Blogging is a marketing strategy that we hear a lot about - many businesses are using it to great effect. However there are still many businesses who are not blogging at all.
Why is that so many businesses are not currently blogging?
One reason is that businesses owners feel that they don’t have enough time. They do not understand which subjects they should be blogging about. They are unsure of the blogging writing style. Many businesses are simply unaware of the benefits of blogging for their business. Does this sound familiar?
So what is blogging all about?
'Blog' is short for 'web log' - it's an online journal, a place you can post regular pieces of information, news, and opinion. Through your blog articles you are advising, informing and teaching new and existing customers about your industry, your products and services, and your business.
Several employees in your business can be involved in writing your blog articles; you don’t have to do this alone. And there are LOTS of strong reasons to blog regularly...
So what are the benefits of blogging for your business?
1) Build an audience - and a database
Regular posts that are interesting, informative or entertaining will encourage prospects to regularly follow your blog. This is why you need to tailor your blog article subjects so that they are clearly focused on your target markets, and what will appeal to them. This will maximise the interest you gain for your blog articles and will encourage prospects to recommend your blog and website to other businesses that may require your services.
Ensuring your website has a sign up box which allows prospects to register for regular blog updates means you are gaining new contact email addresses all the time. Once they have registered their details, every time you post a new article they will receive the post directly to their inbox. Therefore you are using a drip strategy to gradually build a relationship with your prospects and keep your brand name 'top of mind'.
Once you have their contact details you know they are interested in what you have to say. You can then offer them to join your newsletter list or special offers/news lists so that you can keep in regular contact with them. By doing this, when those prospects are ready to buy you will be the first company they think of.
2) Educate your customers, prospects... and yourself
Researching and writing articles about your products/services or your industry means you will help prospects learn more to make better buying decisions, and understand the value you offer. But the process of writing these articles will also improve your own knowledge and help you clarify your thoughts on the subjects you choose to write about.
3) Increase search traffic
Your blog success is greatly impacted by Search Engines. Your rankings within Search Engines will have a great impact on how many people will click through and read your blog articles. When people perform their searches now, they are becoming much more precise with their search phrases. In the past people would type one or two words in to their search, this is not the case anymore. People are being much more specific with their search phrases and getting much more tailored results - and blog articles are a great way to get found for these specific searches.
You can use Google’s keyword search tool to establish which search words are most competitive. With this in mind, your blog article titles as well as being engaging, should be longer and include specific words or phrases which relate to your content. You should be using long tail keywords. This will increase the traffic to your blog article, which in turn will increase the traffic to your other website pages.
4) Promote company announcements, news and offers
Blogging is not restrictive. You can blog about a range of industry subjects as well as your company announcements, news and special offers. You may have been involved in a range of charitable events to fundraise for charities. This can be included on your blog and shows your company’s interest in the broader community, implementing a corporate 'social responsibility' strategy. You may want to inform prospects of innovations within your industry and how they will impact on everybody.
You may also be launching special offers relating to a few of your products and services or several products. Your blog is one of the areas you should announce these. Special offers can also be announced through your other channels such as email marketing and social media. This maximises the awareness to potential prospects about your business capabilities.
5) Makes social media more effective
Many businesses are unsure of what they should be posting on their social media profiles such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Many struggle with uploading regular engaging posts for all their followers to see. Your blog articles will provide you with targeted subjects which can be shared on your social media profiles. All you will need to do is post the website link to your articles and include a brief comment to encourage people to read your articles. Your blog is providing you with the regular social media content you will need. However there are additional posts you can include on your social media profiles. You can upload photos about your business, special offers and much more.
For more information on what to post on Facebook, read this article: What should I post on Facebook?
6) Attract people earlier in the buying cycle
People go through different stages when buying a product or service - first they realise they need help and might start with general searches like 'how to solve X problem'. At this stage they are performing a more general search, they are still in research mode. Writing blog articles that answer these specific questions will mean your content can rank well and these prospects can discover your business before they've even fully realised they need your product or service.
Once people have realised they need a particular product or service, they will usually do their homework - doing searches like 'product X reviews' or 'best place to buy product X'. During this research period prospects are looking at the companies they think will provide them with a good quality product or service. They are comparing you against your competitors. Again, blog articles which answer these specific queries will mean you are able to get the attention of buyers - and it is important to use a call to action within each of your posts to encourage people to find out more about your business.
Calls to action can include: a link to download a brochure, a message to call your company to find out how you can help them with a particular product or service. It could also to be to register for one of your special offers, newsletters and more. With regular calls to action you are increasing interaction with your business.
Your range of blog articles create many additional benefits for your business. You can send the links to potential customers so they can gain a deeper understanding into a particular product or service of yours. This will further encourage them to choose your business and encourage further sales for you. Additionally it helps customers with their buying decision. Not only this, it encourages people to write reviews and leave comments about your business.
Therefore you are expanding your businesses positive reputation within your industry.
With your blog articles you are informing and advising prospects of what they should be looking for in relation to different products and services. You can provide them with buyers guides so they know the different options available for their particular budget. You can also answer the frequently asked questions that many prospects are unsure and need reassurance about.
7) Establish your business as an expert
You want to achieve a scenario with your blog so that you have a large number of frequent followers. This will raise your businesses profile within your industry. It will increase the number of people recommending your services to others. You additionally want to increase the number of people recommending and sharing your articles, increasing your exposure and target market.
You want to showcase your business as having the latest knowledge on all current and future industry advancements and changes. By doing this you are raising yourself above your competition. This in turn will gain more enquiries for your business as well as sales. This is why it is so important to be choosing the most relevant subjects for your articles. Your articles will be picked up through Search Engines and you want to encourage positive comments about your articles. You want people to share articles through social media to increase the awareness of your business.
And remember you do not need to do this on your own, you can enlist the help of a professional agency to help you or even get all your staff involved. One thing is for sure – blogging is the way forward if you want to secure your place as an industry leader and keep that one step ahead of your competitors.
Article by Laura Morris-Richardsonphoto credit: Kristina B via photopin cc