So whilst I’ve written umpteen blogs in the names of clients over the years, it suddenly struck me that I didn’t publish one myself. In an age where most technically-able people blog about everything from their work to what they ate for dinner, I decided that as a professional copywriter I should probably get publishing.
In fact, I got thinking more generally about why people blog, and, in particular, why companies blog. We all know that the internet is an incredibly powerful marketing tool and so many companies from small start ups to multi-national corporations are using blogs to create a very powerful online presence. If, like me, it’s a part of your marketing strategy that you’ve neglected to date, here are 3 compelling reasons why you might want to consider entering the blogosphere:
Reason 1: Knowledge is power. Whatever the product or service you specialise in, writing a blog can be a very useful and easy way to share your expertise with your clients. At first, it may seem counterintuitive to publish your intellectual capital for the whole world to see, but some carefully selected snippets of information can really help position you as a thought leader. For example, why did your research lead you to bring to market that product at that time? Do you have a real-life example of someone who bought your product or service and benefitted greatly? How has your industry changed over the past year and what have you done to keep pace? Writing honest and well-articulated blogs on specific topics will help your clients trust your brand and ultimately come to you when they need to.
Reason 2: Connect with your clients. Publishing a blog is only the first step. Ideally, not only will people read your blog but they will also comment on it (whether it’s publicly, or the next time they pick up the phone to you). Any type of feedback is so valuable for all of our businesses and blogs are an excellent medium to collect this feedback. You may be concerned that your blog will attract negative comments, but provided you respond to these in a timely and professional manner, you can turn this into a positive experience. For example, if a negative comment is left, it could be as easy as responding with something like ‘I’m so sorry you had that experience, that’s not how we like our clients to feel. Please contact me directly and I hope we can sort this out for you as soon as possible’.
Reason 3: Build your brand. Marketing teams are always looking out for ways to drive traffic to websites. Online advertising, if done properly, is a great way to do this, but can be prohibitively expensive for many companies. A blog, on the other hand, can be free to publish and should attract the right traffic to your website. By reading your blog, someone will understand what products and services you offer before they click on any link to your site, and they’re therefore a very powerful lead. On a more technical level too, using keywords within a blog will help promote your ranking within search engines. Even the regular refresh of a new blog post on your website should help optimise your SEO.
Blogging and social media are fast becoming central components in many firms marketing strategies and those who continue to ignore these powerful marketing tools do so at their peril. Of course, like everything, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right. The first stage is researching your market- What do your peers do? How frequently do they blog? How many followers do they have? Second, you need to prepare your own strategy – What ‘tone of voice’ will you use? How many blogs will you publish? What topics will you cover? Who needs to review the blog before it’s published? Thirdly, you need to select someone to write your blog to ensure it’s compelling and engaging for your audience. And finally, you’re all set to enter the blogosphere.