Who needs a business blog?
It always seems there’s a ‘latest thing’ that business needs to embrace to stay up with the game.
And it’s the same for blogs. But that wasn’t the intention of the first ‘web-log’ back in December 1997 when American Jorn Barger created the original term, or when Peter Merholz in 1999 further refined the concept when he typed the first ‘blog’.
Back then, blogs were intended more for personal use, as a way to keep a digital diary. Then the more sociable bloggers started to share their creations and lo and behold, they had an audience. Blog-sharing then went viral, the blogosphere was created and there hasn’t been a backward glance since.
The scent of opportunity, that there was a chance to monetise blogs emerged and before you could say Silicon Valley, another compelling business communication tool was born.
The blog story is similar to that of Facebook; what was intended as a personal way for people to connect online has become a communication channel between many businesses and their customers in today’s world of commerce.
As with Facebook, business blogs show a company’s more personal side. They offer the chance to reveal the stories of the people, products and services behind the brands, the stories about what makes products or services special and why the customer needs to buy what you create.
People quickly spot the dodgy, inauthentic blogs, those created via cut and paste, or when the ‘writer’ hasn’t communicated with the businesses’ main players to find out their views and inspirations, which really are the essence of what blogs do so well.
Doing good business today is all about having a story to share, and as a result, blogs have become genuine touchstones that bring us back to what’s fundamental and important in today’s business world – who and what is behind the business you might do business with.
So why are blogs good for business?
For many business operators, blogs are a platform that build credibility and connection with their customers and these are the underlying reasons why people make purchases – because people believe in your product and they believe in you.
Done well, blogs are driven and inspired by integrity. This isn’t just woolly stuff either because like any good business tool, blogs’ effectiveness can be measured. And here’s the holy grail for validating business backing: good blogs generate sales.
The simplicity of a blog makes them alluring. They’re unpretentious typed messages that require little design work; they’re often humourous and inspiring, which adds to their popularity as ongoing messages that customers want to reconnect with time and again.
A vital part of your Content Marketing Strategy
Blogging for your business simply makes good sense, as a vital component of your content marketing strategy. So what’s that about?
Essentially, content marketing is creating and/or sharing content that is relevant to your brand. It pleases, informs and inspires your existing customers and reaches out to those you’d like to bring on board as well.
Blogs are about inspiring customer behaviour that validates your marketing strategy, because at the end of the day if sales aren’t coming through it could be time to shut up shop, or quickly make some changes.
Mapping out blog topics, say for the next 6 to 12 months, helps set your marketing strategy in place. For best practice, your blog topics need to be part of a plan, not just random word doodle creations that someone with the fastest typing speed in the company can knock out before morning tea.
Focusing on content marketing strategy keeps you sharp and when your blogs tick all the boxes, those all-seeing, all-powerful search engines – the cyber-bogies that can give business owners bad sleeps at night – will be well pleased.
Blogs are a vital link between the trifecta that defines a company’s online image: your website, e-newsletters to your clients, and social media channels like Facebook.
When blogs are posted to the website, they can then be selected for your EDMs (electronic direct mail, or e-newsletters), which go out to your database, usually as weekly or monthly bulletins, that let your customers know what you’re up to. Links back to your website are displayed throughout the text, where readers can ‘find out more’ ‘book here’ ‘call us here’ – those powerful, call to action messages.
Blogs can also be linked to your Facebook business page, where you stay in touch you’re your valued customers with exciting new offers and messages.
And here’s the clincher: The benefits of blogging can be tracked, reader behaviour can be tracked and click throughs analysed. You can also see which blog topics are the most popular and adjust your content to meet demand.
Blogs are about sharing the business love, really. More than that, you can discover what makes the love special and how you can make those relationships last, because we know the lasting ones are gold.
To answer the question, who needs a business blog: WebWriters says any business with something to sell, a business that has a story to tell, and wants to communicate more broadly with its customers. We reckon that’s pretty much most businesses – how cool is that?
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