Unless some unruly publisher hacked my MacBook and “Gutenburged” this post into print, you are more than likely reading this content on my blog.
I choose to host this piece on my blog, instead of in print because when it comes to digital marketing strategy and sound business strategy in general, there are no downsides to starting and maintaining a blog as a business.
The Benefits of Starting A Business Blog?
A company is yet to exist who would not benefit from a frequently updated business blog. A great business blog can be configured in many different ways and serve an infinite amount of beneficial functions for a business. A business blog is more than a haphazard place to advertise your latest products and services.
It’s where company expertise is showcased, and where businesses find new customers, engage with existing customers and build a reputation as a leader in the industry. Most importantly, a blog is a platform for a company to provide value to their target audience.
Rank Organically Online
A business blog is more than haphazard, infrequent updates on new products or services. It is a tool to be used to rank organically online.
That’s a big deal!
Every company wants to be found online, but very few companies receive direct traffic, typically reserved for companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon.
(Def) Direct Traffic: Web traffic sent to a webpage via the user typing the web address directly into the browser search bar.
When a company ranks organically online it is because they have followed search engine optimization (SEO) best practices to “convince” Google’s algorithm that the company is relevant to the user’s search. The best way to do that is with a business blog- the optimal way for companies to show a search engine that their service is relevant to the user.
Simply put; by providing useful and informative content in a business blog a brand can showcase its expertise and prove the claims made by its advertising.
Backlinks & Linkbuilding
A backlink is an incoming link from another webpage and how a user finds your site via another website. Backlinks are critical to funneling web traffic to a business webpage luckily a business blog makes establishing backlinks easy.
Business blogging enables companies to expand the reach of their content by backlinking their webpage with another relevant website, resource, or educational web page. With backlinks a site can gain more exposure with their target audience while simultaneously building a positive reputation within the industry.
Brand Reputation Management
There is no better way to build and maintain a reputation online than business blogging. Business blogging can showcase company expertise and build backlinks, but it can also determine the voice of a brand.
A business blog is where you define exactly who your target audience is and appeal to them in the way that is most effective.
Case Studies: Provide value by showcasing research, data and company findings. Make a point based on facts.
Opinions: Post company opinions on legislation, industry findings, and current events.
Projects: Provide examples of past projects.
Outreach & Philanthropy: Tell the world about company causes and philanthropies.
Engage With the Target Audience
Business blogs create a platform to engage with the target audience. It’s a place where real conversations can take place with real customers.
Start the conversation: As a business you want people to be talking about your product. If customers are not talking about your product or service, use your blog to start the conversation yourself.
Comment on other blogs. Provide value by commenting on a content piece and linking back to a relevant content piece hosted on your company blog.
Generate Leads: Business blogs are a perfect platform for lead generation. Email subscriptions, mailing lists, twitter handles, all can be collected via targeted content provided by a business blog.
Collect Analytics: Want to know if blog content reached the target audience? There are hundreds of web analytics tools that can show you demographic data on your target audience and how much the engaged with your content. Try Google Analytics.
Be part of the community: Business blogs are a great way to take part in the community, especially for small businesses. Get out there and start participating in local events as a company.
Take lots of pictures and create a blog post about the event and all the good your business did in the community.
What Types of Companies Should Start a Blog
The number of websites currently published on the internet is upwards of a billion web pages. If a startup wishes to be noticed in the ocean of web content they need to develop a business blog.
When frequently updated with relevant content and paired with SEO best practices, a startup business blog can create brand awareness by ranking organically on Google and other search engines.
(Def) SEO: Search engine optimization – The process of affecting the online visibility of a website, blog or web page in a search engine’s unsponsored returns, referred to as “organic” results.
Startups need capital, they need investment, and they need brand awareness. A regularly updated startup business blog can provide all of these.
A startup business blog provides an opportunity for startups to create customer engagement, test their brand voice and receive valuable feedback on their product, service, and brand.
At the same time, a startup business blog also enables investors and co-founders in search of a smart investment to find potentially profitable startup companies with whom they want to invest.
A startup who isn’t showcasing their brand, services, and expertise online is not likely to convince the savvy investor to invest in their business.
