Whilst there are often good reasons for this founded on plausible objections, there are invariably just as many, if not more, reasons to incorporate blogging into your marketing plan, today not mañana.
Fact*: Inbound marketing costs 61% less per lead than traditional, outbound marketing.
Here, in no particular order, are just 7 of those reasons why blogging should be a serious consideration in your content marketing plan:
1. Improve your organic search engine rankings
If you’re writing blog articles with your customers in mind, by default you’ll more than likely be writing copy that includes many of your keywords.
Even so, do keep in mind the keywords that your customers might type into a search engine so that you can naturally incorporate them in your copy. Keyword rich blogs mean new, fresh, dynamic content on your website which is good for search engine optimisation, increasing search engine visibility and thereby your search rankings.
2. Drive traffic to your website
When they’re promoted as part of a co-ordinated social media plan, you’ll drive traffic to your posts and thereby your website.
This not only builds your inbound links (good for SEO), it also means your blog’s visitors are literally just a click away from finding out more about you, what you offer and how you can help them before, ultimately, contacting you.
3. Generate leads
To effectively generate valid leads you need to give something of value back. If what you’re blogging about is relevant and meaningful to your identified target audience, they’ll want to subscribe to receive similar future content or contact you with specific questions.
Not only should an email sign-up facility be clearly visible on your blog, it should explain what subscribers will receive in return for giving you their details. How people can contact you should also be clearly visible within your blog.
Remember, your email sign-up facility only needs to ask for the person’s name and email address. Anything more will:
a) take them more time to complete thereby potentially reducing your conversion rate and,
b) increase the chances of scaring your interested subscriber off for fear of giving away too much personal information and/or encouraging an unwanted sales call!
4. Build awareness of your brand and what you do
If we’re doing some research or looking for something in particular, more often than not, we’ll ‘Google’ it. We’ll also ask our friends and those of a similar ilk to us. Whether we’re networking online on our preferred social networking site or face-to-face, we’re constantly exposed to, if not seeking, other people’s findings, views and past experiences.
Having a blog means there are more pages of your website that can be indexed and shared. It means you’re more likely to be visible to literally thousands more potential customers, with more highly targeted, audience specific content, than when you didn’t have a blog. You’re also building a hub of knowledge and content that you can repurpose elsewhere.
5. Engage in a dialogue with your customers
Talk to them, find out what they think, listen to them. Your blog gives your customers a voice. The readers of your blog articles can comment on them, giving their thoughts and views on the subject matter in question, in an environment you can control.
Whether you agree with their comments or not, you need to listen to the voice of your customers and respond. Have a conversation with them, build a community with an emotional connection so that it encourages them to keep coming back, comment on other articles you post, subscribe to your newsletter and, ultimately, contact you when they need some advice from you.
6. Show you’re an expert who talks your customers’ language
It’s pretty much a certainty that your customers are not going to be keeping up-to-date with the detail of, for example, recent pension legislation changes, new tax limits or the effect the state of the US or Japanese economy has on their investments.
They may hear about some of it from the news on the radio, via apps or Twitter on their way to work, or even from their ritual morning paper read, but they’re not likely to really know or understand the detail, let alone how that affects them and their personal finances. That’s where you come in. Think of yourself as their guide and interpreter.
7. Personalise your brand
A blog gives ‘brand you’ and your business a personality minus the corporate schpeel. Write like you would talk (within reason and professionally of course!). Definitely don’t sell.
Pretend you’re in conversation with someone who’s just asked you your opinion. Show the emotional side of you, your colleagues, your company culture. Show your character, what’s important to you and your values.
Is blogging part of your online marketing plan? What are or would be your main reasons for having a blog?
* 20 Revealing Stats, Charts and Graphs Hubspot