Business blogging: The insanity of not having a blog for your business
Whilst planning this post about business blogging, I was going to start with the sentence: “By now everyone knows that if they are running a business they should have a blog”. However, if this were really true then there would be many more great corporate blogs out there!
So I’ll start differently…
Fact: If your company isn’t supporting its marketing endeavours with a blog, then you are not marketing your company effectively.
A blog is vital in the age of content marketing – it is a useful distribution platform for your marketing content; it gives you a voice, increases search engine rankings, attracts new audiences and engages them with your brand. It drives lead generation and is an essential tool in moving readers through your sales process.
Having a static website is fine as a brochure site, but in order to maximise its visibility your website needs to be supported by fresh optimised content in as great a frequency as possible. The more you blog with relevant and newsworthy posts, the more powerful and visible your site becomes.
And frankly, brochure sites can be dull for the majority of your target audience. They only communicate effectively with those at the buying end of your sales cycle who are just looking for reassurance prior to making their purchasing decision.
A blog, however, allows you to communicate with a much wider audience of people who have an unconscious requirement for your products or services. A blog is a well of information that demonstrates thought-leadership and personality, and allows customers and potential customers to understand what your brand is about. This is what turns an unconscious requirement for your product or service into a conscious one.
As a blog becomes populated with well written content and starts attracting more and more readers, those readers will begin to share, comment and interact with the brand. This interaction not only makes you more visible, but is the point where profitable relationships start!
But I don’t have anything to blog about…
I often hear clients saying things like they don’t want a blog as they “have nothing to say”.
This is obviously nonsense, and it normally doesn’t take long to prove this.
All you have to do is ask a business owner about his USPs or why they are better than their competition. This generally leads to an impassioned monologue that could provide enough content hooks for a year! If it doesn’t then there are probably bigger branding issues at play.
I recently went to see the owner of a media sales house and the first thing he said was that he didn’t want to have to update the site… ever. He didn’t have time and had nothing to say anyway.
I asked him what his USPs were, and we got talking about how many of the publishers he works with have huge email databases that they weren’t using to generate advertising revenue. Perfect! Identification of new revenue channels for publishers is a topic that could go in all sorts of directions in regards to blog stories that would interest their potential clients. I pointed this out and asked how being known as a thought leader in the area of publisher monetisation would impact his business… He quickly got the idea.
Google loves blogs
Seriously! Every single business needs a blog. It not only provides the most cost effective channel to get marketing content online, it also attracts more visitors to your site.
More and more, search engines are concerned with the freshness of content. Static sites rarely change and are therefore crawled less often, and seen as less of an authority on a subject. You might rank for your few head keywords if they are not that competitive, but without regular content going live on your site you stand very little chance of ranking highly for competitive terms.
Every single post you publish gives another page that your prospective customers could use to find you. It allows you to target the long-tail of search results and the questions that your target audience is asking.
Imagine two printer ink companies: one with a static site, and one with a regularly updated blog. The one with the regularly updated blog creates a number of posts around the often asked question: “What’s the difference between remanufactured, refilled, and compatible cartridges?” Anyone searching something related to this question is clearly interested in buying printer inks, and will be presented, in search results, with the posts created by the company with the blog.
The company without the blog loses out on all this highly convertible traffic.
A well optimised blog therefore attracts the user through search, engages them with well written content that responds to their informational requirements, and converts them by providing simple navigation to the sales pages on the site.
Social media loves blogs
Your social media efforts will also be hugely more effective with a blog.
Through sharing over Facebook, Twitter, G+, LinkedIn and whatever other networks are relevant to your industry, you can generate some phenomenal results.
Every time you share, you drive traffic to your site, and, if the content is good enough, readers will share the content themselves, driving incrementally more and more traffic to your site.
The more you post and share, the bigger your social following will get and the more sharing there will be… and the more potential customers will visit your site.
But I don’t have time to blog
This is the most common, and in my mind the most valid, reason that most business owners give for not blogging. I’m a business owner, I understand…
…I’m going to let you into a secret now. I’m not actually a business owner (yet!). I’m not Gus Ferguson. My name is Claire and I’m one of Quad’s content creation team.
When Gus told me that he wanted a post for OMN discussing the fact that every company should have a blog, I sat down with him for ten minutes to understand his views on the subject to distil them into a brief, which he then approved. I’m now writing this post from that brief, on his behalf, while he’s busy running Quad.
The reason I’m telling you this is that I want to demonstrate that ‘ghost posting’ is a completely viable way to generate content for a corporate blog that hits all marketing objectives, while only taking a small amount of busy business owners’ time.
So, if we aim for an ideal of two to three bits of content per week, that’s about 120 a year say, which means our clients only have to create one article a month themselves. That’s not much work to create such a powerful marketing platform.
So, while having a blog is essential to marketing online, it doesn’t need to be a major investment in time. All it requires is some planning and consistency.
Feel free to get in touch with Quad if you’d like to discuss this… We have access to over one thousand journalists and bloggers, covering every vertical, which can assist brands to get two or three interesting posts on your blog every week.
We’ll look at providing your audience with helpful tips and news from your industry and ‘how to’ guides and posts that answer the questions your potential customers are asking.
This will provide you with a highly effective marketing tool that will continue to grow in strength as you build it up with content, providing visibility in search and social, email opt-ins, leads and sales.