Reasons Why You Can’t Do Without a Company Blog

At the moment, we are beginning to see more and businesses running a company blog after having established a presence on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. And for many, it seems as the logical next step.

However, I think that a lot of marketers still might wonder whether it’s actually effective to run a company blog. It takes time and effort both maintaining a Facebook page, a Twitter profile and then also a blog, and is it all worth it?

Here, I will take a closer look at the subject together with presenting you reasons why I think it is!

Blogging is on the rise
First of all, the use of social media and blogging has gone through a great increase. According to an eBook (“100 AWESOME Marketing Stats, Charts & Graphs”) released by HubSpot, the average budget spent on company blogs and social media has nearly doubled in two years. This means that more and more businesses have come onboard, so maybe it’s time to also join the game? Here, I will get more into some statistics presented by HubSpot to present why it’s actually effective to run a blog.

 

Improve your ranking
One of the benefits that a blog can carry along with it is search engine optimization. As stated in the report by HubSpot, 46% of daily searches are for info on products and services, where 20% of monthly Google searches are for local businesses. Thereby, it’s now critical to rank high on search engines and not only optional. Publishing blog posts on your website is a helpful resource to gain more visitors.

“Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links.” (HubSpot)

 

In addition, it’s stated in the eBook that US Internet users spend 3x more minutes on blogs and social networks than on email. With the rise of social media, it has become harder to reach people through e-mail. Here, I’m not saying that it’s impossible and that businesses should not make use of e-mail marketing. However, it’s a fact that it has become easier for users to find the information they’re looking for on blogs and social networks. They are fans or followers of brands they like in order to receive relevant content at the place, where they like to spend most of their time.

Reasons Why to Run a Company Blog

Improve your image
In line with the increasing number of company blogs, the number of readers is also on the rise. People are realizing that there’s good content to find out there at the same time as a good blog improves the image of the sender. Readers get to see what kind of knowledge the company actually possesses together with being a brand that likes to share information. Companies that blog have 55% more website visitors, which naturally shows how great a marketing tool a blog can be when done right.

 

Reasons to Run a Blog

In conclusion, here’s a short overview of reasons why to start blogging:

– Create awareness
– Rank higher on search engines
– Gain more traffic to website
– Generate more leads
– Improve your image
– Connect with target audience

“The more keyword-rich content you generate, the more search engines will find (and love) you.” (HubSpot)

> To download the entire eBook from HubSpot, click here


Get Ready for the Bots – on Facebook Messenger

2Facebook Messenger was released 5 years ago and now has over 900 million users. Originally receiving a flood of negativity towards a standalone messaging app, compared to one simple Facebook app, users seem to be warming to it. The decision to make it standalone does make a lot of sense, since messaging is a big part of people’s lives nowadays and Facebook even bought the domain messenger.com to launch a version for web browsers last year. Their 900 million users will more than likely be merged with Whatsapp’s 1 billion users, which means that Facebook will have the personal phone number of every single user – sounds like $19 billion well spent.

 

Open for Business

So that’s humans covered. Where to go next? Facebook is now venturing into their next Messenger-based project: bots. If you haven’t been keeping up, Facebook launched Messenger Platform last month, which holds within it, chatterbots. Luckily, these bots are not machine learning bots, such as the disaster that was Microsoft’s Tay. They do have some humorous replies if provoked but they ultimately steer the conversation back to the subject they’re designed to cater for. Thanks to their highly advanced Send/Receive API, these bots are able to reply with actual structured messages, including links, images, hotel reservations, the weather etc. You may immediately compare this to Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, Google Now and Amazon Echo, but what sets bots on Messenger apart is the fact that businesses can develop them, which in turn gives them another way to develop customer service. Simply put, bots could end up changing the world by replacing humans in such job sectors. Without the bespoke customer service integration that Messenger bots provide, the above voice-activated services will most likely not be able to solve business-related queries themselves. Having said that, the way bots behave is very reminiscent of the way Siri does. Maybe they’ll talk to each other one day and we’ll get the best of both.

 

Customer Service and Added Value

So how can these bots work for brands? Well, eventually, every major company in the world will have an account, which will be a first port of call when contacting their company. The reason this is almost definite is due to Facebook’s already-mammoth-sized network of users. It doesn’t get any bigger than Facebook when advertising to individual people, so connecting Messenger bots (as customer sales reps, for example) is extremely attractive. Messenger codes, one of many things taken from Snapchat, will also make it easier for businesses to connect with their customers. One industry example is how bots will almost certainly change how banking works for the consumer, replacing an app or web-based system with a dialogue with a machine that is able to understand your every need. The option to send money within Messenger itself is highly likely too, like Snapchat allows. This could also eliminate the hassle of speaking to a bank’s voice recognition system when calling by telephone – no more time (and money) wasted by the dreaded “I didn’t catch that. Please try again.” These voice recognition systems are essentially bots done badly, but they’re based on voice, which is a lot more difficult to translate into zeros and ones. Plus, you cannot autocorrect your voice (yet). I can see this whole system being replaced by bots – it could even connect you to a human advisor with ease, as you’re most likely already using your phone. Even if you’re using the desktop version or Facebook Chat, I’m sure they’ll figure something out. Besides banks, what other markets will benefit from this? Restaurants, travel and possibly supermarkets with online shopping services are big industries for it to thrive. The healthcare industry could also be a large portion – Healthtap have already created their bot, which isn’t surprising considering one of the first ever chatterbots was called DOCTOR and simulated a psychotherapist. In fact, the potential amount of markets are endless for this stream of interaction – just like it is with human customer service.

 

At the end of the day, customers are moving towards messaging as their preferred choice of customer service. And as generations progress, it will no doubt become the standard – a phone call will most likely be reserved for long, meaningful conversations with friends and family, which in turn will add even more meaning to them. The phone call will no longer be taken for granted, but talking to robots will be.