There are many reasons why a blog should be an essential feature in your marketing strategy. Here are a few that I have found to be the most important.
Your blog shows how much you know
If you tried to put everything you know and every detail of what you can do into a standard brochure website, you’d end up with a huge site that would be hard to navigate. Blog posts are small focused articles that expand on different aspects of what you do and allow you to go into more detail. If you use a content management system such as WordPress the content is easily indexed using categories and tags so that people can find what they want. The point here is to show, not just how much you know about your own business, but how much you know about your customers’ business.
A repository of good quality blog posts can also be used to answer customer queries and follow up specific conversations that you might have had at a networking meeting.
Your blog shows how much you care
A well written blog article is not just a publicity puff for your business. To be effective it must contain information that is of value to other people. Often this means giving away a bit of your knowledge for nothing, which can take a bit of getting used to. If you don’t do this there is no value to the reader and no incentive for them to read or share your content.
The fact that you take the time and trouble to understand the challenges that other businesses are facing, and to produce content to help them meet those challenges, says that you care. Sincerity is the key. If you are a business that genuinely cares about what your customers are doing you will probably find it easier to find suitable blog subjects. You can always hire somebody to turn your ideas into engaging copy if that’s not something you’re good at or you lack the time.
Your blog helps you build relationships with future customers
In business, timing can be everything. People don’t always need your services immediately. A well designed blogging strategy will nurture relationships so that you become the natural choice when the time comes to make a purchase decision. Without useful regular content you could be starting from the back of the grid rather than pole position.
To illustrate, imagine you run a care home. It’s not unusual for old people to be cared for by relatives for some time before going into a home. A care home that is providing you with useful information on caring for the elderly and supporting you through what can be a difficult time is nurturing a relationship. It’s also saying ‘we are concerned that elderly people receive good care, whether they are our residents or not.’ How’s that for a brand value?
None of this is a marketing trick or clever ploy. You are earning people’s trust, and their business, by helping them in a meaningful way.
Your blog makes your web content dynamic
How often do you find that your website content gets out of date and doesn’t fully reflect your business? That’s why I always recommend periodic content reviews on brochure websites to keep things fresh. When you combine this approach with a blog, you are continuously adding new content, keeping your on-line presence live and dynamic. I talked about the dangers of web content that never changes in this recent post.
Without content that is continuously refreshed you are missing opportunities to let people know about all of the things you can do for them. Also, people make a judgement about companies with web content that is obviously out of date.
And finally, your blog will get you noticed
New blog posts give you a reason to contact people, whether this is through social media or ‘old fashioned’ email, there’s always something new for people to read and hopefully share. If your posts are properly optimised for search engines and you use social media your content will reach a much wider audience than you realise.
And, of course, Google loves content that is continuously updated and it loves content that is shared. Forget page 1 if you don’t have a blogging strategy, need I say more.
So what are you waiting for? Get blogging.
Have you used a blog to grow your business?
It would be great to share your experiences of how blogging has helped you grow your business through the comment section below.by