So, why should your business blog?
1. Customer Relationship – Blogging allows you to connect with your customers on a more personal level since its nature is to be conversational. Depending on your business your customers may be daily, weekly, annual or sporadic and your blog offers a place to keep connected. Your blog can help you keep your customers informed, and even better it can help to grow community.
2. Reputation Management – What is the essence of your business? What is your business all about? What do you want others to know about you and your business? See, if we don’t share who we are, then we leave it up to others to write about us online. This has pros and cons. Typically unhappy people share their complaints more than happy customers share positive reviews. One wildly irate person might choose to dedicate a great deal of time and effort into making your business look bad. Your blog, and its archives reveal a great deal about your business. You have control of the messages and essence that you put out into the world of the internet.
3. SEO – Your blog can actually improve search engine rankings if you write SEO friendly articles and content. It lets the search engines know what your website is about since the search engine robots and spiders assimilate your relevant words. This can help your web pages pop up in the search query when a searcher enters in keywords that are on your website. We are over simplifying it a bit here for the purpose of keeping this brief. Do no underestimate the SEO factor and value in having a blog on your businesses website. *Tip* create appropriate links to pages within your site (internal links)This can encourage visitors to discover other relevant pages on your website, and it will also naturally help your search engine optimization.
4. Branding- Many of us look up a website before deciding to do business. It’s an opportunity to check the business out and see if they have a personality, if they seem knowledgeable, and helpful. The classic rule still applies: people buy from people they know, like, and trust. By reading your business blog, I get a feel for you and your business, and I begin to make decisions of whether or not I feel like I know, like and trust you and your business. You might be surprised that potential customers often look at your website prior to contacting you, and they are deciding if they’ll call you or your competitor. A blog can be a great branding tool when used properly.
5. Effective Promotion – Do you know that blog posts often times get tweeted, shared on Facebook, liked by Google Plus, they get recommended on social bookmarks, and some posts even get syndicated! Do you see the possibility for viral content and wonderful free promotion? Pretty exciting! Another aspect I’ll tie in here is: blogging allows you to share your message. Whereas social media shares the customers message *hint* You control the marketing message.
6. Provides Resourceful Industry Information – People are more internet savvy than ever before and many, many people like to do a fair amount of research before they make a purchasing decision. Your blog posts contain educational tips and information that the searcher is looking for. You can provide free education to your prospects and allow them to learn about your industry. Most industry’s love talking to an informed prospect and customer, and you can help in the education process!
7. Customer Feedback/Market Research – If you need to know what your average customer thinks about a new product or future company plans, then surveys embedded in blog posts or simple comment boxes can provide you with immediate consumer feedback. This is feedback that would otherwise take weeks or months to obtain. You can even use the blog to answer visitors’ questions.
Do you see how blogs Rock?!
Having a company blog will take time. You will need to provide some regular content, even if it’s just weekly or monthly, and you will want to take time to respond to comments as well.
There are some things you can do to ease the time issue such as put together and editorial calendar and have a handful of content writers, perhaps one or two from within your business, and one freelance writer who understands your business. Having several draft posts ready makes it less stressful for you to come up with a post each week.
Blogging can be a lot of fun, but more importantly it truly help grow your community of customers and fans and give you a global audience.
Questions or comments? Please share below.