Blogging for your business – why do it?
I often see people who are in marketing saying how ‘everyone knows how important blogs are and why you need one’, but why would everyone know this or in fact be thinking about blogs?!?
People are normally so busy in their business and keeping the daily activity going, that blogs are quite a way down the priority list. Which is very reasonable and common!
Blogs do have their place in many businesses and can provide long-term value, but they have to be part of regular activity to start to take effect, and if an owner is just too busy then it’s understandable how blogging can slip. One of the key things to understand for blogs is that, they will not give you instant leads, but they can give you enquiries and opportunities in the long-term, it’s a game of patience and consistency!
Creating and writing blogs for some people can seem like a chore and hard work, with difficulty to see what their point is. Yet blogs form both a central part of content marketing – which is key to SEO with google and social media, but also customer relationships.
Creating a blog means you are giving something, rather than asking for something. This can make a huge difference in people’s expectation of your business.
Good blogs, and promotion of the blogs, can help build trust in your business. By showcasing your expertise and knowledge through advice and tips, then trust will be generated more easily, and people will see more clearly how you can help them, whether it’s with a product need or a solution.
Content and blogs also lasts a lot longer than paid for advertising, which is only live as long as you pay. Content can be found and referred to months after it was written.
Blogs are cost-effective in regards to the fact that it just takes time. For small business especially, this is easier said than done as other commitments generally get in the way. So there is the potential to outsource the content writing to an expert. There will be a cost for this, but then it can be considered to be an investment for the future of your business.
The organic long-term value of blogs and content can be more impactful than spending hundreds on lead generation. But it is not a quick fix for leads – you will have to spend money for this.
- Get a blog or content plan in place for each month.
- Start off with one topic a month, research it, provide your opinion and make sure it gives interest, plus make sure you proof read it – too many mistakes will put people off!
- Decide how you are going to share your blog – so via social media, or your email base for example.
- Plan to write about a range of subjects – so for example, industry news that impacts your sector, or new products you are launching and why, or advice on the benefits of a product. Think outside the box and come from different angles.
- Use a guest supplier or partner to provide blogs – so if you work with someone in your sector ask them for a blog on something they do that’s related, for example, I have been asked by a Women in Business site to provide a blog about creating a Marketing Strategy. This is free content for them and relevant to their audience, and exposure (and links) for my site and business.
- Look at leaders in your sector, what do they do? How can you create messages for your products and services that will give value to the reader?
- Be consistent – try to stick to a regular release of blogs. It shows you are keeping up to date with things.
Blogs help give insight into you and your business. If you are a small business and you are writing your blogs, then your personality will come through, from the tone of voice you are using though to the opinions and thoughts given.
Larger business can sometimes struggle with this, as the tone can be more formal, and there can be less passion about a topic. Strong brand guidelines are required in this situation.
From your tone and informative style, people will start to create a relationship with you.
Blogging isn’t just about reaching your customers, it’s also connecting with your peers, with industry publications and news channels and finding possible partnerships in your sector.
Be consistent so people can start to expect to see something from you. If you give out hints and tips regularly about beauty for example, then ensure you meet expectations to keep this going.
Google will also review (or crawl) your site on a regular basis, and finding new and relevant content will help you feature more prominently in rankings for relevant keywords.
The customers view
For most topics, then looking at it from the customer’s point of view is key. What interests them, what can help them, what should they consider or understand.
You are the expert on your business with lots of knowledge for your sector, but don’t assume everyone else knows the same. They would like to learn more, hear more and be given tips that can help them in various ways. Of course, don’t speak down to people either, make sure you are being helpful and not condescending.
Customers are looking for ways in which to get the most out of your products or services, so make it easy for them, and create custom content that gives them solutions, advice and guidance.
Blog your truth
Ultimately be honest in your blogging. If you are creating your own blogs, then write something you know is about adding value rather than just promoting your business.
Show integrity and show your passion for your subject.
If you have someone else creating blogs for you, then simply make sure that when you approve them they give clarity and the message that you wish to put across and still portray value and enthusiasm. A good content writer should be able to write content in the tone of voice that reflects your brand, and have good awareness of the type of message your audience wish to be seeing.
- Brand awareness
- Lead generation
- Lead nurturing
- Customer retention
- Customer referrals
- Cross sell / Up sell
It’s not just about using blogs as a tool to acquire new customers. It’s about keeping them on board with you for the long-term. Blogs can feature in activity for all of the above, you just need to plan in where and how to communicate your blogs effectively according to where your customers are in their life-cycle with you.
Videos and vlogging
Blogs and your plans for content can also lead to looking at how you can create videos to talk about a subject. For example, you may want to plan in a series of topics with short 1 min videos to promote the content and your business, giving tips and advice.
These should be planned in carefully and not be completely ‘off the cuff’. The videos represent your brand and business so they need to be concise, clear and to the point. But you don’t necessarily need to invest in lots of high-tech equipment, possible just a camera stand and a good light. The key element is what you are talking about and how succinct you are.
Part of the mix
Of course you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket and just focus on blogs. They need to be part of your marketing mix, and you need to use a range of channels that are suitable for your target market. But blogs should be in your mix to utilise in different ways. Plus you can refer back to them later on, and re-utilise the content you have.
The buying process
Buying behaviours and the customer journey is very different now. A lot of people look at what other customers say, and what their experience was before they purchase, especially for more niche products and services.
Plus you are likely to have 20 competitors directly behind you who can also offer the same, so you need a point of difference, and your knowledge, your point of view, your guidance and insight can make a difference. Blogs are a tool to help you do this.
So you can see that incorporating blogs as part of your marketing for the long-term can beneficial, but you can also see where patience is required.
Looking for help to get your blogs working for your business with a strong content plan – just contact Emma now – 07867794141.