Why do I need a blog?
You may think that with all the different social accounts your company has, that blogging is superfluous at best and redundant at worst. In reality, blogging is neither of those things. Not only can it help you keep your social active and engaging, but blogging is also essential to staying relevant and top-of-mind with audiences.
No matter if you’re a small or large business, B2B or B2C, blogging is a low-cost way to boost your marketing efforts. When you’re putting together your content strategy, keep the guidelines below in mind to make sure you’re getting the most out of your blog.
1. For the algorithms
Creating an active & growing web presence
If you want your page to rank on Google—and you should—a blog is one of the best ways to raise your profile. Regularly creating and publishing high-quality, relevant content can boost your SEO. And, the breadth of information you cover gives you a presence in more search keywords, ultimately expanding your audience.
Maintaining social feed activity and engagement
A blog gives you a great excuse to post to social media. After promoting your new posts, you can engage with the followers who read and responds to your work. And, you can spin off the information in an article to make multiple social posts. Creating a successful content plan isn’t easy, but producing regular blog posts can provide a leg up for your social team.
2. For your reputation
Demonstrate your skills
Claiming you’re good at something may get you some attention, but proving it is more likely to expand your client or customer base. There’s no argument more effective than visible success…and you can demonstrate your differentiators firsthand at the same time.
Publish regular portfolio updates, write out case studies, or put together interviews with your company’s leadership to show that you’re on top of your game. You’ll build trust with your audience and have samples ready and waiting for potential clients who want to know more.
Prove that you’re an authority
If you’ve known anyone in school in the past fifteen years, you’ve probably heard that Wikipedia is not considered a reputable source. It can contain good information…but you never know if the page you’re reading was edited by a PhD or a bored teen with no particular expertise.
Don’t be a Wikipedia. You don’t need to collate the thoughts and opinions of others when you work with experts every day. Set yourself apart by offering information that’s backed by credentials and results to build trust.
Show that you’re keeping up with a changing market
As the internet (and the world) continue to evolve, so do the best ideas and business practices. You can use your blog to comment on the latest techniques and technologies that are shaping your industry. Even if you choose not to adopt every new practice, your articles will show that you’re constantly looking for the best ways to help your clients.
3. For visibility
Reach new audiences
Blog posts are a lot more shareable than websites, especially when your posts are highly engaging. Each post is a new opportunity to get more retweets, re-shares, or leads.
Additionally, keeping a regular (and frequent) posting schedule requires you to branch out and cover topics that go beyond industry 101s. When you create content for audiences who follow closely-related topics, your new readers may discover that you has the solution to one of their biggest pain points.
Join ongoing conversations
Whether you’re following relevant #hashtags or browsing LinkedIn trends, joining discussions of trending topics is a great way to get your name out there. You can build associations between yourself and big-name brands simply by participating in conversations started by or centered around them.
We all face an overwhelming deluge of information every day, so if you want to be remembered, you have to make an effort. The more often you post, the more often your audience sees and thinks of you. Over time, they’ll come to recognize and value your brand.
When you create this kind of brand loyalty, you make it that much easier for customers to say “yes” to whatever you’re offering, or to reach out to you when they’re in the market for new service providers.
4. To engage your audience
Engagement isn’t just a social media metric. It’s a real-time barometer of how your target audience is connecting with your messaging. Everything you share should have a hook to pull readers in. Research has shown the following techniques are especially effective in generating views and conversation.
Share something original
Beyond the fact that Google tends to disfavor “content farms” that stay active by reposting articles and media from other sites, your audience won’t care if you’re re-sharing stale content from other sources.
Generate buzz by giving your audience something they haven’t seen before—something that highlights the unique qualities of your brand. Think you’re tapped out on new, invigorating material? Try these strategies for defeating content burnout.
Take a stance
Sharing opinions can cement you as an active voice in your industry, but keep in mind that the effect of your content is determined by audience reaction. Fanning the flames of particularly controversial topics may backfire—you’ll get attention, but it might end up hurting your reputation rather than boosting it.
To avoid a PR disaster, choose a topic that is relevant, recent, and, most of all, reasonable. If you provide a well-thought-out take, you may even continue to generate new traffic through continued references and backlinks.
Discuss a hot topic
When you can join a hashtag that already has a high level of activity, you’ll find an engaged audience that reaches beyond your immediate connections. Trying to cover a new trend every day would be incredibly tiring (not to mention time-consuming), but it’s a good idea to keep your eye on the zeitgeist so you can comment on the news of the hour or boost new content by posting at just the right moment.
Are you ready to hit post?
Sharing articles regularly is a big commitment, but well worth adding to your marketing repertoire. Yes, you’ll boost your stature with search engines and social media, but you’ll also get the valuable opportunity to engage with your audience and learn what resonates with them.
You already have the most valuable element needed for a blog—a specific area of expertise. You are the only one who can share the things you know. And when you do it the right way, both you and your audience benefit.