Is blogging a valuable business tool, or merely a waste of time and effort?
The answer to that question will be determined by the people you ask. Some marketers and businesses swear by them and maintain that not only do blogs help their businesses inform and engage with their respective audiences; they also improve search engine rankings and online credibility. At the other end of the spectrum you’ll get the view that blogs are nothing other than meaningless tittle-tattle and are inconsequential in the marketing world. These people argue that what sells a product or service is quality, not the ‘virtual’ quill. So, who’s right? Who’s singing from the right hymn sheet, and who’s barking up the wrong tree? The truth is, they probably both are. Quality does sell products and services, but so does a blog, providing it is well-written, informative and targeted at the right audience. So at the end of the day you pay your money and you take your choice.
We’d like to make the case for business blogging, because our experience clearly demonstrates that it works, and here’s why.
Communicating directly with your customer base will bring business benefits. Now you might believe that’s what you’re doing through your website, but actually it’s not the same thing. Websites are there to give businesses a useful platform for promoting and selling brands and products. Yes you are technically communicating with your audience through your website, but the communication is only one-way – there’s no interaction or engagement with the customer.
Blogging can lead to two-way communication and has the potential to breathe life into the business/customer relationship. Blogging can take this relationship to new and exciting levels. Moreover, as the search engines are increasingly turning their focus on social interaction, blogging is becoming an increasingly important element of search engine optimisation. If your blogs are indexed by Google, then your profile will be raised further and this may translate into a greater number of business leads.
Why is business blogging worthwhile?
- Business blogging gives you the opportunity to talk to your customers and ask them questions. You can make suggestions and ask for feedback on the products and services you’re offering. If the product you’re producing is a no good, then they’ll be the first to tell you.
- Blogging is ideal 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 businesses the opportunity to respond personally to problems or issues that customers might be facing. It also gives them the opportunity to fix the problems quickly. This personal, one-to-one interaction is what makes blogging so special.
- Blogging confirms your place in an online community, and gives you a sense of belonging.
- A blog is simply a form of online marketing. 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.