A blog is an excellent way for a company to stay in touch with its former, current and prospective customers. It keeps the company name front and centre with its target audience and, properly constructed, will also position company representatives as powerful and engaging leaders—and thought leaders—in their field. In order to maximize the benefits of a blog (from both a customer and search engine perspective), it must be produced consistently as a value-driven proposition that is focused on the needs and interests of customers.
Many business owners today have a general and uneasy feeling that they should be blogging but reliable information on the contextual issues around a blog is rare. It’s important to understand why blogging is worth the expense and, just as important, to understand, at the outset, that bottom-line results are dependent upon consistency over time. Maintaining a commitment to blogging once the project has begun is key. Three blog postings will not deliver the kind of results that is likely to be evident after 30, for example.
So Why Is Blogging Valuable?
- Blogging establishes you and your company as experts in your field just by virtue of the fact that you are blogging. This is a concept along the lines of famed communicator Marshall McLuhan’s contention that “the medium is the message.”
- A blog gives you the chance to showcase your employees’ skills, talents and knowledge, building greater credibility with your audience. Telling the stories of how your employees have solved problems and delivered results to your customers positions you all as caring experts who are willing and able to “go the extra mile” for your customers.
- It is a tool for developing greater rapport with your existing client base. Marketing is all about giving your ideal customers the information they need so that they will know, like and trust you enough to want to start a conversation that might lead to a sale. Sharing more about what you do and how you do it in a blog can help do just that.
- It is a tool for retaining existing clients and extending your client base. It helps remind people how great it is to work with you.
- It is a means of protecting market share. If your competition isn’t blogging, you own the field; if they are blogging, you have an opportunity to position yourself in a way that plays to your strengths and subtly highlights the deficiencies of competitors. Gently and with grace.
- It gives you a mechanism for educating your clients and prospects.
- Like all social media, a blog is a chance to create a footprint for your organization that is larger than you might otherwise enjoy. It’s an engaging way to broaden your “social media real estate” holdings.
- It is a relatively inexpensive form of marketing.
- It’s a chance to voice concerns over issues in your field that disturb you. Is the government talking about introducing legislation that you feel will negatively affect your customers? Are there trends in how your product or service is being viewed or restricted that you feel are dangerous? You can talk about them freely, with an eye on customer value, in your blog.
- It increases your company’s search engine results, especially if you optimize for your key words and invite engagement. The search engines love fresh content and reward businesses that produce it regularly.
- It is an important tool for funneling people to your website where they can check you out in more detail and, hopefully, strengthen their interest in buying from you. And, of course, that means your blog needs to be sited on your website where people can click easily from the blog to other areas of the site.
- It helps funnel people to your website so they can deepen their interest in doing business with you.
Convinced yet that this might be something that could help support your business goals? What do you think? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe I can give you some ideas about your blog that might help you generate business with it.