Blogging can be a fantastic marketing opportunity for businesses, but small businesses especially often lack the time and/or skill-set to generate high-quality content for publication. Moreover, even if one could publish such content, what would be the benefits to their business? Would the extra hassle be worth the reward?
What’s the fuss?
Branscombe, (2007) argued that blogs are a suitable resource for sharing information and collaborating, due to the simplicity in setting up a blog and then publishing it. Blogs are adaptable, they can be created (and removed) relatively quickly, whilst also being matched to the way a business works as the business evolves. You should take a look at these 10 reasons to start blogging…
A strong social media presence derives from unique content and regular activity. This can be achieved by sharing interesting content by others online (for instance articles, journals etc.). However, by generating your own industry topical content, further benefits can be recognised. Not only can these blog posts be shared on and effectively integrated with other social media platforms, as aforementioned this will lead to an increase of traffic to the business website. Additionally, you will have already generated content which can be used in mass communication to a focused audience, for example an email newsletter. The content from the blog can be compiled into a snippet of topical, relevant industry information and distributed accordingly.
Blogging also provides another interesting angle for a business; skill and expertise. If utilised correctly, a blog is brilliant way to establish a business as an expert in the industry. By providing unique and contemporary content, knowledge and know-how within that industry can be demonstrated to the reader. This will lead to not only the creation of a trustworthy rapport with the reader, but also will increase the likeliness of generating new, relevant business leads. This interesting video details some of other aspects of business blogging:
Moreover, the info-graphic below also highlights some of the key points mentioned above. Although specifically addressing the US, it serves to demonstrate the core benefits of a blog for a business from market research:
What are the finer points?
It is clear that if one was to blog on their own company website, search engine traffic to that site will increase. The more content that is added to the site will result in a greater number of pages from the domain which are indexed in search engines. Consequently, organic search visibility will improve whilst overall website traffic will increase.
‘Inbound links’ are links which come from another website to your website, (Kolowich, 2014). This is important for SEO. A blog can create high-quality inbound links which accumulate through others, such as journalists, bloggers or authors, when these contributors cite your blog content in articles of their own. This in turn can generate referral traffic back to your own company, (DeMers, 2015).
A blog also increases the chances of ranking for long-tail keywords, another important aspect of SEO. By having more content (in the form of a blog), the more chances you will have to rank for less common phrases, but those phrases often come with a higher chance of conversion for business. Long-tail keywords are more niche per se, and often less competitive than generic keywords such as “sports trainers”. An example of a long-tail keyword would be; “How to become an Estate Agent”; a quick google search of this example shows some interesting results:
The links in the above image are Ranks 1, 2 and 3 respectively for the search term “How to become an Estate Agent”. Divulging further, Rank 1 – “Reed”, is Alexa ranked as the 143rd top site in the whole of the UK and the No.1 UK employment agency website. Conversely, Rank 2 – “National Careers Service”, is an official government site. Most noticeably, Rank 3 – “Property Personnel”, is an SME. Despite being an SME however, for the mentioned long-tailed keyword search they rank astonishingly high; just below two organisations which would have substantially more resources than an SME.
But why does this matter?
The above example illustrates that offering uniquely generated content in the form of blogging, specifically catered towards a relevant and appropriate audience, can organically enhance a business’ SEO. This can prove invaluable, as it enables an SME for example, to gain exposure and reach against (sometimes at the cost) of larger organisations whom have substantially greater resources; particularly with regards to finances and time.
If utilised and adhered to correctly, blogging can be a powerful marketing tool for a business!
Branscombe, M. (2007). FT.com site : ONLY ON FT.COM: The power of business blogging. FT.Com, , 1. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.brighton.ac.uk/docview/229088960?accountid=9727
DeMers, J. (2015). The Top 10 Benefits Of Blogging On Your Website. [online] Forbes.com. Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2015/05/28/the-top-10-benefits-of-blogging-on-your-website/3/#35e3a5997793 [Accessed 25 Apr. 2016].
Fishbein, M. (2014). 10 Reasons You Should Start Blogging. [online] The Huffington Post. Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-b-fishbein/10-reasons-you-should-sta_b_5326353.html [Accessed 24 Apr. 2016].
Kolowich, L. (2014). What Is an Inbound Link? [FAQs]. [online] Blog.hubspot.com. Available at: http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/inbound-links-faqs [Accessed 23 Apr. 2016].