So you thought you were done when you launched your business website, but now you wonder if you need a blog. Do you?
While it can be challenging to come up with fresh content to publish on a blog each week, there are compelling reasons for small business owners to consider blogging as an integral part of any online marketing campaign.
Reason #1: a business blog, when updated regularly, will drive more traffic to your site, and more traffic means more potential customers hearing your message. A blog can boost your site’s rankings in search results because search engines favor sites that publish fresh content regularly. Even if you have a website, it may be cumbersome to update (or you may have to pay a webmaster to do it for you). A blog makes it easy to publish content with no special technical skills or software (and has a low set-up cost).
Reason #2: a blog gives you an opportunity to establish expertise in your field. The vast majority of shoppers (both online and off) do some online research before purchasing goods or services. Giving visitors useful and relevant information, tips, advice, or industry insights builds confidence in your company or brand. Show potential customers that you “know your stuff” and you increase the chances that they will turn to you when they’re ready to make their purchases.
Reason #3: blogging opens up a direct channel of communication between you and your customers. Here you can inform your audience about upcoming events or promotions, answer questions about your products, services or the purchase process, and respond to any complaints. Interacting with your clients and potential clients in this way does much to build trust and maintain brand loyalty, and puts a human face on your business. You must be prepared to fully engage — like other social media, blogging is a two-way street. Make sure you have the time and resources to devote to your customers’ questions/comments, or hire someone to do it for you. [Panoptic offers blog set-up, design, guidance and copywriting services as part of our integrated marketing packages.]
Reason #4: you OWN your business blog — you don’t own your Facebook or Twitter page and never will. So many small business people ask me whether it’s better to invest their resources in developing a Facebook or Twitter presence or start a business blog — I think you know which side I come down on. In digging around for a good explanatory post, I found this wonderful infographic from Mike Blumenthal. An excerpt from the “Overview” below:
Online marketing has two goals: engage and convert. The social side of the Internet encourages engagement, the search side focuses more on user intent and ultimately conversion of that intent into a sale.
The many elements of an online presence can build on each and can work together for a business. The process is best done in an environment with more control rather than less. Because of the changing nature of the Internet, a SMBs marketing investment should always reinforce and strengthen the elements over which they have the most ownership.
Mike B’s full post here.
Check out our follow up post, “Online Marketing Considerations for Small Business Owners in 2016” for the latest on online marketing considerations.