Today, online visibility is vital for both small and medium-sized businesses.
We all know that an attractive, fully-operational website is essential. However, the increasingly competitive nature of online business means companies should also be using EVERY promotional tool they have available –not just social media.
So does this include blogging?
In a word, yes. According to Optinmonster, companies who blog regularly get 97% more links to their websites and twice as much email traffic as businesses who don’t, showing just how valuable this tool can be.
Whatever the advantages of a business blog, getting one set up can be daunting and time-consuming. Plus, once it’s out there, you’ll need to update it regularly with relevant, high-quality content which many businesses don’t have the time or resources to do well.
This article will outline the key components of a great business blog and the value of blogging as an online marketing tool.
What are the advantages of a business blog?
Blogging has changed considerably since the early days of the internet. While the majority of blogs used to centre on personal interests and knowledge-sharing for its own sake, in recent years they have become a viable way for companies to build an audience and reach out to their customers.
For small and medium-sized businesses, the advantages of regular blogging are considerable. As one of the central strategies of content marketing, blogging provides a solid platform for customer engagement.
Advantages of a business blog include:
- You can build a valuable business network
- You’ll significantly increase your online presence
- You can create a platform for your knowledge and expertise, positioning your company as the experts in your field
- You’ll grow subscribers and generate valuable leads
What makes a great business blog?
Business blogging is about more than simply relaying product information and availability. It is an opportunity to showcase the look and feel of your brand to a receptive audience, by offering free content that draws people in.
A blog is essentially a springboard for your brand’s identity. It may use storytelling to connect with customers and demonstrate product expertise through real-life examples, refer to current trends and topics of interest, or explain the benefits of a product or service.
Storytelling, in particular, is a crucial strategy for gaining customer trust and demonstrating expertise through content. It’s also an opportunity for businesses to showcase their USP (unique selling proposition) through customer-focused scenarios.
A blog is a hand that can guide a customer, whether new or established, using free and evergreen content that is of genuine interest and value to them. An up-and-coming fashion brand, for example, might start a blog on historical fashion to show off their design inspirations and play on a sense of heritage. Likewise, a supermarket might feature a monthly recipe blog on their website to showcase their new product lines.
A business blog can take many forms, but what matters most is that as it is simple, valuable and relatable for your target audience.
Building an online presence
Blogging gives small businesses and budding entrepreneurs a voice in what can sometimes seem like an overly-crowded online marketplace. At their best, business blogs can be used to build professional networks and foster a sense of brand community.
Like all successful content marketing strategies, blogging is a vital means of communication between a business and its customers. It has the advantage of being both informal and conversational, while also providing a platform for demonstrating brand knowledge and expertise.
Connecting with a target audience through a great blog can both strengthen bonds with existing customers and attract new ones through recommendations and shares on social media sites.
Blogging is also a great way of gaining new subscribers. Many users may be attracted by the style and content of a company blog before they know anything about its products or services. If they find the content compelling enough, they are far more likely to investigate further to see what the company has to offer.
Blogging and SEO
We now know that one of the main advantages of a business blog is that it drives more people to your website. But how does this work?
Well, search engine optimisation (SEO) has a big part to play. Blogging is the apex of SEO strategies. It essentially provides a business with a tailor-made platform from which it can assert its unique brand identity and carve out its place in the market.
According to the website seotribunal.com, SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, far outstripping the 1.7% close rate of outbound leads, which also use a more direct marketing approach.
Using a carefully crafted set of keywords (search terms that relate to your business) helps search engines identify YOUR business amidst a sea of competitors. This ensures your free content reaches its target audience by specifically relating products or services to a set of clearly-defined terms.
Each business is different, with its own individual goals, strategies and needs. For your blog to benefit your business, it needs to reflect the ideas, aesthetics and values that underpin your brand.
So, while there are clear guidelines to follow and obvious boxes to tick, blogging is as much of an art as it is a science. What is certain, however, is that a business blog must be well-written, engaging, skimmable and fully-optimised for search engines.
Blogging and ROI
Statistics show that businesses that blog regularly are 13 times more likely to have a positive ROI than those who don’t.
Blogging has become increasingly common among business communities. As a result, customers now expect their favourite brands to deliver free, valuable content. Reaching out to online shoppers with unique, free content is now such a valuable source of potential revenue that going that extra mile will almost certainly pay dividends.
Need help with your company blog?
When all is said and done, producing high-quality blog content can be time-consuming. (The average blog post takes 3.5 hours to write!) These days, time itself is a valuable resource that many smaller businesses simply don’t have enough of.
Outsourcing this task is the obvious solution, but you’ll need to budget carefully and weigh up the pros and cons of using a content marketing agency VS hiring a freelance writer.
Bear in mind that good, reliable freelancers don’t come cheap, and you tend to get what you pay for in this area. Freelancers may also produce sporadic results, as many lack the resources to fully engage with each company they work for.
At Greener Media, we like to think we offer the perfect solution. Our agency is run by writers, so blogging is our speciality. Not only are our services professional, but they’re also affordable.
Our writers understand the role of style and individuality in a great blog, and the importance of demonstrating a business’s USP with clarity and creativity. By tailoring our writing to the individual needs of each business we work with, we can help build on brand identities with fully-optimised content that speaks to a unique client base.
We offer a writing service that provides regular blog articles for company websites, as well as LinkedIn pulse articles. As a dedicated team of professional writers, we know how to write engaging, high-quality copy that converts.
Our blog writing process?
Each blog post we write employs a three-step editing process which uses in-depth keyword research, content planning and editing, custom image creation and scheduling. All articles are optimised for SEO, giving them the best possible chance of being found by search engines.
In our busy online marketplace, it is more vital than ever for smaller businesses to assert their unique brand identity. Greener Media can produce high-quality content that will ensure your business stands out from the crowd.