If your business deals with people, online, offline, of for that matter, even on the phone line, then you need a small business blog.
Irrespective of the industry you operate in, your business stands to benefit from the goodwill you can generate by being the provider or enabler of high quality useful and free information.
Even in the most boring of industries, blogs have been known to spice things up and create a community around brands.
This post is designed to help you carry out a self-test to determine how much you stand to benefit from having a blog.
Do I have your attention?
Should you start a blog for your business?
Most businesses I have surveyed initially felt their business could not really benefit from having a blog. Do you feel the same way? The four questions below can align your thoughts as you arrive at a conclusion:
- Can your business benefit from new customers?
- Do your customers use devices like mobile phones or computers?
- Do they have access to the internet?
- Can you write interesting content relevant to your industry?
If your answer to any of the above questions is yes, then you stand to benefit from a review of what a business blog can do for you.
6 benefits of having a small business blog
Next, let’s look at all of the potential benefits of having a blog for your business. Chances are at least one of the following will appeal to you and your business goals.
1. Customer attraction and Retention Benefits
The number one reason why you need a blog is your customers. Having great content on your site is a good bait to drag in prospects in. How do you provide blog content in a customer focused manner?
It starts with determining the kind of content your audience is interested in? For instance, an insurance company may create compelling content on how companies may significantly reduce their insurance costs.
Also Check : How to Build a Strong Relationship with Your Readers
This will get readers into associating that company with affordable insurance. A lead capture form placed in the sidebar or below the post can then be used to capture readers into leads.
A blog also affords you the opportunity to create content targeted at engaging current customers. This content type would include product, service and industry news. Many marketers put too much premium on gaining initial visibility with their using traditional efforts like advertising.
The problem is that if those adverts do not lead to instant sales that would be money and effort down the drain. With a blog you have more time luxury, as you can engage with your prospect overtime until they are ready to make a buying decision.
2. Social Media Benefits
Does your business struggle with gaining popularity on social media? You can read here, contribution of social media in the field of marketing.
Shared blog content is much more accepted on social media than advertising. You’ve probably heard the 80 / 20 rule – only 20% of your social media updates should be about your business.
If you make that 20% a link to your valuable blog content instead of a promotion, you will gain more followers who are really interested in following your updates closely. The more readers who share your content, the more your business will gain in social media exposure.
If you use the official Twitter retweet button on your blog posts, you can set it up to include your username. That way, when your readers tweet your blog posts, they get a message to follow you on Twitter. Likewise on Facebook, if you update your page with your latest blog post, fans can share that update which will link back to your page, thus giving you the chance to increase your Facebook fans.
Unlike product or service pages, great content has the potential to go viral. It’s not often that a business can share a link to a product page on their website and get hundreds to thousands of shares on social media (unless you’re Apple releasing a new version of the iPhone).
3. Search Engine Optimization Benefits
Search engines love blogs with valuable content resources. Your blog can help boost your websites search engine rankings through providing regularly occurring quality content updates. Such content flags search engines that your business has a quality website. Google has been working especially hard to rid search results of low-quality sites. One of the footprints they look at in determining whether a website is good or not is the website’s content profile.
Hence, having unique, quality content on your blog will let Google know you deserve to have better rankings in search engine.Your authoritative blog content is also a smart way to attract high quality backlinks from other websites, forums and social networks.
Apart from sending you a stream of targeted visitors you can eventually convert into leads, these links act as votes or attestations to the quality of your content in the eyes of search engines. Blog content can help you rank for long-tail keyword phrases.
Let’s say you have a pet supply store. There are only so many keywords you could target with your homepage and product pages. With blog content, you can go much further.
Use the Google AdWords Keyword Tool to find extended phrases for your main keywords. Instead of just targeting ‘dog grooming’, you could have content that targets ‘dog grooming tips’, ‘dog grooming tools’, ‘do it yourself dog grooming’, and many more related terms.
The people who search for those keywords and find your content might just become customers of your store.
4. Collect market intelligence
Having a business blog gives you the opportunity of seeing the world through the eyes of your customers. Getting insight from your audience about where your products and services should be headed is a smart way to grow a business.
If you are waiting to get that insight through traditional channels like feedback forms and surveys, you may have a hard time having a reliable ‘feeler’ as most customers may not have the motivation to fill out a feedback form.
A comment form on a blog post is another thing, as readers are more willing to air their views after reading a great article. The comment section of your company’s blog presents you with a great opportunity build a community of active individuals who are passionate about your company’s brand and can serve as brand advocates both online and offline.
Also Check : 5 Killer Ways to Get More Comments On Your Blog
By fostering an active discussion, your company can truly be said to receptive, as customers will address questions to real persons inside the company, often providing insight on opportunities for new content.
5. Trust Building Benefit
Have you ever wondered that people seem to buy more readily from companies they have had a number of interactions with? It is because of trust. Conversations are the building blocks of relationships, and relationships lead to trust.
Having a business blog provides a platform for you to establish connections with your audience and share experiences and perspectives, which engenders mutual trust. Ideally, those interactions ought to be in person, but most companies just do not have the time to start one on one conversation with all their customers.
A blog presents a viable alternative to face to face interactions by providing social media channels and interactive contents. Your blog content is therefore a trust building magnet, and as your audience is repeatedly exposed to your authority of thought, it becomes so much easier for them to opt into your lead generation funnel.
Repeated exposure to resourceful content helps build familiarity between you and your prospects, and over time this creates an atmosphere of trust that makes sales much easier.
6. Brand Building Benefits
Last, but not least, having a business blog can do wonders for your online reputation. Become a leader in your industry. If your business blog produces valuable content, then you can use that content to position yourself as a knowledge leader in your industry.
SEOmoz, for example, is a well-known resource for SEO information. This leads tons of people to their website where they get a chance to sell a premium membership to their SEO tools.
The highlight is: your business blog should dominate search results for the right reasons. Aside from popping up to potential customers, you’ll want your blog to rank on the first page for your business name to push down any potential negative results including bad reviews or bad press.
Be the first resource people go to in the event of a crisis. If your business has a crisis (product recall, service outage, public scandal, etc.) then you will want your customers to know that they can come to your blog for the latest news.
To establish this mindset, you have to be vigilant about publishing fresh content and news on a continuous basis on your blog. This will prevent people from relying on outside sources for news you should be handling.
Hopefully these reasons are compelling enough to convince you to start your business blog today. Which of these reasons do you find most compelling in your case?