Blogs number in the hundreds of millions on the Internet, and there are millions of blog posts each and every day on platforms like WordPress, Tumblr, LiveJournals, Blogster.
With such a massive number of blogs jockeying for attention on the Internet you would think that starting and running your own blog would be the equivalent of trying to be heard in the middle of a hurricane standing next to a passing freight train during a Seattle Seahawks game. And yet you would be wrong.
A surprisingly small percentage of those 100s of millions of blogs actually post with any predictable frequency – despite the incredible benefits an active blog can bring to a brand.
Perhaps more important, a blog for most brands is less about being heard by millions and more about being heard by the few hundred or thousand readers that really matter – existing customers, motivated prospects, influencers like industry journalists or media critics.
So with that in mind, here are the top 25 reasons you should start (and keep) blogging for your brand at least weekly, if not 2-3 times per week:
- Buyer advice: 61% of consumers made a purchase based on advice or a recommendation from blogs [courtesy of Ignitespot].
- Landing page: a blog post can be an ideal landing page for your next marketing promotion.
- [In]Credible: blog consistently and long enough and eventually you will be viewed as an [in]credible source of information about your industry.
- SEO: that all encompassing term for getting your brand to the top of the search engines for certain key terms which are related to your business offerings; blogs are a backbone of search engine optimization strategies.
- Lead gen: small businesses with active blogs generate 126% more leads than ones without [courtesy of Ignitespot].
- Announcements: you can make announcements like industry awards, new hires, promotions and customer wins.
- Test message: marketers can test the impact of a new brand message with the blog.
- Social media integration: blogs provide a way to engage customers and various publics seeking interesting information on social networks.
- Product launches: a product launch is a multi-faceted initiative involving everything from product slicks to an email campaign; the blog should be integrated into the campaign to provide additional information outside the scope of a product brochure or press release.
- Brand personality: blogs help shape a brand’s personality in ways few other media can, if only because its tabula rasa layout allows you to post text, pictures, videos and even audio; the frequency of your posts helps you solidify or evolve your brand personality as time goes on.
- Press releases: don’t want to send your release out on the Wire? Try posting them to the blog instead; it’ll save money and still pay dividends for your SEO strategy.
- Sales promotions: got a seasonal promotion or a fire sale to move some inventory? Use the blog to support the email blast that you send out to customers and prospects.
- Apologies: every now and then a company screws up and has to issue an apology; blogs are the perfect place for that because you control the message and medium.
- Instructions: you can share how-to advice and instructional videos on blogs.
- Event: use your blog to tell followers about an upcoming event, party or celebration.
- Guest posts: a blog allows you to solicit contributions from other experts and could lead to alliances that pay off in the future.
- Trust: 81% of US consumers trust advice from blogs [courtesy of Ignitespot].
- Thought leadership: in the past you often had to write a book to be considered a thought leader in a particular space; nowadays, a really active blog accomplishes the same thing.
- Reviews: you can use a blog to do product reviews of your own products.
- Review income: some bloggers make money from writing reviews about products.
- Ad revenue: blogs that have lots of views every month can make money by getting paid for ad placements.
- Kick the tires: blogs are perfect for pre-sales activity in that prospects can get over the ‘know-like-trust’ barrier to making a purchase.
- Content Marketing: 37% of marketers believe blogs are the most important part of a content marketing strategy [courtesy of Ignitespot]; you can add my name to that list.
- Savings: blogs are an affordable way to spread awareness of your brand, especially compared to traditional advertising (but then anything is cheap compared to buying ads).
- Media coverage: a well-executed blog may get picked up by another blog or media outlet with a ton of Internet traffic, leading to more attention to your brand, traffic to your site and higher search engine rankings.
Want to start a blog for your brand? It’s actually really easy to get started. It’s also very easy to fail. You may want to address these items before starting:
- Use a blogging tool that is easy to use and maintain.
- Find free photos/images and be sure to ascribe what you use back to the source; or consider using your own photos to add a little originality and fun to the blog.
- Create an editorial calendar to make sure you don’t run out of content and aren’t constantly searching for new ideas the night before a deadline.
- Assign blogging responsibilities and hold bloggers accountable to deadlines.
- If your website has a blog post plug-in, strongly consider using it as it will help add links and traffic to your business website.
- Never give up!