For small businesses, taking time to regularly blog can seem like a significant investment and responsibility without a guarantee of return. So why do it?
Whenever we write a proposal or approach a new client, we do not know whether that contact will result in business. Rather, we are hoping that, over the long term and with tenacity, we will convince the client that we are the best person or company for the job. We are trying to show that we know what we are talking about and that we are interested and involved in their market or brand.
Blogging is just another marketing tool (and one which can potentially reach a wider audience) that allows us to do this – and one which we are able to control to a greater degree than some other methods (blogs are direct and targeted).
The definition of a business blog is ‘a corporate tool for communicating with customers or employees to share knowledge and expertise’. Hubspot conducted a study that indicated that 57% of companies who have a blog also acquired a customer from that blog, and that 81% of marketers surveyed thought that their business blog was useful for their business. Clearly Hubspot has a vested interest, but nonetheless the figures give pause for thought.
Thinking of blogging as an integral part of marketing effort (rather than separate from the other activities undertaken) makes a lot of sense – it is another avenue through which we can build credibility, increase traffic to the website and create opportunities to establish relationships with clients. It also validates you as a credible business – any potential client visiting your blog can see you are active and interested, and that you have a perspective about a subject.
To summarise, blogging builds your brand and gives your company a ‘voice’. It is a marketing investment that can help your company grow in the future, and its value compounds over time. Blogs can communicate your, and your company’s values, vision and personality and potentially establish your business as a thought leader within the industry or sector that you work in. By regularly blogging about relevant hot topics, you can build your reputation as an expert in your field (and potentially give you an advantage over competitor companies). It also gives you a great excuse to email your contacts regularly – keeps you top of mind.
Easy to use, if you don’t have a website, blogs are also a way to establish a web presence and share your expertise and knowledge with a wider audience.
But what to blog?
Many new bloggers get ‘writers block’ – faced with a blank webpage, all coherent thought takes flight and your fingers are left flapping uselessly above the keyboard. There are many useful resources on the web with ideas about what, and how, to blog. Click here for a 20 ideas about how to develop more and better content. Other resources include:
- Article on how to write the perfect blog
- Use a content idea generator
- Article on how to choose the right topic for your blog
- How to create content that your audience wants to read
If you have any other useful resources, please email email@example.com and we will add them to this list.