Join the Conversation! How Do You Deliver Value To Your Blog Audience Today?
To blog, or not to blog? That’s the question so many companies are asking themselves today. As a business, you’re always looking for ways to connect and engage with your audiences to establish trust, build relationships and help them succeed with your products and services. But are blogs still relevant today?
While blogging is evolving, it can be as effective as ever, depending on your goals. Let’s take a quick trip back to see how we got here, so we can figure out the best way to move forward!
How We Got Here
Blogging started in the early 1990s, but it wasn’t until 2000 that Microsoft kickstarted corporate blogging efforts. The technology leader encouraged employees to share their knowledge and start meaningful dialogue with customers on behalf of the company and began influencing the rest of the industry. Robert Scoble became the first social influencer to emerge from the world of blogging, resulting in his book, Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers. (Watch a conversation between Scoble and his co-author, Shel Israel, here.)
In 2002, Macromedia shifted corporate blogging into overdrive when its CTO, Jeremy Allaire, encouraged the company’s Product Managers to start blogging to disseminate information to developers quickly. Wired captured this new era in a landmark article entitled Flash: Blogging Goes Corporate, which was the top result for “corporate blogging” on Google for years.
Benefits of Blogging
As Microsoft and Macromedia discovered early on, blogging is an effective way to start a conversation with your target audiences. What information do they want from you? How do your products and services solve their challenges, help them achieve their goals and make their lives better? What value can you deliver to help them navigate their lives and careers?
On the Farm, we know food, so we help our valued distributor partners and their customers utilize the power of food to bring people together, celebrate accomplishments, recognize hard work and make memories. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you sit down and break bread (or graze a charcuterie board) together.
In addition to creating meaningful dialogue with your audiences, blogging delivers other benefits as well. Publishing fresh, original content attracts search engine crawlers, so it improves your website’s search engine optimization (SEO). There are a lot of things you can do to aid your efforts, from utilizing relevant keywords in your blog articles to organizing your content effectively to help visitors and search engines understand its structure. Want to learn more about SEO? Get started with What is SEO website promotion: the basics of SEO.
Along with attracting visitors from search engines, you’ll also drive traffic to your website from your email subscribers and social media audiences when you share your blog articles. Publishing fresh content that your audience finds valuable will give them a reason to visit your website regularly, where they can also learn more about how your products and services can help them succeed.
Get Social—On Your Blog Too
While you’re excited to experience the benefits of blogging, it still requires resources to create quality content that delivers value to your audience. Besides, isn’t that why you’re on social media? While we love to get social on the Farm, blogging can be a vital part of your efforts to connect, engage, educate and entertain.
Repurpose your blog content for your social media presences to maximize its value. For example, tweet helpful tidbits from a blog article in bite-sized chunks to educate your audience, generate interest and start conversations on Twitter. Invite readers and fellow thought leaders on your podcast to discuss the subject matter of your blog article in more depth and share their point of view. Use videos and reels you create for social media as vlogs (video blogs).
Seek feedback from your Instagram or Facebook communities on various topics with poll, quiz and question stickers in Stories. Ask for recommendations for future blog topics and what questions they have about your products and services (or what you do overall), which can be turned into blog content. Quiz them on fun facts, ask their opinions on which products or options they prefer and test their knowledge with trivia games. You never know when a conversation or quiz will spark a blog topic! Ready to get social? We’ve covered How To Get Social In The Promo Industry.
Welcome to Your Home Sweet Blog
One of the biggest reasons to include blogging in your marketing efforts is that your blog and website are your home on the web. You own them, so they should be the central hub for all your marketing activities. While we appreciate the power of social media, understand that you don’t own your social media presences. You own your content that you publish on them, but you don’t own your Facebook Page or Twitter account. Facebook (or Meta) and Twitter own those spaces, and they can shut them down at any time with no warning.
We’re not trying to scare you away from social media; find where your target audiences live, and take the time to create thriving, engaged communities on those platforms. Just don’t base all your marketing efforts on platforms that can disable your presences, shut down entirely or change their rules drastically overnight. Take control by creating a well-designed website and blog, and devoting resources to make them the home sweet home your business deserves.
To blog, or not to blog? If your company is asking this question, take some time to step back and consider what you want to get out of blogging. While the medium continues to evolve, it’s still an effective way to establish trust, build relationships with members of your target audiences and show how you can help them succeed with your products and services. Consider the benefits of blogging, develop your strategy and goals, get social with your audiences and welcome them to your home sweet blog.
We hope these tips will help you utilize the power of blogging to connect with, engage, educate and entertain your audiences. Promotional Products Professionals, we’re here to help you with your blogging efforts! Our blog is a tremendous resource filled with rich content on the wonderful world of food, branded merchandise tips and marketing ideas that you can share with your audiences. Visit our Resource Center for lifestyle images, videos, case histories, social media content and more to share on your own blog, in your email marketing efforts or with your social media communities.
What blogging advice or tips would you share with companies, small business owners and business professionals today? Let’s get social on social! Connect with us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or commonsku today.