Why Blogs are important for Business
By far one of the most common questions asked by small business owners, but not only, is “what is a blog going to do for my business?”.
A lot. No, really.
Small businesses have budget constraints that aren’t on the same order of magnitude of large companies and even if budget issues are non existing, it may seem risible the need to devote a percentage of the budget to writing articles. Paying a freelance content writer looks like a waste of a good budget that can be better spent for PPC advertising or other forms of marketing.
Point is, blogging is marketing. Adding a blog to your website is one of the cheapest ways to grow your website traffic consistently, attract new customers, build loyalty with old ones and possibly become a brand leader in your space.
Sounds too good to be true? Perhaps it is and accomplishing all that is no easy task. At the same time, blogging is a relatively cheap investment that repays itself over weeks and months.
Let’s thus discover the powers of a blog.
Increase traffic to your site
That’s the easiest point to make. If you add content to your site, the search engines will crawl and then index it, therefore making it available to visitors. The more content you cover, the more content that can be discovered by people. As this content is related to your business (you’re not going to write a ramen recipe on a business' website about cryptocurrencies, aren’t you?), you are going to attract visitors that are already interested in what you offer, thus potential leads.
This is basic SEO. Having a blog means for your business to have an updated and constant flux of content that will signal your presence to Google, and your authority to potential customers.
If the content is not there, nobody can find it. A business without a blog simply chooses to not compete with other businesses in this area. All pretty obvious.
Up to you. But why giving competitors advantages?
Attract new customers
As a consequence of more visitors, you will raise the potential number of new customers for your business. This is simple statistics. But you may rightfully be asking, how can you know that these new visitors are actually potential customers, thus leads?
Valid question. As said above, adding a blog to your website doesn’t mean rambling about whatever you want, but it should be a focused act to answer people’s questions, provide a source of information and show your expertise in your industry. That is providing value to visitors, that will spend time reading what you wrote on the blog, will know about your brand and will get interested in your products and services.
No guarantees, as in all things SEO and marketing, but your content, if valid, well-researched and engaging, will surely increase the chances that thousands of visitors may end up buying what you offer. Converting in the marketing parlance.
Hiring a content writer that is an expert in your area and doing a good keyword research before starting your blog is the combined best method to get your blog right from the start.
Creating good content that is related to your company will raise brand awareness, engage visitors and generate more leads by the sheer number of people that will spend time reading the content.
Again, easy and obvious perhaps, but many businesses don’t get this.
Show the issue and offer the solution
Not all blogs are created equal. Some are need-based, meaning that the content provides answers to questions and connects the readers to the solutions. These are the most straightforward to nail down.
Think about a financial blog talking about the housing crisis and what would be the best investment alternatives to real estate. Readers are already aware of the issue (houses losing value) and are looking for a solution. All you have to do is create a blog post that captures that issue and gives a solution.
Obviously, a solution that you can offer. Easy. This is a common strategy and by writing a blog about your potential customers' needs you will catch them when searching about those and offer the solution. These are the times where visitors are closer to becoming customers, as they are already looking to spend money on a solution to their problem before reaching your website.
Some other blogs are instead written from the opposite purpose: create an issue and then offer the solution.
Think of a patisserie selling special cakes for Halloween. Not all visitors looking to buy a cake may want one especially for Halloween, but by reading an article about one, with plenty of good photos in it, they might. That’s a lead that wasn’t present at the beginning, one that you just created by having a blog. It wouldn’t have been possible to get it without one.
You created the “issue” and offered the solution.
This type of blogging is trickier to get it right. The key is to make the content engaging and entertaining, so people will read it for fun. Once they do, the “issue” is served and the solution is embedded in it, in a single package.
Offer content that entertains, but centers on your product and services. The content will create the issue, your product/service will provide the solution.
Give your business results long after the initial post
A benefit of a blog that is rarely talked about. Content written today is often useful and valid for months, years, even more than a decade after the publishing date. It is an investment that repays itself thousandfold.
SEO experts will talk at length about the positive traffic of long tail keywords and such. Without going into the technicalities of this, it’s sufficient to say that if you commission a content writer with a blog post that is useful, well researched, answering a common problem or question and whose aim isn’t restricted to a specific timeframe (like an event or a news), it can remain valid for a long, long time.
The better the content, the longer it can stay relevant. The longer it is relevant, the more visitors it will attract to your blog.
As a business it is easy and natural to focus on customers and how to draw new ones. Understandably. But a blog can do not just that; it can help a company create a network around it.
How? You may be asking.
Think of social media, personal blogs that write about your industry and youtubers and similar. Depending what your products or services are about writing about them will attract shares on social media, reblogs and citations from the influencer crowd. That without you having to do anything else other than using a good content writer and having a blogging strategy.
No ad campaigns of any sort. The public will be your campaign.
Normal people, genuinely interested in what you wrote on the blog, will start a discussion, review it, criticize your articles and reshare it to their network, increasing your reach way more than you could have with just your website normal content.
Any company can write how good they are, how innovative and environment-friendly they are on their homepage. Most do. But nothing of that, true or not, is able to create a discussion and build a network of readers. Your “about us” or “history” pages aren’t up to this task. A blog is necessary.
Trust sells. No doubt about it. If consumers trust your brand, they will more easily spend money to acquire it. You can gain a definite advantage over your competitors by having more trust than them.
Guess what? A blog can help you in building that trust too. Readers will come back again and again if you are able to regularly update your blog with quality content, that is not just put up in 15 minutes by one of your team but by a professional copywriter. Mediocre content gets forgotten quickly and does nothing to build trust. Quite the opposite.
If your blog can genuinely show that you are a company that knows what it’s doing, and is interested in sharing their knowledge with the public in an engaging way, trust is only a natural consequence of it. It won’t happen overnight, but starting a blog is the first step in making it happen.
Give blogging a try
The power of a blog is endless. You can craft it in any way that matches your culture and core message(s). It can be highly technical or funny to read. It can provide a lot of solutions or just be exceptionally creative and entertaining to read. It is up to your marketing team to decide in which direction you want your blog to go.
But it is undoubtable that the sheer presence of a blog can give a significant advantage to your business compared to other companies that haven’t invested in one. If done correctly, it is considerably cheaper than PPC advertising and can bring you the same results. It can help gain new customers as well as retaining old ones.
Do not forget also the power of guest blogging on relevant websites within your industry. Even if you aren’t ready to start a blog on your websites, hiring a content writer to write a few guest posts on well-recognised websites or blogs within your industry can be a superb form of advertising. It will also get you a backlink to your website, which is invaluable when you’re a small player and need to increase your reach. Guest blogging can be cheap and a way to get started.
Blogging is here to stay even in the world of social media and youtubers. A stabler form of content in a fleeting world, blogging is a component of every marketing strategy nowadays.
Whether you want a single post or a whole blog, let’s connect with a free chat over email and see how I can help you with your blogging.