Blogging is a fairly recent development and slightly undervalued in significance when compared to other social media platforms. However, with some thought process behind a blogging strategy it can be beneficial to business particularly small to medium sized ones.
Blogs are a reverse chronological posting of individually entries usually written by one person. They can be part of a website or a website on their own. As they are updated regularly they are dynamic (as opposed to being static) and are typically about a particular subject. Blogs may not be as widespread as other forms of social media, yet they have such flexibility and scope that they make it a superb platform to connect with an audience in greater depth.
A regular myth is that if you start blogging you will be at the top of engine searches. Although this has an element of truth in it, it is not completely accurate. The success of a blog arguably comes from the blogosphere as a network. This means that it is the linking of content from one blog to another that increases the likelihood of success.
Blogging is a long term strategy where getting traction takes time. However, the potential opportunities are worthwhile so it is essential that business consider it. Here are five reasons why business should include blogging as part of their overall social media strategy.
Keeps your Website Fresh
The days of getting a website and not updating it is long gone. A static website is just as useless as not having one. A blog (as part of your website) is one way to keep your website current. People don’t want to do business with someone whose website looks like it hasn’t changed since it went ‘live’. WordPress and Blogger are easy to use and not expensive to have an IT person incorporate it in as part of your website. The simplicity of these platforms makes adding content easy.
Establish Expertise and Credibility
A blog is not about the business product or service – it is about expertise. Writing a blog takes time and research, which in turn allows you to keep up to date with what is occurring in your industry. Having a blog creates a platform to demonstrate your understanding of industry issues (positive and negative). The more you write on these issues, the likely it increases your reputation as an expert. Further, writing quality content that helps solve your audience’s problems enhances your credibility as someone who is knowledgeable.
Become a Resource
This follows on from the previous point. The more you write and establish a position of expertise and credibility, the more you become a valuable resource for your audience and industry influencers. You become more than a source of information but a leader in respect to the trends and developments of your industry. Readers don’t have to agree with what you say; they merely need to see you as well informed. A blog keeps you visible, current and relevant – a resource people turn to when they require information.
Create a Dialogue
As blogs are interactive, each blog post provides an opportunity for a conversation to occur. Searching for information is a passive activity so when individuals come across a blog that is well written and interesting it creates the possibility for the reader to actively connect with the blog. Readers respond to your post with follow on comments and a discussion is created. This generates reader engagement and a deeper level of connection.
Develop New Relationships
All three previous points enables the possibility to establish relationships with potential customers, prospective partners or industry influencers which may not have occurred if individuals were not reading the blog. This is where blogs differ from a website. It allows knowledge and opinions to be expressed that would not be possible with a static website which is mainly an information resource of your products or services. The opportunity to connect through a blog is therefore much greater. In turn the potential long term benefits are considerable.