It’s almost a law of nature that a modern business needs a blog as part of its website. However, just as everyone once rushed to put up a website without necessarily having clear aims in mind, many business blogs even today have little or no strategy behind them and so achieve less than hoped.
A well thought out and executed blog can have incredible business-building effects, and here are seven strong benefits to bear in mind when putting together a successful blogging strategy for your company.
Publishing Timely Content
With a blog you can react very quickly to developments in your marketplace. Your site’s main ecommerce pages will probably be fairly static, restricted by product description requirements and the straitjacket of marketing and SEO considerations, but a blog has the freedom to be more topical and reactive. If there’s a major news story relevant to your niche, then blogging about it can be a quick and easy way to capitalize on the interest that’s already out there – and if you can come up with an awesome angle, then your post could actually become part of the story.
Creating a Greater Depth and Breadth of Content
Similarly, with a blog you don’t have to be as focused on directly selling your product, services, or company brand. A blog lets you cover narrow but important areas in greater depth, or explore niche topics that are only sideways-related to your main theme – you have much more leeway in both the topic and tone of your content. If each post brings in only a few extra visitors it all adds up over time, and along the way you’ll also be building a reputation for expertise and authority on your subject.
Generating Links Naturally
Blogs offer the freedom to publish link-worthy content, and the importance of inbound links when it comes to ranking well on search engines is well established. While your product pages are unlikely to see many people linking to them spontaneously, a timely, interesting, or even controversial blog post can quickly generate completely natural links which will provide real traffic as well as helping to boost your site’s search popularity.
Harnessing Social Media Power
Blog posts are perfect for publicizing on social media. While social media accounts that only link to commercial pages will rapidly come to be seen as spammy, links to interesting and useful blog posts are positively welcomed by people looking for online diversion and entertainment. And if these posts also subtly market your company, then everyone’s a winner.
Building a Powerful List
Likewise, if you have an active and engaging blog, people will be more likely to join your email list to be notified of new postings, and every marketer knows the power of a well maintained and targeted list.
Customer interaction is almost always a good thing in business, and while having a Facebook or similar presence is an easy way to achieve this, bringing your community interaction in-house to your own site can build longer term value. While blogs don’t generally feature full community features such as allowing customers to start their own topics, the simple commenting system they offer is a good halfway house that can make your customers feel more valued and involved.
Testing the Waters
Finally, the more relaxed atmosphere of a blog means that you can easily test the waters with new ideas or approaches to your market. If an experimental post generates plenty of interest, it can be a pointer to future lucrative marketing efforts, while if it sinks without trace it’s no problem — there’s always the next post to publish and the chance to try again from a different direction.
Many blogs are started with a rush of enthusiasm but soon tail off when concrete results aren’t quickly seen. Having clear aims in sight and specific results in mind can put blogging where it deserves to be, at the center of your online marketing strategy.