Blogging has become part of online marketing for almost every successful business. Given time and consistent effort, it will produce results.
Whether you are selling B2B services to a sophisticated buyer or consumer goods, a business blog is your best tool to engage with customers and prospects. A well-branded blog can be the centerpiece of a successful content marketing program, promoting new ideas and giving you new material to feed social media and online marketing channels.
However, so many small business owners and entrepreneurs say they just don’t see the need for a blog. Or they start, and effort dwindles…. “It just wasn’t working” they say.
Writing and managing a business blog takes time and energy, and most business professionals who don’t like to write see blogging as a chore rather than a business asset. They would rather spend their time developing the next product or dealing with operations. The fact is, blogging is the least expensive marketing tool available, and it can be the most effective.
It doesn’t matter whether you are selling B2B products or services or selling consumer goods, blogging will help you expand your market base and give you a forum to talk directly to customers. Creating a company blog forces you to assess your brand message and focus on the value that your goods and services bring to the customer. Don’t make it a sales pitch. Each blog entry needs to tell a story that will capture the attention of potential customers, and engage them by sharing something related to your company and its brand.
In short, blogging gives you a forum to share your vision and keep your brand fresh for customers, prospects, and even employees.
Here are five reasons why your business needs a blog:
1. Create and promote your online brand – The blog is an ideal foundation for an online marketing program. A well-designed and thoughtful blog will generate new ideas and content that can be used for an inbound marketing strategy. It also gives you another platform to support your SEO strategy since the blog will provide fresh content that is rich in keywords. And the blog gives you new content to share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, and other social media channels to build your online following. You can even reuse your blog content as source material for a customer newsletter.
2. Demonstrate your market expertise – A company blog is the ideal platform to address market and industry issues while demonstrating your industry expertise. Use your blog to show what you know and what you think, and why customers should buy from you and not someone else. You can use the blog to address issues such as new industry standards, new trends, common customer problems, or other topics that matter to your customers.
3. Provide customer support – You can use the blog to talk directly to your customer base and address company issues or explain what’s happening with new products and services. You can use your blog to share good news and address bad news, or even apologize for a problem. The blog gives you a very public forum to explain to customers that you care about their needs.
4. Support lead generation – The company blog is your best tool to engage with customers and tell them about your products and why they should do business with your company and not someone else. You should never use your blog as an advertising platform; that’s the fastest way to drive online followers away. However, you can use the blog to engage with prospects until they are ready to step forward and become customers.
5. Build brand trust – Consistent blogging creates a consistent presence and promotes ongoing engagement with customers and prospects. That familiarity breeds brand trust. The more exposure customers and prospects have to your company through the blog, the more comfortable they become with your brand. Over time, they feel they know you, your company, and what you represent, and when the time comes to make a purchasing decision, they will go with the brand they feel they know and trust.
Granted, blogging can be time-consuming, and many executives aren’t comfortable writing for a public audience. If you want to create a company blog but don’t have the time, outsource it! There are thousands of professional writers who can help you tell your story and give your company an online voice for a moderate fee.
The important thing is to start blogging. You will discover that as you engage with customers, your blog will become an important part of your marketing program.