When used right, corporate blogs are tools that can yield huge impact.
It can be argued that all digital marketing tactics are essentially employed with specific goals in mind: to increase visibility online, to promote brand awareness among the general public and to capture sales leads.
And it can be argued that no inbound marketing activity offers a higher yield in these regards as brand blogging.
Yes, it’s true that many brands don’t have the expertise, prioritized resources, sustainable creativity or dedication to market themselves effectively via articles over time. But that just makes for opportunities that the rest of us can make the most of! Here’s why.
Blogs build trust
Your company is the ultimate expert in your niche field, right? A blog gives you a platform to share your expertise. That question that you hear over and over on the phone or at the sales counter – there’s an article idea for you right there.
Answering your customers’ questions before they even ask is a great way to bring them through your door. It’s all about positioning yourself as the authority in your niche, no matter how local or specialized.
Become a visible part of the conversation
A blog article gives you something to tweet about or to post on your Facebook page. Social media is all about direct engagement with your customer base. Monitor the shares, likes, comments, retweets and Twitter mentions, and you’ll be right there with the customers.
In this sense, corporate blogging can be viewed as a kind of prerequisite to all other forms of social marketing.
Search mastery via relevance
The secret, ever-changing Google search algorithms are all about delivering relevant content and value to the searcher. So to master the search results, make sure you’ve got a trove of dynamic and relevant content. The continuing trend is that search ranking algorithms favor niche expertise over power domains and the volume of non-authoritative inbound links in search results.
Search results pages are also becoming increasingly dominated by content shared by the searching user’s peers – all the more reason to establish niche authority via dynamic articles. Get a jump on SEO by delivering great content on your blog.
There’s only so much you can do to optimize your brand’s Facebook Page for converting customers, garnering subscribers or capturing leads. Other inbound marketing channels like Twitter and YouTube offer even less customization control.
In our experience, WordPress is an especially versatile blog platform, and integrating a blog into a website, whether or not the site itself is built in WordPress, is easy and powerful.
If you can successfully funnel user activity towards your very own home-baked web presence, which is what a corporate blog is, you’ll be primed for a much higher ROI, as it opens up your options for agile conversion optimization, through layout tweaks, banner updates, A/B or multivariate testing, refreshing third-party plugins and more. Among the customizations to consider are welcome popups for first-time visitors, fixed-position elements, aggregation tools for publishing content from third-party platforms, tweaking the way your products are promoted in the margins, and experimenting with placements and calls to action on signup boxes.
And when you’re in control, you’ve got the opportunity to really amp up the branding of the UX. Users should feel like they’ve entered a special realm when they touch your brand via a blog, and this impression is an extremely powerful marketing tool.
Photo courtesy of flickr user shizhao under a Creative Commons license.