Why Blogging? Are there any benefits of blogging?! I operate a small business; I don’t think I need a blog? Do visitors read blogs? Perhaps as a small business owner these would be your first reactions on the mention of a blog. But on a serious note, whether vouch it or not, blogs are not just essential but they mean business in the long run! Yes, you heard it right. Blogs are your best digital marketing tools that can help you increase web traffic; help you get more visibility in terms of search rankings and build your reputation as a trustworthy and credible authority.
Let’s take a look at some of the key reasons one by one that makes it very clear the benefits of blogging for small business in today’s digital world.
Receive more Leads from Blogs
As per the statistics by Hubspot on Business Blogging in 2015, B2B marketers using blogs receive 67% more leads than those who do not. What does this mean to small business? Simple, you should be blogging regularly. One of the biggest benefits of blogging is you would be able to attract quality leads through blogs. If your blogs are good in quality and provide relevant information to the visitors, it is more likely that some of the leads you received could turn into a sale. Hence, for small businesses where leads fuel growth, blogs play a crucial role in generating quality leads. The focus should be to post blogs on those topics that are relevant to your customers and try to address their queries/ questions through your blogs.
Drive Traffic to your Website
That’s absolutely true! Blogs certainly help increase web traffic. It is important to determine the keywords or phrases that your visitors would most commonly use in their search activities. Include those keywords in their permissible limits of repetitions (to avoid being penalized by Google for keyword stuffing!) and develop the content for your blogs. Ensure you publish the blogs on a regular basis. Based on the keywords usage and the quality of your blog, search engines are more likely to show up your sites in their search results and help increase web traffic.
Improve Search Engine Rankings
This sounds like music to the ears. Search engines are always on the look-out for fresh and original content. And blogs are the best ways to keep adding new content to your website. As search engine index new content, as more blogs you publish, search engines perceive your website to have fresh content. Eventually, your website’s search engine rankings would improve and so would your visibility. For a small business, there is nothing more important than getting more visibility. Support your search engine activities by publishing interesting blogs.
Blogs give a Voice to your Business
Blogs are a platform where you could give information about your business products, services, solutions to queries or talk about market trends and techniques. They help you develop your brand’s personality and tell people about what your business is all about. As in traditional marketing technique where you use print or electronic media to talk about your business, likewise blogs are an important digital marketing tool in the digital marketing space. From a small business perspective, it is important to give a voice to your business and grow gradually. Hence, use blogs to your advantage.
Cost-Effective Way to Build your Brand
Perhaps, and important reason why marketers think blogs as one of the ‘must-have’ components while designing their content marketing strategy is because of its cost-effectiveness. Blogs help you build your brand, and create awareness and positive opinion for your products or services with the customers in a cost-effective way. It is perceived as a marketing investment deriving benefits in the long run. Every blog you publish may not yield leads immediately. However, they surely work towards getting quality leads for your business. Small businesses where marketing budgets are a tight-rope walk, blogging comes in as a boon.
Easiest Way to Connect with Customers
An interesting blog with original, relevant and engaging content is the easiest way to connect with customers. Blogs are the means to share valuable information about your ideas, products and services with them. It is the easiest way because it enables to establish a direct communication with your customers and also help in establishing a ‘two-way’ conversation with your customers.
As per the statistics from Hubspot, blogs have been rated as the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information. Since blogs provide a personal touch, they are perceived to be a trusted source of information by the customers. Hence, blogs help build you as a credible authority, and in turn your brand too. However, it is important to be quick enough to sniff the industry trends, have an eye for detail and look out for those pain points of your customers. Your blogs should address them with relevant information and suitably supported by industry insights.
Establish Relationship with Existing and Prospective Customers
Blogging is the best way to connect with your website visitors. You could achieve this by asking questions to your reader and by welcoming their queries and comments. Further, you could keep the conversation rolling by answering their queries and replying to their feedback too. What do these actions help you achieve? You could develop a rapport with your customers, gain their trust and be able to have a better understanding of your customer preferences.
Blogs when Shared is Free Marketing
If your blogs are found interesting, your audience may just go ahead and share it with others. Every time you publish a blog post and if it gets shared, emailed or tweeted, it is the easiest way of marketing. And it’s done absolutely free! Is there any better way to do marketing than this one? This also holds more importance as it further establishes you as credible business entity. So, the conventional business sense says, the more blogs you have the more shares it would have; eventually, it would bring in more quality leads and more likely sales too.
Now, by this time you may have almost made up your mind to get started with blogging. But, a word of caution – make sure you give more importance to the quality of each and every blog post than quantity alone. Time and again, emphasis is laid on quality of the blogs – original, relevant and using information; nothing can substitute this. Not even keyword.