If you thought corporate blogs had their moment, you might be surprised to learn that what’s old is new again. Blogging is not only alive and well – it’s thriving.
For the third consecutive year, Fortune 500 companies reported increased use of blogs to reach current and prospective customers, according to a September 2018 study from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research. The study showed 53 percent of the Fortune 500 use blogs – an 11 percent year-over-year increase.
The companies see blogging as an important part of their social media strategy, particularly for thought leadership, product promotion and customer engagement. While some companies might limit posts to basic news announcements, the Center for Marketing Research study excluded those.
If your business doesn’t have a blog, you’re missing an excellent opportunity to drive engagement and traffic to your website. Blogging will help you:
1. Build authority and trust in your brand
One of the best ways to establish yourself or your brand as a subject-matter expert is to inform and educate readers through storytelling and analysis. Share important industry insights, trends that no one else is talking about and solutions to common customer challenges. Yes, this takes more time than throwing up job postings, photos from the company picnic and promos about new hires. If you want to build credibility, readership and conversion rates, you need meaty, quality content.
2. Create long-term relationships with current and prospective customers
Set yourself up for productive and meaningful conversations by answering common questions proactively. You’ll be seen as a helpful resource that cares about current and prospective customers’ success. You can also survey your customers and publish the results on your blog. This will open the door to valuable discussions and the possible development of new solutions that show you’re customer-focused. Follow up with posts that explain how you’re responding to the feedback to solidify loyalty and trust in your company.
3. Increase search engine traffic
Blogging quality content regularly helps your website show up in search engines and drives traffic to your site in organic search. Be sure to ask people to share your content so that you get extra mileage from your posts. You’ll keep them coming back for more by offering different types of content, including videos, lists, graphics, original photos – not stock images! – quizzes, stories and other formats.
4. Support your social media presence
With no restrictions on content, length or format, blogging will continue to be a strong component of a social media plan, the Center for Marketing Research study noted. Every time you write a blog post, you’re creating content that you can share on social media, which, in turn, increases traffic to your website.
5. Humanize your brand
Make your company stand out by building a human, personal connection with current and prospective customers. Blogging allows you to share your voice, your passions and your personality. When you drop the marketing script and reveal who you are and what drives your business, you become relatable. That doesn’t mean publishing a tell-all about the employee who embezzled $500k from your capital fund and ran off with a circus clown. Share content about your business stumbles and how you overcame them, photos of your team doing cool things and stories about your achievements. The list of possibilities is long.
How has your blog helped your organization? Let us know in the comments below.