At times it can feel like a blog is a dime a dozen. Just about everyone has one. Your kid is blogging about junior high school. Your neighbor is blogging about the neighborhood watch crew. Even the guy at your local market is blogging about the joy of bagging groceries. So when it comes time to generate excitement over your company blog, you may be wondering, “Does anyone really care?”
Only if you do.
Though the benefits of blogging aren’t always apparent, they are there. And you don’t have to look far to see them once you get your blog up and running. While it can feel like everyone and their cousins have a blog, very few people have a good blog. The majority of people who get into blogging only do so for a short time and then give up. Take a look at your competitors’ websites. Some will probably have a last entry from a year or more ago.
Blogging is important. Productive. Valuable. Don’t lose sight of that just because it’s common. Once you learn the ropes and really work on building a great blog, you’ll enjoy the following benefits.
Drive Traffic to Your Website
Do you want more traffic to your website? Of course you do! But this isn’t always easy to do. Generally speaking, there are three ways to get traffic to your website. The first is by customers searching for you, but you already have this audience. The second is by placing a ton of paid ads out there, but that’s expensive (and annoying). The third way is by buying an email list, but that’s expensive (and blasting people with emails without their consent is illegal).
This means that you’re left with social media, organic search and blogging. Blogging helps in this department because every time you write a post, it’s another indexed page to your website and another opportunity to show up in the search engines. Blogging is also helpful in getting you noticed on social media. Every time you write a post, you can share it on social media and expose yourself to a new audience. Finally, blogging enhances your social presence without running a costly campaign.
Convert Traffic Into Leads
The more traffic you get to your website, the more opportunities you have to generate leads. Best of all, it’s easy to do. On each post, include a call-to-action that encourages readers to act on something such as signing up for your newsletter. One of the most common call-to-actions include a request for an email address in exchange for an ebook, whitepaper, webinar or free trial. Just make sure that whatever you’re offering is of value to your audience.
Establish Your Brand as an Authority
One of the purposes of your blog is to answer common questions and share helpful content that your audience can benefit from. When you do this consistently, it will help establish your brand as an authority. And this is exactly what you want to be. You don’t want your audience turning to your competitor to get trusted information. You want them coming to YOU to clear up information and get in-depth explanations for their questions.
Generate Long-Term Value
Imagine how much you would pay for a television commercial or billboard ad that someone would see for a few seconds. These marketing materials cost a lot of money and they only leave you with short-term value. Blogging is different. One post can bring your business exposure, visibility, branding, authority and so much more for years to come.
Say you write a blog post and share it on Facebook. You get a lot of views on the first few days as your blog circulates on Facebook and is read by fans and shared by a few, too. In the end, you get 100 views and 10 leads. Now that blog is ranking in the search engines, so you’ll continue to get traffic and leads from it.
As long as you have a call-to-action on each post and your company name, you get to market your brand again and again for no additional cost. And unlike other types of marketing materials that are only looked at for a few seconds, blogs are read, re-read, shared, emailed and more.
Communicate with Your Audience
Engaging with your audience can happen on many channels: social media, comments, email and more. Blogging also gives you a great platform for talking to your audience and learning a bit more about their likes and dislikes. You can ask questions, request feedback and even highlight some of your influencers. You can also use your blog to communicate event information and product releases. After all, it will be your fans and followers that will be most excited for these types of things.
A business blog is a great investment of your time and money. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. More importantly, don’t be intimated to start a blog or pick one back up. It does take time to build a strong following, so be patient and don’t let that deter you from your end goals. As you begin to establish yourself as a trusted expert, you will become the go-to source for your audience.