In my experience, I’ve found there are many business benefits to running a company blog. Here are my top five explained:
1. More effective inbound marketing
Inbound marketing — or to use Seth Godin’s term, permission marketing — now rules. Now more than ever, you must earn the attention of prospects, make yourself easy to be found, and draw customers to your website by producing content that customers value.
A blog helps your company stand out from the crowd, is very “findable” (see next point), and provides fresh, valuable content.
Most blogs have links where readers can register to receive updates via email or via their RSS reader. Any reader who registers is effectively giving you permission to email them with every new blog post, or have it show up in their readers, without your having to worry about spam accusations.
2. Better search engine results
Blogs help people find your company through online search.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) plays to the fact that Google and other search engines rank sites on quality, relevance, and freshness of content. A well-maintained blog ticks all three boxes. With frequent posts in the subject area of the company’s activity and a smart use of keywords, a blog is generally going to give your company an SEO advantage over a competitor’s static website.
3. Thought leadership
For a lot of businesses, especially in the field of professional services, there is a clear marketing advantage in being recognised as a thought leader.
Your blog posts, and the comments on them, can demonstrate that you are knowledgeable and insightful about your field. Again, this can give you a real advantage over a competitor’s static website, which typically features only impersonal, “marketing speak” content.
4. Increased engagement with customers and prospects
A company blog helps you earn the trust of visitors and subscribers by providing frequent, fresh insights into what you know about your line of business and about your company values.
Readers can also get a clear understanding of how you deal with others, especially how you deal with comments and how you respond under the pressure of criticism. And you can get invaluable feedback from a comment stream—much more easily than via a contact form.
5. Social media integration
While more and more companies are tooling up with social media, especially via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, they’re often approaching it in a piecemeal fashion, without integrating their various social presences.
Blogs, on the other hand, typically feature social icons for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and so on, as for example at the foot of this blog. This helps people get a bigger picture of the company’s social presence and how the company engages with people on those platforms. In this way, a blog provides a very effective hub for social media integration.
That’s my list. What would your top 5 business benefits be?