There are several compelling reasons to use a blog as part of your marketing and branding strategy:
- Blogs are often discovered faster in search engines because they are constantly updated. Search engines reward sites with consistently updated content with better search engine positioning.
- A good blog is similar to creating a small community of your own. Interactions between the readers and the author through comments can be invaluable to the company's marketing needs.
- Blogs tend to build traffic much easier and faster than a standard website will, because readers have a reason to come back (fresh content, new information, interaction).
- Blogs enable a company to write about a variety of issues that are not just product or service oriented, leading to more traffic from search engines using different, yet important keywords your prospects are using when searching the internet.
- Blogs enable you to share your expertise by including articles and other useful information beyond sales, that a potential customer may be seeking information about online. You are setting yourself up as the expert.
- Blogs can be linked to the main pages of your website to bring additional traffic to sales information, which is significantly less expensive than trying to drive traffic to your site through other means.
- The interactivity of blogs allow you to grow relationships with your readers. People only buy from businesses and individuals they trust, and trust will only come with through a relationship.
- Blogs are created with the ability to set up RSS feeds (really simple syndication), allowing people to sign up and get instantly updated whenever you make changes or additions to your blog.
- You can repurpose your blogs to be used in social networking and newsletter marketing – helping you leverage your time and expand your reach.
While setting up and maintaining a blog may take a larger amount of effort than your main company website, it is a valuable strategy for your business. If you don't have someone within your own company able to write your blog articles, there are freelance writers that will gladly keep your blog full of fresh posts and provide relevant SEO content on your behalf. MSP University recommends Trifecta Strategies to our members for these valuable services.
Here's what you need to know when starting a new blog for your website:
Identify the topics or subject matter your customers and potential customers are interested in. Do not be too broad with topics as you want to relay your expertise in your industry.
Add fresh, well-written posts to your site on a consistent basis. Ideally, you'll post one new article per day, or at least two or three articles on a weekly basis.
Add your blog address to your email signature and promote it as often as you can in other ways, such as direct links from your website and your email marketing campaigns.
Create blog posts that incite discussion about the information you want to get out of your customers, such as improving on a service, product, or other aspect of your business.
Create an opportunity for your best clients and colleagues to write guest posts on your blog. Not only does it offer customers more perspectives on things, it also affords you the opportunity for free promotions from those guest authors.
Do preliminary keyword research using Google's free keyword tool (or others) to find out what phrases people are typing into search engines to find information related to your business. Use the keywords in your blog titles and posts to help optimize your site for search engines.