One of the most common misconceptions that people have about social media marketing is that it's all about social media platforms. They think that just because they have a robust presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn, that they're all set.
But even if you're actively involved on all of those platforms, if you miss one additional piece of your social media marketing strategy, you're losing business.
I'm talking about blogging.
Blogging is part of an overall marketing strategy called inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is more like fishing than traditional (or outbound) marketing. Inbound marketing is a bit like fishing – it's the process of putting quality, relevant, valuable content in front of your ideal customer at the right time. Get inbound marketing right, and your customers see your marketing as providing a welcome service. This is in contrast to outbound marketing (blasting your message to as many people as possible, hoping you happen to get it in front of someone interested). Outbound marketing is seen as intrusive, spammy, and unwelcome by the vast majority of people. (Think of the DVR…when we have the chance to skip the commercials, we do).
Did you know that blogging is part of a complete social media strategy? And it's not just me saying this. Of businesses that blog, 57% have acquired a customer through their blog. And 92% of businesses that blog multiple times a day have gained a customer from their blog. It's simple. The number one reason you need to include blogging as part of your marketing strategy is because it will gain you more prospects and more customers.
Could you use more customers?
There are a number of reasons why blogging brings an increase in website traffic and in customers. The first has to do with the art of search engine optimization, aka SEO. Google continues to refine its means of finding and delivering search engine results pages (SERP). One factor that boosts every business's ranking on a Google search is frequency of posting. Google assumes that if you are regularly posting quality content, it's more likely that your content is authoritative in your field.
Notice I didn't say keyword-stuffed articles that try to "game the system" of search engine results. Those days are long gone, and while there is a place for SEO, it's after quality content is produced. SEO isn't the method through which content is produced. Using a blog to acquire more customers is a long-term strategy, not a quick fix. It requires both creating quality content and doing so on a regular basis.
Another reason blogging nets more prospects and customers is that it gives your customers a reason to come back to your website on a regular basis. If you are providing quality information regularly and repeatedly that benefits the lives of your customers, they will naturally see you as someone who provides value to their lives and businesses. That builds a basis for trust between you and your customers. Trust builds loyalty, and loyalty brings both initial and repeat business.
Blogging brings prospects and customers. This is the #1 reason it's critical as part of your online marketing strategy.
Are you using a blog as part of your marketing? Leave a comment below; I'd love to hear.