A blog lets you share interesting insights about your company as well as establish your true colors. It’s not about equipment or how old your firm is. It’s about business-related information and opinions. It’s (hopefully) fun and educational.
By its very nature, a company blog is more casual than web site copy. It’s still professional, but it’s not all buttoned-down and polished. A blog is more like business-casual coffee shop conversation. And because a well-done blog is done on a regular schedule, it’s fresh and topical. (I consider this publication my blog, and I wouldn’t think of writing the content too far ahead of the publication date. I want to comment on what’s happening.)
Back to a printer’s blog. If I find such a link on a company’s site, I read a few issues to find out if it’s compelling, well written, and informative. This body of work helps paint a picture of the company. If it’s nothing BUT self-promotional, blog after blog, it gets a thumbs down (and maybe triggers an email from me to the owner with some comments).
I look to see if the blog covers broader topics, like paper, social media, direct mail, the USPS, design trends, industry resources, digital vs. analog communications, file problems, terminology, tips for customers, and so on. Of COURSE it can cover exciting events and accomplishments within your own four walls from time to time – the key phrase being “from time to time.”
The best part may be that as a body of work, a blog keeps going and growing. It’s alive and engaging. It asks for your comments.
A blog begs to be actively shared (if not, why bother just putting it on your site?). I look for the social media links and check them out, too.
A good blog is to your ideal audience what the yellow brick road was to Dorothy and company: the path leading to your own little Oz, or website.
Your blog should be uploaded to your site (use WordPress or other CMS to make this easy) and then shared in the social channels you habituate. In my case, it’s Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
People who like what you’re posting will get interested in learning more about you. They’ll follow the link back to your site and check you out. If it’s a really impressive post, they’ll share it. What a bonus.
Aside from giving people a peek under your company’s hood and an obvious link back to your website, here are a few other benefits to publishing a company blog:
– It can expand your reach.
– It can establish you as a subject matter expert.
– It can give you a unique voice.
– It can improve your reputation.
– It can generate leads.
– It can generate referrals.
– It can generate sales.
– It can cost less than other marketing efforts.
– It can introduce you to interesting new contacts.
– It can improve your search rankings.
– It can set you apart from your competition.
A well-done company blog creates a high-quality body of content. You can repurpose it in so many ways. You can email it to customers and others (who may or may not follow you in your social media efforts).
In my opinion, a blog is the cornerstone of a company’s inbound marketing efforts. It’s effective. It’s versatile. And it’s easier to do than you think.
PS: Here are some great tips for increasing social shares on your blog: http://bit.ly/1q0tev2
©2014 Margie Dana. All rights reserved.