According to the digital intelligence company eMarkter there will be a big increase in the number of companies blogging in 2 years.
In many studies, company use of social networks and Twitter does outpace the use of blogs, but for companies the platforms are not mutually exclusive. “Companies are finding that blogs fill a specific niche that other forms of social media do not,” said eMarketer senior analyst Paul Verna.
Verna makes a great point. Companies are finding that blogging allows companies to have more control over the environment of their communication with current and potential customers.
“Studies have shown that marketers perceive blogs to have the highest value of any social media in driving site traffic, brand awareness, lead generation and sales—as well as improving customer service,” said Verna.
This year, eMarketer estimates just over one in three companies have a public-facing blog used for marketing, a proportion that will rise to 43% by 2012.
There is a reason companies are turning to blogging as a marketing tool.
Blogs allow companies to continually create and publish content. The key to increasing traffic is a constant flow of content targeted at a specific segment of people or customers.
Search engines love consistent content. Frequency is extremely important for successful blogs. Businesses can struggle with frequency. Typically a business will know they need a blog, but will have trouble committing resources to the blog. A few reasons for this including the time it takes to establish the voice of the blog and grow the readership. Rather than committing to a blog long term it seems businesses will find other uses for time and resources.
It’s important to stick with a blogging plan to feed those search engines quality content on a regular basis. Give the search engines reasons to crawl your blog and Website. Give the search engines reason to rank your blog pages and Website high in the rankings.
The more content you have on your site and the more often you add content the more traffic you will see from subscribers and from search engines (natural traffic).
Along with increased traffic, business blogs can lead to more sales leads. The goal of some business blogs is ultimately to reach potential customers and generate sales leads and actual sales.
Blogging allows businesses to share their knowledge of their industry. A business blog is a controlled environment for giving a sales pitch in a non-sales pitch kind of way. What I mean by this is a business can write a blog post on a topic its customers are interested in. If the article is good and it gets noticed by search engines potential customers will find the article and visit the company website.
This is the kind of traffic business blogs are trying to get. This highly targeted traffic is what leads to curiosity, intrigue and ultimately interest in the products and services the business is selling.
A final, but important reason companies are increasing their blogging activity is to improve their engagement with customers. Blogging allows companies to control (to a point) the communication they have with customers. In today’s economic world it’s important to foster the relationships you have with customers because there is high competition for their business.
Companies are turning to blogs as a way to provide a consistent voice their customers can depend on. Customers want to feel like they are being engaged with and cared for. It doesn’t have to be much, but a blog post about a new product can get customers excited. Something as simple as sharing interpretation of a new finding in an industry can be extremely important to a customer.
For example, say you are a dog food manufacturer and a company (not yours) recalls dog food. It would be important to share your thoughts on what happened with the situation. Don’t be negative towards the other company, but be positive about what your company is doing to prevent any incidents with your brand.
Share your interpretations. Share your knowledge. It all improves customer engagement.
At an increasing rate, companies are starting business blogs and using their blogs as a successful marketing tool.
Companies are looking for ways – especially in this competitive economy – to increase their traffic and sales leads. Blogging is proving to be a way for companies to increase their website traffic through increased blog traffic.
Finally, companies are looking to foster the customer relationships they currently have. Blogging allows companies to keep a consistent line of communication with customers. There are many topics to discuss on a blog and customers will likely enjoy them all. Simply having a consistent form of communication will usually be enough to keep customers happy as they look for something more from the company they are doing business with.
Blogging is becoming a more important form or marketing for companies. Digital intelligence firm eMarkter predicts 43% of companies will be blogging within two years.
Will your company be one of them?