[Cross-Posted from Beneath the Brand]
I’ve written in the past about multiple social media platforms that any company — even small businesses — can use to generate brand image and customer interest. And there are definitely quite a few social media sites to choose from: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Reddit… the list goes on and on, depending on your audience and your marketing goals.
In a recent survey released by Ascend2, an agency consulting company, the greatest number of both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) companies rated customer engagement as their top priority when using social media marketing. While they both had other goals, such as attracting more web traffic, increasing content reach, and boosting their sales, it was interesting to note that customer engagement remained such a strong focus, even above immediate fiscal goals.
In particular, both B2B and B2C companies rated the creation of high-quality blog posts and articles as their best way to draw in traffic; this was followed by creating whitepaper or research content, and creating video or audio media. This is exciting news for most people at first thought because it seems relatively straight-forward and organic. But don’t get ahead of yourself: Content creation, whether blogs or video/audio data, is also the most difficult tactic to pull off. But why?
Well, simply put, to create high-quality articles and engaging content, you can’t just “list and link” locations, key phrases, and zip codes. You have to have an actual, live human being put together a coherent post, usually sprinkled with strategic SEO tactics such as backlinking and maintaining the proper keyword density — and then on top of that, the copy needs to read naturally and be easy for the customer to retain. All of this costs money, and of course it takes up quite a bit of time. This is the primary reason content creation is tough to master.
But it’s most definitely worth it. Potential customers will more than likely find your site while conducting personal research. Whether an eager student is trying to find information for their next school project, an individual is trying to find job interview tips or a great way to cook a healthy dinner, or a grandma is trying to figure out how to best ship her grandkids’ presents, people search with a purpose in mind. Creating insightful and SEO-friendly blog posts with tips, tricks, personal stories, and informative content is the best way to ensure customers will find you and remember you. Not only does blogging help search engines cache your site more frequently (and therefore rank you higher in search results), but it shows your customers that you’re engaged with your products and eager to connect with your audience.
The takeaway lesson from Ascend2’s survey is simple. Get blogging! You may need to invest in a part-time writer or researcher, but it is definitely worth it. Blogs generate almost four times the return than just advertising on social media, and in creating original content, you generate that human interaction that is so often missed on the Internet.