7 Reasons Why Your Organization Needs a Business Blog
The web is constantly changing and no one knows where it’s heading, except maybe a select few that work in the mysterious land of Google and beyond. Web design was once all about above-the-fold, but now, responsive web design is king. Mobile SEO is no longer an option but rather a requirement to stay in the good graces of the all mighty Google. Algorithms named after cute little animals are constantly updated causing everyone to panic. Many things have changed, but the one thing that has stayed somewhat constant is that search engines need good content and users are also looking for it.
ARE YOU BLOGGING?
These days, everyone seems to have one. Just type in a random topic (after you finish reading this blog) and add the keyword blog to it; most likely, there is a blog about it. There are blogging sites just about other blogs, and even prisoners in jail have personal blogs. There are interest topic blogs for car junkies, animal lovers and even for sneakerheads. Some blogs are just informal diaries of someone’s everyday life, while others are very formal and look almost like press releases.
There isn’t a clear right or wrong style or format to follow when creating a blog as long as you have one. Otherwise, you’re hurting your business. For large corporations, local businesses and even nonprofits, a business blog can be a great tool to build content for social media, improve upon your SEO and generate more sales!
WHY SHOULD YOU HAVE A BUSINESS BLOG?
A blog can provide numerous benefits, so we’ve highlighted the 7 key reasons why your organization needs a blog.
1. BUILD TRUST AMONG YOUR CURRENT AND POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS
Why should anyone purchase what you are selling or believe you at all? With a blog, you can build your brand awareness and give your organization a voice. Be transparent, and show the world why you are so awesome. Whether you are a nonprofit looking to increase donations or a mom-and-pop cake shop outside the city, it is important to have fans or even loyalists to support your services and/or products. Remember, word of mouth travels fast.
2. POSITION YOUR ORGANIZATION AS AN INDUSTRY EXPERT
This also ties into building trust with customers. When you want something done, you want it to be done by the best. Are you going to give the ball to Michael Jordan or Jo Jo English? When you want to buy something, you want it to be the best of its kind. What had more sales, the Zune or iPod? Build content that showcases your knowledge and expertise in your industry. How else would you want to be perceived?
Stay on top of the news, trends and topics within your industry and voice your opinion. Find things that differentiate you from your competitors, and let it be known why you are better. You can do so by answering questions customers may have, showing off client testimonials, conducting interviews and highlighting research to support your claims. You think you are the best, so prove it!
3. GENERATE LEADS AND MAKE A SALE
While building trust and showcasing your expertise you also have opportunities to make a sale! Have a new service you are about to launch? Write a blog about it. Have a new product you are about to put into market? Write a blog about it. Want to know whether to launch product A or product B? Write a blog about it. Are you starting to see a pattern here? Blogs are a way to start a conversation with your customers and you can gain valuable feedback from them. Your company blog can also be used to help a customer through the buyer’s journey.
Stage 1: They may become aware of a problem or develop a desire.
Stage 2: They, then, look for information to satisfy the desire or solve the problem.
Stage 3: They compare options to satisfy the desire or solve the problem.
Stage 4: They have made their decision to purchase.
You can develop content to assist the customer at each stage by answering questions they may have throughout the purchasing process. Give information that is relevant and specific to the topic. You can also guide them through the journey with links to other areas throughout the blog or the site to find more details. Help the customer realize you are the best choice over your competitors. As always, add a call to action that tells the customer exactly what you want them to do.
4. GAIN INSIGHTS ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE
The more you blog, the more data you will have. With proper tracking and Google Analytics, you can see what your users are reading, how long they are reading, how fast they bounce off the page and so much more. Build out a content marketing schedule and create various topics that are relevant to your industry. Get help from your sales team on what customers are asking and answer them in your blog. Test different titles and content lengths. With various topics, you will be able to see what is doing well and what you can improve on.
5. ATTRACT TOP TALENT FOR YOUR INDUSTRY
We’re hiring! When you’re looking for new employment, the first thing you probably do is research a company’s website. The next is probably skimming through the blog and social media channels. A blog is a great place for customers to see what is going on. It’s also a great place for job seekers to do research into the company. Job seekers want to know if a company will be a good fit. They can gain insights into what they can expect if they were to work for you. There are several ways to use social media in your recruitment process.
6. FUEL FOR SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS
When it comes to content marketing and social media, a blog is a must have. It feeds your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, email newsletter and other marketing platforms. Through these various channels, you build your audience and fanbase. Sharing your own blog content will help increase engagement and also drive users back to your site rather than a third-party source.
The company blog is your channel to express your thoughts and also share news about the business. As stated previously above, you should write a blog about pretty much everything your organization does: new product launch, new service, attendance at an event, sponsorships, acquisitions and even new hires can all be made into a blog post. Be active in content generation, and use social media to do the leg work. Look through your Facebook feed and more than likely, one of your friends has posted something from BuzzFeed or the Huffington Post. By no means does your blog have to get to their level to be considered a success. Create goals that are relevant to you and continuously improve upon them.
7. SUPPORT YOUR SEO EFFORTS
Content is king! More than likely, your service and product pages stay stagnant with little to no updates for long periods of time. Search engines are constantly crawling the web looking for fresh and engaging content. With a business blog, you have a tool to continuously “refresh” your website. The more you blog and share on social channels the more likely you are to create engagement and develop backlinks naturally. With SEO blogging, you also have the opportunity to specifically target a set of keywords that are relevant to you. Create blogs that are focused on a specific topic, and make it useful for the reader. As a best practice, make the blog readable for humans and not focused on SERPs by over stuffing keywords.
There are several blog platforms that are easy to use and fairly inexpensive. Blog platforms like WordPress have several plugins that are beneficial to SEO and also provide easy sharing capabilities for social media. With millions of themes and tools you can truly make your company blog stand out all while following SEO blogging best practices. Proper use of heading and meta tags, using categories for various topics, developing friendly URLs and a clean structure to your HTML for fast crawling all helps your search engine optimization efforts.
IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME
Only if your content is relevant and useful to the users’ needs, of course. Developing a blog will take a lot of time and effort. Make sure you have the full support from your organization to contribute fresh content regularly; otherwise, taking on the challenge of a blog will seem nearly impossible. Have you thought about possible blog topics you could write about? Develop a plan with your team. Come up with ideas on how to start a blog or how to write a blog for your brand. Think of questions your customers may have and always follow social media and SEO best practices.
Need some help with SEO or social media for your content marketing strategy?Contact our experts!