If your business is online, you’ve probably heard it’s a good idea to start a blog – and perhaps you’re a little bemused by the idea. Why does your business need its own web diary?
The answer is that blogs aren’t just for diary entries any more. The versatility of blogging platforms has allowed millions of brands to start publishing their own content to a huge, international audience.
But setting aside time and resources to create interesting blog posts on a regular basis is certainly an investment. Is it really worth it?
In a word; yes! Blogging can provide a range of benefits to your business – all of which help to get you more sales in the long run.
It helps you appear in Google results
Search engines are always aiming to point their users to the most relevant, valuable results possible for their search queries. So how do you convince Google that you’re a top result for the search queries of your audience?
One thing they look for is high-quality content. In basic terms, if your site is filled with well-produced, engaging and current content, you’re more likely to sit in Google’s favour. A blog is the ideal platform for publishing fresh content to your site.
Another thing they look for is high-quality links. Again, in simple terms, the more links to your site being posted on the internet – and the higher the reputation of the people and sites that are posting them – the more it shows to Google that you’re a site worth talking about.
Well, good news; if you’re putting out interesting, helpful blog posts on a regular basis, your posts are more likely to be shared around and earn links from readers and fellow bloggers.
And of course, as your site climbs the search engine rankings, you’ll be getting more and more visitors coming to your site from search – which will hopefully translate into more sales and/or leads for your business.
It lets you build closer, longer-lasting relationships with customers
How do you get one-off customers coming back for seconds?
Well, before they even buy from you in the first place, they need to be able to trust you. For example, do you have the skills and expertise to provide a great service? How can they be sure the products you’re selling are worth the money? Blogging about your industry and the problems your customers struggle with is a great way of proving you know what you’re talking about.
Your blog also provides a means of engaging customers in a communication. Invite readers to leave their input on your posts, either via your blog’s comment section or via your social networks. Look out for new comments and respond to them quickly.
This simple action can go a long way to make your audience feel appreciated. Over time, communicating closely with your readers can turn them into regular customers and even dedicated followers of your brand (who can, in turn, introduce you to more readers and customers through positive word of mouth).
Producing great blog content time after time will also encourage people to keep coming back for the latest posts, helping to build reader loyalty and spread your representation as an informative, authoritative source.
Which leads us onto…
It helps you establish and promote your brand
Who are you as a business? What are your company’s values? What kind of customers are you looking to get through your doors?
It’s important to have a clear sense of identity for your company, and to convey that identity through your marketing presence (including your website). It not only helps you figure out the best routes for reaching your target audience, it also signals to your potential customers that you’re the perfect fit for them.
A blog offers an ideal platform to express your company personality. From the subjects you choose to talk about to the style and types of language you use, each post will help you cement the presentational tone of your business, and reach out directly to the kinds of customers you want to attract.
It can demystify your area of business
Perhaps you’ve already dismissed blogging as a poor fit for your company – you’re too dry, or too niche. Who could be interested in reading about you?
Turns out, many companies feel the same way – and if your competitors aren’t doing it, blogging represents a huge opportunity to get a leg up on them.
Above all, people are always happy to listen to someone who can help them solve their problems. Find out what troubles your potential customers have, and what questions and concerns they have that keep them from buying from you. For example, if you offer a variety of services, packages or products in a particular product category, how can they work out which one is right for them?
Blogging about these issues can not only break down barriers between you and your customers, but can also clarify your offering and make your readers realise they could use your services after all.