Does Your Business Need a Blog?

The answer is an unequivocal, YES! Blogging is the foundation to holistic content marketing campaigns and it provides a channel for developing thought leadership. Instead of being another faceless brand, you can distinguish your business by lending it your credibility and defining yourself as an authority in your industry. Our social-media driven culture is also placing new demands on brands. Customers expect higher levels of engagement with businesses because of the access that the online world provides them. If your website is static, you aren’t set apart from your competition and you’re not convincing potential clients that you are the best possible company to purchase from/work with.

Still not convinced? Here are some of the best reasons why your business needs a blog:

Blogs help raise your Internet visibility

Search engines prefer blogs over the millions upon millions of static websites out there because the content is updated regularly. As you have probably heard many times before: content is king.  You want to be featured on the first page of a Google search? A consistently updated and bustling blog is the best way to land there. Creating regular content on topics relevant to your industry increases the chance of a potential customer landing on your website.

Say you're a landscaper in Florida, creating a post about the top five ways to spend days or evenings in your garden not only advertises your services but helps those not specifically searching for a landscaper to find your company.

Blogs establish your authority

With the introduction of Google Authorship, establishing yourself (and your brand) as an authority in your industry has become obligatory. You want to be recognized as a trendsetter and thought leader among your competition, but you also want to show consumers why they should do business with you. Knowledgeable, original content proves your legitimacy while inspiring confidence in potential clients. This applies to all industries, as potential clients are more likely to do business with someone who has already established their authority.

For example, if you're a dentist, regular posts on good dental hygiene will be valuable to potential patients and lead them to believe that your knowledgeable advice leads to knowledgeable care. People directly associate your content with your abilities; you want to be in control of your image.

Blogs reflect the culture of your company & values of your brand

Gone are the days where you can just claim to offer great customer service and exceptional products. Consumers want to know specifics and they want your unique approach to business. Blogging is the perfect opportunity to infuse your personality into your company. By providing your opinions on relevant topics of interest in your industry, consumers get an understanding of the person (or people) behind your brand. This works on multiple levels.

For one, it helps consumers relate to and understand your brand. Blogging can also be a great starting point for building the reputation of your brand. For example, if you're a consultant and you have multiple articles offering free advice, you send the message that you are generous with your  expertise. Doing so also suggests that you possess such a wealth of information that there is plenty more of that same expert advice for clients who contract your services.

Blogs allow for interaction with consumers

If a potential consumer is visiting your website, you want to do everything you can to improve engagement. Static websites guarantee short visits whereas regularly updated blogs give visitors a reason to stick around. Chances are they'll comment on a post, you comment back and before you know it they're scheduling an appointment or placing an order.

Starbucks is an excellent example of increasing user engagement through blogging. While their posts are only tangentially related to coffee, Starbucks allows users to submit ideas for new drinks, food items, packages, and even store designs. They then blog about the ideas and encourage users to comment and rate the different items. This is a brilliant approach to blogging as it increases consumer engagement and creates original user-generated content.

While blogging doesn't have to be a huge undertaking, it does require some planning and commitment. The key is to post consistently. Ideally, you should post relevant content for your target audience 2-3 times a week. Not only does this keep your content fresh (and therefore more likely to appear on search engines) but also encourages a consistent following.

For more advice on successful social media marketing strategies, iQuarius Media is an expert on helping  your brand's online presence grow. Contact our Content Marketing Strategist, to discuss your blog and content marketing strategy.

Image Source: Lucy Catherine Photography

Internet Marketing Tips | 5 Pivotal Points

internet marketing

Internet Marketing Pivot Points

5 Important Pillars of Internet Marketing.

1. Blogs

–Register your blog with popular directories
–Have your newest blog posts appear on your LinkedIn Profile and Facebook status with links back to the blog
–Read top blogs in your industry, and then post comments with helpful information and links back to your own blog or Web site.

2. Social media can be a great way to get the word out about your company or product. Effective internet marketing can help accomplish this goal.

–Did you know Facebook has more than 200 million users? Facebook allows you to create free fan pages about your business.
–LinkedIn is a professional network that includes allowing companies to create profiles.
–Manage your social networking presence and engage in consistent participation with your connections. Nutshell Mail is a service that brings users a summary of their social network updates to their inbox in a single email delivered to them on their schedule.

3. Monitor Your Cyberspace Presence

We’ve all heard of “Google-ing” someone or something… Keep an active eye on what’s posted on the Internet about you and your business. Assume that your clients and prospects are in the know about what’s out there. Searching your name on Google and Twitter can tell you several important things:

–What people are saying about your business
–Whether your work is being used without your permission
–Whether someone else is using your personal or business name

If your reputation is in trouble and you’re finding negative or false information, you may need professional assistance to fix the problem. Evaluate if you need legal representation or public relations and press release solutions.

4. Be consistent with your online message and branding

–Coordinate and integrate marketing communications tools within your business. By doing this, the business’s brand message will be consistent in all possibilities.
–Integrating communications helps eliminate confusion from the consumer and builds brand strength.

All advertising media selections, creative designs, and public relations efforts should strive to match the message, media, and audience, so the right person sees and/or hears the advertisement or internet marketing piece and can recognize the business and its brand consistency.

5. Apply Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to your web site

SEO is a great way to increase your online revenue stream. SEO allows you to:

–Develop and arrange your site’s content and navigation to be fully optimized
–Drive more traffic to your Web site
–Maximize your Internet exposure

If these pointers seemed like an avalanche of information, imagine executing all of these functions on a daily basis. It could get overwhelming. This is when it’s time to consider outsourcing the work to a team of industry veterans who will keep your business’ best interest at the forefront. At iQuarius Media we work on these different facets on a daily basis, so feel free to contact us and we can discuss how to make your online presence effective.

Pixar’s Next Movie Gets A Mysterious Photo Blog

Pixar is known for its long development cycles: the Emeryville, California-based company can take years to churn out a new animated movie. Now fans will be able to get an oblique sneak peek inside the studio’s next film — thanks to a new blog started by Lee Unkrich, a director and member of Pixar’s creative team.

The blog, simply called “Lee Unkrich,” will feature one image a day for the development cycle of the new, untitled film. That could mean a lot of updates. Unkrich already guessed, via his Twitter account, that he may be chronicling for up to four years.

Right now, the blog only has two entries. The first is captioned “The starting line.”  The opening image — a close-up of a Mac keyboard — doesn’t give away many clues. The second entry is titled “My standard lunch” and shows a bowl of broccoli and a sandwich. In other words, the blog looks like it will touch on things both central to the film and charmingly off-topic.

The blog is a nice way to share exclusive content with Pixar fans, but we’ll see if Unkrich can actually keep up a photo-a-day for the entire development process.

Is this Lee Unkrich feeling the attraction of engaging with fans on a daily basis? Because, if so, we know exactly what that’s like.