Blogs have lost their luster among marketing strategists. Five years ago clients were falling over themselves to start blogs. Then reality set in. Today, when I suggest adding a blog feature to a site, clients react with visible discomfort.
It’s not that blogs don’t dominate the landscape. WordPress, the most popular CMS and blogging tool, comprises more than 10% of all sites on the web. Blogs in general represent more than a third of all web pages.
I still recommend blogs to clients, not because they’re popular or free, but because they communicate a lot about a company, product and brand that static sites fail to do. The top four reasons you need a blog feature:
- Search engine optimization: Google, Bing and Yahoo love fresh meat. Improve your search results with a regularly updated and relevant blog.
- Easiest way to post, distribute updated info: CMS tools are getting easier, including the blogging features embedded in Joomla, WordPress and other PHP-based services. Why pay a webmaster at $100 per hour to post a new product announcement when you can do it yourself in a few minutes?
- Raise your social media influence: Your blog can drive content into your FB, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts instantly and easily. You can also use Technorati (ZN36TGJGMK4G) and feed services to syndicate your content deep into the web.
- Fog the mirror: Investors, partners, customers, potential employees and others are visiting your site to qualify your organization. Show a pulse. An updated blog demonstrates a dynamic, intelligent, thought leader that is engaged in the industry. It’s part of a larger strategy to take ownership of the conversation in your category.
So why the heartburn among clients? They don’t have the time, desire or skills to post regularly. While blogging is free, the time and capacity to write isn’t. There are easy fixes for this. Find the leading news outlets for your category and simply respond to the hot topics of the moment. Confab with your PR manager and gin up a list of the top 5 industry topics. You don’t need a white paper, you just need a point of view.