“Content is king”. You hear it over and over again and, as cliche as it is, people just might be on to something. People are on a constant search for knowledge. They scour the internet looking for the best articles and information that aligns with their needs and interests. Many people do not make it through a dinner without a “let me google that” before turning to the almighty oracle to settle an argument. What if your page settled that argument? What if it could answer questions for many others? All of a sudden you have traffic, you are an expert, and when people are in a buying mood they will remember your name and click ‘add to cart’ without hesitation.
In the end, a beautiful website with amazing products is only worth the number of people who go and see it. Without constantly updating your blogs and social media platforms your amazing company will remain hidden in the deep dark corners of the inter-webs. Show off!
It’s not that simple… but it also sort of is. Think about it this way – the more words you have on your website that are relevant to your business or industry, the more words the little google bots have to grab onto when people are searching for things. Blogs let you broaden the organic search opportunities for your website while not over-cluttering the main pages. But google has gotten smart. You can’t just cram in keywords over and over again and hope to land on the first page. Now your content has to be great. It has to pass the test of actually human judgement as measured by readability, how long people stay and read, and if they continue through your site or decide to link to it themselves (via social shares or links to their own info). Videos and photos also are pretty much necessary, and they are even good for SEO – descriptions, tags, titles – all of these count towards your searchability and pleasing visual blog (more engaging).
2. Drives traffic to website
So what happens when people google their questions? They click on websites that have titles of relevancy, and are then brought into your website. Just as you may have been for this one here. Were you looking up ‘how content will grow my business?’, or ‘Why does my business need a blog?’. You may have, because those are two of my ‘tags’. And now you are on my site. Ideally from here you will click around a little bit more, see what I do, look at my work, read a few more blogs, etc. But more on that later. The key point here is that you are getting people to your blog and, as mentioned, if your content is good and keeps people hanging around, then your SEO improves – it all comes full circle, as you will continue to read.
3. Brand awareness
What’s my company name? Sort of creative huh? Do you like it? Would you remember it? Would you at least remember it if you saw it again? Hopefully you would be able to recall it if you saw it again of if someone asked you “hey, do you know of a company that does blogging or social media management? Or maybe some blogs about best practices’? You can say, “well yes I do! Google ‘Jumping Elephant Calgary’. Voila!
Now a little less about me. Brand awareness is one of the key points of digital marketing. It can be covered under both the blogging and social media section. The main point to take away is that when people see your company name a few times they will begin to recognize it. If I asked you for a company that does taxes you may say ‘H&R Block”. Why? Because they have so many ads and you see their stores everywhere. It is about brand awareness. Even if you have never used them or don’t know how good they are, you know their name and it comes to mind. That, my friends, is a marketer’s dream.
4. Build Trust
If you offer consistently good information then people will begin to trust what you say. The old term “never believe what you see on tv” has now been translated to “never trust what you see on the internet” ten-fold. So in order to break through the clutter of bad information you need to be able to blog about great topics on a continual basis and to the extent that people will start to say “hey, maybe this company does actually know what they are talking about”.
5. Be an Expert in Your Industry
This goes along with the ‘build trust’ point. When people see and like your blogs they will start to believe what you are saying. From here they will see you as an expert in your field. I mean, you have so much to say about a particular topic and it all seems to be very helpful and right on point. If that is not the definition of an expert then I don’t know what is! When you are an expert people will come to you for advice, and that is when things start to pay off and your ROI can really be seen. Even something as simple as “why you need your eaves-troughs cleaned” and “7 best interior design tips”. Offering easy to understand, basic info, that is reader friendly will set you apart.
6. Turn leads into sales
You may be starting to see that these tips are sort of a funnel. They all lead into one another. This one is no different. You know how I just said that people will come to you for advice once they believe you are an industry expert? Well guess what… this advice can turn into a sale. When people trust you and follow your blogs and see that you really do know what you are talking about, they will inquire when they are in the need of your product or service. Why wouldn’t they? You have helped them this far, so they will now trust you to continue to be able to. Even simple questions and comments on your blog should be taken seriously and be responded to promptly. You never know what that person is in need of now, or will be in need of in the future.
7. Builds 360 Brand
Finally, blogs complete your marketing circle. You probably have social media (and if you don’t… keep reading why it’s important, or talk to me for a consultation of your business and why it will help your business specifically), and have spent some time and money on other advertising initiatives. Your brand is a circle and you don’t want any gaps where people may drop out or miss you. Having information on a variety of platforms will show that you are a full well-rounded company who really has a grasp on modern-day marketing, and therefore, modern day technology.
8. Offer Benefit: Be an informer
Social media is best because you get to offer information that is useful to people. TOO many companies make the mistake of simply using social media as a notification centre and blasting out sales and events to their followers (who, of course, do not engage). People do not want to be sold to. People want you to provide information that is important to them and that they will find useful. The rule is 80/20. Never post more than 20% sales to your 80% entertainment. For example, if you are an interior design company you can post about sales and show your portfolio and any ‘christmas specials’ you may have. But the other 80% of your posts should be “check out this beautiful room”, or “10 tips for decorating for the holidays”, or “trending colour pallet of 2016”. This way it shows that you have a knowledge of the industry, you understand your clients, and people will follow you for great information and then, when they are ready, look you up for more. The best part about this is, unlike a blog, you can share other people’s content and don’t have to come up with it from scratch every time (but just know that the click through is not to your site… so if you can write a blog up yourself to link to… that is ideal, for all of the reasons listed above).
9. Company Culture / Tone
Show off! Your tone in writing, pictures of your company and staff, the personality of the posts you write. Stick to your brand and create a strategy around it that turns it into an online personality. For example, there is a plumber in Calgary that has super heroes all over his trucks. He has gotten quite popular because he has spent time creating a brand. This brand is then translated through all of his marketing efforts and gives people the feeling that they know ‘him’ even though ‘him’ is a company. This is relatable and allows people to really connect with your brand on a more personal level. And what better way to do so than on a platform that people flock to and through a variety of fun and informative posts.
10. Lead Generation
Social media is a means of blasting out information (and then, most importantly, listening to the response). This includes your blogs. Remember how I mentioned that blogs could serve to turn leads into sales? Well where did those leads come from? Some may certainly have come from organic or paid google searches, but many have been from your own social platforms. Facebook has become a pay to play platform so advertising is now a necessity if you want the eyeballs on your posts. But, although these leads are paid, they can really pay off, especially if you are boosting content that pushes people to your site – to your blog or something that people will find interesting. Alternately, building up the trust and loyalty over consistent and constantly great posts will be sure to turn a lead over every now and then when people are in the mood.
Remember: You can’t turn people into buyers. If someone has a new washer it is unlikely that they will buy another one just because you say so. However, when their washer breaks you want to be there and be top of mind so when they begin the buying process they start with you.
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