If you were an 80's kid – like me – you've probably seen the 1984 movie called "The Karate Kid" starring Ralph Macchio and the late Pat Morita.
It inspired a following because of the movie's timelessness. The theme and lessons this movie brings clearly resonate to this day.
Remember the "wax on / wax off" scene?
Daniel – played by Ralph Macchio – asked Mr. Miyagi (Morita) to teach him Karate.
Daniel's excitement quickly wore off when instead of learning some cool Karate moves, Mr. Miyagi assigned him to house chores.
But when the actual lessons began, Daniel soon found out Karate was easy to learn. He discovered the movements he was doing all along were actual Karate drills.
The Karate Kid taught me a valuable lesson: even the basic stuff can make a difference if we practice them consistently.
But what does an 80's movie has to do with blogging and marketing?
Most businesses today are much more committed to their social media presence – which is the right step in today's setting. But I believe there's still a place for blogging; which, along with email marketing, should be the cornerstone of your inbound marketing strategies.
Blogging has been around since the 90's. Some find it "old school". It’s not hip (Facebook 360 is cooler). Some say it's boring; Periscope is better. It's not as sexy or buzzworthy as social media marketing.
But it does serve a purpose for you and your customers.
In today's article, I'll talk about 5 reasons why blogging is important to marketing. Plus, I'll give you a list of companies that used blogging as a way to improve their marketing strategy.
5 Reasons Why Having a Blog Can Transform Your Marketing
- Blogging makes you market savvy - The more you blog, the better you understand the trends and issues affecting customers.You expose yourself to information which may lead to improving your products and services. Influencers in your niche will start to notice your company and will eventually reach out to you for business and networking opportunities.
- Having a blog gives you a chance to build your own voice … letting your brand's image stand out from the competition. Granted competitors have blogs of their own. But having a platform provides an opportunity to show your uniqueness and cater to your own audience. And as your business carves out it's own identity, you start to build a following, which leads to higher sales conversion.
- Blogging as a PR tool - Why spend hours struggling to get attention from journalists or editors when you can simply bring them to your site? If you have newsworthy content, getting the media's attention is just a matter of time. In fact, a growing number of journalists and editors consult blogs to get story ideas. The key, of course, is to establish yourself as an expert in your industry. I'm not surprised when I hear about bloggers being invited to a webinar or conference. Not only were they able to promote his product, they get to build a pipeline by leveraging somebody else's audience.
- Increase marketing assets both online and offline - Repurposing a blog post is the best way to cast a wider net while using several outlets. For example, your marketing team can turn a blog post into a slideshow presentation and post it on Slideshare. Or, perhaps, convert it into an MP3 file and broadcast it on iTunes. One popular option is to convert blog posts into an email newsletter. Imagine not having to turn to your copywriter to pump out new content every single day. A single blog post could potentially lead to 6 or 10 content ideas distributed to several channels … all at once!
- Blogging prepares you for bigger opportunities - Create a lead magnet by stringing together your most famous blog posts and turning them into an eBook or a whitepaper. Or, build a bigger list by converting those same blog posts into a short e-course or a full-blown online course. Not only it will drive qualified leads, online courses build credibility and authority – benefits you rarely get from cold calling or networking.
Now, let’s see how big name companies use blogs to market their business.
List of Companies That Use Blogging as a Marketing Tool
Work Shifting (Citrix) - A blog for professionals and employees who work remotely. Instead of focusing on their products, Citrix decided to put their audience's needs in the forefront.
Marriott - If you want to learn about thought leadership and how to be an expert in your field, then corporate blogger Bill Marriott should be on your list. He writes his own posts and shares his views on sales, business, technology, media, the government and more.
GE Reports (General Electric) - Great storytelling, beautiful photography and diverse topics designed to capture your imagination and encourage curiosity. This company is more than just light bulbs. Do you want to put your product in a different light? Learn how GE expertly weaves their product in every story without being salesy.
Blog Southwest (Southwest Airlines) - Blog content doesn't mean you have to write. There are ingenious ways to get your message across than just a wall of text. They mix and match their content – from articles and polls to videos and photos. The blog was created to build a strong relationship by showcasing stories from employees and customers.
If you're gonna start all over again – with no customers, no influence and no resources – and you only have a laptop and an internet connection to start a business, what would you do to be where you are right now?
Find a problem and blog about it.
I hope you learned a lesson about the value of blogging in your marketing strategy. Platforms come and go (remember Friendster? MySpace?). The rules of the game frequently change to cater to business-interest (Facebook Zero, anyone?). And gambling on something you can't control seems unwise (banner ads, I'm looking at you).
The only thing you can control is something you already own: your blog and your content. Why not begin from there and start bringing value to the marketplace?
Daniel learned the fundamentals of Karate and mastered it. In the end, he won the tournament and earned the respect he deserves.
Blogging will bring the same benefit to you.
I regularly get emails or messages from subscribers saying they enjoyed a recent post.
A great example is when I wrote a blog post about 19 tools to easily manage your inbound marketing (http://ashleyidesign.com/19-tools-to-easily-manage-your-inbound-marketing).
One of my subscribers even sent a "Thank You" note:
"Hey, Ashley. Hope you are doing well. Just wanted to drop you a quick note and thank you for this great article."
I've also had requests to repost articles on the subscriber’s site.
For example, my blog was translated into Spanish and posted over here:
If you're curious, here's the original post: http://ashleyidesign.com/modern-web-design/
Do you want to see the same results?