22 May Notes from an Intern: To blog or not to blog?
There are around 152 million blogs, and that number is growing every day. Not only has blogging evolved into a popular pastime, but it has also become integral to many company websites.
My first experience of blogging came when school friends went travelling off to far flung places on their gap years. They turned to blogging as an effective form of communication in places where internet access was fairly limited, allowing people to share their experiences and virtually travel with them. And whilst you may be loath to share your thoughts in the same way, blogs are much more than this. They should not be preconceived as just a whimsical form of communication or means of self-indulgence.
Businesses can reap some serious benefits from blogging. According to statistics from Impact Branding and Design, companies that blog gain 55 % more traffic to their sites. By making your blog rich with keywords, customers are more likely to discover your brand in the search engines. A blog can create a more personable experience by encouraging interaction, adding value and expressing personality. It also helps to break down any barriers between the customer and brand – building confidence and relationships (for more on this see Clare’s blog, ‘Building Brand Trust over Multiple Channels’). Moreover, it can help to build credibility in a cost-effective way.
Whilst the power to influence and inspire at the click of the button can be an effective form of marketing, a reputation can just as easily be damaged. Therefore an appropriate level of honesty must be a key feature of your blog. Those, which have the sole purpose of earning money through advertising and over-enthusiastic product reviews, will come unstuck in the long run because they are not providing genuine value to the reader.
Don’t let your brand suffer and other businesses flourish by disregarding this insightful marketing tool. Strengthen your identity, make your brand more approachable and update posts regularly. Ultimately blogging should be viewed as an investment that can add real value your business if done correctly.
• Know your audience and write in an engaging, dynamic style that will spark interest.
• Your content should be displayed in a clear, interesting way which reflects your brand and attracts attention.
• Images are important for creating engaging and shareable content; ensure they are high quality.
• Don’t forget to listen to customer feedback and pay close attention to analytics.
• Listen and learn from any criticism, respond to questions in a timely manner and take on board what your customers say, after all the customer is king.
• Publish your posts to your social network sites and make sure your blog links back to them.
In this day and age when we rely so much on the internet and social media, it may be time to put aside any privacy hesitations and embrace blogging. The majority of people already have an online persona through sites such as Facebook and Twitter where they do not think twice about publishing photos, statuses, comments and tweets. Couldn’t this daily documentation of our personal lives be classified as a form of blogging anyway? Allocating time to express ideas and thoughts to a global audience can help to inspire, improve and invigorate.
Updating your business blog regularly will generate more visitors to your blog; increase your stat and make your website more popular overall. B2B companies with blogs generate 67% more leads per month on average, so what are you waiting for?
by Nathalie Wilson