I was a little surprised recently when a client suggested to me that blogging was really only something celebrities and hobbyists indulged in. Although the comment took me aback, I nevertheless politely told them that they were way off the mark – and gave them a few good reasons why!
Blogging isn’t just for big name personalities, gossip-mongers or ‘rock star’ internet marketers. It’s something anyone – or any business – can successfully pursue as long as the blog is organised, well-written and targeted at the right audience.
Here are 5 simple reasons why I think your business should be blogging:
1. Stand out from the crowd
How many of your competitors are blogging? And if they are, how good are they? The chances are that despite the web becoming increasingly more social and interactive, many companies do not have a (good) company blog.
By setting up and executing a varied, interesting and engaging blog you can begin to create a competitive advantage. A great company blog will include a diverse range of blog posts, from research take-aways and top tips, to infographics and opinion pieces – all of which will give readers – and your customers – a good reason to keep coming back. And as they do so, you’ll have started to create an interested community, all of whom will be well aware of your brand and the product and services you have to offer.
2. Build brand awareness
A great company blog will allow you to write openly and objectively about the subjects and issues related to your industry that you feel passionate about. It’s important that you have an opinion and illustrate this in your blog posts. And it’s OK to be controversial (within limits). This will give your blog a personality that will differentiate you from others.
A company blog shouldn’t be overly focused on your business – keep news items and product updates for a ‘news’ page. Instead, the blog should compliment the business aspects and problems your company products/ services can solve. For example, Blue Sky Factory, an email marketing company based in the US, have a blog which regularly offers tips, tricks and advice on how to improve your email marketing strategies. They rarely talk about themselves but as a regular reader of their blog you become very aware of them and much more likely to call on them for professional (paid) help.
3. Establish thought-leadership
By becoming a proficient blogger within your field of expertise, you can set yourself up as an opinion-leader and a ‘go-to’ person within your space. by doing so, you can continue to build brand awareness as a result of increased media appearances, speaking engagements and interviews.
Martin Lewis, aka the ‘Money Saving Expert‘, is a perfect example. As an outspoken but professional voice on all things money-related, he’s established himself as a respected authority on consumer-focused money issues and is regularly called upon my media outlets for his take on news stories and matters related to this subject.
4. Share information
A blog is an excellent way of removing the corporate barriers and revealing a human side to the company. For me, a great business blog isn’t afraid of sharing information and ideas openly with readers and customers.
I liken it to how TV chefs operate. You’ll regularly see them on television demonstrating how they cook the perfect roast chicken, or publishing recipe books. Yet if they’re giving away their secrets, why are they still in business? Because they use all their other skills (influence, personality, network knowledge etc) to build on the food they produce to create an experience for the consumer that you and I could never replicate. They give away small pieces of information in exchange for building up their own reputations and brands.
5. Improve search engine optimisation
Search engines love any website that has regularly updated, keyword-rich and – most importantly – engaging, valuable content – and a blog can achieve all of these brilliantly.
The primary reason for a business blog should not be to improve SEO but for a combination of the other four reasons listed above. Nevertheless, a great blog that offers regular content that adds value is much more likely to be indexed for your keywords and be linked to by other industry-related websites, improving your site’s link popularity and consequently boosting search engine rankings.
What reasons do you have for starting a company blog? Or do you have any reasons for not setting up a business blog?