This isn’t the first article you’ll read about why you should blog for your business, and it probably won’t be the last. But it might be the one that makes you think about it all a bit differently.
There’s certainly no shortage of blog content online. It’s the way businesses get to tell you about themselves, give you advice and share their expertise. It’s how they communicate their passion for their work or their products – it’s how they share their story.
So, if you’re not blogging are you missing out? The answer is ‘yes’- and here’s why:
A blog connects you with your potential customers
This is important. Customers put in a lot of groundwork before they buy. They read information, they compare prices, they look at reviews and they ask for recommendations. The more you can connect with a potential customer, the more likely they are to buy. More often than not, as any content marketing service will tell you, potential buyers go online to research. They want to find out more. They want to find a supplier that they are comfortable with and they feel they can trust. That doesn’t come from a hard sell on a website – it comes from sharing information and articles that build a connection.
A blog keeps people coming back
It used to be that you hosted your blog on a dedicated site or on your website and had to wait for people to find it and read it. Social media means that you can now tell people about your latest blog and send them straight to it. Making it easy for your reader makes it more likely that they will come back. A series of blogs is a great way to do this – break down a set of information into five or six blogs that give your reader some really useful content. If your blog is interesting, useful and easy to read, they’ll come back for the next instalment.
A blog lets you share your expertise
Your blog lets you demonstrate your knowledge and builds you credibility. If you are giving people hints, tips, ideas, or pointing them towards other useful content, you’re showing that you know what you’re talking about. This builds confidence in your ability to deliver your product or service when the time comes. If you enlist content marketing help, you’ll see that you can break down your expertise and apply it in lots of different ways. Looking at how you then appeal to your target customer, giving them genuinely useful advice, they will be more likely to remember you when they are ready to enquire or buy.
A blog is a gateway to your next sale
Blogs are great ways to connect with people you’ve met through networking, or who have been referred to you by others. Maybe you hear that someone has a problem, or is looking for ideas about how to approach something. If you have a blog that covers the subject, you can forward it to them with a covering note. This makes a connection, fulfils the requirement that your prospect has and establishes you as someone who really wants to help. That makes it far easier for your prospect to take the next step and ask how you can help them.
A blog is good for your SEO rankings
Search engines rank content by relevance. The more relevance it finds in your content, the higher it will put you in the search results. But this only works if you have two things: regularly updated content and an understanding of the keywords to target. This is a topic for a separate article, but the equation is easy: If a search engine is looking for good quality, relevant, interesting and new content on a subject that’s relevant to your business, you need to be generating that content.
Things you might need to get started
Writing a blog isn’t as easy as it may seem. To begin with, you need a plan. This is something you can outsource to a virtual marketing content coordinator who can work with you to produce a monthly content plan that matches your business strategy and talks to the right people.
You’ll then either need to write the blogs yourself, or get a professional writer to help. This might sound like an expense but, like many day-to-day tasks, it will save hours of your time and so is an investment rather than a cost. You might also want to look into using a content marketing assistant – a remote resource is probably enough for a small business. This is someone who can manage your content for you – put it on your website, share it on social media, source images and make sure the links are in the right place.
You’ll need a dedicated page on your website to host your blogs so that readers can find them easily, and you’ll need to think carefully about your calls to action, so that the reader knows what to do next – download a help sheet? Take a test? Register for an event? Whatever it is, be clear and make sure it’s easy for them to do.
If you’re ready to start a blog for your business, the strategy has to come first. You must know why you want to do it and think about what you can share and how it fits in with your marketing plan or your business strategy. If you’re not sure where to start, feel free to call us on 0800 994 9016 or use our contact form in the menu above.