The Benefits of Blogging
Have you been struggling with whether or not a blog is worth the investment of your time? The reality is, it’s a great thing to have, it’s free if you’re updating your own website, and cheap if you’re paying a professional to update the website for you. Either way, it’s you providing information and being a thought leader, and in the realm of marketing, we think it’s worth the time and energy to have a blog. Keep reading to learn five key ways a blog can help your marketing strategy, as well as some tips for getting started.
1. A Blog Can Boost Your Search Engine Rankings
Having a consistently-updated blog is like spoon-feeding search engines relevant content to index. Blogging helps your website check four major blocks off of Google’s criteria checklist:
- Your site is regularly updated, proving your business is still ‘alive’.
- Your content answers questions people are searching through keywords.
- You’re driving traffic to your website when you share your blogs on social media and via email, proving that people are finding what they’re looking for there.
- You’re showing you are a subject matter expert in your field by expanding on content relevant to your target market.
While Google isn’t the only search engine that people use, it has the largest market share of users by far, and the other search engines (Yahoo!, Bing, etc.) tend to play by the same rules when it comes ranking a website in search engine results.
Pro-Tip: If you’re using video or audio in your blog, versus writing your content, consider having those words transcribed and including them as part of the post to reap the maximum search engine value.
2. A Blog Can Increase Engagement with Clients and Prospects
When you publish new content, you give people a reason to reach out. Maybe you answered a question that you’ve been hearing regularly. Maybe you’re addressing current events and offering some free advice. Whatever the subject, you’re opening the door for people to ask questions about their specific situation, which can morph into new business. As a financial advisor, make sure you’re following the rules of what you can say and how it can be published – always check with your compliance department if you’re unsure.
Pro-Tip: Don’t expect people to just “stumble across” your blog and for it to go viral overnight. Drive people to it on social media and email a link to your clients and prospects. Encourage them to share if there is someone they think might benefit from it. When you share it on social media, be sure to continue to monitor the comments so you don’t miss a prime opportunity for engagement.
3. A Blog Can Help Communicate Your Brand Identity
Regardless of whether you do business as “you” the individual, or “you” the company, you are probably operating with a set of values or principles, and you’re probably driving forward with a mission statement. By sharing content you’ve personally taken the time to put together, you can lean into what makes your company different and share that – either specifically or subconsciously. As folks hear from you more, they’ll get a better understanding of what makes your company great, which will make them want to work with you more.
4. A Blog Has Freedom
As long as you’re following the rules set forth by compliance, a blog can bring you some expressive freedom you may not get when you’re just communicating with clients directly. A blog is also free for you to put together and publish to your website. You have the freedom to use text, video or audio to communicate. You have the freedom to make your blog as long or as short as you want (we recommend shorter to hold attention spans). You can freely share your content across social media and in email. A blog doesn’t have to fit a mold, and brings freedom.
Pro-Tip: If you have trouble with writing, but you can easily speak your thoughts aloud, consider looking into a transcription service that can bring your spoken words into text (most likely not free). We have used a service called Rev for years, and the end product just takes a little cleaning up before publishing.
5. A Blog Provides Value to Your Clients
Just as much as you enjoy a freebie, so do your clients. Don’t be afraid to offer up some free advice in your blogs – it will create trust in your expertise and appreciation of your efforts. On that note, don’t live in fear of “giving away the farm” when offering valuable insight into how you solve problems for clients. Those folks who are actually going to go to and trust an advisor (versus the DIY-folks) are going to look for the person who knows the most. By sharing what you know openly, that’s going to be you. The bottom line is that by being consistent with your posts, your clients will not have a chance to forget about you, and they’re going to be more apt to call on you with a simple question – otherwise known as an opportunity.
Publishing a blog can be tough, especially in a highly-regulated industry like financial services. However, there are ways to make it easier, and the value it can bring to both your business and your clients’ lives is worth it. If you’re looking for a way to expand upon your current marketing strategy, I encourage you to consider sharing your expertise via a blog. If you have any questions about how to best employ this tactic, don’t hesitate to reach out.