Written by:
Howard Fenton
Senior Technology Consultant
NAPL

The first reason cited in 4 Digital Marketing Predictions For 2012 is that Content marketing (i.e. Blogging) plus Social Media is the key to success. Author Craig Kilgore says that “in 2012, more and more digital marketing agencies and in-house marketers will see the power of great content and what social media can do to help it spread. Blogging is hot again and here are 10 reasons why.

1- SEO: everyone wants to get to the first page on the Google search engine and focuses on search engine optimization. In addition to the key words, meta tags and links on your web pages, the Google rankings are also determined by backlinks for your blogs. In fact, some SEO experts say it’s more affected by the backlinks than keywords.

2- Thought leader: Researching and writing thought provoking blogs well makes you appear like an expert or thought leader. A good example is Seth Godin, who is considered as someone who writes edgy marketing stories.

3- Fast: Since blogs are short—usually around 3 paragraphs—they are more likely to be read by people who don’t have time to read books, articles or newspapers – who are your customers!

4- Show me the money: While you will not get rich, Google AdSense can sell ads on your blog. Daniel Sconce wrote some interesting tips about monetizing his blogs.

5- Voice: As a former editor of a magazine, I can tell you that there is high value to good columnists in magazines or newspapers. They drive traffic and maintain followers.

6- Social media: One of the theories of social media marketing is to push people down a sales funnel. It can start with a Tweet or a posting on Facebook that links to a blog, which can then lead to a website that has the sales pitch.

7- Target markets: As opposed to traditional marketing theory that says identify your target market, blogs are messages that customers consume to proclaim they are your target market.

8- Competitive advantage: It does not matter what you sell, blogs can create a unique competitive advantage to drive people to your website and motivate them to listen to you. The most popular blogs such as HufffingtonPost, TMZ, Mashable and Engadget create huge momentum.

9- Interactive feedback: Blogs are great tools to test ideas and motivate conversations with customers. Chris Anderson, the author of the Long Tail, says that the ideas in the book were honed in blogs.

10- What’s coming: Blogs can be used to announce plans or product announcements. They can generate feedback and help hone the offering or create interest and buzz. Sometimes a fast and easy way to post is to simply post a picture with a short description or 3 minute video.

How are you using blogs to drive traffic and increase your SEO?

Howard Fenton is a Senior Technology Consultant at NAPL. Howie advises commercial printers, in-plants, and manufacturers on workflow management, operations, digital services, and customer research. He is a paid contributor to this blog.