The days of everyone’s cat writing a blog are about over. But serious business blogs are here to stay, for many reasons.
While there are some very smart, well-meaning people who analyze the state of the internet and social media thoughtfully, some just want to make statements that will generate discussion and controversy. (Think celebrity hijinx. Outspoken sports stars. And brash politicians.)
One thing we occasionally hear from these naysayers is that blogs are no longer useful. Like most vastly-simplified generalizations, this is an extreme overstatement. While blogs are not ideal for every business venture, a well-conceived and carefully-maintained blog can be an important part of a balanced website and social media marketing strategy (this is especially true for businesses that provide services or market products on a seasonal basis).
Blogs have unique characteristics that can enhance the effectiveness of your internet marketing efforts, improve customer and prospect relationships, and trigger sales. These include:
- Timeliness – Frequent website updates are costly and cumbersome. Websites should be relatively stable and represent the overall nature of a business. For news-related, seasonal, and time-sensitive marketing information, blogs offer immediacy, relevance, and fluidity.
- Depth – Social media marketing is limited in length and by the viewer’s attention span. Twitter and Facebook are simply not appropriate venues for long-form content. Blogs, on the other hand, lend themselves to in-depth presentations of important, useful information.
- Endurance – Most social media postings are here today and gone today as well. Social media users seldom venture beyond the immediate. Blogs remain available for extended periods and are accessible through an archive index or search tools. Blog visitors can and do read previous blogs.
- Flexibility – Blogs, unlike web pages or social media posts, provide an outlet for information that doesn’t fit into a fixed or brief format. By blogging on topics of relevance to customers or clients, you build trust, credibility, and authority, even when blog topics aren’t directly tied to your offerings.
- SEO Fertility – Your blog gives search engines additional content to index. Careful use of SEO and backlinks in your blogs, particularly for long-tail search phrases, will improve your overall SEO results. Google sees blog content as informative, leading to improved rankings.
- Linkability – An active blog, maintained over time, is a deep well of information. In email marketing, responses to inquiries, white papers and other marketing materials, links to relevant blog entries provide welcome access to additional information.
Keep Your Blog Alive and Active for Maximum Impact
In an overall internet marketing strategy, the only blog that is dead is one that is neglected. Keep your blog updated frequently with well-written, dynamic content that is relevant to your clients and customers, and it will be a crucial part of your overall marketing program. Instead of languishing on life support, it will be out running marathons with your brand on its jersey.