I was speaking with a client today about measuring blog value and success and the topic of comments came up. Certainly an interactive blog with comments and responses is highly desirable. This is a good way to engage with your audience, receive feedback, and provide clarifications about your products or services. Comments most frequently come on topics that are either very controversial or that require further explanation. Comments also come more from topics related to breaking news and events relevant to your company more than marketing materials explaining and advocating your offerings.
So if comments are highly desirable, does this mean you should give up on your blog if all you hear are virtual crickets in response to your posts? Definitely not. Your first order of business is to get people to follow your blog and to generate interest in what you are commenting on. Here are a few ways to look at the values of your blogs:
- Blog traffic – If you aren’t using some form of web analytics, start immediately. Generally it is easy to see a direct correlation between your blog posts and the traffic to your site. You should promote your blogs through any and all social mediums you are currently using like twitter. If you are promoting your blogs properly, you should see a bump in your traffic on the days of blog posts.
- Drip marketing - Blogs are great for drip marketing and lead nurturing. Highlight your blog posts in your newsletters and create quick e-mail templates for your sales team to send relevant entries to their prospects. Not only will you find that blogs are one of the top links of interest on your newsletter, you will also find that it helps facilitate opens of those newsletters over time.
- Competitive marketing – Blogs are great for staking out a competitive position. It is an easy way to point to your competitive advantages and highlight weaknesses of competition. When competitive questions come up in a sales engagement, a link to the appropriate blog is a good tool in the hands of your sales team.
- Search optimization – Populating your blogs with search key words is an important use of blogs. Blogs help your ideal customers find you rather than having to search them out.
- Lead generation – Ultimately you would like to convert blog traffic to leads. Leads that come through blog traffic are often more qualified than other prospects because they found you while searching for a particular topic that you wrote about. You should certainly be using web analytics to track lead conversions from links on your blog.
These are a few of the reasons you should blog even if there are relatively few comments. Also recall that you are blogging for your specialized audience and the magnitude of that audience may necessarily be limited. Generating regular and relevant content through a blog is a marketing tool that every company with an online presence should be using.
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