The Business Case for a Business Blog
In today’s business environment where budgets are tight and time is at a premium, and with social media seemingly taking centre stage, many of my clients still ask me if a blog is really necessary and if there is still a strong business case for a business blog.
The answer is still a resounding yes – in fact it’s probably more important now than ever before.Is there still a business case for a business blog? The answer is still a resounding yes.… Click To Tweet
There are two main ways in which a blog adds value to your online marketing efforts: traffic generation and higher conversion rates.
The majority of your traffic may come from Google but the size of that pool is dropping across the board as new sources of traffic develop (for more about this phenomenon click here). If you don’t have a presence in these new pools then you will miss some major opportunities to sell.
In addition, the traffic coming from these new sources demands a different communication strategy to generate a successful conversion.
More than ever before, a blog is an essential platform where you can access new sources of traffic and articulate your alternative communication strategy.
Blogs Help Generate More Traffic from Search Engines
There are a number of ways in which a business blog can generate more traffic to your site.
Google loves ever growing content on your website. I found this really lovely metaphor about how blogging is likened to fishing. The more hooks you cast into the waters, the more fish you are likely to catch. I could get more technical, but to keep the analogy of fishing, the more blog posts you write, the more content and pages you have on your website, the more hooks you have in the water and the more fish you catch.
More keyword opportunities to deliver additional traffic. At best, for reasons of poor site planning and resultant architecture limitations, the average website can usually only be ranked for a limited number of the more generic, more competitive phrases. By writing lots of blog posts about different aspects of your industry, you can bypass the restrictions of your site and get ranked for a flurry of additional long tail key phrases. These are so important to a balanced diet of traffic and often tend to deliver much more profitable traffic to your site.
More links to your website pages. Whether for generic phrases or for long tail phrases, the more interesting and useful blog posts you write and publish on your site, the more people will want to share your content. Also, if you write content that others can use, then your content gets referenced by others as part of their writing. This sharing and referencing generates links to your site, which helps improve rankings for all sorts of key phrases. And this, in turn, generates more traffic to your site.
Just one really important proviso: This only really works if your blog is physically sitting on your primary website domain. We are looking for yourdomain.com/blog, not blog.yourdomain.com or yourdomainblog.com.Blogs help generate more traffic from Search Engines, as well as higher conversion rates. Click To Tweet
Blogs Help Generate More Traffic from Social Media
If properly thought out, your blog programme can generate excellent traffic to your website.
When tweeting or posting on Facebook (and other social tools), I see many cases where people spend all their time pointing to great content that other people have written.
While it is great to keep sending your readers to everyone else’s websites and blog, surely one of the main objectives of social media is to get more people to think that you are the expert and to come and visit your website?
By producing good content and publishing it on your company blog, you can now proudly talk about and promote your own expertise and your own content on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ (and other social platforms) and point your readers to your own website. There, you have another opportunity to impress and to promote yourself and your services and products.
Blogs Help Build Stronger Relationships with your Readers
Once you are starting to generate this new traffic to your site, the next task at hand is to work on building solid and long term relationships with your readers with the aim of converting them into new business or, if not, then at least brand advocates for your business.
There are a number of ways that business blogs can do this rather effortlessly.
The Personal Touch. Don’t underestimate the power of personality. Traditional websites are designed and copy-written to sell. They are, at best, corporate brochure-ware and communicate their messages in a corporate manner. And that is good for many businesses.
However, by juxtaposing your blog posts alongside the corporate salesmanship of your website, you are giving your readers the opportunity to also hear “you” – the individual. Tell them what you think, give them advice, share your ideas and your experiences. When you talk to your readers in a very personal way, you build trust and develop the likeability of your brand.
Building your Authority in your Industry. And while we are on the topic of giving your readers the opportunity to engage with the real “you”, this is also the ideal opportunity for you to establish your credentials as an expert in your industry by sharing industry related information, your insights on current issues and future trends etc.
Discussion and Feedback. When you blog from the heart and believe that you are giving your readers something that is useful and valuable, then you also open yourself up to comments, praise and even criticism – all of which are great. By engaging with both the positive and the negative, and responding to ideas and thoughts that your readers might provide, you are engaging in a public conversation.
Blogs Help Grow your Mailing List & Readership
When readers like your content or find it useful there are often two resultant positive outcomes.
One of them is that readers start to subscribe to your content, which helps increase the size of your mailing list. And this is good for business. As Joe Pulizzi from the Content Marketing Institute says: “It’s almost impossible to monetise and grow your audience without first getting the reader to take action and actually subscribe to your content.” The first commitment is essential.
Therefore, help your readers subscribe by providing a few reminder messages and sign up opportunities at the end of your blog content.
An email signup form below your blog posts allows you to grow your mailing list and provide your readers with a valuable content feed at the same time.
The other positive outcome is that readers who like your content tend to share it with their peers and colleagues, which is a great way for organically expanding your exposure and further increasing your subscriptions.
Blogs Help Increase Sales
Over time, all this relationship building adds up to position you in the mind of the reader as a trustworthy individual behind a likeable brand. And we all know that people prefer to do business with those people whom they trust as experts and, very importantly, whom they know and feel safe with.
And if your blog can help you get more traffic AND build profitable relationships with your readership AND help increase sales, then surely that is a pretty solid business case for a business blog?
If you’re looking for some ideas and inspirations for business blogs that do their brands proud, then take a look at the blogs that we have created for some of our clients or give us a call.