Guru

Blogs Are Helpful, Not Essential

By February 19, 2016Guru
While a blog can help raise brand awareness, it’s not a necessity. Without the right audience, you might be wasting your time. 

Not every company needs a blog. Depending on whether or not you have a captive audience and what your marketing goals are, you might not need to invest in blogging.

But understanding what a blog is and can do for your brand plus what the expenses are will help you make the right decisions on if and how a blog can help your business.

What exactly is a blog?

A blog is a cross between a news feed and a library. It can provide information limited to a particular product or service, or information on topics related to a customer’s overall, ongoing experience in a space.

Goal 1: Keep current customers returning

A credit union can keep customers visiting its website on a regular basis by posting content about cutting grocery bills, household budgeting or reducing home utilities expenses. During their visits, consumers become aware of the lender’s products (student loans, mortgages, car loans). When they are eventually ready to shop for these financial products, these repeat site visitors are more likely to contact the credit union.

Goal 2: Attract new customers

A blog can help you get “found” by people searching the Internet for your product or service, or by those who see your content liked, pinned or shared by their friends. A blog that incorporates SEO best practices can help you find new customers.

Goal 3: Establish yourself as an authority

 If people view you and your competitors as similar providers, you can convince customers that you are the best expert source. Even if your customers don’t read every one of your posts, the titles alone should let them see you are the gold standard in your space.

Goal 4: Generate brand preference

Using a mix of product-specific content and lifestyle-general posts, you can establish yourself as an aspirational brand – one consumers want to associate with. Product-specific content focuses on what you sell, including tips on how to use it. Lifestyle-general content focuses on other, related needs your customers have in your overall space.

For example, a sports drink company might post a mix of nutrition articles as well as content on fitness equipment, interesting vacation spots and the best heart rate monitors. This helps you communicate that you “get” your customers and that you are the best brand for them.

Analyze the time and money commitments

A bad blog is worse than no blog. Nothing says “disorganized, unprofessional company” more than a blog that hasn’t had a post for months.

One of the most important factors regarding whether or not you should start a blog is the amount of commitment needed. Determine how you will generate content and what it will cost. Sit down with your sales, marketing communications and IT team members to review all the benefits of blogging, how they align with your marketing goals and whether or not you can commit the hours and money to execute a blogging strategy.

Author Steve Milano

Steve Milano has decades of publishing, journalism and advertising experience. He has created content for Fortune 500 companies, large media conglomerates, top-tier newspapers, magazines and websites. Milano's work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Orlando Sentinel and the Idaho Statesman, and many other publications.

More posts by Steve Milano

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