The benefits of blogging for business

In this post we will get to know what a blog is, what blogging for business could mean for your business, and how ASX listed company peers are blogging now..

First and foremost…

A blog is an easy-to-use platform for connecting with and sharing relevant information with your audience. It is a simple direct communication channel.

Why blog?

Here are 5 reasons to consider adding a blog into your communications mix:

  1. Blogs are a great place to talk about things that are occurring around your business that aren’t necessarily material, but are of interest to shareholders.  For instance, you could discuss more detail on business wins, share insights, tips and ideas, promote your products and services, recap events and discuss other industry news – such as whitepapers or reports that have been written by a third party, but would be relevant to your audience. Blogs effectively act as free public relations and a great way to attract, appeal and relate to your audience. Each time you publish a blog post, you produce one more opportunity for your site to rank with search engines and to be shared within your company’s social media channels or by other readers.
  2. Search engines love content and blogging is one way to gain further online visibility for your important projects and news. Blogs contribute positively to search engine optimisation.
  3. If your blog is properly embedded within your main website, it will have the added benefit of boosting your overall website traffic.  You can then use the blog to redirect visitors to other parts of your site, where you can influence a buying decision as part of their investor journey, or further educate them on points of importance.
  4. People need to see your website for it to be a valuable marketing asset.
  5. By keeping a close watch on your blog and website analytics, you can form a good picture of the kind of content that your audience likes to consume. Not measured is not managed – in our recent post we talk about the success factors of an IR focused web presence and Measuring your efforts is an important part, you can learn a lot from your traffic.

IRM and Blogs

Blogging is one of the most valuable online tools that businesses can use to engage with stakeholders

If your business is not blogging yet, but you’re curious about the idea, it’s relatively simple to get set up, and once you start, you’ll find stories all around your business.

IRM started its blog late in 2014, and blogging has now become a regular part of our thinking. Via this blog, IRMatters, we write about our company updates, new projects that our clients have completed, thought leadership topics relating to investor relations and communications, and we seek guest blogs from experts around our business.

Since we started blogging in earnest, our website traffic has increased markedly, and we’ve had more engagement with our clients. The engagement was really our primary goal – we wanted to ensure that in between visits to or phone calls with customers, we had a means of keeping everyone up to date on things that might be of interest in our relationship. The strategy has been working well, and we’ve enjoyed receiving feedback from customers along the way – it helps us to focus on what’s relevant.

Getting Started

Installing a blog that seamlessly integrates with your main or corporate website is a fairly swift and simple process.

We install blogs as a subdomain to your main site – eg. blog.yourcompany.com, which provides your audience an easy way of remembering how to get there, and provides you a direct address to use on your ASX announcements, email signatures and other documents.

We would typically use an existing blogging platform, such as WordPress, for your blog. Using this approach means you can access all the smarts you might be used to from a prior blogging experience, and you also gain the benefit of WordPress’ search engine optimisation plugins.

We can style the blog to look just like your existing site, or can make it look a bit different, depending on your preference.

In the example of NZbrokers below, we’ve integrated the blog within the existing site.

URL: http://blog.nzbrokers.co.nz/

In the example below, we’ve worked with Austbrokers to deliver a similar solution – a good looking blog, which seamlessly fits in with their existing corporate site.

URL: http://blog.austbrokers.com.au

To make the blogging function even more valuable, we can link your blog in with a latest news category on your main corporate website.

For example, with our blog, IRMatters, as soon as blog posts are published, we automatically publish these to pages on our main website. This acts as an additional way to drive traffic to our blog posts, but also enables people looking for news on our conventional news page to find our latest updates.

We also take it a step further – to get the most out of our posts, we share them via our social media channels. Where we’re blogging about listed companies, we include corresponding hashtags and cashtags. Finally, we note articles of interest when we send emails out to our valued customers – again, our primary goal is to keep in touch, keep our relationships fresh and remain engaged.

Thinking about setting up a blog?

We’ve been enjoying keeping IRMatters up to date and the feedback from customers, and we know from working with a few of you that it’s fairly simple to get going with blogging.  We’d encourage you to consider a blog, and if you’re thinking about setting one up get in touch with Danny Hunt at IRM, who can discuss your needs. Reach Danny via email: danny.hunt@irmau.com or phone: +61 2 8705 5444, or see www.irmau.com for more detail.