September 6, 2013
Blogging has been one of the most useful and efficient tools in creating or developing a brand, an idea, or in fostering a community in today’s fast-paced business environment. Businesses are becoming more and more dependent on technology like social media and Web logging — a term coined in 1997 and has since been indispensable for every successful brand in the market today. It has evolved into different sub-categories like microblogging and has been effectively used even by politicians.
So let’s take a look — how has blogging become a tool for customer loyalty, brand recall and SEO?
Blogging for SEO
The power of a daily, weekly, or bi-weekly blog is tremendous to organic ranking. According to Social Media Examiner, the BEST way to get to the top of Google is by blogging, regularly. This might be a shocker for those who are used to those old, outdated linking strategies and wheels. But there are a myriad of benefits.
First, you can associate your Google Authorship with your blog. This puts a picture next to your blog in the search results, giving your blog a 50 percent boost in interest just because you added something visual to it. And don’t forget, Google loves its own. If you’re using its Authorship and blogging regularly, you are already on your way to rankings.
Next, blogging works best when you have already done SEO keyword research for your best keywords by scoping out the competition ans using CPC and search amounts per month in the metrics. Once you find your best keywords, construct one unique blog around each one. And Google likes 800-plus words, folks. Don’t make it short. Add some real meat and value, though — not fluff. And why is more better? Each blog adds a unique new page to your website. The more blogs you do, the more pages your website accumulates, and each page is one road for you to get ranking and found in Google. Ta-da! (Cha-ching!)
Blogging in Brand Awareness and Development
If you have a specific brand or product that is in its formative years, it would be better to create a blog as its research and development progresses. It used to be that businessmen would create a mature product and test it in the market after a few months of working in the laboratory or behind the scenes. By the time it is released, it is no longer needed.
With blogging, it is possible to put that idea or product out there from inception and let real people test the product. That way, problems are solved real-time and the product becomes more relevant with the pulse of the times. Blogs have a comments section that would allow visitors to provide feedback about the product without going through the whole survey and questionnaire process. Although this traditional approach is still relevant, especially with online surveys, blogging retrieves results from interested and active participants who may be willing to purchase the product or service after its official product launch.
Blogging as Real-time Advertising
With microblogging sites such as Twitter and Tumblr, advertisements occur as easily as when a subscriber follows your account handle. Such platforms create easy-to-digest snippets of events and ideas, which are easily consumed and absorbed by readers and followers. Photo captions and tweets directly lead consumers to the website of a company or product. With a $7 billion forecasted increase in industry sales, real-time ad marketing is slated to change the marketing landscape.
This brings out the creativity of marketers who are limited to 140-character pitches — a feat similar to creating haiku poetry. The only barrier that keeps a product from the consumer is the first few words of every tweet or caption. Have a good self-evaluation. If you would not be lured in yourself, chances are others won’t be either. If words are woven to make people as interested as possible, then you have maximized the power of blogging.
Back when computers were not readily accessible and the Internet was only used by professionals, niche markets did not have a voice. Stamp pad collectors, catfish enthusiasts, and handmade producers did not have a market to cater to — except that of their immediate community. Neither did they have a platform to showcase their expertise or passion.
Nowadays, blogging has stimulated the growth of niche markets that were not accessible in the past decades. A recent study revealed blogging has the lowest average cost per lead versus other marketing tools like direct mail, telemarketing, and direct marketing. The same study also showed increased blog entries directly correlates to customer acquisition with 70 percent of the respondents blogging weekly. This creates more entrepreneurs through their online businesses and fosters the growth of niches that had untapped investment potentials. From 2009-2012, the difference of online entrepreneurs who focus more on blogging increased by eight percent.
One of the greatest drivers of economic growth following recession is an increase in the number of small businesses that can employ a few people and expand over time. According to Cato, with increased numbers of small businesses via blogging, you can say that the real market is now online.
Blogging Builds Credibility
Apart from small businesses, professionals also benefit from blogs by building credibility. If you are a doctor and you would like to create a great public image without having to go through speeches and talks and being physically available, blogging does that with a large online audience. Blogging becomes a go-to solution if you would like to establish your name as an expert in your field. If you are a doctor who is a strong advocate of anti-smoking campaigns and would like to become the guru of such themes, maintain an active blog that speaks of similar causes.
Blogging sites also allow videos to be posted — video logs, or vlogs, as they are called. People see you like they would on the television — what better way to establish your credibility by being visible anytime, anywhere, to your followers?
Most successful businesspeople and politicians have, one way or another, a blogging site that makes them accessible to people. With technological advances making people feel alienated and out of touch, blogs become a shortcut to previously intimidating, unapproachable figures. Twitter, for example, makes it easier to send a message to celebrities and politicians. Ideas and information are shared instantaneously, which means that answers and solutions are developed just as fast, given proper attention. What better way is there to be credible than to be prompt and reachable?
There are a lot of opportunities for business owners and even for normal people to put their ideas out there, gain exposure and earn from it all at the same time. The limited accessibility of the Internet in rural areas may be one of the challenges and opportunities that can still be optimized in the years to come, but with rapid technological advancements, blogging has become one of the strongest and most powerful mediums to propagate information.
How it affects people — whether good or bad depends — on its usage. With the adage “with great power comes great responsibility,” we are called to realize the extent of what we put out there in the cyberspace. After all, these posts are permanent, easily obtainable, and just might be viral and uncontrollable.
Julia McCoy is the CEO of Express Writers, an online copywriting agency that began in 2011 with thousands of Web content pages written to date and more than 50 talented writers on the team. Her passion is copywriting and all that pertains, especially website content rules for rankings in SEO.