Blogging is one of the most important marketing activities your organisation should embrace in 2013. In fact, when marketers were asked in the 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report what online platform they wanted to master, 62% said blogging. The power of blogging to reach new audiences and prospective supporters cannot be underestimated. If you want your cause to be heard on the social web, you need to have a blog.
Here are 10 reasons why your organisation should invest in blogging:
1. Blogs leave a digital footprint. As Seth Godin has said, “Everything you do now ends up in your permanent record. The best plan is to overload Google with good stuff and to always act as if you’re on candid camera, because you are!” That is certainly true.
Businesses of all types and sizes are being encouraged to put relevant and useful information online, and much of this content is freely available to view. Each time a company adds something about their brand, product, or service on the internet they enlarge their own digital footprint. Whenever someone mentions them, they enlarge that company’s digital footprint.
2. Blogs are a content management system – Blogs require very limited training and/or technical skill to use. They also provide flexibility to update or change content quickly. As an added bonus, blogs are an inexpensive way to communicate to your target audience.
3. Blogs are a media asset – Blog content is owned media—a digital property you own and control—which means it belongs to your organisation and can be integrated into your website. Owned Media is all about creating your own platform and it’s where you direct all internet traffic. It’s your living, breathing media. Bonus: A blog can serve in lieu of a website.
4. Blogs enhance SEO (search engine optimization.) – Blogs allow for keyword-rich content and cross-linking to other content on the Web. Blogs also support SEO efforts.(Note: This assumes you’re using your own domain not a free third-party blogging platform.)
5. Blogs are the 7-Eleven of communication – With consumers demanding real-time communications, blogs are a great place to quickly publish relevant and useful content about your cause or respond to past, present and future issues.
6. Blogs support various media formats – For promoting and distributing branded content, blogs simplify the process of uploading and managing text, photographs, infographics, videos, audio replays, slideshare presentations and PDF documents.
7. Blogs springboard content distribution through multiple social channels – Blogs can expand the reach of your message through email and RSS feeds at no additional cost. Blog posts can also be complied into email digests.
8. Blogs facilitate social engagement – Blog content is currency for social media engagement on social sharing sites such as Pintrest, Googe+, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Make sure to include a contextual call-to-action.
9. Blogs can support diverse initiatives – Blogs can help organisations achieve a variety of business goals, such as providing product or service-related content, answering stakeholder questions and hosting an executive platform.
10. Blogs provide metrics – As with any business strategy, it’s critical to monitor your progress. Blogs allow for understanding individuals as well as markets and helps build customer relationships, strengthen brand identity and customer loyalty, and provides a great way of demonstrating marketing’s return on investment (ROI).
Consider publishing 1-2 blog posts each week. To share the workload develop a combination of blog authors and from within your organisation, invite board members to contribute as well as stakeholders and supporters.
Concerned about blog topics? Here are 10 suggestions you may like to work on:
1. Your Cause – Tell the world about your mission. You and your team are passionate about it – share this emotion with others.
2. Comment – On a significant issue in your sector. Let people know where your organisation stands.
3. Profile or Spotlight – A board member, one of your employees, a client, volunteer or anyone associated with your organisation in a positive way.
4. Announcements – Provide information on such matters as coming events, staff changes, proposed changes in government policies, significant events in your community which may impact the effectiveness or your organisation etc.
5. Q & A – Invite questions from your community about your cause and provide accurate pithy answers.
6. Fact sheet – Provide interesting facts about your cause and service. Number of people services, metrics around the impact of your service. The first to do this, the most experienced at doing that etc.
7. Tutorials – Provide helpful information to potential future users of your service e.g. an aged care provider may run a tutorial on planning for retirement. An employment service provider could perhaps post a guide to preparing a résumé’.
8. Multi-media – Post photos, videos and audio files showcasing your cause and service.
9. Around the web – Highlight what is happening globally in your sector by providing links to articles published by others in your sector.
10 Rally supporters – Use your blog as a call to action.
To sum it all up, your organisations blog must be at the center of your content marketing strategy. It provides a branded environment that’s great for your content that’s strategically aligned with your overall mission. Even better is the flexibility that blogs provide and their ability to be integrated into your other marketing strategies.
Author – This post is by Patrick McFadden. Patrick is Cause and Effective’s marketing advisor and the author of the Indispensable Marketing Blog. You can also follow him on Twitter. If you would like to guest post on B-Cause, check out our guidelines here.