What’s the best way for a business to build and promote an online presence and boost sales?
Well, there are lots of options available; some more successful than others, it has to be said. You could try a little SEO for cost-effective promotion, you might try social networking through platforms like Facebook and Twitter to build audience engagement, or, if you can afford it you could try AdWords or PPC marketing. All of these methods are effective in their own way. However, if you really want to engage with your audience, then there are fewer more effective strategies than blogging.
Why blogging you might ask? Well, for the following reasons:
- A blog will give a website a consistent stream of new and refreshing content.
- Blogging will give businesses the opportunity to create pages for targeted keywords.
- A blog will produce extra content that can be shared over social networks.
- Blogging will allow businesses to position themselves as experts in their field.
- A blog will improve lines of communication and make it easier for visitors to interact with a website through comments and suggestions.
Now blogging won’t suit everyone. You’ll have to be determined and committed. If your business isn’t prepared to commit the necessary resources and time to the cause, then you’re better off trying something else. Blogging can be challenging: any good business blog will need to be crafted, and that takes both time and effort. You’ll also need to have stamina, because once you’ve started there really is no turning back. So if your heart’s not in it, then you’ll be better off sticking with SEO, PPC or social media marketing.
Every business benefits by communicating directly with its customer base. But surely, if you have a live website aren’t you effectively already doing this? Well, no – you’re not. They aren’t the same thing. Websites give businesses a useful platform to promote and sell their brands and products, through one-way communication- that is, without interaction. Blogging, however, leads to two-way communication and can enliven and invigorate the business/customer relationship. What’s more, because it’s intrinsically linked to search engine optimisation, it will further raise the business profile and bring more business leads.
Blogging: what’s in it for businesses?
- You get the opportunity to ask your customers questions. You can also make suggestions and ask for feedback on the products and services you’re offering.
- You can give your customers real-time updates on the products you offer. You can tell them what you’ve got planned, and you can use the information they feed back to you as research for future product development.
- You get the opportunity to respond personally to problems or issues that customers might be facing, in other words, personal, one-to-one interaction.
- You become part of a special online community.
- You can showcase your expertise and knowledge of your niche market.
- You can build a bond of trust with your customers. If you know your stuff and have demonstrated this knowledge, then customers will approach you for suggestions or for answers to their problems.
- You’ll be able to add fresh and valuable content to your website, which Google and the other search engines will love. That can only help your search engine rankings.