When explaining marketing techniques to my clients I often get asked – “What’s the point of a blog?” – So if you’re wondering what all the blogging hype is about, I’m going to do my best to explain why a small business blog can provide a great return on your investment.
I think one of the reasons why so many small businesses use blogs, is most certainly because of the real opportunity for growth and to increase awareness, whether it be in search engine visibility, thought-provoking, finding leads or brand awareness.
To break it down even further, here are my top four reasons for your small business to start a blog:
- You can become a leader in your industry
Customers respond to leadership. Use your blog to demonstrate your knowledge in your area of expertise.
For example, my son David, see his blog here, who is a social media and digital marketing consultant, uses his blog to build trust with potential clients, and by doing this he has built a reputation and generated enough business so that he has had to temporarily close his availability to new customers. There are other examples; health blogs keeping health workers up to date, fashion blogs, and those dedicated to travel. All write articles on their blogs to establish themselves in the world of the web.
To write a blog, take your time and write in-depth articles that offer your readers some news or information that they can use. Be sure to write often to show your readers that you’re on top of change or trends.
- You’ll get free advertisement
As a small business, your advertising budget is probably not very large or almost non-existent, and publishing a blog can offer a cheap alternative to the otherwise expensive marketing options such as adwords.
Advertising doesn’t come cheap and organic search traffic (getting noticed by a search engine without paying for ads) is free, so by writing content such as blogs, small businesses and startups can use blogs to create content and compete with the big boys.
It takes some internet-know-how and some SEO (check out this SEO blog) to boost your search engine rankings. You want customers who sit down to search for a product or service to find the one that you provide, and have your company name pop up. To do this, you’ll need to learn a little bit about SEO, or search engine optimisation. You might want to pick up a how-to book to guide you through the process or instruct a professional to do it for you.
- You’ll boost your social media presence
A well-written blog article can spread like wildfire on social media, If you make sure that you have good content, people will want to stay in touch, which gives you a unique opportunity to grow a following. Through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest etc; you can build a medium to engage and communicate with your audience and entice fans to share and spread your content and news for you.
Make sure you have social media buttons on your blog so a customer can easily find your social media sites.
- You’ll grow your email list (and your sales)
You can use your blog to increase your email list. On your blog’s homepage, add an area where customers can enter their email address to get company updates or newsletters. For example, the blog attached to money-saving site, money saving expert uses pop ups at the top of the page to ask for email addresses and to join its mailing list.
What’s so great about email addresses? A business with an extensive email list can capture sales through promotions. You can write an email about your upcoming sale, special offers, and events, or send out a company newsletter to keep your brand at the forefront of your customers’ minds.
Creating and maintaining a blog does take time, which small business owners are usually short on, but it’s worth the investment to grow your business not only while it’s in its early stages but also to continue to encourage customer loyalty and gain feedback.
Make the effort to start your blog now, and your following and customer base will grow along with your business.
Written by Nwes Business Advisor, John Sargant.