Content is your new asset
The landscape of Digital Marketing has changed much over the 14 years I have been advising business and developing websites and strategy. Gone are the days when the placement and proportion of keywords was of the upmost. While onsite keywords are still important, as is content and site structure, today there are many other factors to consider. One of which is still a hard sell for many businesses, that of regular and frequent content publishing.
All businesses have the ability to create content via a blog, latest news, recent projects, case studies, or events feature on their website. All businesses are part of an industry ecosystem from which content fodder can be drawn. All businesses are part of a regional economy, where local news and events are another source of relevant content.
Customers want to get to know your business, which is why social media works well for those that implement well. A blog is another way of engaging with potential and existing customers and increasing conversion rates by lifting the level of engagement from passing to involved.
Blogging as a customer service
Not only is publishing regular content important for search engine attraction. It is also an opportunity to provide a customer service function.
There is still a barrier to implementing this strategy however. Businesses still fear, by and large, opening up a forum for direct conversation with their existing and potential customers, yet welcome it in their bricks and mortar shops. Why? Because when it is online it is there for all to see. What is also there for all to see is how the business deals with online feedback, criticisms, testimonials. Here you have the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to customer service in the way in which they treat the comment, respond, react, rectify and re-broadcast is the approach I recommend.
Six benefits of blogging
Businesses can invite customer feedback and encourage customer engagement via a business blog. The benefits of a corporate blog are also key marketing functions.
Blogging about the industry or subject of your business product or service category can position you as an authority among the market and industry and your visitors will understand that you are up to date in your field.
2. Customer Engagement
Engagement is a deeper level of commitment. If I browse I am curious, if I buy I am committed, but if we have a conversation about it, I am engaged which in my view, is a higher level of commitment leading to loyalty.
3. Market Intelligence
The comments and conversation of consumers and potential consumers on your blog or social media channels provides a valuable data source for information about the market perceptions of a businesses product or service.
4. Community Builder
An effective blog (or social media) dialogue has the ability to foster a community of consumers or potential consumers around your product or service, your event or your region. The community forms social proof that draws attention which can be spread onto the rest of your website leveraging the engagement many-fold.
5. Customer Value
Related to customer engagement, the higher level interaction between your customer and your business within the space and time of your customer is a powerful addition of value to the experience of the customer. This can contribute positively to the purchasing decision much more than the price of the product or service
Trust is also built into engagement and customer value. Demonstration of product knowledge or industry knowledge via a blog post, or of customer service via participation in the comment conversation, builds trust in the engaged consumers and interested observers leading to the creation of consumer advocates of your business.
The Australian consumer, in particular, will more likely purchase because of the person, not the price. Positive relationships, peer review, and social proof are of significant competitive advantage to businesses.
Blogging, as well as publishing content via LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, is a key part of your digital strategy as it plays a dual role of contributing to search engine success and to building a community of advocates around your brand, product range, services, event, or even a geographic region.
My company works more and more with businesses of all shapes and sizes to implement content publishing strategies into the strategy of the business and their website. The results have been pleasing and it has been great to see the previously reluctant embrace the crowd.