There is much to recommend blogging than its affordability. For the reluctant company boss, here are at least 9 benefits businesses gain by blogging:
1. Blogging improves your online visibility, pushing you up the search rankings
That old playground maxim “Finders Keepers Losers Weepers” applies. You cannot hope to succeed online if your customers cannot find you. The search engines rank search results based on the quality and relevance of the content they find. There are over 100 million blogs circulating on the Internet and for good reason. Today’s customer will begin a search for a business online which is why it is crucial to increase your online visibility. This is why it’s critical to optimize your organic search ranking. By posting frequent, high quality blogs you will find that you quickly accumulate a large amount of content that is rich in keywords. The search engine bots love this and as a result you will find your site moving up the rankings. Furthermore, if your content is well thought through, well referenced and well presented, your level of perceived authority on your subject can only increase in the eyes of search engines which will give a boost to how you rank for searches that are relevant to your business.
2. Blogging enables you to attract more targeted traffic
We all know that numbers of visitors will not bring in the cash. The important thing is to attract more of the traffic you want to your site – those who are searching for what you can offer them.
When you publish content that is relevant, engaging and authentic you will attract visitors to your site who can eventually become your advocates. Blogs are a great way for service providers to demonstrate their expertise or for product vendors to describe the particular benefits of their products. Blogs are an unrivalled forum for all marketers to highlight their passion for what it is they do. Whatever your business or niche, you can and should blog repeatedly about it and put yourself in your customers ‘and potential customers’ minds as experts on that subject.
3.Blogging personalises your brand
In today’s world, social is in. And for good reason – people buy from people. Most of us do not want to deal with faceless corporate money –making machine that churns out dull messages about dull products or services. Customers are looking for brands with personality that they can relate to and buy into. The tone of voice of the blogosphere is resolutely informal. It is in fact expected that you will offer a personal perspective, take controversial positions and show what is unique and likeable about your business.
4. Blogging provides a platform to disseminate company news.
Let’s face it. How many people really read your press releases? Probably not that many? This means that even your key customers may not be aware of the new services or products you have. And if you need to recall a product batch you would have to resort to more expensive means of communication if you did not have a blog. With a blog, you would have that platform which in turn could be linked to all your company’s social media platforms, at just one click.
5. Blogging can provide a means of differentiating you from your competitors
Competition on the web can be fierce- some niches more than others. The only way businesses can stand any chance of beating the competition is by presenting a compelling case for why people should buy from them and not their competitors; an implicit case for the benefits of doing business with you and not your rivals
What value can you bring that your competitors do not offer? If customers know that they are buying from an expert, they will feel more confident in that purchase and be more likely to return. Examples could be a guide of similar products in your niche with comparative features and benefits, a resource guide, a video demonstration of how to use a product etc
Providing differentiation is a challenge that in this age of information, takes great content to overcome.
This is a challenge that dates back to the genesis of marketing, but in the Age of Information, it's one that great content can go a long way toward helping you overcome.
6. Blogging encourages your customers to debate issues with you
Blogs are not one-way communication. This is what differentiates blogs from your old-fashioned brochure site or your standard company website, your press releases or your product brochures. Most blogs (not all…) will allow comments for people to respond. These comments are a great way to demonstrate the ‘softer skills’ of your team: customer service, relationship management and engagement
7. Blogging can help you build your customer base
The ongoing challenge of many a marketer is that of building a customer base. Google “List building” and you will get the picture.
An effective approach is to demonstrate your expertise through your content on the websites of those who share the same target audience as you – otherwise known as guest blogging. This will give you the opportunity to showcase your expertise in front of a new audience of prospects who will be more inclined to read your content on the basis of the implied trust given to you by the web publisher of that site.
If you're a fine wine blogger for example you could approach the owner of a foodie blog that sells fine wines and propose a topic of interest eg “ Italian vs. Spanish wines- a detailed comparison”. Sites such as ‘Whosyourblogger.net or Myblogguest.com are alternative ways of securing guest blogging gigs- the former is free, the latter paid after the first article.
This content driven approach will deliver a much bigger return on investment than your traditional offline or even online advertising.
8. Blogging sharpens your thinking on the key issues
One of the fringe benefits of high caliber blogging is that it forces you to think about the topics you blog about and clarify your thinking on them. This will see you researching topics to a much greater level than before to ensure that you have enough material for unique content. Blogging challenges you to be on top of key trends and on top of your game by staying in touch with new developments, shifting opinions and key people.
9. Blogging can help you get media coverage
Journalists increasingly use blogs as a source of news stories. Nowadays it is very easy to search for blogs in any niche using keyword alerts. Write a good enough article and you will be found eventually and asked to provide comment. This could take your message and your brand name to a much wider audience.
Blogging, whilst free to set up, is not free in terms of time, commitment and hard work. Although there are more than 100 million blogs in existence, blogs are not for everyone. However if you feel you have information worth communicating , or an in-depth point of view to offer then blogging is a good way to go. If you can communicate your experience, expertise, enthusiasm, product features and benefits through your posts you will experience the benefits of blogging in terms of traffic, respect for your site’s authority and popularity with customers.
Ihubbusiness members are entitled to a free blog site. Simply register as an ihubusiness member, confirm the link sent to you by email and start your blogging. That simple.
Photo credit: NotionsCapital
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