Manufacturing & Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG’s)
Blogging is extremely relevant to industrial manufacturing companies and manufacturers of consumer packaged goods. As a manufacturer its critical that consumers trust your product.
Customers don’t like uncertainty. They want to feel like they are making a smart decision when they buy and they don’t want to feel like they have been swindled by flashy advertising.
Authors Note: Learn more about The Psychology That Explains Why We Hate Being Advertised To
In fact, a report by Rapt Media found that 63% of consumers said they’d think more positively of a brand if it gave them content that was more valuable, interesting or relevant.
The number one way to accomplish that is not through expensive marketing campaigns; it’s by developing a good business blog.
Let’s use Colgate as an example. Their blog, The Oral Health Center, does a masterful job of providing value to their target audience, which is anyone with teeth.
Online users who are utilizing Google or another search engine to answer questions they have about their oral health can now be organically to Colgate’s blog, wherein they can learn about their oral health and buy Colgate products in the same place.
Guess what? Users won’t enter their credit card information on an e-commerce site if they don’t trust the webpage or the business running it.
It’s easy to tell a quality e-commerce business from a shady one, and one of the best ways to determine that is whether they operate an e-commerce blog.
According to a report compiled by SeeWhy, 99% of users won’t complete a purchase on their first visit to an e-commerce site.
A regularly updated e-commerce business blog that provides value through informative content is more likely to alleviate user concerns such as unexpected costs, payment security and whether they can find the same product for cheaper elsewhere.
Here is an idea… If users are not converting on an e-commerce site because they feel they can find similar products cheaper on another e-commerce site try creating blog content that shows why your products are worth the extra cost like:
10 Reasons Why It’s Smart To Pay Extra For Quality Widgets
5 Ways Cheap Widgets Are Hurting Your Sales
If users are worried about payment security, try producing blog content about e-commerce security and the steps users can take to protect themselves such as:
5 Ways To Keep Your Information Secure While Shopping Online
How To Tell Whether An E-commerce Site is Secure
The products sold on your e-commerce website may already be of better quality, offer a better deal or provide better customer service with more security than the competition, but no one is going to know that unless they read about it on an e-commerce blog.
In the service industry, perhaps more than any other, it is important for companies to establish a reputation as an expert, and a leader in their field. Otherwise, the only selling point a service based company has is the affordability of their rates.
It has been proven time and time again that customers are willing to pay for quality. Positive customer reviews go a long way in building a quality reputation as a service provider, but not nearly as far as leading the conversation about your service, field or industry.
Service providers who prove, through blog content, that they are the experts in a given subject, more than the competition, are more likely to convert a reader into a customer.
Let’s use Logistics & Supply Chain as an example. If a Trucking company wishes to sell more of their service in the Chicagoland area, then it would be beneficial for them to generate related blog content focused on Chicago like:
How The Driver Shortage is Affecting Chicago Area Shippers?
Why Chicagoland Shippers Should Ship With a Trucking Company Instead of FedEx.
Potential customers will be able to find that content online, read it, and see that trucking company who created it is the expert in Chicago and will, therefore, be more inclined to utilize their service over the other companies who have yet to prove their expertise.
Types of Business Blogs
There are thousands of blog types and options that exist over the hundreds of blogging platforms that are on the web. However, the five most common types are:
Founder & CEO: This is a blog wherein the CEO, or founder of the business provides their unique perspective on industry topics, news, and events that are important to the business and its customers.
General Company: Generally maintained by multiple authors, general company blogs are the most common type of business blog and cover a plethora of different variations, topics, industries and audience demographics.
Department & Team: If a company is large enough to have several departments it may be beneficial to develop a blog for each department to showcase projects that they are working on in conjunction with the company’s overall business goals.
Product & Service Marketing: Here is where company products and services are advertised and specifically marketed. It’s important to strategize with marketing content and provide value for the reader rather than simply specifying the various products sold by the business
Blogging is about building trust. It’s about proving to the world that you are what you say you are. In the words of Zig Ziglar,
“If people like you they will listen to you, but if they trust you they will do business with you.”