A blog is an online journal hosted on your site where you share (post) your thoughts, opinions, and offerings on relevant topics. It changes your website from a static, simple brochure site to an interactive place where people leave comments and come back to visit often. Frequent, consistent blog posts also improve your search engine ranking.
Benefits of Business Blogging:
- Increases Traffic – Blog visitors and commentators increase traffic, and a blog that links to a website and social media accounts will generate additional page views and clicks.
- Improves Search Rankings – Recent changes to Google’s search methods (Panda and Penguin) have made blogging even more vital. The various search engines have increased the significance and the importance of blogs and social media in their results.
- Creates Qualified Leads – As you generate and post relevant, custom content to your blog you will attract the right visitors (leads).
- Reduces Marketing Costs – Surveys report that blogs can reduce costs per lead by 62% over traditional marketing methods.
- Improves Sales – Higher traffic rates and increased lead quality provide an increase in sales.
- Produces Publicity for your Company – Other companies will link to a blog that proves valuable to them, and they will also comment or share on social media – effectively broadcasting your brand.
- Attracts Additional Business Connections – With an increased online visibility and raised awareness as an authority in your industry, your company interests other companies that want to connect with you.
- Informs and Instructs – Your blog can function as an online classroom, educating your visitors prior to a sale – even after business hours.
- Collects Valuable Insight – Through their comments and feedback, potential customers will voice what they like and dislike. Guided by that live customer input, those shared comments can direct you in fine-tuning products and services.
There can be a few challenges that businesses face, when starting a blog but they are all solvable. I find many companies are hesitant to engage with a blog as it requires commitment both in thought and time. Also, the elusive yet effective business blog is often overlooked for the more popular Social Media tools, like Facebook. Another challenge is finding someone (internally or externally) that has the expertise, will, and skill to develop and post a blog (at least once a month). In beginning a blog the next step is to figure out what to write about. Here are a few things to think about, when starting a blog:
Some Tips to Developing Blog Content:
- Understanding your target audience will help determine what to blog about.
- Set goals for a blog (how often you want to post, what types of articles, etc.)
- Ask your audience questions to get feedback
- Provide solutions to common problems in your industry
- Offer tips that make things easier for your customers
- Write custom, compelling content (Google’s latest releases have specific tools for Google to find and de-rank canned content!!!)
- Look at Industry news for blog topic ideas
- Look at competitors’ blog posts to see how they do it, and what they write about
- Make video interviews of experts in your industry
Trends show spending on direct mail and telemarketing is decreasing and research evidence reveals business blogging as a path to growth – and small businesses are leading the way on blogging and inbound marketing.
An important component to any business blog is a call-to-action – either to subscribe, attend a seminar, make an inquiry or purchase, or get a discount (coupon) or free trial of your products or services. Don’t forget to include a call-to-action in every blog post to help generate leads!
While a business blog might not be as appealing to some as the latest, coolest social tool, it is definitely a powerful marketing tool that should not be overlooked or ignored.
Share below a challenge or success you had in business blogging. We want to hear from you!