To Blog or Not to Blog

As a small business owner who wears many hats you might be intimidated when told you need to do one more thing called blogging. What if I instead suggest that you write some short articles? Pick topics related to your business, topics that interest you, that you are enthusiastic about – and write. Now post those articles on your website a couple times a week; daily if you really get into it. Congratulations! You are blogging. But is it really worth your time? Social Media Today reports small businesses that blog see 126% more lead growth than those who don’t. Not to mention that many of your competitors are already hard at work: 80% of companies that blog as part of their marketing strategy reported new customers from the effort and 82% of those businesses believe blogging is critical to their business.

Blogs are a direct communication channel to existing and potential customers. They are a place where you can share your corporate values and vision, answer commonly asked questions about your field, and show off the personality of your business. This human side of your business, if you will, is an opportunity to distinguish yourself from competitors and to build relationships with viewers. Blogs can create opportunity for two-way conversation, and encourage interaction and feedback from your readers that will provide valuable insight regarding your customers. Notice “two-way” – customers expect responses to questions and comments so regular monitoring essential.

High quality content builds trust and establishes you as an expert and thought leader within your industry. Forbes emphasizes that building trust increases a brand’s likeability quotient and builds brand loyalty. You establish influence by providing valuable information and become a one-stop-shop resource. Maintaining a blog page also demonstrates that you value customer education and that your business is interested in sharing information that benefits others. Blogs also provide a means of controlling your online reputation/identity. They are an additional platform from which your business can respond to newsworthy events, criticism of any sort, and social media posts that spark a larger conversation. Forbes also reminds that regular blog posts communicate the fact that your business is alive and well which results in high levels of consumer confidence.

Other benefits of blogging:

· Brand awareness – 70% of consumers learn about a company through articles, not ads

· Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website

· New and expanded content on your site provides more content for search engines to index

· Provides opportunity to be part of results of longer search queries

· Free marketing as viewers share links to your articles

· Provides content for your other social media pages

· Increases circular traffic to all of your Internet platforms

· Provides content for your FAQ page (and vice versa)

· Strengthens your expertise by keeping you up to date with industry trends and news

· Increases pool of prospective customers – businesses with 401-1000 pages of content get 6x more leads than those with 51-100 pages

· Increases ROI – Hubspot reports businesses that prioritize blogging experience a 13x increase in ROI

We can agree it is important to develop your business’s presence on the web. So why not build brand awareness while providing useful and relevant information. Blogs are an inexpensive way to drive traffic to your website and establish new customers. They are a place to educate prospective clients about your services/products and to share with all viewers your brand’s values, story, etc. Your business blog can be the cornerstone of your content publication strategy and help level the playing field with bigger brands. By creating and sharing valuable content with a targeted audience you are giving your business networking opportunities as well as more opportunities to be found. Mike Kappel from Entrepreneur refers to blogs as a source of nutrients that readers need to return to and consume. So, go, create, post, and provide nuggets of nourishment to your awaiting public.

Not all of us are writers, or want to be. We often find people come to us because they are aware of their already jam-packed schedules and want to maximize their effectiveness by sticking to what they are best at. Our team of content writers dives into your business, analyzes your buyer personas and gets to work writing content that will educate and engage your target audience, as well as helping with your overall SEO strategy. Contact us today to learn more!