You should never blog for the sake of blogging. Rather than just creating content, clicking publish and hoping for the best, you should instead think about how blogging can generate leads for your business.
If your business isn’t already blogging then you should do, as it provides a direct communication channel to your audience and potential customers.
Blogging is a useful marketing tactic that helps increase the online visibility of a company. You can write articles that inform and educate your audience, whilst providing content that lets the world know you have something of interest or value to offer; encouraging them to click through to your website and find out more.
Don’t worry if you’re not a designer or computer whizz – setting up a blog can be really simple. WordPress for instance, has a very user-friendly content management system that you can use to create your company’s blog.
Before you start pushing your content out to the world, these are the things you should consider to ensure your blog ties into your overall marketing strategy, and generate leads.
If your blog doesn’t have high quality, relevant and targeted content, then it’s unlikely to generate leads.
When writing content, you want to ensure that your audience will find it interesting, and maybe even offer a solution to their problem. For instance, you may want to make people aware of a great opportunity that you can offer?
See also: Content marketing trends – How to get audiences engaged
Don’t forget to include a call to action so that people can easily take the next step in engaging with your business. Even if it’s just a link asking them to sign up to your newsletter, ultimately that can be a great way of generating valuable leads in the future.
Arguably the biggest benefit of blogging is driving traffic to your website. In order to generate genuine leads, you’ll need to drive more traffic to your website.
So how do you drive traffic? You’ll need to create relevant content – something that people will enjoy reading so much, that they decide to link to it too.
Content marketing means that you have to “market” your content, with one of the most effective channels being through social media.
If your company doesn’t already have an active presence on social media, then you’ll need to set accounts up. These platforms will be where you can promote your blog content to your followers.
Post links to your blog articles on the likes of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Don’t forget to create an eye-catching caption that will have readers clicking through to your content.
Posting content regularly will help your blog appear in search engine result pages, but you need to remember that this requires commitment and consistency. Blogging is a never-ending task – to be successful, you shouldn’t just write a couple of articles and then stop.
Decide how often you’re going to post an article – once a week, for instance. Decide on a date and a time and stick to it, so that readers get used to when new content will be released.
It’s also worth spending some time creating a content calendar to keep you on track. Think about your content strategy so that you have a list of ideas you can blog about.
Search engine optimisation
Whilst your blog needs to be relevant to your audience, there is something else equally important that you need to consider: Google. In order for people to click to your website, you need to actually appear in the search results.
In short, blogging helps your SEO and is key to beating your competitors in the search engine results pages.
You’ll need to get your webpages indexed by Google, and blogging is a great way of doing this. Every new post is a chance to get Google to crawl and index your website, which is why it’s crucial that you create relevant content that people will share on a regular basis.
When you’re writing a blog article, it’s important that you have some keywords in mind. To show up in Google, you need to make sure that keywords are included in your article, without “stuffing” them in.
Great content that is SEO-optimised are both crucial elements for your blog. You need to get both of these right to give your blog the chance of generating leads.
Relevance and authority
When done right, a blog won’t just generate leads: it will increase brand awareness and brand authority too.
Blogging is earned influence. You should also aim to position your brand as an industry leader. In order to grow your company’s reputation, you need to write relevant articles that are topical to your field. By choosing topics that are intriguing to your customers and demonstrate your knowledge, you are essentially marketing your skills.
Blogs also enable you to build trust with your customers, by deepening the connection with them. The more you can prove to them that you know what you’re talking about, the more likely your customer is to trust that you can supply the product or service they need.
By building trust through being a source of information, you’ll have readers coming back over time as ultimately, consumers and customers like to be informed.
Your company blog is a great place to talk about your new products or services, comment on timely news topics or market trends, and share your latest company news.
Not only that, but you can also let your brand personality shine through, and show people what you stand for.
Blogs give businesses a voice, so why not share your expertise? It really is a great way to position yourself as a subject area expert and thought leader, and will help you ultimately to generate genuine leads if done properly.
Alex Jones is digital marketing manager at Hallam Internet, specialising in digital PR.