No social media marketing strategy is complete without a blogging component. Having a blog not only provides a strong foundation for your marketing, it’s also fun and inspiring—and a great way to personalize your brand, share ideas, generate new ones, and build a community of like-minded and engaged individuals. Here are just a few of the reasons why blogging is well worth your time and investment.
1. Be both a SME and a friend
Think of your blog as a conversation. It’s an opportunity to speak in detail about your products and services, share content that is relevant at that particular time, and if you’re so inclined, to comment on relevant industry news and trends. But remember, no matter what tack you decide to take, that a blog is a conversation. While it should educate — you do want to be viewed as that SME (Subject Matter Expert) — it should never read like a product brief or a white paper. There are lots of opportunities for your target audience to access those types of marketing materials (and if there isn’t, there certainly should be) so use your blog as a means to engage in a way that can personally connect with your reader.
2. Build some traffic while you’re at it
Blogs provide the perfect platform to strengthen your SEO strategy. Start by thinking about the size of your website. How many pages are there? Probably not that many, right? And think about how often you refresh/update the content on those pages. Probably not that often. This is where your blog comes in. Every time you create and publish a blog post, search engines consider that yet another indexed page on your website. This means that with each blog, you’re creating one more opportunity for your site, through that blog post, to show up on the search engine results page (SERP) and drive traffic to your website in a prospect’s organic search. Simple math: The more often you blog, the more opportunities you have to elevate your site’s placement on an SERP.
3. Put a likable face on your digital presence
The digital experience is inherently impersonal. While machine learning and AI have certainly contributed to our ability to identify customers and their needs and in so doing, helped us personalize our interactions, the digital experience is still far from an in-branch one. For instance, a website isn’t exactly the most personalized consumer touch point, is it? And we all know how important a personalized experience is to our customers. We hear about it all the time. “Personalize your customer experience!,” the experts are constantly shouting. Your blog helps. It puts a human face on your bank which — while it can’t take the place of a face-to-face in-branch encounter — helps make your bank feel more personal, friendly, trustworthy, and accessible.
4. Get your readers to comment and share
A solid bank site can be relied upon to answer questions that customers, or potential customers, might have about products and services. This is a different type of interaction than that which a blog provides. If you end your blog with “I’d love to know your thoughts on the subject,” believe me, you will get thoughts. This is, of course, just what you’re after. This is why a blog is so powerful. It can create a two-way conversation with customers, leads, and industry peers. With a more relatable tone and an interactive platform, you can encourage feedback and discussion.
5. Add to your email database
Email marketing is an important tactic and should certainly be a component of your overall marketing mix. The challenge, of course, with email marketing is building your database. It’s not easy to get people to “opt in,” so you need to take every opportunity (preferably in the least intrusive ways possible) to encourage sign-up. The way to do this, of course, is to provide value in exchange for the individual’s contact info. Again, not easy. But, this is where a blog can help. Blogs help contribute to your bank staying top of mind and help reinforce your audience’s need to keep updated. If people find your blog content informative, relevant, and engaging, chances are they’ll trust that your email newsletters are as well. Inserting links in your blog that will encourage readers to sign up for additional touchpoints, like emails, is a great way to build that email database.
6. Re-purpose your blog
Obviously, your social media marketing consists of, well, social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Every time you create and post a blog, you’re creating content that 1) you can share across your social platforms and 2) people who see it can share with each other. The content you create can also live, in various part and pieces, across your social media channels, giving you more social bang for you blogging buck. With blogging, you’re not only strengthening your social reach with the blog itself. You’re also creating a web of engagement points that connect with each other and ultimately lead everyone you’ve engaged right to your website.
7. Drive long-term social marketing results
Hubspot says: “Imagine you sit down for an hour on Sunday to write and publish a blog post. Let’s say that blog post gets 100 views and ten leads on Monday. You get another 50 views and five leads on Tuesday as a few more people find it through social media. But after a couple of days, most of the fanfare from that post dies down, and you've netted 150 views and 15 leads. It's not over.” Since that post is now ranking, it means that for days, weeks, months, and years to come, you can continue to get traffic from that blog post. That’s because a blog post can bring traffic to your site long after it's first posted. In fact, according to Hubspot, “about 90% of the leads we generate every month come from blog posts published in previous months. Sometimes years ago.”
There’s much more to it.
Is this a comprehensive treatise on blog posting? No. There are a number of additional benefits to blogging that we haven’t discussed here. And, there are a number of companies out there that can advise you on how to get the most of your blogging, from software and templates to guidance on creating a blogging editorial calendar. My hope here is that you’ve learned just enough about blogging to be inspired enough to give it a try. It’s a terrific tool for engaging customers and generating leads.
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As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject.