Any small to medium sized business will look for new ways to increase its online presence and extract the maximum possible leverage.
Obviously there are many different ways of doing this: SMBs can go down the SEO route or alternatively they could turn to social networks to build their brand and engage with their target audience. However, a simpler yet equally effective way of boosting online presence is by blogging or content marketing. Why blogging? Well, a blog will give a website a consistent stream of new content, it will give businesses the opportunity to create pages for targeted keywords, it will produce additional content to share over social networks, and it will allow businesses to position themselves as experts in their field and it will make it easier for people to interact with a website through comments and suggestions.
Now, blogging won’t suit everyone.
It demands absolute commitment, so it’s best to state this at the outset: if your business isn’t prepared to commit the necessary resources to the cause, then you’re better off not bothering. Blogging is not for the faint-hearted. Any good business blog will need to be crafted, and that takes both time and effort. You’ll also need stamina because once you’ve started off down that road there can be no turning back. So if your heart’s not in it, then you’ll be better off sticking with SEO or leveraging the social media.
Every business could benefit if it communicated directly with its customer base. Now you may think you’re already doing this by having a live website. The problem is they are not one and the same thing. Websites give businesses a useful platform to promote and sell their brands and products, through one-way communication: there’s no allowance for interaction with customers. Blogging, however, leads to two-way communication and invigorates the business/customer relationship. What’s more, it’s intrinsically linked to search engine optimisation, so it will further raise the business profile and bring more business leads.
How can small businesses benefit from a blog?
- Business blogging gives you the opportunity to ask your customers questions. You can also make suggestions and ask for feedback on the products and services you’re offering.
- Blogging is the perfect medium for giving your customers real-time updates on the products you offer. You can tell them what you’ve got planned, or use the information they feed back to you as research for future product development.
- Blogging gives a business the opportunity to respond personally to problems and any issues that customers may be facing. It’s this personal, one-to-one interaction that makes it so special.
- Blogging makes you part of a special online community.
- A blog is one form of online marketing, though not, by any stretch of the imagination, the only one. But if used properly and sensibly, it can take your business performance up a notch.
- Blogging lets you showcase your expertise and knowledge of your specific niche.
- Blogging lets businesses to build a bond of trust with their customers. If you know your stuff and have demonstrated this knowledge, then customers will approach you for suggestions or for answers to their problems.
- Good quality blogs can add rich and valuable content to your website. Google and the other search engines love this type of content. It will set you apart from the crowd and do wonders for both your online credibility and search engine ranking.
We could carry on and suggests all sorts of other ways in which blogging is beneficial to business, but we think we’ve probably already made the point. Blogging is a vital and necessary part of online marketing and essential if you wish to optimise your website for search engine visibility. It can also be fun to do at the same time. All you need to remember is once you’ve started blogging; you have to keep at it.