Why is it that you work just as hard as other small business entrepreneurs, but you’re not getting tons of business and online engagement like they are?
How is it they seem to have a lot more business than you do? Why are they closing more deals? How are they getting so many leads through their website?
As Small Business Trends points out, they’re most likely blogging. Why is that a big deal? Because they’re probably using their small business blog to build an online audience that is engaging with their brand, and according to Small Business Sense, “70% of clients prefer to get to know a business through reading articles vs ads”.
“A small business blog is one of the most-used and effective content marketing tools at your disposal. Simply put, if you’re not blogging, you’re leaving money on the table.”
Check out the statistics below:
- When marketers use blogs, they get 67% more leads than those who don’t.
- Information and advice from blogs is trusted by 81% of online consumers.
- Companies with blogs get 97% more inbound links.
- 61% of online consumers in the U.S. have made purchases based on blog recommendations.
- 60% of consumers are more positive about a business after reading custom content on its site.
Small businesses don’t often have the big marketing budget of a large corporation, and if that’s the boat you’re in, you have to consider other ways to connect with and grow your audience. “One of the best ways to do this is blogging,” says Small Business Trends. “It’s been shown to be highly effective at generating quality leads for your business.”
To help you recognize the potential rewards that blogging can provide, we’ve put together a list of 8 benefits:
1. Research & Feedback
When you have a blog with a lot of articles, it helps you gain a better understanding of your audience’s preferences. The back end of your site allows you to view the pages people are visiting the most so you get a better idea of their interests. This will help you to know what types of content you should create.
You can also use your blog to gather direct feedback from your audience. If your audience actively engages with your blog, they’ll likely be more than happy to answer your questions.
2. Search Engine Optimization
One of the biggest factors in getting more traffic is making sure that people will find your site through search engines. “Search engines are the #1 driver of traffic to content websites,” says Small Business Trends. So if you want a good online presence, you can’t ignore SEO.
By posting relevant content on your website, you’ll be able to rank for particular keywords. A blog gives you the platform to consistently publish high-quality content that will really boost your search engine optimization efforts.
Google’s algorithms will rank your site higher when you post relevant content and over time, your site will crawl ever closer to the front page of search results. Additionally, people are more likely to link back to your content when it’s high-quality, earning you some credible backlinks from other high-authority blogs.
3. Audience Engagement
“It’s not enough to just create great content. You also need to interact with your audience as much as you can,” advises Small Business Trends. After all, your success isn’t going to happen by talking at your audience. Having ongoing conversations with your readers will help you get to know them better and vice versa.
Showing your audience that you’re interested in interacting with them increases loyalty and helps you form a deeper connection with them.
4. Sharing Your Mission
If you want to connect with your audience on a more emotional level, you need to have a unique brand perspective that conveys your company’s purpose.
A company blog is the perfect place to share your mission with current and potential customers alike. Building a strong brand encourages customer loyalty and having a purpose beyond what you sell sets you apart from the competition.
A business that sells vegan meat substitutes, for example, might post content about animal welfare on their blog. This would demonstrate that the company has a higher purpose than just making money.
5. Customer Communication
Is something going on with your service? Will your website be down for maintenance? Hosting a special event?
Having a blog provides you with an effective means of communicating these things to your customers. People don’t always read their email, so having a centralized place to post important announcements is very advantageous.
A blog is also a great place to tell your audience about occasional promotions. Instead of spreading all your coupons around Facebook, get in the habit of compelling your audience to visit your own site—especially if it’s an ecommerce site.
Just make sure you don’t over do it. The majority of your content should focus on offering relevant information that’s of value to your readers. Posting too may promotions will lead them to believe you care more about making money them helping them.
6. Showing Your Humanity
Keep in mind that people want to know that there are actual human beings working at your business. You can use personal stories to help you connect with your customers through your blog.
Let your personality shine through. Instead of using “corporatespeak”, write in an informal voice that people can relate to.
7. Providing Value
In order to build influence, you have to provide value. Take it from Arjun Reddy—the founder of Super Baby—who builds credibility through his website’s “resources” section. “Our visitors are parents who are looking for fun ways to help their children become smarter,” he says. “The advice we give in our resources section is designed to provide helpful parenting tips for our readers.”
When you’re generating content, ask yourself what your reader is going to get out of a particular piece of content. Each article should inform, educate, and/or entertain (when possible, try to do all three).
8. Building Credibility
A blog is a tool that can help you establish credibility in the minds of your potential customers. People who read your content and gain value from it are more willing to buy from you because you have already provided them with helpful information through your blog.
The CEO of Sleeping Angels, Lissette Palencia, has built a steady stream of leads by using her blog to provide high-level value to her website’s visitors. She says:
“As you can guess, when you run a nanny agency, your clients are parents who are concerned about the safety of their children. They want to do the research first. When they visit our website, they find tons of valuable information that helps them make the right decision for their family. Not only does it inform them, it makes them more comfortable with doing business us.”
Earning credibility is all about creating content that is engaging and provides solutions for the problems your customers are facing. As you consistently provide quality content to your readers, the increasing credibility of your blog will be associated with your brand, boosting the reputation of your business.
Small business blogging offers many benefits that make it well worth your time and effort.
Blogging is a fairly easy and cost effective way to boost your inbound marketing endeavors, as well as drive traffic to your site, and attract potential customers.
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