Although you’re undoubtedly familiar with the importance of content marketing in your overall integrated marketing strategy, have you given much thought to blogs? These gems of the marketing world are too often overlooked in lieu of website content, social media, and even public relations. But in just 350–800 words, blogs help content marketing in myriad ways you may not have even considered.
Blogs Add Content to Your Website
Since the dawn of Google, websites have driven digital marketing. But most of us don’t update our websites more than once a decade or so, meaning Google can’t find new content there. Enter blogs. Each new entry creates a new page on your site that search engines can index. This is the crux of SEO, or search engine optimization. And you can add something new monthly, weekly, or daily, depending on your schedule. More content makes you more interesting to the search engines that are crawling the Web looking for your excellent content.
Blogs Showcase Your Brand as the Expert
With each new entry you add to your website, you have an opportunity to share your industry expertise with the world. If you’re in real estate, you’ll talk about your knowledge of buying and selling homes; if you’re a doctor, you’ll share information about the kinds of cases you see; if you’re an attorney, you’ll provide direction on how readers can benefit from legal counsel. No matter what your industry, you have expertise and something to share. When you give away your knowledge free of charge with no return, magic happens. (If you don’t believe this, read Jay Baer’s Youtility.)
You can also use these great entries as a way to sell your clients on your products or services when they reach out to you. While some prospective clients will have read your blogs, many more will have not. Use this section of your website to answer frequently asked questions (FAQs) and then deliver inquiries there so they can learn more about how you do business and can add value for them.
Blogs Start Conversations
One of the best things about blogs is how easily that can engage readers to comment or share. If you create really compelling content, your followers are going to be driven to comment and tell others about it. Plus, if you use your SEO smartly, your blog will show up in Google alerts that people around the world are running just to find new content to share with their followers. Although you can’t really plan to go viral with your new Web entry, if you write something that is educational, entertaining, and engaging, the likelihood is that it will have a long shelf life.
Blogs Help Content Marketing on Different Platforms
If your business is on social media, you need content to share there. Blogs are perfect for that. If you have a regular email newsletter (or print, for that matter), blogs can be shared in part or in whole to your contact list. Assuming that you write your blogs around themes (and you certainly should), you can even compile a number of blogs into an ebook or white paper to sell, giveaway, or use on your website as a “bribe” to get visitors to sign up for your drip-marketing campaign. Don’t think of your entries as a one-time deal; instead, think of them as recyclable and repurpose them to your heart’s content.