Contrary to what the movie Field of Dreams would have you believe, that whole “If you build it, they will come” mantra rarely holds true. This is especially the case when you build or relaunch a website. Even with an amazing product or service, if you want an audience to actively engage with your business, you have to first actively engage with them through content marketing.
That’s where blogging comes in.
You might be thinking, blogging? Do people still do that?
Here’s the insider expert scoop: Blogging is the nucleus of any social media marketing strategy.
Data shows that businesses using blogs as part of their marketing get an average of 67 percent more leads than those who don’t.
“But how do I start?” you may ask. “Where do I find the time?” “What do I write about?”
It’s easier than many of us first think. So if you’re still unsure, here are a few pointers to get you started.
Treat blogging like another form of customer service.
Customers need meaningful reminders not just of your presence but also about what you do and how your business can help them. You’re never done reminding folks that you’re here for them.
Say you’re a doctor’s office. Like any good medical practice nowadays, you have patient forms and a payment portal online. An FAQ on your website helps, but not every patient will think to check it if they can’t find their forms or don’t know how to pay a bill.
Answering a question like, “Which forms do I need?” would make for a long-winded Facebook update. But as a blog post titled “Everything You Need to Know As a New Patient” serves not only as web content but also something you can send to prospective patients by simply copying a link.
More important, a post like that shows you understand and anticipate your customers’ needs and want them to have easy access to helpful resources. That speaks volumes more about trust than 10 tweets put together.
Build credibility by blogging.
Speaking of trust: You’ll have it with more people if you can prove you know what you’re talking about. For example, if you sell jewelry to socially conscious consumers, take the time to share your knowledge about avoiding conflict diamonds.
And credibility through blogging isn’t just for the business-to-customer relationship. I got my book deal with McGraw-Hill yeeaarrrrs ago because they were closely following my blog posts. Without my ever having to mention it, they knew I was an expert on marketing and could produce a lot of content. The evidence was all there in the blog.
In the word authority is the word author!
Repurpose your content.
This one is tailor-made for folks going up against the time issue. Blogging doesn’t have to be a massive weekly commitment you take at the sacrifice of other work. And one of the key ways you can manage that is by repurposing content.
Take a look at the content you already have online and decide if it could be easily turned into a written post. Think about the great Instagram posts you wrote. Extract the text and turn it into a blog post. Do you have videos? Get an assistant or intern to type out a transcript and create an editorial based on that. Did you write a great article on Linkedin? Perfect – write a short post about the fact that you wrote an article there, what the article is about, then link to the article. Published an email? Leverage all that work you did making that content then turn it into a blog post!
Remember, nowadays, the best content multitasks.
Ask for help.
Of course, you may hit a point when you cannot produce enough to keep up with your audience’s expectations. That’s why the term “blogger” is a legitimate job description nowadays.
Whether they’re paid interns or freelancer writers, there’s a whole army of workers out there who make a living off helping businesses share their expertise. These people are trained to listen to others’ thoughts and “translate” them into readable, shareable web content. Sometimes they’re straight ghostwriters; other times, they simply help you and your full-time staff shoulder the workload.
If time is truly an issue for you, look into what these people can offer before you decide to leave blogging out of your marketing strategy.
You don’t have to crank out five posts per week just because you’ve decided to incorporate blogging into your marketing strategy. Remember, no one is going to be expecting these posts at first.
Decide what you (or your employees) can realistically handle. Or hire an agency to help you. If it’s just once per month to start, that’s fine. It’s more important to get a routine going, develop a voice, and make sure what you’re putting online is worthwhile. The best marketing strategies consider these things first, then slowly build up a blog with a successful following over time. So maybe there is, after all, some truth to the Field of Dreams mantra. If you build it, they will come. With effort.