Business blogging in India is still in its nascent stage. Though we had Content Marketing Asia conference earlier this year in Gurgaon, the concept is still new to Indian entrepreneurs. Most of the companies either have not heard of this concept or not realized the importance of the content based marketing. Blogging is the 1st steps for many businesses into the world of content marketing.
There is no dearth of knowledge around us. 1st it was Google who proved it right. Now every Indian blog is trying to prove it hard. A blog is finding its place in every business website. Knowledge share with the target audience is good. This is the core of the Content Marketing.
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1) Just having a business blog is not enough:
I see a blog on many websites, however, most blogs have stale content and irregular dated posts. It suggests there is no content plan or policy in place. They post the content as and when the time permits.
Many blogs are only about own products and services. It defeats the very purpose of blogging.
2) Not having Content Marketing Plan or Purpose:
Most of the content on the blogs are generic in nature. There is no specific or targeted content.
3) Not having a landing page call to action:
There is no landing page or call to action. This is an important miss. Unless you have a call to action on the landing page, you would not be able to capture email ID of the visitors. The landing page has just one call to action link whereas on a website homepage there many.
People hate being deceived or tricked into clicking on something that has no value to them. Keep your CTAs informative and ensure the copy explicitly tells your customers what they should expect in exchange for their click. Will they be signed up to your newsletter or taken to a new page to complete the order? Focus on communicating the benefits of clicking on your CTA.(1)
4) No Persona-based content:
Most blogs have generic content which is available everywhere else on the net. People expect and interested in customized content and persona drive content is customized content. Have you defined the Personas you wish to reach out to?
Here Buyers Journey is also important. Your specific content is addressing to which stage of the buyers’ journey of the prospects? These stages are awareness, consideration, and decision.
5) No on-page SEO:
Most blogs are not only generic but also lack basic SEO practices. This shows me too mindset about the whole idea of content marketing.
In a rush to create basic non-targeted content, they are creating generic and non-seo enabled content.
No internal or external links, no keywords, no longtail headings, no attractive heading, and many such aspects of on-page SEO are missing in most of the business blogs.
6) No customer-created content:
There is no customer-created content opportunity like sharing of experiences on the company site/blog. You knew how Trip Advisor captures hotel visitors experience as reviews. Customers want to share their reviews.
It would be a smart strategy to offer such platform on the company site. Creating a community of the product or service users on the site/ blog would be extremely useful in sharing the brand experience with the world.
Many retail brands doing this. But the caveat is; senior management must take Customer Experience aspects in the company very seriously.
Remember: If you don’t provide the platform, people are already talking good or bad about your brand. If the company proactively offers the platform it would be a good gesture and opportunity to get continues feedback from the customers.
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7) Top leadership is skeptical about their own and employees blogging:
Like customers’ content, employees are brand ambassadors if used appropriately. They can be asked to blog about the area of their subject interest in the company. Edelman’s trust barometer research found that company experts are trusted 66% of the time.
Compare that with Nielsen’s report that only 47% of global citizens trust corporate advertising and you can see the shift.(2)
There are trust and competency issues but carefully crafted policy can take care of these issues. On Indus Ind Bank blog I saw a few top management executives including the Chairman write the blog. This could be a good beginning and the same can be expanded with proper dos and don’ts. Employee brand advocacy is a huge success.
IBM research proved that leads developed through employee social advocacy were 7x more likely to convert.
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The way business branding is done has changed with the arrival of the internet and it’s spread with the smartphone. Openness culture and transparency has gained importance.
A Roper Survey of business decision makers found that 80% prefer to get information about a prospective purchase from articles instead of advertising. The same survey found that 70% say content makes them feel closer to the sponsoring company and 60% say content helps them make better buying decisions. (3)
“What I love about content is it has the power to change people’s lives for a second or for a day or forever. Great content creates space for people to pause and reflect, and that space is where transformation happens.” Jolie Miller.
Content Marketing is here to stay and is likely to grow in the days to come. Business blogging is an integral part of the Content Marketing. Embrace it and do it right.
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