Blogging is not a new concept to the World Wide Web. It started as Web Logs whereby users shared their daily experiences, like an online journal. Then it became known as blogs, used to share all categories of information from news articles to educational material and having the flexibility to be used in countless number of ways. Smart businesses now incorporate blogging into their digital marketing plan in order to promote their online visibility and drive more traffic to their websites. Companies in Cameroon can use this tool to their advantage with the over 2 million active internet users in the country and millions abroad to promote their brand. Applying this strategy will take digital marketing in Cameroon to a whole new level!
A typical web page of a company is Static, with not much new information being published often and hence few visitors, except those who already know the link to the website. With a blog on the other hand, fresh content is published often and these articles (most preferably) would include keywords of educational material about a product or service being offered by the business. If this is done right, the blog could get visitors from all over the globe who would then discover the site and business that runs the blog and they could just become subscribers and long-term customers through marketing Automation and e-mail marketing.
What is more? A blog is so versatile that it allows for social media sharing which would reach more persons and increase traffic that convert to customers or leads.
Blog posts often allow for comments and the ability for customers to interact with the writer and site administrator(s). This builds rapport, a solid relationship, foundation for trust and people want to do business with a brand they can trust. Business blogs that educate readers about a product or service and publishes valuable information shows the expertise of the brand and authority in their niche, hence would likely be visited more often and have more customers.
Businesses that blog also create a more relatable atmosphere for their customers. By sharing perhaps entertaining content, pictures and reports of activities and events in blog posts, customers build a better connection to the brand’s vision and personality
Starting a blog entails having a domain name and hosting and incorporating a web design. There are a variety of blogging platforms, with free and paid plans available such as Wordpress.com, Wordpress.org, Blogger, amongst others. A blog can also be placed in a sub-domain as part of a company’s website such as https://www.digitalgong.com/en/blog. This is the preferred hosting plan for a business as to becomes easier to know it is the company’ blog. After set-up, the real work begins – which is publishing valuable content, which needs to reach readers but how do you get them to come? This is where the application of search engine optimization and internet marketing comes into play.
When an internet user types a word or sentence into the toolbar or search bar of a search engine such as: Google, Bing or Yahoo, web pages which have been highly optimized with the right settings and maximum number of keywords appear first on search engine result pages. Most users would click to view a site that comes up at the first page of their search; hence to increase visibility and the chances of being visited. Blogs have to adopt SEO optimization techniques. These techniques include; making adjustments to the site’s HTML and coding so it is more noticeable by search engines bots or crawlers and improve indexing; editing its content to be SEO friendly by including targeted keywords and inserting its link as a referral in the posts of other highly visited sites in Cameroon and beyond this SEO technique is known as backlinking.
Now that readers are flooding in, how is this made profitable?
Time spent on site, bounce rates, referral links, page views – the availability of data about your website visitors can surprise even the best Bloggers and even web developers in Cameroon. How do you know what data is important to your blog and how do you use this data for its success?
Web analytics if well implemented enables businesses to design a good content strategy which permits them to deliver content to the right audience at right time. Analysing pages with high page views that also have high exit or bounce rates shows us that the article is presumably valuable but the user doesn’t have a clear track to follow after reading it. The results of the web analysis help us to think of ways to retain the reader: Can we introduce a feature showing more related content? Can we anticipate the reader’s intent after reading the article and clearly show a helpful path for him or her to take?
With traffic coming in through the company’s blog to its website, there are several ways to generate income:
When visitors visit a blog for information, they get to discover the company’s brand and its products and services. They may then make a purchase thereby increasing sales. As subscribers, new products and services are advertised directly to their inbox and there you have it, a larger customer base!
After being established as a trusted authority in their niche, other companies with complementary goods or services may pay for advertisement of their product on your company’s site. Here, the advertising company makes a commission out of every sale made.
This entails placing ads on the site. However, it is important to know the customer base and only place ads which could be helpful and not overcrowd the site making it unpleasant to visit. With Pay Per click(PPP) ads, some revenue is made whenever a customer clicks on the banner. With Pay per Impression ads, the website gets paid after generating impressions for the advertising company.
When a company has built a huge subscriber base online, who follow and read their content on daily basis, this company can organize webinars for a more iterative information sharing. webinars are online seminars where customers learn something new or share ideas. It makes attending a seminar without having to travel and if the content is valuable with respected Speakers on board, customers can pay to attend.
The site can connect companies and jobseekers using a job board at a fee. This would also add revenue.
Blogging is an effective way of driving traffic to a company’s website when it is done the right way. Investing time in producing quality and useful content is a step that cannot be skipped. The readers need to have reason to come back in order for them to. They need to trust the brand and feel connected so as to become loyal subscribers and customers. This hard work can pay off big time in the long run. When marketing and advertising, be sure to refer premium products so as to sustain the company’s credibility and integrity Minimizing ads to only few and very useful links and banners will also make the site more authentic.
Good luck blogging!
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