If visitor acquisition is itself a challenging task in this age of digital marketing, earning their trust to commit to your service or buy your product is an even steeper mountain to climb. In the era of social media which usher transparency among players and their vulnerability to abuse, as well an even more fierce competition, not doing anything or worse, not paying attention or being aware of what’s going on can spell doom on your online marketing efforts.
We may have plenty of cash to spend to get people to visit our web pages through social media, paid search or traditional TV ads or newspapers. But if the landing pages are lame — meaning, there’s no ‘wow’ or ‘I didn’t know that’ factor since visitors must have seen similar content elsewhere — they’ll go away and are not expected to return.
More than just attracting visitors, we must also think about how to retain them, or at least make them consider a return. Blogging or creating fresh content might just serve both purposes.
Publishing fresh, relevant content through a blog section in your site helps attract new and recurring visitors. Let us find out how.
1. It adds value to your site.
A corporate website may typically include information about the company, its stakeholders, services and contact info. Such information is rarely updated, unless you move addresses, change your business model or go public. Adding a blog entry not only adds new pages with fresh content, it also complements existing content. For example, if one of the founders is a graduate at PolyU, he or she can blog about college life and valuable lessons learned. If the business is about leasing storage boxes, it could include information about how to optimize your limited space or types of items that are not allowed inside a rented storage facility.
We can also review content found in the contact us inbox and write about them. Perhaps we get so many inquiries because there is not enough information to answer an initial interest coming from a visitor.
2. It builds your reputation.
When you start talking about your expertise, describe further your product or encourage engagement your audience through your blog posts, you begin to exhibit authority about the field you belong. Your target audience would likely commit to your service if they are confident you can do the job as you would convey in a well-written and well-organized blog post. You could soon be the go-to resource person when it comes to a specific field of expertise and soon you could get quoted in the news or invited for interview.
Building this reputation also carries high standard of content. When you write an article, get someone to edit or fact check your information, to ensure there is no grammatical errors or spelling mistakes.
3. It creates additional stream of organic traffic.
Once you create new pieces of content, your website implicitly stores even more information. Such information may not be your money keywords that deliver sales leads, but enough to drive more traffic as your website’s content expands.
For example if you deliver nutritious fruit juices, don’t just settle for the sales copy that your visitors may have already read on a competing site or a health journal. Get your blog rolling and post articles such as different nutrients obtained from your products and how they help our bodies. Or create a post describing health benefits of certain exercises — of course with your fruit juice products replenishing energy and nutrients.
4. It encourages engagement among your loyal followers.
Loyal customers follow a brand in each and every way. Whether its launching a new product, appearance on a TV commercial or partnership with another organization. Such engagement may appear as a blog comment, social media like or mention at another platform.
Such actions can help elevate the level of your brand and get you portrayed as a trustworthy and customer-centric organization. In other words, you actually get free exposure courtesy of your truthful fans, and not the paid PR campaigns that occasionally come with inflated, artificial tone of messaging. There are no better sales people than happy customers.
5. It helps generate inbound links.
A blog post about an internal research, case study or product review conducted by your company can get cited by multiple publishers — and earn those valuable back links. This is especially true if your content is fresh and unique. We are aware that successful link building campaigns often starts with great amount of content waiting to be used for citations.
Obviously, blog articles that contain value are the ones more likely to get links. Take for example Google Webmaster Central Blog, which is often the platform to launch new products in the market, or product updates from Bing Ads. Since it contains fresh information and likely original content, each blog entry gets plenty of inbound links. But we don’t have to be like Google with its fame and influence, as a business, there must be a unique selling proposition that distinguishes us from the competition. We can build from that USP so everyone will know, and a blog platform is an excellent medium to convey such information which can be delivered in a casual, informal way.
6. It educates your audience.
Sometimes information shared on social media can be misleading or misunderstood. Your blog is a platform that can be used to clarify these wrong notions and explain its merits. If a shark fin business gets bad publicity for the way it harvests its products, maybe there is something that is not profoundly explained from the industry’s side, if there is, it can be well-documented for everyone to read. Such information, often fed through press releases, will be circulated online but it would also be a good idea to get it posted in a blog for an e-commerce site. Those who are curious about shark fin taste but wish to make informed decision before buying can simply access the archive of these so-called myths and wrongly-portrayed business.
7. It creates new opportunities.
When we write a blog consistently to share unique and useful information, it does not attract readers but it can also create other opportunities. The author, whose bio must also be transparent in every blog post, can get more social followers, get interviews for a related topic and invites to a speaking engagement. The business, while attracting more inbound links, can also get boosted by PR as the public gets to understand the culture of the company, the trustworthiness of the product and the integrity of its people as everyone gets to know more about the business every time a blog is posted on its website.
8. It builds and maintains trust.
When we blog about our business – things you might not know yet about this product, what is our strategy with new market changes, tips to overcome business challenges and so on, we share valuable information and advice that might otherwise be charged for a fee by others. This creates trust that even though we spend time, effort and money creating content on our blog platform, we invest to gain trust from our customers.
On the other hand, if something goes wrong about the business, a blog can succinctly explain what happened, how the company responded and engaged with involved parties, in a transparent way, to resolve the issue. That’s one way to maintain trust. Otherwise, if the company doesn’t have any update — like when an airline fails to notify passengers, in a timely manner, on cancelled flights due to unforeseen circumstances, or a baby stroller distributor fails to notify customers immediately about a product recall, the public might rant elsewhere. In this era of social media, it becomes much easier to erode a brand value which took years or decades to build.
In the world of SEO, content is king. If you plan to build a blog in an effort to feed this content-hungry giant, it requires commitment of not just time, money and effort. It also requires sensitivity to what your customers and potential customers are asking about, and providing them answers right in your own metaphorical backyard.