Sunday, November 10, 2013

Blogging – Why All Small Businesses Should Have a Blog

Blogs are not just for personal bloggers any more, more and more businesses are jumping on the blogging bandwagon, and for a good reason, blogging can have a very positive impact for small businesses.  

Blogs are an inexpensive way to not only keep in touch with your customers, but to allow new customers to find you and it is a great marketing tool.  There are several free blog hosting sites out there or if you already have a company website, it is fairly simple to add in a section for a blog. 

Small businesses should not overlook this very useful tool to boost their marketing power all they will need is fresh content to keep the blog updated.  Setting up a blog and then not adding content is a common mistake that small businesses make.  Blogs are a tool to deliver fresh content to the readers; it is an excellent way to showcase products or promotions and to generate interest. 

Interaction and Feedback

Blogs offer your customers a way to interact with your company.  Your blog should allow users to post comments and feedback.  Companies should closely monitor the comments and be sure to reply to them; even the negative comments and feedback should be addressed because it shows concern for the opinions of the people that make your business successful. 

By monitoring blog comments, you are gaining valuable feedback that can be used to improve your business.  Additionally, customers are more inclined to be repeat customers when they feel as if they are valued and blog interaction is a great way to show your customers that their opinions are valued.   
Clients like to know that their opinions matter and when you occasionally have blog content that is asking for their feedback specifically, it shows that your company is open and receptive to what they have to say.

You will be able to get to know your client base better with a blog and they will get to know you better as well.  When you walk into a business, you do not know who the people are behind it; you just know that there is a service or a product that you like.  Blogs allow your customers to get to know your business better, to understand who is behind it and what the company’s goals are.  Blogs give a personality to your business, a personality that allows your customers and clients to connect to your business on a more personal level.

Boost Sales and Bring in Business

Blogs are valuable tools for boosting your sales.  Companies can showcase a different product once a week, giving clients and in-depth look at the product and its uses.  Blogs can be used to generate interest in new products and services, before they are available. 

You can build up interest in upcoming promotions and products and by marketing through you blog, you can reach a wider audience than just by having a website alone.  Having all of the information on your website is one thing, but your clients probably do not check the website unless they need something.

However, with a blog, they can stay up to date easier.  They can subscribe to your blogs via email, and so whenever you update, they get notified that there is new content on your blog.  By combining blogs with social media such as Twitter and Facebook, the marketing power of a blog is nearly doubled.

Companies can notify a wider audience of blog posts by tweeting a link to the blog or posting a link on their Facebook page.  Using blogs alongside with social media keeps businesses in touch with their clients and a wide network of potential customers.

Fresh Content

Blogs need to be updated constantly, but doing so will be well worth the while.  Once a week is the average blog post rate, but if something comes up and you need to get the word out, a blog post is a great way to do so. 

Your blog content should focus on your customer.  You are not writing a blog for you, you are writing for them and as long as you keep that in mind, your blogs will generate interest.  You can use the blog to educate about your company, about your products and services, you can use blogs to reach out and give examples about why and how your products and services can be useful.  This is your chance to not just tell them that they need a product, but to tell them why they need it.

Another benefit of a blog is that through SEO – Search Engine Optimization – your blog will show up on search engine results when keywords from your blog are searched for.  Being higher ranked on search engines means that more web-traffic will be directed to your site.  The more content you post; the more web exposure you will get.

As long as you have the time to update a blog weekly, it will pay off in many ways.  Blogs are an underutilized business tool but when used properly, they are a valuable way to get more exposure for your company, increasing your sales and boosting your client retention.


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