Do you blog? Should you blog? What is the point of blogging anyway? According to Wikipedia, there are over 250 million blogs worldwide. You might think that the world has enough blogs and that it doesn’t need another one.
According to a Brandon Gaille article, blog-reading starts around 7:00 AM, peaks at 10:00 AM, and many people read more than one blog a day. Many people that find interesting blogposts share them on social media and in emails to friends. Regularly updated blogs generate four times as many leads as those that owners update irregularly. In addition, businesses that update their blogs sixteen to twenty times per month enjoy five times the website traffic.
A blog is a marketing tool. You use it to create awareness, generate visibility and to create a dialog with your current and potential customers. In addition, a blog will generate content and “chum” the Internet, forcing your name to bubble up to the surface of web searches. In a world of smart phones where customers research everything, you want people to find you easily. It is important that your website or your articles appear on the first or second page of a web search and it is well known that blogs help to influence customers’ buying decisions and purchases.
The question is, how do you use that tool to your advantage? As in any marketing campaign, you need a plan.
- Decide what goals you want to accomplish,
- Plan a course of action to achieve that plan,
- Develop a list of topics that support your plan,
- Finally develop the content based on the topics you have outlined.
You may find it easier to write all of your content in one or two sittings. It will help you focus on the task and it will be more effective than trying to remember to write every day. Once you have your content written, then you can make one post per day. You don’t have to post every day; you can post three times a week, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Consistency is important in any marketing effort so be consistent with your blog postings regardless of what you decide to do.
You might be thinking that this is too much work, but in reality a blogpost doesn't have to be article length, such as 800 to 1,000 words long, You can post just a paragraph. If you write a three-paragraph article for each of your topics then you can post one topic per week with three paragraphs, one per day. Not everyone is a writer, but invariably you will have someone on your staff that likes to write. Enlist that person to write your blog posts for you. If you don’t have someone, you can always hire someone to do this for you.
All blogging platforms contain tools that allow you to schedule blogposts at a date and time when you want them to appear. This makes it much easier for you to automate posting and takes the pressure off you at the same time. One thing to remember is to look for comments to your blog posts and then to respond in a timely manner.
Once you make a blogpost, you will also want to share them with your social media platforms. You can use tools like Hootsuite to automate those. What is nice about this tool is with the free version you can schedule 30 to 60 days in advance. Paid subscriptions offer the ability to post to additional social networks creating more opportunities to reach potential new customers on other platforms. SocialOomph is another free tool that allows you to schedule your social media posts and more functionality is available with its paid version. LaterBro is a free tool that you can use as well.
Why else should you blog? One of the main reason is to get new customers but you will also create robust content in the process. New content pushes old content to the back pages of web searches. If you have negative reviews, blogposts are a great way to make those old reviews disappear. Another reason to blog is create visibility and position your company as the expert in your area. Everyone wants to do business with the expert or the recognized leader in his or her community.
Andy Fracica is the author of Navigating the Marketing Maze, he is, a speaker, a marketing coach, and president and CEO of Fracica Enterprises, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in marketing, and social media strategy. He has over 30 years of sales, marketing, and product management experience in the heating ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) industry. He concentrates on helping companies deliver their message in an ever increasingly crowded market by helping HVAC dealers more effectively market their businesses without breaking their budgets. Contact him at 260-338-4554, [email protected] or visit the Fracica Enterprises, Inc., website.