30. December 2014–
Many business owners think that a blog is simply another tool for promoting your products and services. But there's so much more to it!
A company blog is the perfect medium to create a realtime dialogue with your audience and to attract new customers. It's authentic, up-to-date and – in my eyes - a must have for every smart business to keep up pace. But what is it exactly that makes it so necessary?
Seven effects that a blog can have on your business
1. Shoot up your SEO Ranking
This one is pretty obvious: It increases your web visibility through keywords. You want to reach more than just those people who know your brand and type in your URL. The best way to do that is to make people find you via search engines. Your page is ranked
higher in Google if you deliver great content for the specific keyword.
Once you publish a quality blog post with keywords fitting the topics around your business, your blog starts to appear in peoples' search results. If they click onto your blog and find your posts useful, they are likely to browse your website, too. Best case: they realize that your product solves their problem although they didn't know you before (and you didn't know about them!). A blog is also easily linked with your other social media channels, which increases the viral effect and helps you reach a whole new audience. It also provides a bigger platform for other websites or blogs to link to your blog – again, proving it as a hugely effective SEO tool.
2. Generate quality leads
Honestly, I think there's hardly a better way to get people interested and generate new email addresses for your marketing activities than a blog. Your blog is something honest, something you created for your (potential) customers. And they will realize that. Once you start to produce regular content on the blog, you can establish a newsletter. Before doing that, you need to make sure you've got some real quality content out there. Content, that really adds value for your customers, both existing and new ones. To not miss out on this extra information, people who are really interested in your business will sign up for your newsletter without thinking „They just want to send me ads and marketing spams“. By receiving a lot of background knowledge for free, the reader feels valued and is willing to give something back – by buying your products.
3. Give your company a face
Now, let's move on to those benefits that really add a value for your customer – and therefore for you. A blog is usually something very personal. It includes real opinions instead of mere praises of your products. While your website remains mostly static, a blog can add life to your business. It's active, personal and simply more human. Of course, it can also make you vulnerable. Showing your face means to reveal part of your inner personality to strangers. The protective wall that's hiding your face behind a static website is getting smaller. However, this is exactly what your customers will appreciate! They suddenly feel connected to you. And if you share your thoughts with them, they are likely to tell you more about their thoughts, too.
4. Create trust and credibility
Most people regard a blog as something honest and authentic. Authenticity is the key in today's overstimulated world. Your customers feel that they've got someone to talk to, someone who listens to their ideas and expectations, someone who values them. Through a blog, you have a chance to pass your emotions, your passion and your enthusiasm for anything related to your business on to an audience that shares these interests. And if they see that you're burning for the same ideas, they will be very likely to buy your products, too. A blog that shows personality is a great way to gain trust. Plus, it helps to position you as an expert in your field, as you think outside the box and highlight aspects surrounding your business. You can even take your audience behind the scenes, e.g. when developing a new product. My tip: also show them things that went wrong. They will love that! Think of behind the scenes features of movies – don't you like the actors even more after they've shown that they fail sometimes?
5. Do market low-cost research
If your readers find your blog posts useful, they will eventually start leaving comments that can give you crucial insights about their needs, habits and buying behaviour. For example, you can give advice and write reviews about new apps, upcoming events or any new developments in your field and ask your customers to state their opinion. Or do little surveys if you can't decide between several options. That way, you have a straight, honest and immediate response without having to carry out expensive research studies. Plus, you tighten the relationship with your audience as you show them that you care about their opinion. You might even develop a whole new product together with your audience. What you get out of it? A loyal, supportive customer base that will feel extremely valued and thus buys your products. You might also attract key influencers, e.g. other bloggers in your business area, who you can identify in your comments. Not only will they further create a new audience for you (their readers), they actually might have written about you before - another way to get useful feedback.
6. Handle your critics & solve problems
Basically, a blog can also act as a customer service tool. Sure, negative comments and feedback about your own products hurts. But on your blog, you have the chance to give an instant reaction – and maybe solve the problem within seconds, thus leaving happy customers. The other way around, your customer has a direct medium to ask you for help. Again, that improves the personal bond between him and your company. If you check the comments regularly, a blog also helps you to defend yourself against criticism. It enables you to react directly and in public. Talk to your critics „face-to-face“ instead of sending out impersonal press statements, for example.
7. Keep up with your competition
Believe me, in our digital age, a company blog gives you a massive competitive advantage. First, it clearly positions you as up-to-date and innovative opposed to those competitors who don't run a blog. Second, you have a vast amount of possibilities to differentiate you and your product experience from others in the field. You can write as many blog posts about any topic you like. And third, if your competitors do have a blog, they do not only give very personal insights to their customers, but also to their contestants (you!). Of course, this is also the case vice versa. But it helps to keep the market more transparent, which again is of value for your customers.
All in all, a company blog helps you build an audience that trusts you, that you can constantly keep in touch with (e.g. via email newsletter) and that helps you create the perfect product for them! It's a classic Win Win. They get exactly what they need and you increase your sales and differentiate yourself in the market at low cost. Get started and create your business blog now! And if you've already got one, keep it running!
Find that post useful? What's your experience with company blogs so far? It'd be great to read your opinions in the comments...