The Internet has provided business owners with a wealth of possibilities for driving traffic, generating leads and ultimately obtaining customers. One of the most popular and effective options is to create a business blog. According to HubSpot, “nearly 40% of US companies use blogs for marketing purposes and companies that blog have 55% more website visitors.” This data proves how big blogging has become for companies and the benefits it offers. Let’s get into the specifics of why you need a business blog.
With more and more people turning to Google and other search engines to find everything under the sun, getting your business’s website ranked highly is crucial. Since the majority of search engine users don’t click beyond the second page of results, it doesn’t do you much good if you’re not on the first two pages. One of the best ways to receive a top ranking is by blogging. This is helpful for several reasons:
As your blog post count continues to rise, your SEO should continually improve as more respect is earned from search engines. An added benefit is that it’s possible to receive a considerable amount of traffic from keywords you’re not even trying to rank for. Due to the nearly infinite number of keyword combinations, you can appear in search engine queries that weren’t even on your radar. The more content there is, the more traffic your site should receive.
At the core of most successful companies is a community of loyal customers. This group acts as a strong foundation that brings in repeat business and also spreads the word to others, while validating the company as being legitimate. These individuals are sometimes known as brand ambassadors who go above and beyond to aid in the success of a company. While there are several ways to build a community, maintaining a business blog is one of the best.
By creating high quality posts and routinely engaging your audience, it inevitably sparks a discussion. One person chimes in with a comment which leads to another person doing the same. As information is exchanged and relationships are formed, your audience has the opportunity to get to know you, your employees and each other. Over time, this can lead to the formation of a thriving community where everyone is interacting and learning. In turn, this keeps existing community members coming back and new ones coming in to see what the buzz is all about. This means plenty of exposure, added credibility and the potential for more sales.
Another perk of a community around your business is that it’s a natural catalyst for valuable input. For a business to maintain itself and keep growing, it needs to always be in touch with its customer base. Otherwise, losing touch with customers is one of the quickest ways lose brand equity and flounder. By allowing your audience to voice their opinions via comments following blog posts, it will immediately tell you what you’re doing right and what could be improved.
This is like getting feedback straight from the horse’s mouth and from the people who matter most – your customer base. Some companies spend thousands or even millions of dollars on exhaustive campaigns to figure out what their customers want. Blogging, reading comments and responding to them is a great way to cut to the chase and gain an objective perspective that should keep your business on the right track.
Developing a Personality and Brand Identity
A large part of ensuring longevity involves distinguishing your business from the masses. That’s why companies like Apple and McDonalds have thrived. They have been able to create a unique personality and brand identity which makes them immediately noticeable and memorable. Blogging is the perfect platform for businesses that have a certain style and message, but need some polishing. By having a single writer or group of writers regularly contribute to a blog, your audience will quickly get a taste of your personality.
Whether you take a casual and slightly sarcastic approach, or a more formal one, blogging provides an excellent outlet for branding. This is beneficial because it gives your business the opportunity to transcend a single product or service and become your own unique entity. When compared to competitors who have no real identity, this can be a serious advantage.
In order to get potential customers over the buying hump, it often depends on earning their trust. Before people spend their hard earned money on a product or service, they want to know that the company is competent and professional. They also want to know that their purchase will solve a problem or enrich their lives. To turn leads into conversions, it usually takes time and a sincere effort to gain trust. This is a huge factor because it’s one thing that money simply cannot buy.
Providing your audience with insights pertaining to your industry is a great way to show that you know your stuff and that they should pay attention to what you have to say. For instance, a dentist might create articles that explain teeth whitening techniques or flossing tips for healthy gums. A mechanic may create posts about maximizing a car’s gas mileage or tips for changing a flat tire.
Regardless of the industry, blogging is the perfect medium for showing what your business brings to the table and acquiring trust from your demographic. Claiming authorship on Google+ can take it even one step further and will display your headshot along with a brief bio next to your articles in Google search rankings. As readers make the connection between you and your content, this can be monumental in gaining trust.
Proving You’re Reliable
Along with this, adhering to a steady posting schedule is a subtle way of letting consumers know that they can count on you. In most cases, two to three quality blog posts per week is sufficient for keeping readers interested and proving that you’re on the ball. Otherwise, only creating a half-hearted article once every few months can be counterproductive and raise questions about your dependability. Fortunately, even one or two writers can usually produce the necessary amount of posts with relative ease.
An added advantage of running a business blog is that it requires only a minimal financial investment. If you create content in house, the only expenditure is the cost of hosting and the only real investment required is your time, which is also minimal. If you choose to hire professional writers and/or developers, the costs are still relatively low in comparison to many other marketing techniques like pay per click advertising. This tends to level the playing field between small and large companies, which is a real breakthrough if your business is an up and comer.
Want more information on content marketing? Head over to our comprehensive guide on content marketing here: The All-in-One Guide to Planning and Launching a Content Marketing Strategy.