Let’s face it – customers are making much more educated buying decisions courtesy of all the information and reviews available online. In a study conducted by Group M Search together with comScore, 86% of respondents indicated search engines are very important in their path to purchase. And a whopping 58% of respondents said they start their buying process by searching Google or another search engine!
The takeaway here? When your potential customer goes searching for the products or services you sell, you want to be the first listing in their search results.
When it comes to getting found online and driving traffic to your website, nothing – other than perhaps paid advertising – works better than a company blog. Sure, you could sprinkle pay-per-click or banner ads all over the Internet in exchange for an brief influx of visits or eyeballs on your latest and greatest marketing campaign, but as soon as you stop forking over money to the ad network, your traffic stops.
Publishing a steady stream of blog articles that offer the entertaining or educational information your prospects are looking for, positions your company as an expert and a thought leader in your industry. Using an editorial calendar to plan and organize your blog articles can make your content creation easy.
Not only does publishing a company blog provide long-term value, it can also help you reach your immediate marketing goal by giving you an outlet to create and share a self-hosted anthology of campaign-related stories. And if your readers also find the value in your content they may even share your posts on their own social media channels.
Integrate Blogging into Your Strategic Marketing Plan
There are countless ways to execute a marketing campaign, and we marketers have many tools at our disposal to do so. Whether you decide to make a splash with a prime time TV spot or an email blast or both, blogging can still complement all the other marketing tactics you employ by providing additional information that you wouldn't otherwise include on other static web pages, social media status updates and tweets, or can’t afford to promote with more paid ads.
And unlike a Facebook page or Pinterest account, your company blog is a platform that you entirely own and control. Instead of crafting social media-specific content, use your remarkable blog content to inspire the updates you share to social media channels, and include a link back to the full post for more information. Once your readers get there, let the value of the information entice your readers to take a desired call-to-action.
Publish Keyword Optimized Blog Posts
Even though search engine optimization is an integral part of getting your blog posts indexed on the search engines, where it can be discovered, read, and hopefully shared, you don’t have to be an SEO expert to publish great blog posts. You probably have a number of specific keywords or key phrases that you are working to rank for in your search engine marketing efforts. Write blog articles on topics that focus on each search term individually.
Do not be afraid to write other articles that may not exactly align with the specific search terms you are actively tracking. Google and other search engines will index these articles as well where they can show up in your prospect’s search results. You might discover these articles get found for other “long tail” search terms that you may not have considered.
It takes an ongoing commitment to consistently publish to your company blog and the results can be realized long-term, so you'll want to measure performance by using marketing analytics to improve your blog. As your articles appear in the search results of your potential customers, your company blog will become an effective way to drive traffic, convert leads and ultimately, grow your business.
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