April 18, 2014

Why should businesses blog?

It is often seen that businesses are guided by their IT advisers to go for large portals and have their presence on social networking sites [right now, very fashionable]. Anything that is more sensible but not ‘in vogue’ soon loses importance in the eyes of such star-grazers. Blogs fall in this category.
Yet research by international social-media sites as well as marketers themselves have shown that blogs give lots of value to the blog, which websites and social networking presence do not give.  

  • Blog content is more permanent than that on social networking messages. Social networking sites, especially Facebook and Twitter, create content so fast that unless you are always creating content or are repeating your content again and again (and this could be irritating), your content will be swamped by content that is constantly posted by others. 
  • Blogs have more authority and higher credibility than other platforms. Research shows that a significant number of online purchasers or searchers take blog content as more reliable than information and recommendations on other platforms. Similarly, a post on a company blog looks more credible than the company’s press release, and it is unobtrusive. 
  • Blogs are very easy to maintain. Businesses can have blogs as part of their big portal or as standalone sites. Some good companies even have blogs on Blogger or Wordpress platforms that are mapped to independent domains. [Though Indian Top Blogs is neither a company nor big, indiantopblogs.com is an example of very cost-effective way of running a blog.] You can have many interactive functionalities on the blog freely, by way of widgets. In addition, you can easily bring about design changes while retaining the content and its basic metadata such as date of posting, links and geo-tags.
  • Blogs are a cost effective means to reach people. In addition to the free blogging aspect we mentioned above, blogs pay back much better than other means of reaching prospective clients. It has been found that blogs produce many more leads from the unit cost, as compared to social networks, organic search, tele-marketing, direct mail, paid search and trade shows.
  • Blogs act as long-term resource-base. What you create keeps adding to the resources. 
  • Research shows that your overall presence on the web grows up well if you maintain a blog. Blogs act as magnets for traffic as they have a large number of fresh pages which are indexed by search engines. Research shows that blogs not only drive traffic to websites, they generate inbound links and are better amenable to action by visitors. 
  • From non-traffic perspectives too, blogs complement all other web-places seamlessly, including websites and social networking sites. While too much of email pushing, Tweeting etc can look obtrusive, you won't generally be disliked for too much blogging (unless you are suffering from narcissus complex or such other psychic disorder). 
  • You can connect with your clientele in a very friendly and mutually beneficial manner. You can carry articles to educate consumers about your industry, provide advisories, give them free solutions to routine problems, help in grievance-redressal and in meeting government regulations and so on, without trying to sell your product. You can use the blog to showcase your socially-relevant,  philanthropic, visionary self and generate goodwill for yourself (your company). We find that when CEOs maintain a blog in their individual capacity, it helps in generating enormous goodwill for the company.

You might like to read our earlier post related to this subject: Blogs score over Facebook, Twitter and Google+.