Perhaps the most alluring of the multitude of benefits when you create a business blog is the increased visibility in search engines (and the resulting opportunity to increase leads and sales). It’s not just hearsay – marketing data now clearly shows that blogging has become a critical part of marketing methodology and correlates directly to better business results.
Why create a business blog?
According to HubSpot, businesses that blog enjoy 55% more web visitors, 97% more natural inbound links and 434% more indexed pages by search engines. Yet the benefits of blogging for business extend beyond the obvious to long-term advantages, such as:
1. Gives a human voice to your business
Creating a blog can add character and warmth to a business’ web presence, which helps it to stand out in a crowd of faceless corporate websites. To achieve this, it must be clear that the blog is written by real people with personalities and opinions, not robots. Get the balance right though – while the odd humorous industry-related anecdote is fine, a business blog should always be professional. Proving that your blog is written by humans allows you to…
2. Build a dialogue with customers
A blog is the perfect medium to converse with your audience, which might include industry peers, prospects and customers. But the dialogue will only be as useful as the content and engagement you offer. Creating consistent, in-depth blog posts can be a challenge for many small businesses, so consider outsourcing to achieve a bank of quality content.
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3. Offer informative/educational content
We touched last week on the popularity of educational video posts amongst consumers. The same applies for business buyers, who generally seek out something informative to help them along the decision-making process. Blogs provide an invaluable opportunity to offer informative niche content, and this applies to text and audio as well as video posts.
4. Create a resource centre
Many businesses invest time and resources in networks like Twitter and Facebook, yet let their own website content stagnate. If the social networks were to collapse, where would your audience turn to communicate with you and find useful resources related to your industry and company? An attractive corporate blog offering useful resources including videos, white papers and ebooks serves as a permanent online destination where people can communicate and immerse themselves in your brand.
5. Increase your email subscriber list
It’s fairly easy to convert blog readers into email subscribers as long as you follow the rules of giving. Essentially, blog posts should always put the customer first and avoid the hard sell. Once you have offered enough (in the form of information, excellent content, solutions to problems etc.), then start using calls to action to get readers to subscribe to your email newsletter. Here, you can take relationships to the next level and introduce a sprinkling of selling.
These are just a handful of the benefits of creating a corporate blog. We’re not going to lie to you and say that it’s easy to achieve these results. It takes time, effort and perseverance to develop a corporate blog that gets read and shared by potential customers. And with Hubspot reporting that the number of business blogs are growing by 17% (2012 figs) – the chances are your competitors already are.
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