Content marketing is an important part of companies’ marketing strategies, and there is a lot of talk about the role and importance of blogging, in particular. But do printers need a blog? There are tons of blogs around. Does anyone read a printer’s blog anyway? Is it really worth the effort?
As a long-time blogger both for the industry at large and on behalf of private clients, I’ve reached out to the reader communities to ask these very questions. Do you read printers’ blogs? If so, why? If not, why not? What benefit do printers’ blogs serve?
This is what I consistently hear over and over again.
- Blogs are critical for SEO.
Today’s search engines don’t simply hone in on keywords. They know when a page contains good content and the content is regularly updated. Blogs that reside on your website are searchable, and meaty blogs with good headlines and regularly updated content are more highly visible and appealing to search engines.
- Good, substantive blogs get you found by print buyers.
When a company is looking for new suppliers, especially those offering something unique (unusual mailer shapes, specific coatings, metallic inks), they Google it. Post content about the types of jobs you do, and be specific. If someone has a digital print project that needs silver metallic ink, your post on “great quality and prices” isn’t going to get you found. However, a post about your expanded service offerings with the gold and silver metallic ink on your new Xerox Color 800i/1000i will.
- Blogs establish credibility.
Before someone picks up the phone and calls or sends you an inquiry by email, they will check out your website. If you have a blog, they’ll take a look. Within a few seconds, they will have formed an opinion about you. Does this company have expertise in their area of need? Do they specialize in certain vertical markets? If so, which ones? Are there case studies? Who are their clients?
You may want to avoid posting general business content about the economy, trends in your client’s industry, or HR strategies. This is content that can be found anywhere and has nothing to do with print. From a prospect’s perspective, poor or irrelevant content is worse than no content at all.
Visitors will also look at how recent the posts are. Was your last post from August 2014? Or from a week or two ago? How frequently are you posting? If it’s only once every six months, the blog looks like an oversight. If you set up a blog and don’t follow through, it reflects on your professionalism and business commitment. Again, if that’s the case, you’re probably better off not having a blog at all.
So the answer to, “Do you need a blog?” is that a good, regularly updated blog with specific, relevant content can really help you. But if you post irregularly and post general or outdated content that isn’t specific to your area of expertise, it’s not only ineffective, but it could work against you.
If you’re going to put up a blog, do it right. Post relevant, high-quality content and post on a regular schedule.