The "blog" has long been a tool for individuals on the Internet to share their thoughts on a particular topic with the millions of other people online. Maybe you -- like I used to -- think that blogs are only for individuals such as enthusiastic cooks or new moms. These personal blogs, however, are just the tip of the iceberg. In this post, we'll seek to break down and examine just what a business blog is.
Here are some common misconceptions about a business blog:
- Just another social network or social media tool
- A blog is used to heavily promote your company and bog down readers with images of your company picnic from last spring.
- A blog is used to publish your own professional rants.
- A blog is just a place to push your product offering to the masses.
While your business blog can absolutely be used to share exciting company announcements with your website visitors and loyal following, a business blog can be much more than that.
An ideal business blog doesn't push unwanted content to its readers.
Instead, it is used as a branded marketing resource that companies in all industries can use to attract future and new customers or clients by offering them helpful, educational, and valuable content that the readers are already searching the web for.
People that read your blog are unlikely to be scanning the web for a sales pitch from your company, so avoid being overly promotional. Instead, as you blog, keep your customers' needs in mind, as well as topics they might be looking for more information about that relate to your industry or general product offerings.
5 Things to Know Before You Blog
- Your blog is branded. It has your company logo on top of the page and can even display author names of people who work at your company and contributed to creating valuable content. This can help build their own professional brand and reputation in industry circles.
- It's connected to your website. A blog is found on your website, not somewhere else. This helps give your company website credibility with search engines.
- A “blog post” is one article found on your business blog. It should cover one topic and have a relevant, attention-grabbing title/headline that introduces readers to what the post is about.
- Your blog posts should be shared on social media sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. This social sharing allows for content to reach a larger audience, provided that you are creating and posting interesting content. This can help amplify your reach in your target markets.
- Your customers and ideal customers provide an endless idea list. Unless you're one of the best-known companies on the planet, your prospects have questions about their needs and if your product/service can fill that need. A blog is a great place to answer those questions.
How Business Blogs Help Your Company
Adding blog posts to your website about various topics that readers are already searching for does several things for your customer interaction:
- Creates a foundation for a trustworthy relationship between you and the reader. Your blog answers their questions, so they are appreciative. You provide them with the information that they are looking for, and thanks to your rich content, you have introduced your business as a thought leader. The trusting relationship you develop helps to convert webpage visitors to qualified sales leads and close those leads to make them customers.
- Helps delight existing customers. It is always less expensive for a business to retain existing customers than to find new customers. Therefore, some of your blog's content should be dedicated to keeping existing customers happy by updating them about new offerings and continuing to write about topics in their industry.
- Helps create more online visibility for your company. Each blog post creates a new opportunity to get people back to your website. These pages are "optimized" for web searches thanks to keywords and phrases your customers look up most often. The more optimized blog posts you have, the more traffic you are able to direct to your site. In fact, companies that blog get 55% more visitors to their websites than those that don't blog.
- Helps generate new sales opportunities. When your business blog speaks to the needs of your ideal customer, it generates more interest in your company organically. B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those that don’t.
Learn More About Blogging for Business
- Need some real business reasons why you should start a business blog (or need to justify continuing to blog)? Check out 14 Reasons Why Your Business Should Start A Blog.
- Read about a practical example of how a manufacturing company won a new customer because of their blog.
- Many technology companies think that blogging will disclose proprietary information. Check out our take on that debate.
- Need help with your business blogging? We offer content strategy and execution services to help you get more website traffic and generate more leads. You can start with a free opportunity review here and get some complimentary advice.
What are some of your reservations about starting a business blog? Please share them in the comments below.