Should my business have a blog?
Is A Business Blog Necessary?
Are marketers just trying to sell you on the latest shiny thing, the new kid on the block, or might there be something to this business blog trend?
You don’t want to spend time and money trying to keep up with the Amazons of the world just for fun (or maybe you do ;).
And do people even read them? Or is it just a fad, like the stick figure family on the back of your car?
Good questions. Ones which I hope this (ironic) blog post will answer.
First, we’ll hear from the affirmative (for the importance of having quality blog posts on your business website.)
A Business Blog helps you get visible.
Gone are the days when if we had a problem and question about anything we would turn to trusted family, friends, maybe even the kindly but nosey neighbour over the side fence. Now, as soon as a question pops into our heads, we have our device out and our fingers to the ready. Google has the answer to all our questions, and even some you hadn’t even considered. 😬
How is this related to whether your business should have a blog? Well, you want Google, the Queen of Search (must be female if it’s finding stuff) to point people your way if what you provide solves what they are seeking.
But Google will only find you, amongst the millions of other sites, if it is sure that you are a solution. And it will know this if your site if full of content that provides evidence of this. Google will rank you higher based on your content. Which means the people you are seeking to serve will find you easier (increased visibility).
Back in the day when you did all your consuming locally, you knew the best people for what you needed. Old Jack, down the road, was the guy who knew everything about televisions. You went to him if you were after a new one, and you were sure he could look after you because he’d been in the business since he was a young lad.
In a global market, consumers don’t always know the company they are looking to do business with. Are they the experts they claim to be? Do they have the knowledge to help?
Your blogs can help you establish authority in your field and are a way to show your expertise. You can create blogs which teach and explain or answer questions to reassure your customers that you know how to help them.
You can blog about anything related to your industry to show your audience that you understand their world.
Help create rapport and trust
Blogs can help you create rapport with your customers. If you understand and write to their needs with empathy in a tone that matches your audience, you develop trust and credibility.
Consumers who trust a company are more likely to do business with that company.
“Brands can build trust by communicating with consumers through various platforms and voices, not with advertising alone.” Edelman
A 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report ‘In Brands We Trust’, a survey of 16 000 people in eight countries revealed that 81% of consumers call brand trust a ‘deal breaker’ or ‘deciding factor’ in their brand buying decision.
“When brands build trust, consumers reward them by choosing them first, staying loyal, becoming advocates and defending them against criticism.”
Consistent, empathetic engagement with your customers shows a commitment that creates and nurtures a trust relationship.
a business blog can Reduce costs
‘How do I connect this device to my existing devices?’
‘How do I prepare for this course?’
Whether you are a service provider or sell products, there will be questions your consumers have about your offering. For bricks and mortar, it happens at the coal face or over the phone.
Online customers have a similar need. Blogs can provide answers to frequently asked questions about a product or service and provide information to help consumers through their purchasing journey. Freeing up time spent answering individual queries of the same nature.
Answering queries and addressing concerns also removes roadblocks to purchase and is an important part of the consumer buying process. As a bonus, your sales team can refer to them as training guides.
Drive traffic from social media
Wondering what to post on your social media channels? Feel as though your audience has seen enough pics of your beloved pet? Time to get strategic with your social media content, and blog posts are a key component of a social media strategy.
Promoting your well written, helpful blog post provides useful content that, if well written for the right intent, your audience will appreciate and engage with.
And the click through will lead folks down the marketing funnel to your website, which is your real estate and the place where you have the chance to convert those leads into happy customers.
Form part of your Email Marketing strategy
Similarly, blog posts can form part of your email strategy. If the blog on your site provides value and is useful, your audience will sign up to your regular newsletter. You then have a captive audience committed to your regular blog posts (which are featured in your email newsletter).
Keep your audience updated about your business
It’s nice to share your news with your audience. It can be new products/services, new information about these, changes in time/structure, changes in team members, changes to delivery method. Let them be the first to know. The changes will, hopefully, benefit them and enhance their experience with your brand.
You can blog about community projects you are supporting, and why, which will show them your values.
Keeping your customers in the loop makes them feel part of your tribe, connected.
A Business Blog is a chance to Gather Feedback
Don’t fear the F word. Feedback is invaluable to your business if you look at it as a learning opportunity.
A blog post allows for customers to comment on what you have written about, which is an important source of feedback for your business. They may even highlight things you hadn’t considered.
Do they agree with what you are saying, disagree, have points to make which you can use to guide future development or service delivery? Information gathered here is valuable marketing insight into how your customers view your offering.
Add value to your customers
What you offer in your blogs should always serve your community. It will therefore offer something of value to them. An additional added value that your competitors may not offer 🤔.
Blogs can also provide links to other related sites which your customers may find a source of value.
Makes your business human
You know that there are people behind your brand. People with a passion for what they do, what they have created and why they created it. It’s vital for your customers to share this passion. The emotional part, the human element.
It forms a bond that is enduring.
A blog is an opportunity to show your business’s personality, your vulnerabilities, your sense of humour. This allows for a wonderful connection with your audience, which will strengthen their loyalty.
Ok, there you have the “for’s”, now for the against.
Except these aren’t so much against as caveats.
Blogs need to be driven by strategy.
There must be a purpose behind what you are saying. What is the point of it? How does it fit into your marketing communication strategy?
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking “sh!!, I have to blog, what will I write about? Well, I had a great weekend fishing, let’s go with that.”
O.K. that was a bit of an exaggeration, but you get my drift. Unless you are operating a fishing store/charter/tours it probably won’t apply to most of your audience, and will leave them confused. Which is when they become disengaged.
Much better to offer content they find relevant, useful, and entertaining.
To do this well, you need to know who you are communicating with, your Target Market. What do they need/want from you, what format would they like this delivered, tone of voice used to create rapport, how will they find it.. and so on. As well as which stage of the marketing funnel you are creating the content for.
We must create it for a strategic plan.
There needs to be consistency.
You know the feeling you get when you get an email from a company you haven’t heard from for months. Slight confusion at first, followed quickly by suspicion. You don’t want to be that company.
Consistency with content creation (weekly, fortnightly, monthly) is key. Imagine potential consumers coming to a ghost town site where the date of the last blog was a couple of years ago. It will look like a half-hearted attempt that you gave up on. Not a maintained effort of creating value for your customers. Avoid this being their impression of your brand.
The tone of voice and style of your blog also need to be consistent with brand image, aligned with the target market.
Needs to be high quality, high-value content
It is not only your words that are being communicated in your blog, but everything about your brand. The writing needs to engage, tell a story, written well and a positive reflection of your business.
And clearly convey to your customers that you are speaking to them, for them.
The purchase process has changed. Consumers can research the world before deciding who best meets their needs. For your business to meet these changes, it must be visible, well presented, clear about its desire to serve, customer focused and adaptable. And they must see this in your online presence. A well written, strategically driven blog can convey this to your market.
Content is now part of your sales team.
Let it be a powerful part.
Contact me if you would like content that connects with your audience.