The Internet and Social Media are part and parcel of our lives. As a business this presents opportunities and potential risks. How can a business keep up with it all? Facebook, Twitter, 100’s of social networking sites, FriendFeed – you name it, everyone is saying you should be there, on it – or with it.
If you’re not making use of social media, you’re missing business opportunities. Because your potential customers are using social media and social networking. It’s not about social media tools… it’s about taking an active role in social media interaction. One of the best ways to do this is with a blog.
But isn’t blogging dead?
Hardly. Blogging is very much alive – regardless of predictions everyone would stop blogging and tweet instead. Maybe some have. However while tweets disappear into the 140-character ether, blogging endures. That, of course, can be a double-edged sword, but the good, in my opinion still outweighs the downside.
If you have a business you should consider business blogging.
Here are 9 reasons why.
1. Blogging helps you attract an audience
Your business needs traffic, whether this is foot traffic in to your store or visitors to your site online. A great blog generates and retains traffic and keeps people coming back. You can also grow a loyal community.
2. Blogging helps you inform and educate your visitors
The currency of the Internet is simple. It’s information. In a social media world the growth of information has exploded – because there are now more ways to generate and share that information. If you can play a part in informing and educating your visitors, you can position your company as the go-to resource for people who are researching before they buy. Make your blog unbiased (yes it is possible) and trusted resource and the rewards are great.
3. Blogging gives you insights into your customers’ minds.
You can find out what they need, what their problems are, what challenges they are having. You can use polls, surveys and a whole host of tools to be more interactive about your market research. Make it worth their while and your customers and prospects will make it worth yours. If you are a savvy business you will steal a march on your non-blogging competition by shaping your offerings to what your customers are asking for. Can you do that with a website?
4. Blogging helps your business build relationships
Too many marketers focus on short-term visibility. They are used to mass-advertising and tactics that bring immediate sales. The trouble is, not only are successes few and far between they are also very expensive. Blog and you can retain prospects well beyond the first contact. And it’s a lot cheaper than advertising too. Even better you can build relationships with them and capture their interest so they keep you in mind.
5. A blog helps your public relations(hip)
Call it customer service or public relations – never have these been more important. Most companies think only of the spectre of someone saying something “bad” on their business blog. And they refuse to blog because of the “risks.” Yes, there are risks… quite big ones when you consider someone can use any number of social networks to say something “bad” about your business. With a business blog you can create a responsive outlet to immediately douse the sting of of negative publicity – and tell your side of the story.
6. A static brochure-ware website may no longer be enough
This isn’t you should ditch your website in favour of a blog. It may not even be feasible. You should consider having a blog as well. Blogging takes you beyond a static site, with mission statements and philosophies and “strivings,” and you should consider having a blog as well as a static website. Blogging enables your business to show a human face to your community and networks. People like to do business with people.
7. Blogs will help you get links
Want traffic? Get links. Want links? Create valuable authoritative content from social media sites, forums, social bookmarking networks and other blogs. With well written useful content on your blog you have a higher chance of attracting attention – and targeted traffic.
8. Blogs are SEO-friendly
These days if you’re not getting found on Google when people search for your business, it’s bad news. Blogs lend themselves to being crawled by the search engines far more easily than static websites, which means better search results for your business. My blog traffic outstrips my website traffic by about 3 to 1.
9. Blogging can help you foster customer interaction
Unlike a static site, blogs encourage discussion, interaction and comments… and this can happen on or off your blog. It’s a marketing opportunity you don’t want to miss.
There are other reasons your business should blog. For example, done well, you can make money from blogging. I’ve not mentioned it because too often the only focus for newer bloggers when they consider blogging is “how can I make money from my blog?” There are ways of making money blogging. However making money from blogging comes after you’ve developed a consistently content rich blog and a following and only if you’ve built some solid foundations. Neither of which can be done without a strategy and marketing. So we will leave that for another time.
For now, if your business isn’t yet blogging, and you’re looking for a way to differentiate your business or you are thinking of blogging but have doubts, stay tuned.
Thoughts? Questions? Share by leaving a comment below. I’ll try and cover questions in follow up posts. Feel free to email me questions too if you prefer.