When I discovered a post titled 12 reasons to put Blogs at the center of your Content Marketing, authored by Heidi Cohen, at the CMI | Content Marketing Institute blog, it was so timely, so spot on and had so many important benefits in it, I had to share it with you.
The core idea behind this great summary is that a blog has become THE essential component in any online marketing activity today. A recent study conducted by eMarketer validated this fact and disclosed that over 50% of the organizations that they surveyed viewed a blog as a part of the cost of doing business today.
The result is a blog is now much more than just a platform for sharing and commenting. In fact, it’s become clear that a blog can serve as the HUB of both your content marketing and online marketing strategy.
Make your blog the hub of your content marketing strategy
The 12 benefits below outline all the value that a blog can provide as a branded environment that’s optimized for content creation and distribution. What’s more, a blog offers great flexibility for integrating with a social media strategy to extend the reach of all the content that you publish.
1. | Blogs are an easy-to-use Content Management System | CMS
Blogs require limited training and/or technical skill to use while providing flexibility to update or modify content quickly. As an added bonus, blogs are inexpensive.
2. | Blogs are part of a company’s owned media
Blog content is owned by your organization and can be integrated into your website. Unlike other third-party and social media outposts, you don’t need to worry about whether they’ll disappear or go out of business. A blog can serve in lieu of a website.
3. | Blogs provide branded context for your content
As part of your firm’s owned media, blogs offer a branded context for your communications through the use of blog design elements that can be exported with the content. You can extend your brand without paying for third party media.
4. | Blogs integrate your brand into your content marketing
Beyond the blog’s branded context, blogs create a blog personality with a unique voice. They offer communications transparency and the opportunity to write in a conversational tone that makes your brand feel “human”. Just be sure to avoid content that is clearly self-promotional, and ensure your blog personality is integrated with your brand personality across other social media platforms.
5. | Blogs enhance search optimization
Though their keyword-rich content, architecture and cross-linking to other content on the Web, blogs support search optimization efforts. This assumes you’re using your own domain not a free third-party blogging platform.
6. | Blogs are a 24/7 communication platform
With the increased need for real-time communications, blogs are a great place to quickly publish favorable content about your brand or respond to evolving issues. Plug-in software can automate your editorial calendar.
7. | Blogs integrate many media formats
For distributing branded content, blogs simplify the uploading and management of text, photographs, graphics, videos, audio, presentations and PDFs. When creating offline content and events, consider what kind of online content can go on your blog.
8. | Blogs make content distribution through multiple channels easy
Blogs can expand your message delivery through email and RSS feeds at no additional cost. Blog posts can also be automatically collected into email digests.
9. | Blogs supply content for social media interactions
Blog content is the currency for social media engagement on social sharing sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Make sure your blog includes easy, one-click sharing to the major social networks along with tailored calls-to-action. By maximizing the opportunity for social sharing, you enable free impressions of your content on other platforms and media.
10. | Blogs provide a targeted location to direct prospects + customers to
With a URL or QR code you can direct prospects and customers to your blog from other forms of content marketing. This connects all of your content components across all platforms and brings traffic back to your branded domain.
11. | Blogs are flexible enough to support diverse initiatives
Blogs can help companies achieve a variety of corporate goals, such as:
- | Addressspecific prospect + customer challenges
- | Answer key customer questions
- | Attract new prospects with SEO optimized content
- | Provide product-related information
- | Share timely perspectives or points-of-view
11. | Blogs provide metrics that you can use to track content marketing to business goals
As with any business strategy, it’s critical to monitor your progress. There are a variety of metrics to assess your blog’s effectiveness. Integrating Google Analytics is a great place to start to establish a performance baseline for your blog.
Improving from there can include Marketing Automation, CRM and inbound marketing software to help bring prospects on their journey to becoming paying customers. But no matter which tools you purchase or use, they will all require the tried and true method of test, evaluate, revise and test again to get the successful outcome you’re looking for.
Are you using a blog as the center of your content marketing strategy? If so, where are you realizing measurable business value?
Please share your experience.