Does your firm have a blog? Instead, have you overlooked this social media workhorse in favor of newer, sexier social media options? If so, you’re in good company because less than one out of four Fortune 500 companies has a blog, flat with 2010 results according to 2011 research from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Closer examination reveals that more of the top 100 companies blog – namely 35 percent. Further, when compared with other organizational sectors, blogging lags behind Facebook and Twitter usage. This is counterintuitive since blogs provide food for social media networks, namely Facebook and Twitter.
What does this mean for your organization? Your company has an opportunity to stand out from the pack by developing a blog that’s integrated into your organization’s website. This is especially true if you’ve got a small or midsize firm with limited marketing resources since the Inc. 500 tend to blog at a higher rate.
Don’t think of a company blog as just another cost of doing business because that overlooks the true power of business blogging! Blogs are a strong content marketing platform that brings together the various elements of your overall marketing strategy to support your social media efforts.
10 Reasons Why Blogs Are Your Organization’s Social Media Hub
Here are 10 reasons to integrate a blog into your marketing strategy as the hub of your social media marketing efforts.
- Give your brand life. By creating a blog personality with a unique voice and other blog design elements in line with your brand, blogs provide branded context for your communications without the cost of third-party media. Blogs offer communications transparency and the opportunity to write in a conversational tone that makes your brand feel “human.”
- Support your corporate goals. Blogs help you achieve corporate goals such as increasing brand awareness, attracting new customers, and increasing sales. They do so by providing product-related content, answering customer questions, attracting new prospects, and/or hosting an executive platform.
- Provide an owned publishing media entity. Blogs are part of your organization’s internal media like your website and email that extend your communications platform. As a media entity, you’re responsible for and control its content.
- Offer an always-on 24/7 message platform. In today’s real-time communications world, blogs provide a conduit for distributing brand-favorable messaging and content that’s relevant and timely. (Rick Perry provided a prime example of where a blog could have used this effectively to combat PR fallout.)
- Control the context in which your social media message is distributed. Blogs are a branded social media environment where your firm controls the message. As such, it allows you to get in front of the social media chatter with relevant information.
- Distribute a variety of media formats. Blogs can handle branded content in the form of text, photographs, videos, audio, presentations (aka PowerPoint), and PDFs.
- Power social media interactions and engagement. Blog content provides currency for social media engagement on other social media platforms. Incorporate social sharing options for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and StumbleUpon to maximize your reach. This helps create earned media impressions. Include icons and tailored calls-to-action.
- Enhance search optimization. Containing keyword-rich content, search-friendly architecture, linking to other content within your blog and website (if you have one), and inbound links from other blogs and websites, blogs support your search optimization efforts.
- Distribute content. Through email and RSS feeds, blogs distribute your branded information to an opt-in audience. Additionally, blogs allow you to connect other marketing components across various platforms by providing a targeted location to direct prospects and customers with a URL or QR code.
- Have metrics that track back to business goals. Blogs provide a variety of metrics to support marketing strategies. It’s important to determine which ones you’ll use and install the appropriate analytics package to insure that you’re not counting comments.
The bottom line is that blogs are a content marketing platform that supports your social media efforts across a variety of business objectives. By building your blog with regular posts providing useful and/or entertaining information, you will create an outpost that can be leveraged to expand your reach or quickly respond to evolving issues.
Are there any other reasons for incorporating a blog into your social media offering that you’d add to this list? If so, please include your thoughts in the comment section below.