Blogging. Everyone’s doing it. There seems to be a blog out there on every possible subject, from food to fashion to finance. Indeed, whilst it may have once been true that blogs were the sole remit of celebrity gossips and conspiracy theorists, as you will have noticed, this is no longer the case.
An ever increasing number of businesses are launching their own blogs, using them to discuss topics and themes relevant to their industry. These blogs may appear innocuous but they are in fact deliberate and exceptional marketing tools.
For those businesses that are yet to start a blog, here are five reasons why you should do so, pronto.
1. Business blogs boost SEO
Typically, business websites are static. Very rarely will an “About” page, or an “Our Services” page, or any page, change. In SEO terms, this makes your website inactive. By regularly posting on a business blog you feed search engines fresh content to index.
These newly indexed pages tell search engines, like Google, that your website is active. Consequently, your site is more likely to rank highly in searches.
Note, once you start your blog, you should post regularly: an inactive blog is an unvisited blog. Plus it gives the impression that you have nothing more to say.
Each blog post is an opportunity to include keywords.
As we have mentioned before on the Redleaf blog, keywording is an excellent means of getting your content found by search engines. By including keywords that your potential customers are likely to use, you increase the number of visitors, not only to your blog post, but to your website.
In addition, each blog post is your chance to produce content that your audience – and potential customers – actually need. Useful content is highly prised by search engines and you will be rewarded for it.
2. A business blog can establish your business as an industry expert
A business blog is an excellent means of establishing a business as an authority within its industry. By writing blog posts that are informative, relevant and up to date, a business becomes a resource centre for their target audience.
A frequently updated blog can establish the credibility of a small or early-stage business and boost that of an industry stalwart. Acquiring the status of “industry expert” will draw customers, establish credibility and cause your website to be ranked well by search engines.
3. You can develop a brand persona
As we mentioned in an earlier blog post, it is important to create a brand persona that is appealing to your target audience. A business blog is a terrific means of developing that brand persona.
Your business blog is, of course, a place for you to discuss any new products or services. But, counter to the hard sell of advertising, a blog allows you to discuss these initiatives in a relaxed and personal tone.
You can offer insight into your business by discussing its history, philosophy and ideals. You can thereby create a relatable brand that has depth and appeal. Use your blog to communicate to customers as individuals: let them know that you understand their needs and can offer the solution.
4. A blog builds customer relations
By enabling comments for blog posts, you have an opportunity to interact with your customers and your peers. This is a chance to better identify your customer and gain insight into their thinking. And these comments are a valuable source of that all-important feedback.
By making sure that you diligently reply to all comments you can demonstrate your interest in, and concern for, your customers.
5. Blogs are shareable
Unlike the rest of your website, the content of your blog is always being updated. You can use your blog to discuss the relevant hot topics of the moment: this is the sort of content that gets shared. When your blog is shared, you expose your business to a wider audience and increase the flow of traffic to your website.
A final word of warning: if you don’t have time to blog properly yourself, get someone else to do it.
Blogging badly - by duplicating content, copying someone else’s, or not posting regularly – is worse than useless. Still, well-managed business blogs can be extremely effective marketing tools that can help your business gain credibility and stand out from the crowd.