Benefits of Business Blogging
When researching marketing tactics you’ll always find yourself being urged to create a blog for your business but why is business blogging necessary when you have a fully functioning website? Creating and populating a blog can improve your ROI and can also create a customer brand relationship which your website cannot. Blogging may seem like a hobby but there are many benefits to blogging for business purposes.
What is Business Blogging?
“In 1999, according to a list compiled by Jesse James Garrett, there were 23 blogs on the internet. By the middle of 2006, there were 50 million blogs according to Technorati‘s State of the Blogosphere report.” Source: Webdesigner Depot
The first blog is said to have been published by Justin Hall, a US freelance journalist in 1994. Since then blogging has seen an exponential growth with there being currently over 1.5 billion blogs on the internet. Blogging can be used for a range of reasons; for people to share their experiences, make a bit of extra money and for businesses.
Business blogging is still relatively new and many businesses are yet to join the blogosphere. Business blogging is a great way to give your business a personality and build trust between your customer and your brand.
So what is business blogging? A blog is a piece of short-form content which is created to benefit the audience. For example, if you are a company which sells coats then you could write content on choosing the right coat for your body type, popular styles for the season and so on. Customers often want to know a little bit more about a product before purchasing (especially if the product is expensive) and if they can’t find the information on your site/ blog then they may choose to shop somewhere else. Business blogging is a great way to guide them through their shopping experience and give them all the information they need to make an informed decision.
“Blogs are 63% more likely to influence purchase decisions than magazines.” Source: Contentplus
Planning a Business Blog
Before creating a blog for your business there are a few key things which you need to consider:
Which Blogging Site Are You Going to Use?
There are many blogging sites which businesses use and some are significantly better than others. The leading blogging sites include WordPress.org, WordPress.com, Blogger and Google+. Personally I would recommend using WordPress.org or .com. WordPress is used in 1 in 4 websites globally and is a free platform to use requiring no coding experience so is the perfect place to start your business blogging. For more information on the benefits of each blogging site have a read through The Best Places to Start a Blog.
What Are You Going to Blog About?
To succeed at business blogging you need to plan and research. Using tools such as the Keyword Planner in Google AdWords can give you an insight into what people are searching for relating to your topics. You can also look through your site from a customer’s perspective and think of questions which your customers may have. For example, as a company which sells coats, your customer may want to know which coat works best for a certain occasion such as a wedding.
How Often Are You Going to Blog?
Blogging requires time and attention so you need to allocate a certain amount of time to your blog each month. A great way to do this is to create a content plan. Write down a list of blog posts which you are going to write that month and try to stick to it. To create customer engagement you need to be blogging on a regular basis. A typical blog post should take you around half a day to complete (roughly 3 hours when factoring in research, writing and editing) so if you can allocate 3 days to business blogging a month then you should be able to write up to 6 blog posts.
5 Ways Business Blogging Can Benefit You
Now that we’ve covered the definition and basics of business blogging, we can talk about the benefits of creating a blog for your business.
1. Create Relationships Between Brand and Customer
It’s no secret that businesses are out to make money from potential and existing customers. However by only sharing salesy posts on social media and other sites, you will notice a lack of customer engagement and may even see your sales start to drop.
Business blogging allows you to blog about your products but in an informative way as opposed to hard selling. By blogging regularly you can build up a rapport with your customers which will increase engagement, brand trust and sales. To create content which customers will want to read you need to ensure that there is a healthy balance between product promotion and informative content. Try creating buying guides, seasonal information, helpful tips and the odd promotional piece.
2. Establish Your Business Within the Industry
Trying to establish a small business in a competitive industry may feel impossible but through business blogging you can become the go-to company. Blogging allows you to write about anything and everything to do with your business.
Let’s go back to our coat retailer as an example, if you write separate blogs about all types of coat styles, colours, complimentary accessories, occasions for each coat and so on then customers are going to choose to buy from you over your competitors because they’ll feel like you are an expert in this industry. If you aim to write blogs answering all potential customer questions and stay on trend within your industry then customers are going to want to buy from you because you know what you’re talking about.
3. Improve Social Media Engagement
All companies should be present on social media platforms, if you are not then read 8 Social Media Platforms That Your Business Should Be Using. Using social media to promote your business can be incredibly effective however to engage with customers you need to be using the platforms on a regular basis and consistently sharing posts and latest industry news.
If you are not blogging yourself then finding new content relating to your business to share can be difficult and you may find yourself sending your customers to your competitors. By business blogging you can create as much free informative content as you like which directly relates to your business goals. This content which you create will drive customers directly to your site leading to sales.
4. Increased Search Visibility
For every blog you create, you create a page for the search engines to rank. By creating fresh and informative content on a regular basis, Google and other search engines can index your pages which will improve your organic search ranking. Improving search visibility is invaluable to businesses and as a result can establish your business as a leader in its industry.
By using the Keyword Planner in Google AdWords, as mentioned earlier, you can look for content opportunities. By researching keywords you can see how many people search for a keyword on a monthly basis and create content based around these results. Creating content using specific keywords will improve your visibility when people are searching for topics using those keywords. The more blogs you create using keywords, the more likely you are to rank for those keywords and get found by potential customers.
5. Long-Term Benefits
Business blogging is the gift that just keeps on giving. Think of each of your blog posts as a seed, by posting it on your site, the seed will start to grow and over time it will blossom into a beautiful flower or in this case drive traffic to your site.
You may write a blog in June, once its published you will share it on your social media platforms and after a couple of days people will most probably stop liking and commenting on it but that’s only the beginning for your post. Over time the search engines will find your blog post and index it then when somebody is searching for “Best Coats for Weddings” your blog post may appear and it will bring customers to your site. When looking at the analytics of your site after a couple of months or even years, you’ll see a portion of your old blog posts keep driving traffic to your site and that’s one of the biggest benefits of business blogging – blogs keep on bringing customers to your doorstep long after you’ve written the posts.
Business blogging is hugely beneficial to all businesses regardless of industry or size so if you are yet to create a blog for your business, what are you waiting for? There is no better time to begin blogging than right now and overtime you’ll reap the benefits.
For more information on marketing strategies, tactics and digital marketing news then have a read through our Digital Marketing Blog. Alternatively if you would like to learn more about our Digital Marketing services including Content Marketing then don’t hesitate to contact Zelst directly where one of our team will be happy to offer advice for your business.