“Should my company create a business blog?” or “Why should my company create a business blog?” I get asked these questions a lot by business owners, marketing managers, and the like. Well, to answer the first question of whether or not the company you own or work for should develop a business blog, my answer is a resounding YES.
As for “why”, or the specific reasons every brand should have a business blog and be creating industry-specific content; I’ll list 8 concrete reasons I believe every company should have a business blog below:
Creating content, or writing articles for your business blog, allows you to display your company knowledge on a particular subject. The more valuable, helpful information you provide regarding topics that would interest your potential customers, the more top of mind your brand will be to your target audience. If you are constantly providing accurate, reliable, and relevant information on your chosen subject, you will become an authority figure, or subject matter expert in that field.
As much as I wish this weren’t true, people tend to believe something just because it’s written on the internet. If someone searches for an answer to their question, they usually believe the results they come across are reliable and true… I mean, it’s listed on Google, right? Well, unfortunately that isn’t always the case. By posting content on your business blog regarding subjects that you and your company are experts on, you are educating your audience.
Here are a few examples of how to educate your audience with content you post on your business blog:
Industry related content – write a post in a way that answers the most common questions your prospects would have that are related to your niche or industry. Include current events, and stay relevant. Provide those reading your business blog with recent, accurate information that will keep them informed of any important industry updates. Perhaps you, as a Real Estate Agent, should include an up to date report on some housing stats and figures for 2013. Or maybe as an expert on mergers and acquisitions, you should provide a detailed summary of the most important items to consider before selling or merging your business.
Detail oriented or “How-to” style content – provide lists of specifics that would be helpful and valuable to your audience. If you are a hair stylist, post a how-to video on your business blog that shows those interested a step-by-step tutorial on creating a wedding up-do at home. Or maybe, a recipe for prospects of your new skin-care line to follow while creating an at home skin care mask using only items in their kitchen.
Product or Service Information – these posts for your business blog will be for those that are already customers, have already made a purchase, or are in the purchase decision stage of buying. Include valuable information on the best, or most creative, or new way to use your product or service. Keep your customers informed about your current, or even upcoming, products or services with interesting posts.
Writing compelling, useful content on your business blog will attract your potential customers to your website. By identifying your current customers’ most common questions or concerns (in addition to the most highly searched keywords regarding your industry), and answering those questions, your target audience is likely to find your business blog. Every page of your business blog is considered a newly indexed page on Google; and therefore, is a new opportunity for your website to be returned in search results when a prospect types their questions into the search bar.
For example, if someone types “How to get a loan for business equipment” into Google, your one “services” page on your business equipment financing website will most likely not appear. However, if you also have several blog posts written about how to finance business equipment, all with a slightly different focus or outcome, you are exponentially more likely to appear in search results for that term. In turn, guiding your potential customers directly to your website through the content on your business blog. Along with keyword research, link building, and domain authority, this is makes up the most basic concept behind SEO (search engine optimization).
Another audience that will likely read your business blog, should you provide consistent, interesting content, will be your current customers. The great news is, they are already aware of your brand, and have probably already made a purchase (this is where the “product or service based content” I discussed above comes into play.
Your business blog now becomes a venue for your customers to interact with the authors of the content, which should be employees and executives of the company. By allowing for comments on the blog posts themselves, or on the social media sites you should be posting your blog content on, your customers can have real time access to interact with, ask questions, and start a conversation with your brand. This ongoing conversation with customers continues to build trust with your brand and your product or service, so that they will most likely choose you when the times comes to make their purchase decision.
As I stated above, the content written on your business blog should be written by the executives AND employees of the company. First of all, who better to provide information about your industry, or brand itself, than the experts? (This means YOU). Sure, you could hire a “writer” or “editor” to clean up stylistics, structure, and grammar – but the actual content should be developed by your team.
Encouraging, and even requiring your employees to contribute (in a positive way, of course), will evoke a sense of accomplishment and teamwork throughout the company. Who better to develop the list of common questions your company receives, which will become the center of how you decide what topics to create content on, than the actual employees on the phone with your customers, being asked these questions?
Make sure you let all contributors know the traffic, comments, and feedback their article is getting, so that they will be energized to create the next piece of stellar content to bring more customers over to your website!
You will quickly find after writing your first few posts, that there will be a lot of feedback, regarding a lot of topics, from a lot of people. A business blog allows website visitors, prospects, customers, friends, family, and employees to give feedback on ideas, the actual content, the company, and just about anything else you can think of! It’s a good thing, trust me…
By creating an official stream that represents what you, your company, and your brand stand for, it allows others to reach out with constructive feedback on how to improve. Ok, so it might not always be that constructive; but always value what others have taken the time to say regarding you and your business, so that you can move forward with learnings that will help you improve your business in the long run.
The content you publish for your business blog indirectly becomes the best marketing tool you could ever ask for. For reasons #1-6, your business blog has the ability to become a well oiled machine that brings more and new prospects to your website. By becoming that thought leader in your industry, educating your audience in various ways, attracting your target audience to your site by providing useful and valuable content, engaging with and staying in front of your current customers, getting buy-in from your employees so that they spread and promote your content across their social channels, and allowing feedback from all areas, you have essentially covered all of your marketing bases with one tactic.
Don’t get me wrong, I think there are a number of other effective and successful marketing tactics that one can implement to illicit a particular action; however, I think your best chance for a cost-effective “one stop shop” method of marketing your product or service (B2B or B2C, alike) is creating a well strategized business blog.
Once you have the traffic to your blog from prospective customers, current customers, and those educating themselves on the topic you’ve chosen to pursue becoming a subject matter expert on, the ball is in your court to convert them into a sale. By including captivating calls-to-action, cohesive, relevant landing pages, and stellar offers (ex. E-books, Complete “How-To” Guides, Whitepapers, etc.) that would interest your audience, the content on your business blog becomes a catalyst to take a random website visitor with a question through the sales cycle of becoming ready to make that final purchase decision, and converting into a customer.
The bottom line is that your company has nothing to lose, and a lot to gain by creating a business blog. A business blog is proven to increase traffic to your website, and therefore increase the chances that you grow your revenue and customer base in turn. Put thought into your business blog posts and the best way to add value to your potential customers’ lives, and you can’t fail.
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In my next post I’ll be explaining the “must have” components of a successful business blog, so stay tuned. Are there any other questions you would like me to answer in depth regarding business blogs? Write your questions in the comment section, and I’ll be more than happy to answer via blog post, or even email response: Sydney@socialproofinteractive.com