you all of the benefits that come with blog writing. Our company offers a variety of writers who come from all walks of life to easily match up to your industry. We work in the same way your own company would to create an engaging, informative blog. You may be surprised to find that blog writing services are inexpensive and can save you time as well.
Blog writing is an overlooked resource for companies, but as they start to see the value, more and more are turning to incorporating a blog into their website. It’s something to consider when discussing your marketing strategy – hopefully the tips above can be helpful in making a decision and putting this into motion.