Many business people have come to recognize the value of blogs as a means to share expertise, and establish credibility with an audience of the buying public.
Those business people who are more technically-minded have also come to recognize that a well-maintained business blog will tend to out-perform a traditional, static business web site in search engines. In more direct terms, this means that a well-maintained blog can provide a smart business person and his/her business with a competitive advantage online!
From a marketing stand-point, business blogs, in general, have demonstrated that they can:
- Generate ways for consumers to discover old and new businesses and their respective products/ services.
- Act as a communication medium that offers marketing visibility opportunities for businesses well beyond the search engines. Business blogs have, in some instances, been know to generate buzz and word of mouth marketing for their businesses (let’s see a static, business web page do that).
Benefits of Blogging for Small Business:
- It tends to be cheaper for a small business to keep up a blog than to keep up a website. For small business owners without the time to learn web HTML or the money to hire a web designer/developer, blogging offers an inexpensive method to get their company’s name out on the Internet.
- Having a well-maintained blog may provide a small businesses with a powerful edge vs. larger, “blog-silent” businesses pursuing the same customers in the market-place.
- Blogging has shown time and again that it can be a great marketing tool that boost sales, provides a perfect opportunity for product promotion and helps brand a small business and its products.
- It tends to improve the customer experience since it allows for public, two-way business/customer conversations (value: customers who feel like a company is listening to them and responding to their needs have been found more likely to develop an emotional connection with that company — something important for a small business seeking to build customer loyalty and generate repeat buyers).
Some Words of Warning about Blogging for Businesses Large and Small:
A well-maintained business blog does involve a significant investment of a time. Also, it tends to communicate best when its writing is humanized and personal-sounding rather than cold and robotic (avoid using corporate jargon that can turn your audience away).
And although a business person may find it challenging, s(he) must take the time to respond to all non-spam comments left on his/her company’s blog — particularly negative comments. Keep in mind, however, that if these comment responses satisfy an angry customer, that same customer can potentially turn in to an evangelist for the same business down the road.
Happy Business Blogging!