Let’s talk about your blog.
A blog is an imortant component of your online marketing and social media strategy. Some of the earliest versions of (prose) online content were diaries, or logs of web content. Blog is simply short for web-log, the name for those diaries.
You’ve heard me say that social media is a conversation, a channel of communication between a business and it’s audience. There are a lot of ways to leverage social media. It could be used to showcase a product, create a customer service tool, or research user behavior, among others. The primary purpose is to create a mutually beneficial relationship through the exchange of information.
Blogging is a “cross-over” marketing tool. It can be used to post messages on your website about your products and services, with no comments allowed. If you don’t have any comments, a blog is simply a one-way means to communicate with your audience. They don’t have the opportunity to respond to your posts if they can’t comment. That’s a choice you can make, and should be based on your business goals. If you do decide to allow comments, blogging could be considered one of the tools in your social media toolkit. In other words, allowing comments means we’re back to two-way communication between your business and your audience – a conversation.
With our without comments, blogging is a key strategy in digital and content marketing. It provides a ‘home base’ for your ongoing messaging. Your blogging content can be factual, opinion, news or ideas, commentary – whatever you decide. Blogging today is highly flexible. You can use the written word, images, or video, or a combination. You could even blog entirely on YouTube, just with video – aka “vblogs”.
Blogging is a Tool in your Online Marketing Toolkit
From a search engine perspective, blogs are looked at favorably by search engines because they’re content-, keyword- and link-rich. Search engines particularly favor blogs which are informative, read, shared and commented on by lots of users – because they recognize those blogs as audience-friendly and therefore must have great content.
In its simplest form, blogging is simply a tool that provides you with the opportunity to get the attention of those who might interested in what you have to say.
Your business blog should reflect your business brand, and relay your message accordingly. If you consistently offer relevant, high-quality content over time, you can build a loyal audience around your blog.
5 Reasons why blogging is important
Let’s review why 5 reasons why blogging is important:
- Blogging is Content Marketing – a blog is a great tool to deliver content to your audience and engage them, time after time
- Blogging is Search Engine-friendly – well crafted blogs are effectively indexed by search engines, with titles, headings, keywords and link-rich, helping to drive additional traffic to your website
- Blogging helps with social networks – a blog can be connected to other social media tools and websites, extending the reach and improving the efficiency of your content
- Blogging helps with news sites – a blog can be distributed and read through RSS feeders and readers, expanding and engaging your audience
- Blogging is permission-centric – a blog is based on the concept that those who are interested in the content will read your blog, giving you ‘permission’ to get your message across – a flower attracting a bee rather than a hammer hitting a nail. A blog is therefore an effective method for introducing users to the idea of exploring your products and services
There are some fundamentals that will make your site an effective vehicle to convey your message and a powerful communication tool to reach your customers:
- Your Blog – Do you have a blog? Do you post regularly? How often do you post? What topics do you post on? Do you have a content strategy? Do you read/comment on other blogs?
- On-page SEO – Is your blog optimized for good content, metadata, titles, headings, keywords, images, readability, quality, and outbound links?
- Off-page SEO – Is your blog optimized for inbound links, social media and social bookmarking? Does your blog get bookmarked (del.icio.us) or syndicated to other social platforms?
- Social networks – Is your blog linked to other social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn?
- Collecting emails – Do you have an RSS feed and an email subscription form on your blog?
- Metrics – How do you track the success of your blog content? You should consider metrics such as traffic rank, # of visitors, # of clickthrus, search engine results and how you compare with your competitors.
A Final Note
Your business blog isn’t just about writing a few words every now and then crossing your fingers in the hope that people will find it. It requires sustained, ongoing content that has a purpose which aligns with your business. Your blog should be part of a wider online marketing strategy that’s defined by your business goals. When done effectively, a blog will help attract your prospects and customers, and keep them coming back because they find the content relevant and engaging.