Are you a social media holdout?
If you find Facebook frivolous and think Twitter is for twerps, you’re probably also skeptical about blogging. But your company stands to benefit from all these platforms — particularly blogging. So much more than “just” social media, blogs can also be powerful tools for brand positioning, thought leadership and even lead generation.
A truly excellent blog will serve all these functions — and give your company original content to share via those other social media platforms. Let's take a look at some of the key benefits of blogging.
Blogging Provides Insight
You can often identify a great blog because it promotes social engagement; readers actively comment on the article or share it with their own networks.
But who cares about comments? What purpose do they serve your bottom line? First of all, comments help you gauge interest in your blog. If your posts elicit responses from readers, that means they’re engaged with and interested in what you have to say. Moreover, reader comments can give you vital insight into your ideal customers:
- Do your readers “get it”? If readers are still asking basic questions, you may need to step back and reassess the complexity of your subject area. Remember: you’re the expert, and your goal is to make your expertise accessible to others.
- Are readers consistently asking for more information on a specific topic? Maybe you should address that with a series of articles. You may even consider a case study or white paper on the subject.
- Do you hear lots of “Yes, but … ”? These kinds of statements can illuminate your prospects’ reservations about purchasing your product or service. Use them to hone your marketing strategy and sales pitch.
But the main reason you want readers to leave comments is that it allows you to start a conversation with them, to get to know their needs and problems more thoroughly. That knowledge empowers you not only to deliver better blog content, but ultimately to better understand your prospects and customers.
But Wait ...There's More!
So your blog is generating conversation that's useful to you and your readers. You're done, right? Not quite. You've completed the first step, but you can still get plenty more mileage out of your blog — and deliver even more value to your readers.
- Jumpstart your SEO. Maybe your website has been languishing away, attracting little traffic and even fewer qualified leads. A thoughtful, well-curated blog can turn that around even more quickly than you might think. The best blog strategies align with your SEO goals, so that every post enhances your authority with search engines. Think of Google as a matchmaker, striving to match readers with exactly the right content. Your blog can help those readers find exactly what they're looking for!
- Position your brand more effectively. Your blog is the ideal place for your brand's identity to develop and evolve. In addition to offering your readers valuable content, you can also show off your team's accomplishments, highlight your unique culture and generally demonstrate why online visitors should want to work with your company. Showcase your company's swagger!
- Generate more qualified leads. This is where blogging is about more than starting conversations. In some cases, you'll want your readers to take a different action, such as download your latest ebook or request a consultation. If your blog articles are well aligned with your ideal customers' needs, they'll generate more qualified leads for your sales and marketing team. That concept is the underpinning of inbound marketing methodology.
Speaking of asking your readers to take action, we can't wait to hear about how blogging has worked for you, or how you hope to improve your blogging efforts in the future.