If you go back 5 years blogs were widely used on websites. They were used to attract new readers and engage visitors. People used to blog about all sorts of things – both business and personal stuff. If you look back at our own blogging you’ll see a greater variety of content. Blogs were the less formal part of your website. Websites then tended to be more “corporate” – not something that works as well now. Blog were a chance to show some personality. To look behind the scenes. A bit like we use social media now.
In this age of social media, so many people think that blogging is dead but I disagree. Blogging and social media work really well together. In fact, I am putting blogging at the heart of my marketing strategy in 2022. And I strongly recommend you do the same.
But I write blog posts slightly differently to the ones I used to back in 2017. Instead of ramblings (yes I used to ramble even more than I do now), I write about things which are useful to my target audience. Because you should focus your website on your target audience, not you. So no more blogs bragging about that golf tournament you won (take note legal and accounting firms in particular).
So why is blogging so good for marketing?
Well, since you asked…
1. It demonstrates your authority
I suggest leaving the random, non business related posts to social media and concentrate your blog posts on the subjects related to your business.
When visitors read your blog posts they can see that you know what you are talking about. That you have a lot of knowledge around your subject.
If you’re a photographer of course people are interested in the photos that you have taken. But they’re likely to be more impressed (and therefore want to work with you) if you can help them with what to wear to a photoshoot, “secret” locations nearby that make great backdrops, how to get the younger members of the family to co-operate (I suspect babies are easier than teenagers!), how to look natural and how to look like you’re two stone lighter (or maybe that is just me!) These are all great blog topics and show your knowledge of what you do.
The key is to write blog posts on the kind of topics that your audience want to know about and which are closely related to your business.
These demonstrate your authority. That you know your stuff. And when someone looks at your website plus five of your competitors, the fact you demonstrate you know your stuff will shine. It will differentiate you from your competitors (in a good way) and you’ll be more likely to win the client. Because if you were looking for a service (like a photographer) and have to choose, you would be more likely to choose the one that has that knowledge (and freely shares it) even if they’re a bit more expensive (provided they’re in your budget of course).
Can you do this on social media? Absolutely. You can (and should) do it on your website via a blog and on social media. But it will be easier to find on your website as it is more organised…
2. It helps get you found by a new audience
Blog posts can be found on Google/other search engines. Whereas social media posts can usually only be found on their own platforms. And people use Google/other search engines when they are looking for information (eg whether blogging is good for your business, how to get your child to eat a greater variety of foods, etc) and when they are looking to buy. They search with intent rather than just mindlessly scrolling.
Again the key is to write posts on the kind of topics your audience want to know about and are searching for. You need to think about the kind of language they use to search. The specific key words and phrases and use these.
One of our blog posts has been particularly successful at bringing a lot of traffic to our website. A new audience that wouldn’t have come across the business (probably!) without that post.
You can target specific keywords or phrases that you might want to get found for, eg wedding photographer at a particular local venue and write a blog post that is solely focused on that subject. If you want to know more about writing blogs for SEO purpose take a look at our blog How to get to the top of page 1 of Google. Or you can write about what you think people would find useful and see how it goes SEO wise. Of course you can do a combination of the two…
This audience is different to the audience that would find you on social media because they’re looking for information in a different place. There’s usually little overlap. And, if these visitors like what they see, they may even follow you on social media. Yes blog posts can increase your social media following.
3. It can be repurposed into social media posts
Why do double the work? You can easily repurpose blog posts into social media posts. From this post we plan to spawn a podcast episode, some instagram posts, instagram reels , facebook posts, and possibly a LinkedIn post or two. We can (and probably will) use it as the basis for our weekly email. We may not use all of these posts but the potential is there.
It is more than just a “here’s my latest blog post if you’d like to read it”. You can ask questions based upon the content (eg do you blog, how often do you blog, do you think blogging has a place in 2021), split the content up (7 reasons why you should blog gives 7 potential posts) and you can summarise the content/conclusion.
You can use the same images. And, what’s more you can direct people from the social media posts to the blog to find out more. And when they’re reading the blog post they’re on your website – so you can guide them to find out more about your services. Sneaky!
You can do it the other way round. Take a bunch of social media posts and collate them into a blog post. Personally, I find it easier to do the blog post first and split it up. Otherwise you may need to be a bit more strategic/coherent with your social media posts.
4. It gives your website fresh content (which Google likes too)
Websites date. Just like any other forms of marketing materials. As you would expect we’re fans of keeping your website fresh and up to date. That means updating what you offer (and prices) as your business evolves.
Google loves to see fresh content on a website. And it rewards those who do by pushing them higher up the search rankings. Updating images and text is hugely beneficial but so is writing blog posts.
It doesn’t have to be every week, but if it has been a while then why not write and publish a new post? You could even update an old blog post, rewrite parts of the text, add some new images and change the date (we *may* have done this with this post – originally posted 2 January 2021). It is quicker than writing a new post
It’s not just Google which likes new content. Website visitors do too. It shows you’re still interested in the business. Ever been on a website where the last blog post was dated 2016 and you wonder if they’re still in business???? And it also gives you a good reason to promote your website – getting more visitors.
5. Content has longevity
Social media content is brilliant but very short lived. Once you have fallen down the page that content is gone. We find very few of our social media posts are viewed beyond about a week after posting.
But our blog posts are read months after they have been posted. We have posts that are regularly viewed over a year after they were written. You don’t get the “hit” of a like or comment, but seeing the views on blog posts that were written months/years ago is almost as good. We have one particular blog post, written a few years ago (and updated a year ago) that has had more page views in the past year than we have followers on Instagram (our main social platform). Whilst an Instagram reel can reach further, a blog post is more likely to be seen by our target audience (because chances are they have searched for something related rather than randomly scrolling through reels).
Yes it takes longer to write than a social media post. But we think it is worth it for the longevity…
6. You own the content
What happens if Facebook decides to close your account (it does happen), Instagram changes its algorithm and doesn’t show your posts as much or LinkedIn decides to charge? All that time spent building an audience and content on someone else’s “land” is lost.
With your own website you “own” the content and, provided you continue to pay for the domain name and hosting, no-one can take that away from you.
Doesn’t it make sense to add the content you have worked so hard to create to your own website and copy parts of it onto social media????
7. It can be fun and doesn’t need to take long
We’ve revamped the way we write blog posts. To be honest, we used to find it a chore and write hardly any. This post took just under an hour to write (a little more than an hour including final edits, adding images, links etc). That’s not such a chore.
Because you’re not at school now. You don’t need to write a grammatically perfect blog post and it doesn’t need to be long (although Google likes longer blog posts, a shorter post is better than no post – and remember you can always add to it later). It just needs to be about a subject your audience is interested in and answer their question.
When you factor in the number of social media posts we plan to get out of it then you can see that it is a really efficient use of time.
Writing blog posts directly related to your business is time well spent. We’re all busy and don’t have much time, but when you factor in the ability to reach a new audience through SEO, the number of social media posts that a single blog post can generate and the way blog posts demonstrate your authority therefore increasing the likelihood that a visitor will choose to work with you we think it is a marketing strategy that is worth investing in in 2022 and beyond.
Have we convinced you?