Photo courtesy of Christian Schnettelker on Flickr
Even if you are situated on Main Street and not listed on Wall Street, your business needs a blog.
I know, I know, you’ve heard this so many times. You need a blog. Heck, I still remember the first day I heard the words “Every business website will have a blog in 5 years.” It was back in 2003, right before Google acquired Blogger from Pyra Labs. I was having breakfast with our Google Rep (those were the days when Google employees had emails like firstname.lastname@example.org). I have to admit, I did not get the big idea behind having a blog that day.
It has been over 10 years now, and so much has happened. But one thing that has not seemed to happen is that business owners (especially small & medium sized ones) are still not convinced that they need a corporate blog. For most, it is a wishy-washy, waste of time with no commercial value. They don’t get it. And I don’t blame them. I think the case for the “Company Blog” has not been explained well enough beyond the tall highrise corporate meeting rooms. The businesses on Main Street are still way too busy trying to make money and stay alive and they don’t see the connection between that and a company blog.
Maybe I can make it a little clearer for you. If I can convince 0.5% of the people reading this blog post, I will be happy.
So lets go:
(1) Because your corporate website is not meant to be just a brochure:
The web is filled with company websites that are just the digital versions of a company brochure. There is what we do, who we are, contact us and a few informational pages. If it is an advanced site, maybe they will have a few case studies, detailed product information, a partner’s page and maybe even a news section.
But, let’s face it, people rarely have the time to change any of that information after the first date it is created. Just like designing a brochure, you do it once, you use it, and then about 5-7 years later you do a redesign so that you don’t look like the guy that is wearing his dad’s tie to senior prom.
A blog is what will bring your website to life. It will give your site a pulse and make it more akin to a living document. You will have to check your website on a regular basis for more content (if someone else is writing and publishing the blog posts for you) or if you are writing and publishing them yourself, it will give you a reason to update your site on a regular basis. And that’s the whole point. A static site is essentially a dead site. While one that is updated regularly, is alive.
(2) Because you want search engines to take your website seriously:
What would you think if you had a house in your neighborhood where you don’t see any activity? Nobody mows the lawn, you don’t see anyone going in and out and you don’t see the owners around. Year after year, the house stays the same, sometimes something breaks, but nobody comes to fix it.
So, what would you think? Probably things like; “This house must be abandoned”, “I better tell my kids not to play around there,” and “I better walk faster while I am walking in front of it”.
That is exactly what search engines (read: Google) will think if you don’t have any new content, new pages, or general activity on your website. Similar to the point about a blog giving a pulse to your site, a blog will show search engines that your site is alive, and cared for. It shows them there is something going on there and reminds them that they better pay attention to you. And maybe even send you visitors.
And that part about things breaking on the house and nobody being around to fix it? That happens with websites, too. Links break and you won’t notice if you don’t check it out once in a while. Nothing says abandoned website more than a broken link.
(3) Because social media is important & without quality content social media is useless:
If you have a corporate LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter account and you don’t have a blog, you are not doing social media. You might share things here and there but I guarantee that if you don’t have time for a blog, you might as well not even think about social media.
A blog is the first step for a good social media campaign. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not everything you need, but it’s the first step. Once you have a blog, you can share what you write on it via social media. You can use your social media comments and communication to give you a better picture of your audience and tether all the separate pieces together through your blog.
It acts as the centerpiece for all your social media activity. If you can point people to your blog, which sits on your site, you’re going to get all your social media followers visiting your site. So, instead of all that traffic stopping at Facebook or Twitter, they act as gateways, sending that traffic right on through to your site.
(4) Because you care about what you do as a business & you want to keep up with the industry:
Managing a blog is one of the best things you can do to keep yourself on top of things going on in your industry and profession. It will prompt you to:
- subscribe to industry newsletters,
- check competitor blogs,
- sign up to competitor email newsletters,
- set Google Alerts for industry news,
- research what is going on in your industry, and
- keep up with industry trade shows and conferences.
How else you are going to know what to write about (or what to ask your writer to write about). If you want to advance in what you do as a professional individual or be on the cutting edge of what is going on in your industry as a company, a corporate blog will give you that motivtion
You may be saying that you already keep up with what’s going on in your industry just fine without a blog. But think of it as a blog helping you not just keep track of what’s going on, but to actually learn about it and form an opinion on it. It’s like homework in school (only much more important).
(5) Because email marketing is one of the best forms of marketing & a blog will help you help with that:
We’ve already pointed out before how important email marketing is.
So, if email marketing is so important, why don’t you do it more often? There could be many different reasons why companies don’t do it much, but one of the most common reasons is that companies don’t have anything to email their clients. You can’t keep emailing them Summer Promotion, 10 % Discount, Happy Thanksgiving …
But, guess what? If you have a corporate blog, and you are good at keeping it up to date, you will always have something new to email them. Email them your popular posts, your own personal favorites, things that are not too in your face, or too self-aggrandizing. Instead, like the videos we suggest you make, the posts you email should give readers value. Just keep in mind that not everyone is as excited about “Electrical Stimulation: Breakthrough for Paralysis Treatment” as you are. So, make sure what you share can be interesting enough for your general audience.
(6) Because each blog post you create will be another keyword your website can rank better for and bring new people to your website:
We all love graphs that are going upwards, especially me. There are only a few things in life I like as much as seeing a client’s website statistics and visitor numbers continually going up … One of the best ways (but not the only way) to keep those visitor numbers climbing is to keep writing new, good content pieces/blog posts on your website. Each blog title, each piece of content, each subject, each keyword you use is another opportunity for your website to rank better for those keywords.
Out of 100 billion+ search queries Google processes every month, about 15% are unique (never been seen before). That is 500 million+ times a day. So, with each content piece, you are getting a shot at getting free traffic from not only more common term searches but possibly some of those unique ones.
(7) Because blogs can actually bring business for you:
Just the other week, we had someone contact us via our blog wanting to know if we could help him. That guy reached out to us because of the expertise we consistently display on our blog. If you show via your blog posts that you have expertise in your field, potential clients will recognize that, too, and you might even convert a blog visitor into a client.
You can show your expertise in your field and help promote your own clients by doing interviews with your current clients or customers, doing feature blog posts on prospective clients, covering trade shows (even if you’re not present at them) and doing interviews with notable people in your industry.
Did I convince you that blogs are not just a waste of time and resources, but are also a good marketing investment?
If you are now considering it, the next step is to think of what kind of blog you want and if you want to do it yourself, have someone in your organization do it or hire someone or a company to do it. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. But that is a different post.
Now, I have to finish writing this piece ASAP and take my 5-year-old son to Legoland. He has been extremely patient waiting for me to finish it, but that patience is quickly dissipating. His question intervals just went up from 1 every 5 minutes to 1 every minute.
So I better go now …
About Serhat PalaSerhat Pala is the President and founder of RhinoForce and 3DPrinterStore.com. Prior to that, he ran several online retail businesses including TestCountry.com, which, under his management, was recognized as one of the Inc. 500 fastest growing privately held companies.
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