Blogging can be an excellent way for companies to increase awareness of their brands and connect with potential customers. But blogs remain an often misunderstood and underutilized resource, particularly for small businesses. You may even wonder whether blogging helps your business.
Are people really going to come to my site to read my blog? Is my industry interesting enough to blog about? Does anyone really care what I have to say? Is a blog worth my time? What’s the point of blogging anyway? How is blogging even useful?
All are common questions. And they all break down to how and why. Believe it or not blogging can be useful to any business. You don’t need to have a charismatic industry or rabid audience to benefit from sharing your company’s story.
Why Should You Blog?
The vast majority of questions I listed about blogging come down to “why do it?” Luckily there are some very straightforward answers to why blogging helps your business.
Blogging Allows Deep Dives
Let’s face it. Attention spans are not what they used to be. And honestly, they weren’t that great to begin with!
When a potential client lands on your website they are looking for a quick impression or a quick answer. Most of the time a person does not stay on a website very long the first time they find a company. There is too much competing for their attention.
With that in mind, a website needs to get to the point quickly. It doesn’t leave a lot of room for nuance.
There are home, about, products and services page and maybe a few others. Each of those pages need to make a good impression quickly and on first visit mainly serve to prevent the customer from deciding not to do business with you.
But once your potential customer has gone from the awareness stage to the decision stage, that is where your blog can shine. This is likely going to happen on a subsequent visit to your site.
Your company news or blog page allows you a chance to get into what makes your company special. It also allows you an opportunity to control the direction of the conversation.
Blogging Helps Your Business Steer the Conversation
What do I mean by control the conversation?
Imagine that you own a window cleaning company. You further know that your competitors’ prices are lower than yours but that they are not as thorough as your company. Also you have a product that makes glass resistant to smudges and dirt and your competitor doesn’t.
Your competitor will never bring up how long windows stay clean after a cleaning. And your customer doesn’t know that that’s even a factor to consider…unless you make the customer aware.
A blog is an opportunity to bring up little known benefits that you offer and make sure that your customer knows it’s an important element of a conversation with anyone in your profession.
This makes it possible for you to stay in the game even if you’re not the first company that they speak with. Further, when the customer later has a problem with their windows getting dirty soon after cleaning, if that customer searches for “keeping windows clean longer” or something similar, they are more likely to find you.
That blog gives you a chance to control the conversation if a shopper finds you on the front end and gain the customer later if they search for an alternative to your competitor on the back end.
Blogging Helps Your Business Improve SEO
As mentioned above you can’t talk about every detail of every service your business offers in the general layout of your website.
But you never know exactly what people are going to be searching for. Different searchers can come to your website different ways.
And you need to be ready for any of them.
How do you do that? By creating content for as many types of searchers as you’re able.
When you have stories on content that your audience is searching for, you are much more likely to be found that audience. And if you have an actual answer to an audience question, you’ve just gained authority.
When you publish particularly good content, others may link to you which further builds your authority. As you are looked at as a trusted resource, your website goes up in rank.
The more relevant, high-quality content you have on a particular topic, the more likely you are to rank for that topic. (By the way, if you’re not familiar with SEO, stay-tuned for the next blog.)
Blogging Humanizes You
There are a lot of ways that large corporations have the edge on small businesses. But there is one place where small businesses stand out – you’re part of the community, and blogging is your chance to capitalize on that.
Most people like to do business with their neighbors. Your customers like their communities and want to support them. But they don’t care about a building or inventory. They care about the people in them.
So people are what you need to talk about.
My tagline is “Let’s tell your story.” There’s a reason for that. As humans we thrive on stories.
The entertainment industry is one of our largest economic drivers. You’re more likely to remember something you saw in Lincoln or Hamilton than a list of recited dates and locations from an almanac. Important lessons are frequently passed down through myths.
You need to use your company blog to share the stories of your people and your customers. Funny stories. Success stories. Lessons learned.
Did you help a customer in an unexpected way? Does your office have a jokester? Do you have an inspiring founding?
All of these are excellent blog content.
They will get people reading but most importantly it will get customers to care about you. It will help customers understand that you’re not a faceless building. You’re made up of people just like them.
It will help you connect.
How Should You Blog?
So now you know about why you should blog. But how do you blog?
If you’re doing it yourself, the most important thing to know is to have quality writing. Don’t try to trick the search engines by just putting in a bunch of keywords. It doesn’t work. It might get you penalized and most importantly it will put off readers.
Make your writing natural, interesting, and relevant.
Write about topics that customers ask you about. Write stories. Have fun.
Use proper grammar and spelling. (No text speak!) If it’s hard to read, people won’t read it. Write as often as you can but be consistent.
Figure out how often you can blog and stick to that schedule. If you can write one blog a week now but know you won’t be able to do one a month later in the year, stick with the more conservative schedule. Inconsistency is off-putting to readers and will hurt your SEO.
Blogging well does take time. So if you don’t have time or writing is not your thing, don’t forget we live in a highly specialized society and there are good reasons for that (as I describe in this business technology blog). And remember you can always hire a professional. 😀