When it comes to blogging, I’ve heard it all this week. In one article I discovered blogging is losing ground with the big guns, and later – in the same story – that it isn’t.
Are we blog-fatigued? Or is it simply that some of the Fortune 500 types are falling for the quick-win hype of social networks? Is the real problem that people simply don’t understand that blogging first came about as an electronic journal of one’s life achievements?
Blogging has the same problem as podcasting – either people understand it, or they think they do, and they don’t. Either way, few people think of blogging as a valuable asset to the businesses of today building for tomorrow.
Note, term. Because the proof of concept is in the incredible content of many blogs that is literally powering business success, with few other marketing strategies involved than common sense. Businesses that weren’t even designed around a blog, are adding blogs to their daily duties and growing customer communities who realise that there are real people behind the brand, and they like what they read and see.
Marketo did a pretty good job explaining what blogging really is, when it launched a social media month for its staff. That blogging needs to be planned for, not just adopted as a knee-jerk reaction to what the competition is doing and saying.
It’s all about marketing
I bet the one thing that stuck out for you from that presentation, as it did me, was the importance of having a reason for every single article. We can’t afford to waste time on wishy-washy content that doesn’t add value to the customer relationship, and that applies both to us and our customers themselves.
- Businesses that blog generate 67% more leads than those who don’t
- Define the objectives for your blog well in advance: Is it to generate sales, brand recognition, SEO, raise your customer service standards, start meaningful and lasting conversations with your customers, build a community around a new product range – what? Have a commercial motive, not just a desire to follow the pack
- Create a content calendar in advance – regularity and consistency is key to building authority through blogging
- Work with other companies and be generous with your links – and you can expect the same in return (most of the time). It’s networking!
- On each blog post consider this: What is the action you want to trigger? Convince, persuade, lead, inform?
- Blogging is all about value, and it’s all about providing solutions to your customers’ needs.
Blogging doesn’t only work in isolation: It can provide the stimulus for you to create your own presentations (and have people like me share them with lots more people, thus amplifying your brand), to start a podcast or web video series, create eBooks and white papers, and so on.
If you haven’t already got a blog, start one now. And if you don’t know where to start – get in touch and let’s get to work.