Blogging is the most popular way for business (both B2B and B2C) to engage with clients and customers.
It can be a very cost effective marketing communications tool, especially when compared with traditional advertising such as print and direct mail. However, blogs are not simply as a sales tool, they are about building long term relationships with customers. They create two-way conversations between company and customers that are vital for interacting with your existing and potential audience. They facilitate a better understanding of your business and allow organisations to reach out to their target market, share where they’re vision, direction and what they are thinking. It is also useful for getting feedback form existing and potential customers to find out what customers think in order to adjust and tailor their offer accordingly.
These two-way forms of online marketing communications and customer engagement has become a great way of both maintaining long term relationships and gathering useful data about customer preferences and behaviours. All of which can be feedback to help produce better solutions for your customers.
Social media integration
All of the greatest blog set ups link well with existing social media channels. Blogs are perfect for providing regular new content and this should really be published through all of your social media channels. By adding sharing icons for Facebook, Twitter, Google+ LinkedIn etc to every blog page, you can make it really easy for readers to share content through their own contacts and networks, which will increase your blogs reach and open up your brand to whole new audiences.
Search Engine Optimisation
Search engines have always liked updated and original (and importantly relevant) content, but they are becoming increasingly sophisticated at picking out content written purely for search engines over content written for the reader. Programmers have been producing automated content rammed with keywords for years now to try and convince Search Engines to rank these pages and generate traffic but this is now longer the case. Long gone are the days of packing in keywords to gain top ranking in Google. Search engine algorithms that calculate where your website should be ranked on specific keywords are now taking into account hundreds of other factors. These include the quality of your links (who do you link to, who links back to you) and how much your content is shared and re-posted. Sharing through social media sites is becoming a more important factor; particularly through Google+, which Google gives high credit to in order to encourage more people to use it as a business networking tool.
Blogging for thought leadership
Many bloggers are now establishing themselves as industry experts through their blogs. If you consider yourself an expert in your industry then you should be blogging and getting your brand out there. Of course, blogging and online activities cannot be used as a replacement for offline activities and maintaining good relationships with people in person, but when done correctly it will enhance your offline activities and provide a useful base for people to refer back to your content and ideas.
By taking a particular stance on a topic and using your blog to explain and share your view, you can create healthy discussion and debate and link with others in your industry, who you may not have linked up with otherwise.