What is a Blog:
In its most basic form, a blog—which is the short-hand version of a “web log”—is a discussion or informational site published on the Internet consisting of distinct entries or "posts" typically displayed in reverse chronological order.
However, such a simple concept can mean big business when properly applied to effectively target your customer base. While plenty of people have personal blogs, or even blogs that bring in money through selling ad space, a business blog is a marketing channel (just like social media, direct mail, email marketing, etc.) that helps support business growth.
Below are four of the top reasons why your company should seriously consider maintaining a regularly updated business blog:
1) Blogs drive traffic to your website
One would be hard pressed to find a business owner who does not want more web traffic, but sometimes it is difficult to fully comprehend how customers find your website. In the not so distant past customers were drawn to websites by:
- Correctly spelling the entirety of you web address, but this is the audience who already knows who you are and are probably already customers.
- Clicking through from an email blast that you probably illegally sent them if they had not already voluntarily opted into you email distribution.
- Clicking on paid for search ads, which is quite expensive and not always effective as these customers are less inclined to make a purchase if they are not already intrigued about the content of your site.
However, today business owners are able to use blogging to create a social media presence that increases the likelihood of their website to come up on search engine queries. Every new blog post equals one more indexed page on your website, which in turn, creates one more cue to Google and other search engines that your website is active and important to their queries. Basically every new indexed page is one more opportunity for you to show up in search engines, and drive traffic to your website through organic search, this process is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Blogging also helps you get discovered via social media. Every time you write a blog post, you're creating content that people can share on social networks -- Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ -- which helps expose your business to a new audience that doesn't know you yet.
2) Blogs help convert traffic to sales
When potential customers come to your site through your blog, they are typically already interested in what you have to say, rather than just clicking through on a paid-for ad. Customers in this captive environment could be immediately interested in what you are selling and buy right away. However, more likely is that you can turn views into leads by adding call-to-action links in every blog post.
These call to action links can provide any content asset that someone would be willing to exchange their information for. For example, if you were a CPA with blog post on new IRS rulings, you could provide a free consultation if the reader fills out a simple form with their personal information.
3) Blogs can effectively establish you as an authority in your target market
The most effective business blogs answer common questions their leads and customers have. Providing high quality assistance and advice to consumers is a great way to establish a reputation of authority. Consumers like brands that are willing to evaluate their problems and offer solutions. How-to articles, top ten list articles, and do-it-yourself articles are all incredibly popular amongst consumers.
Captivated audiences provide you with such an effective forum for communicating crucial information when it comes to your business and products. While the benefits of becoming an authority in your marketplace are difficult to quantify in exact numbers, they do drive long-term results.
4) Blogs drive long-term results.
Pretend it takes you an hour to sit down and publish a blog post today. If that blog post gets you 100 views and 10 leads today and another 50 views and 5 leads tomorrow as a few more people find it on social media and some of your subscribers get caught up on their email. However, after a couple days, most of the fanfare from that post dies down and you've netted a little over 150 views and 15 leads.
That blog post is nowhere near finished with its useful life as it is now ranking in search engines. That means for days, weeks, months, and years to come, you can continue to get traffic and leads from that blog post when people search for keywords contained in your post. So while you're not physically doing any more work, you're still driving traffic and leads. One hour of effort today can turn into hundreds of thousands of views and leads in the future.
If you're looking to start a business blog or get more investment for one you've already started, the reasons above are a great place to start arguing your case. We are available to help.