It is the space that you own (as opposed to 3rd party sites like Facebook) and that you can use to discuss anything related to your industry or of interest to your audience. In essence it is an online community.
“Blog” is still a relatively new concept in the business world of NZ. In fact 46% of major websites in NZ do not have a Blog on their website, despite the majority of them using them Facebook and Twitter as a marketing tool.
Where social media platforms can drive traffic to your website, the blog and its contents will keep them there and keep them coming back for more.
By building a Blog into your marketing strategy you will benefit from:
- Search engines like Google like fresh content and will reward your site with a high search ranking (especially if you use your keywords and post tags correctly)
- You can publish your own Content, when you wish and as you wish
- Your content is archived and always there (unlike a published article in print)
- The reader can interact directly with you by leaving comments and sharing the article on their networks
- Visitors can subscribe to your blog – and you will own that database
So, how does a small business set up a Blog?
- A blog can be added to your website, or even become your website for a very small cost. In fact, you can set up a blog for FREE, however I highly recommend you have a self-hosted site (your own domain name) and get some advice on how to make it look professional. WordPress is the better platform for business blogging as it has a high level of functionality.You can now target your Audience using your Blog as the hub of your social media activity.
- Add Content that is Valuable, Compelling, Relevant and Consistent to our customer. Many people struggle deciding what content they can publish on their blog – I tell them to think about what it is that you would talk about with your customer if you met with them, or if you attended a networking event, or if you were asked to present to a new potential client. What can you provide your client that would help them?
- Add social media tools to drive traffic. Your Website, Blog and Social Media must be integrated, providing your audience with a seamless communication platform. Although each of these are marketing tools in themselves, do not treat them in isolation.
Blogs can work in many industries as the Hub of customer interaction and the social media marketing is what drives more traffic to your website.
Once there, you have the opportunity to earn or retain that customer’s trust and establish your credibility.
And then, as has been proven time and again, people will buy from those that they Know, Like and Trust.
 Intergen Report, March 2011 “The Engaged Web in New Zealand”