It is easy to underestimate the value that consistently blogging can contribute to building a business. There are so many other tasks to manage in running a company that maintaining a blog for it can get pushed aside for things that seem to be a higher priority.
But the truth is that blogging is important for any business – large or small – because it helps establish a brand, provides a medium for direct customer engagement, makes a company more personable, boosts search engine optimization, and acts as free marketing.
In this article, we’ll explore further why blogging is crucial for the long-term health of a business. From organic lead generation to providing a showcase of your finest work, a business blog can have big impacts on your company’s growth and success.
The Face of The Company
A business blog isn’t just a place to try and generate leads for your company (although that is a useful side benefit of maintaining consistent content on your blog). A blog is where you can put your company’s best foot forward and provides a human touch to your exchanges with the customer. It is part public relations hub, part front desk reception, part marketing team. And all from the comfort of your desk.
Make Yourself Available
In an increasingly digital world, consumers are appreciative of receiving “face time” with a company’s employees and feeling like there are real human beings behind the decisions a company makes. Nobody likes an automated system.
Blogging is one way to make yourself available to the customer by giving them a way to engage with your content on their own terms. With the power to give their own direct feedback, they start to develop a personal bond with the company. That is how you build brand loyalty.
A business blog is a place where you can help streamline and refine your brand in countless ways. Everything from the aesthetics of the website itself to the kinds of content provided help identify the business in the mind of the customer and market directly to its target demographic.
Blogging about your business is also a good way to establish in your own mind exactly who you’re trying to gear your business towards and find your niche. Creating content related to your industry not only helps establish you as an influencer in your industry, it also teaches you new things that can make your business better going forward.
While it is important to create a unique voice with your business blog to bond with the customer base, the technical advantages of blogging for exposure can’t be ignored either. Search engine optimization is directly influenced by the type of content you place on your blog such as specific keywords, allowing you to drive more digital traffic directly to your company through higher search engine visibility.
Not only that, regular blog posts also reinforce a business’s other social media accounts such as Twitter and Facebook, giving you valuable content to share in order to keep those accounts active and up to date.
Variety Is Key
A business blog isn’t just for articles and entries related to the business itself. There are tons of ways to use a business blog to engage and entertain your customers. A valuable one—especially if you are aiming for the millennial demographic—is email lists and discount programs.
Millennials are the largest growing customer demographic and they are known for their interest in value-based brands, but even more important than the brand is the price. Forbes Magazine reported that a whopping 72% of millennials searched for a discount before making a purchase online and would switch brands based on a discount of 30% or more, while only 7% followed brands to participate in the brand’s online community.
Providing a wide variety of content in your business blog is the key to keeping people interested in the digital face of your business. Other creative ways a business can engage the consumer base through a blog are as follows:
- Charity drives (millennials particularly love an ethics-based company)
- Compelling photographs related to the business
- Customer testimonials
- Industry interviews
- Seasonal promotions
- Product showcase
- Tutorials, how-to-guides, and frequently asked questions
Free Marketing for The Free Market
The Internet has traditionally been regarded as the Wild West of the free market, but that can a good thing if a savvy business owner uses it to their advantage. Compelling blog content is freely shared among consumers, and the influence of a business blog with charm and personality is compounded by being linked through other social media accounts.
Having great blog content not only intrigues and potentially captures potential customers, it can also give you credibility amongst other leaders and influencers in your industry if you use your blog to connect with other blogs and businesses related to your own. A bunch of industry leaders talking shop through their respective blogs and social media is an untapped networking gold mine.
All this business-centric social connection leads to a massive amount of positive exposure for pennies on the dollar compared to traditional advertising venues. Especially for small businesses, word of mouth is still the main key to customer referrals and sharing an entertaining or informative blog post is just the digital extension of that tendency in customers face to face.
The business world is full of ambitious entrepreneurs who rocketed to stardom (and huge profits) on the strength of their blog alone. Ree Drummond, the one-woman marketing phenomenon behind the cooking blog Pioneer Woman, jumps immediately to mind. Years later, that simple recipe blog has now become a multimillion-dollar brand.
Information as Currency
An important thing to keep in mind when creating a business blog is that customers are not just engaging with your business website or blog to learn about your product. People search for things on the Internet because they’re looking for information.
Information is one of the most valued currencies on the Web, and it says good things about a business that is willing to share information freely with its consumer demographic. This sense of transparency, generosity, and goodwill reflects well on the internal culture of a business, and the personalities of the people running it.
While it might not initially seem cost-effective to offer information about your business for free when you could otherwise charge for it, the returns a business will see in increased customer engagement are invaluable to the long-term growth of the brand.
Consistency (and Content) is King
Just starting a business blog is not enough. The key to using a business blog to contribute to the growth of your brand and your business is to consistently post new and interesting content. In his famous business essay “Content Is King” from 1996, Bill Gates famously stated: “…the broad opportunities for most companies involve supplying information or entertainment. No company is too small to participate.” This is a sentiment just as true (or more so) in 2019 than it was in the nineties.
But quantity is as important as quality when it comes to content. In order to maintain visibility, drive upwards search engine mobility, and keep customers socially engaged, a blog not only has to post strong content, it must post regularly and often. To expand and ignite a customer base, a business blog must remain dynamic and fresh.
One way to combat this stagnation if you become too busy to maintain the blog directly is to outsource generated blog content to a third party. This ensures that your blog consistently has new material for customers to interact with while freeing employees and the owner up for other tasks. Whether you do all the legwork yourself or hire outside talent, the bottom line is clear: business blogging as a vital aspect of any successful social marketing campaign is here to stay.