With the dramatic increase in popularity of Twitter and Facebook, it seems blogs are getting lost and forgotten in the mix. Don’t dismiss blogs as part of the past just yet. They are still an incredibly useful tool, and when used correctly, can be a great asset to your overall new media strategy marketing plan.
While blog use as a purely “social” medium is down, blogs for business are doing very well. In fact, 70% of bloggers are now organically talking about their brands on their blog, and 38% of bloggers post brand or product reviews. This means that if you don’t have a blog for your business, you are behind the curve. Here are just a few of the benefits of blogs for businesses:
When you have your blog built inside your Website (the URL will be www.YourWebsite.com/blog) this can dramatically increase your search engine rankings. Every time you publish a blog post, it pings the search engines immediately, and counts as one additional page of content in your Website. Search Engines such as Google regard large Websites with a lot of good, relevant content. In addition, if you are posting on a very regular basis (1-3 times per week), you are consistently adding fresh content to your Website. This is also a good thing in the eyes of search engines. The bottom line is, the larger your Website is, with relevant keyword focused content, and the more often pages are added, the higher the search engines will rank your Website.
The cost of Search Engine Marketing, and generating more traffic to your Website is much lower than other traditional forms of media and marketing. In fact, Search Engine Marketing is said to have the lowest cost-per-lead, and the highest return on investment. According to U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, it has been estimated that the cost-per-lead on direct mail is $9.94, for banner ads it is $2.00, $1.18 for Yellow Pages, and just $.029 for SEO. Blogging regularly helps a lot with SEO, thus, blogging is a great tool to add to your new media strategy, all focused on higher ROI’s and low cost-per-leads.
Blogs allow businesses to really interact with their audience, and to show readers who they really are. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate your company’s expertise and knowledge to a much larger audience, and become a thought leader in your industry. This will build a stronger community around your company and your brand.
Blogs are very easy to use. Most are designed with a simple WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, similar to the editor in Word. Typing into your blog and formatting the content is simple. You can publish this content and distribute it to an endless audience with just the click of a button.
It is inevitable that at some point, you will most likely have a customer that has an issue. In this day and age, where “social” communications on the Internet are quick and easy, it is likely that this one customer’s issue will be published somewhere on the Internet, for all to see. A blog is a great place to quickly address these customer issues and let your audience know that you are working on the problem
People like doing business with people, it is that simple. Having a blog allows your readers to interact with you on a more personal level, to see “who” your company is, and get to know the human face of your company.
The most effective and useful blogs should always enable the ability for their readers to post comments. This shows that the company cares about their audience, and values what they have to say. While this does open the company up for criticism, it shows that they are willing to take criticism openly and work on their issues. It also shows that the company cares about what their audience has to say, and helps to increase engagement with customers.
While it may seem cumbersome to have a blog and to actually utilize it, your blog is a great asset for business, and when used correctly, can provide a great deal of benefit.
How are you effectively using your blog to benefit your business?
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