You might have read recently that blogging is old school and hasn’t been useful as an online marketing strategy for a long time. With the proliferation of social media sites that allow you to blog or post down your thoughts, why waste time blogging in a WordPress site, right?

While social media sites offer convenience and a readily available audience, think about this: would you ever build your castle in someone else’s land? I guess not. Building your audience on somebody else’s platform is only as good as the platform’s existence.

For a business, blogging, along with your own social media presence, is of utmost importance now, and in the foreseeable future. Here are our top reasons why:

Blogging drives more traffic to your website. Your blog is a great way to give your audience relevant, up to date content. If your content is useful, interesting and valuable to them, they might decide to share it with their online community. Obviously this would give you free additional traffic! On the technical note, search engines love fresh content. Regular blogging gives search engines new content to index, and can help to improve organic visibility across multiple keywords (that is, if you plug in those keywords wisely).

Blogging helps you to rank for those long-tail search queries and keywords. A regular website without a blog may find it difficult to rank this way. Your business website might rank for your industry-specific keywords (e.g. ‘IT Company in Lancaster’), but without more specific blogs might struggle to rank for longer terms such as ‘How to Recover Accidentally Deleted Files’. While long tail search queries are less common, they are generally considered to be get higher conversion rates.

Blogging helps to position you and your business as experts in your industry. A good business blog answers questions your consumers may have. If you create content that gives value to your audience, they will see you as a go-to resource and this can establish you as an industry authority.

Blogging humanises your brand and business. An ‘About Us’ page on your website is no match for a regular blog in terms of showing your personality and ideas. Blogging gives readers a better insight into your company, values, employees, ideas, and much more. A blog is a place where you get to share your voice and personality, building up trust and in the long run, increases the likability quotient of your brand or business.

Blogging supports and reinforces your social media presence. You cannot maintain a consistent social media presence without good, high-quality content. While it is good to share the content of others, you are just directing more traffic to their site. At some point, you’d want a share of that traffic, too. If you have a blog and share it on your social media platforms, you drive more people to your site. You also win clicks, leads, and visitors when your posts are shared.

In addition, if you have a regular newsletter, your blog posts can come in handy. Part of your email newsletter content can be the top blog posts for the month. Incorporating your blog posts in your social media and email marketing campaigns can bring great results to your business.

So with all these benefits, blogging remains a key aspect in your overall marketing strategy.

Digital Marketing tips on growing your Instagram account organically.

So you have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, Google+ seems to have died a bit of a death, so what about embarking on your Instagram journey. Useful video that explains how to grow your following, and how to run your Instagram campaign.

By now, most site owners realise the importance and value of SEO in the development and growth of their site. A properly optimised site is going to rank better in the search engines, see more targeted traffic being directed over, have a higher conversion rate and much more. However, SEO is incredibly long term and nothing can rush time. It takes time for a site to build a good trust factor with the search engines and until that happens, most of your off-site SEO efforts are going to produce minimal results.

If you recently launched your site and are already looking into SEO, here are a few things you should focus your time and energy on.

Start a Blog
Start blogging right away. Start with at least one blog post a week and see if you can work up to one a day within the first year of your blog’s life. That may seem like a huge ordeal now, but you’d be surprised at how easy it gets to write a 350-500 word blog post with practice. You’ll learn how to better formulate your thoughts, present a single idea and flush it out entirely with time. If you aren’t confident in your writing ability or are struggling to come up with topics, turn to your employees and co-workers for help. The worst thing you could do is launch a blog and then not routinely update it with fresh content.

It takes a long time to hone your writing skills, find and develop your niche, build your reputation and attract loyal readers to your blog, so don’t expect to see major results fast. However, just like your site, as your blog ages it earns more trust from the search engines. Individual blog posts can start to rank for targeted keywords, increasing your online brand presence.

Build Your Social Network
If you are just getting onboard the social media marketing train, you’re in for a surprise! Social media marketing takes a lot more time than most companies realise, and it needs a solid strategy to run on. Don’t walk into social media blind and hope you’ll figure it out before something goes wrong. Take the first year of your site’s life to really develop your social profiles and connect with your target audience. What kind of content are they looking for from you? When is the best time to engage them? Which sites do they spend most of their time on? If you want your social media marketing efforts to be effective, you need to understand the behavior of your target audience so you can better reach them.

Focus on On-Site Optimization
The first year of your site’s life should really be spent focusing on the site itself. Don’t worry too much about developing a full blown link building strategy just yet; it’s more important to make sure your site is in the best shape it can be! Work on creating great webpage content, developing an internal linking structure that helps keep your visitor engaged, tweaking your landing pages to improve their conversion rate and so forth. Your website is going to be the hub of the rest of your Internet marketing. It doesn’t matter how great everything is off-site if your website doesn’t measure up. At the end of the day, it is your website that is going to convince visitors to act. Does it matter how many show up or how they got there if you website fails to convert?

Plan an Editorial Calendar
Content pretty much fuels all of your SEO and social media marketing. Without great content, you don’t give your target audience a real reason to check out your site, profile or blog. In addition to all the content you have to create for your sites, you also need to start looking into 3rd party sites where you can publish guest content. Take the first year of your site’s life to build relationships with industry bloggers and other site owners that allow guest articles to be published on their site. Identify which popular industry blogs cater to your target audience and start laying the groundwork to get one of your articles published there. If you can create an editorial calendar for you to follow, you’ll be able to get a jumpstart on your content marketing.

So if you haven’t taken the plunge yet and started using Social Media in your business maybe this post will help you take that leap forward. There are plenty of myths out there surrounding social media in relation to your business and website. With this in mind I thought I would put some of the most popular untruths to rest.

Myth 1
None of my customers / clients use social media so why should I bother?

What a load of rubbish! The latest stats out show that Facebook now has over 1 billion users, 50% of whom use it on a daily basis. Twitter has 170 million and Google + 100 million users each, never mind LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube. In fact Youtube is the 3rd most popular website in the UK after Google and Facebook.

Your customers most definitely are using social media as are many of your competitors for that matter.

Myth 2
It’s only worth following someone if they will become a customer.

It is true that ‘quality’ followers are important but don’t underestimate the power of having ‘quantity’ and as such a wider social reach. Even if they are unlikely to become a customer, they will expose you to their followers and they can improve your SEO by sharing your content.

Myth 3
Social Media is only for younger people

Take a look at these stats on social mediai users and maybe you’ll change your mind:

40% of Facebook’s active users are over age 35.
52% of 55-64 year old internet users have joined a social network.

Myth 4
I don’t have enough content or anything interesting to say

Social Media moves pretty fast so you can revisit content every few weeks if you think it is information that your customers will continue to find useful. Try planning out your posts so you follow a broad strategy and you will find it a lot easier to think of things to post. Also follow an 80 / 20 rule on sales. Don’t just ram your sales message down your followers throats every time you say something. They will soon tire of it and move on.

Myth 5
Social Media is a FREE marketing tool

Strictly speaking it is but don’t forget it will take up someone’s time and this is where the cost is. To make it work for your business you will need to invest time or hire someone in to help you to work it on your behalf. That said research has shown it to be a below average marketing cost per sale generated compared to other, more traditional forms of marketing.