Social networking sites, including blogs, are visited by 75% of all global consumers who go online, a year-over-year increase of 25%, according to Nielsen Media Research. Because of their wide reach and ability to directly connect with target audiences, blogs are one of the most effective ways that companies have to reach consumers and potential consumers. While the thought of maintaining a blog full-time is enough to make some companies cringe, guest blogging for a reputable blog is another way to capitalize on this powerful form of communication, according to Loren Baker, social media strategist for Blue Grass, during the Search Engine Strategies at the Hilton Chicago.
Reputable blogs come equipped complete with a built-in audience. This is a major benefit for any brand, particularly when the blog is directly related to the product or service that your company offers. Some blogs have only a few subscribers, while other, more popular blogs can have thousands. Regardless of the number, if the subscribers are particularly interested in your product and have already expressed interest by opting in (subscribing), these viewers can be many times more valuable than wasted ad impressions on people who are not of your targeted demographic.
A ready-made audience can lead to an automatic increase in traffic to your own website. Of course, this means you have to include links and post products or information that is useful to these audiences. Ultimately, this can lead to increased brand recognition, but more importantly, it can lead to sales.
Guest blogging also offers a one-of-a-kind way to obtain feedback from customers and would-be customers. The very foundation of blogging and social media is two-way interaction. With that in mind, blog readers are more inclined than regular customers to share feedback about a brand. Sure, hearing what’s good about your brand is great, but oftentimes hearing what’s bad can help a company to improve its product or service.
And the very best benefit? It’s free. Sure, you can pay for an ad on the very same site or purchase Google Ad Words, but it doesn’t compare to the value that a guest blog post can render. Readers place a higher value on editorial content, or content that is not paid-for advertising.
The benefits to guest blogging are endless—from direct communication with your target demographic to gathering feedback. Now all that’s left is getting started.