Blogging as a form of online communication has come a long way. Used by every type of business and industry imaginable, there’s no one set way or formula of how it should be done. Some prefer formal, long-form approaches, while many successful bloggers can attract a following with microblogging (think Tumblr) or regular, specific posts using social media tools like WordPress or Facebook. The only limitation to blogging in 2016 is your imagination. What’s most important is that a blog functions as a gateway between you and your organization and the people you are attempting reach. This group of people should include past, current and future customers.
The third is the key.
A well-developed blog will bring in leads. Here’s how. As you continue to build a following on your social media platforms, regular blog posts that live on your website will drive direct traffic. And you can achieve this by starting with blogging about general advice. Then target your audience with specific posts about what you do best. Blogs also give you a forum to take your ideas and organize them as evergreen content to drive direct traffic. But no matter what your topic is, blogging tells people about your organization at large, and why clients should come to you. Regular posts that show your organization’s command on the topics will set you apart from the competition as an industry leader. Whether you run a non-profit organization, restaurant or real estate firm, blogging gives customers a window into your business, your knowledge, your experience and what you can offer to them.
If your website is furnished with regular, topical blogs, you’re sure to have people coming back to you, and then trusting you for your advice and ultimately, for your services. Make no mistake, in addition to sharing specific know-how, blogging is also a platform to let the community get to know you. If you are raising money for a charity, use your blog to generate donations. And do not be afraid to highlight your accomplishments or show how your approach elevates you from the competition. You can also single out an employee to demonstrate how he or she was able to exceed a client’s expectation. Be sure to ask your clients if it’s OK to mention them in a post.
Testimonials can make for blog gold. If you’re client is a little shy, you can always generalize. Make your blog your own PR machine. Blogging also puts you closer to one of your best online friends: Google search. Specific search terms will likely return results that include your company. But not always. That is why we advocate regular blog posts to widen your Google net. If there is a common problem that your customers face, keywords from those particular situations may not produce a return that places your company high up on the results page. However, if you have blog posts that touch on how to resolve similar situations, and those posts have been circulated on social media and have been passed around, chances that a new potential client will find you are increased. If you still aren’t convinced that blogging is a smart marketing tactic, here are more reasons to get started on one today.
- Blogs are generally inexpensive.
- Blogs strengthen your brand and have the ability to convey personality.
- Blogs don’t have to be only text, they support all types of formats including video, audio, graphics and PDFs. They can follow question-and-answer, FAQs, top 10, how-to and must-know formats. They can be as complex or easy as you want them to be.
- Blogs can complement your social strategy as you can email them, tweet them, share them on Facebook, LinkedIn and so on.
Experiment with blogs, mix them up, use images, try different formats and write catchy headlines to capture a larger audience. Before you know it, your blog will increase awareness, strengthen your credibility, boost the number of visits to your website and, of course, bring forth the ever-so-coveted lead.