For small companies, a simple blog might be all the content-marketing budget will stretch to. The good thing is, a blog offers great value for money and provides many benefits…
1. Position in search
In the past few years, search engines – notably Google – have started to favour regularly updated sites. This means that those sites that are updated more often than their competitors should feature higher in search engine rankings (all else being equal). And a blog is an excellent means of posting regular, relevant and fresh content that search engines will score highly. Just make sure that the blog is placed in the main domain of your site so that your whole site benefits.
Because blogs thrive on the creation of new content, they often require their own environment – meaning that they can be controlled by a different person from the main IT team that rules the rest of the website. The upshot is that you can be reactive and relevant with your content rather than waiting for a third party to update the site for you. And you can create static pages such as sign-up forms, updated FAQs pages and an ‘About Us’ section within the blog environment – if done correctly the last of these will spare you from a few phone calls from customers.
3. Engage with clients
No matter what your type of business, a blog will provide an invaluable tool for engaging with your customers. One way might be to campaign on an issue that affects your clients – a share-dealing service may lobby for improved rules around minority voting rights, or a fruit juice company might start to lobby a health ministry for better food labelling. Alternatively, a blog allows you to address those hopefully rare times when customers have been unhappy with your service. The key point is that blogs allow you to show that your clients’ interests are aligned with your company’s.
4. Engage with employees
For similar reasons, a blog allows you to engage with your staff, including company news (think promotions, employee of the month etc) and your company values. Depending on what type of content you are presenting, you could include material in a regular, ghost-written letter from your CEO, a Q&A with key, interesting members of staff, comment pieces on a specific topic or an infographic that presents important information fellow employees should know.
5. Going social
A blog is also an excellent excuse to thrive on social media. If you have set up accounts on LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+, but wondered what content to post, a regularly updated blog will provide plenty of meat. Rather than copying and pasting an entire entry, however, you can simply write an interesting headline and link to the specific blog post. That way, you’ll attract visitors to your site. Also, hiving off social media from pure blog writing means you can easily give the job of posting to Twitter or LinkedIn to someone else in your team.