Remember when blogs were little more than personal online journals chronicling the musings of industry experts and intrepid travelers?
Those days are history.
More than ever, blogging has become a popular way for businesses to spread their message, engage their audience and drive sales. And regardless of industry or geographic location, it seems to be working.
According to a survey by HubsSpot.com, a marketing software company, the percentage of businesses maintaining a blog has ballooned from 48 per cent to 65 per cent in the past four years. Furthermore, 72 per cent of the companies with blogs say they’re “critical” to their business.
In addition to bolstering your website with valuable content, blogging is a great way to generate traffic and reach potential customers. Best of all, it’s affordable and easy to do.
If you’re not yet part of the blogosphere, here are five reasons to get started right away.
Blogging keeps you current. Nothing screams stale and unprofessional like a stagnant website. Maintaining a blog will ensure you always have fresh content, new pages and steady traffic. Plus, blogging is a great way to push new products, make major announcements and advertise special promotions.
Blogging provides fuel for social media. While social media management has become a focal point of many companies’ marketing strategies, you need content to share. By linking a Facebook post or a tweet to your latest blog entry, you engage not only with existing customers, but potential new ones as well. Regular blog posts also provide fodder for newsletters and email blasts.
Blogging makes you more searchable. In the land of Google, search engine optimization (SEO) is king. When people search a particular topic online (ie. paint stores in St. Louis), Google directs them to sites that a) match the keywords of the search, and b) contain unique and original content. By maintaining a blog, you can tailor your posts to do both – and increase your chances of being stumbled upon in the process.
Blogging establishes authority. In today’s retail market, consumers are doing more and more online research before buying. By writing blog posts related to the paint and decorating industry (think news, trends, tips and advice), you can display your expertise and build trust with existing and potential customers. Even if your content doesn’t immediately lead to increased sales, it will, over time, strengthen your brand and establish your company as a credible source for information. It may even lead to media opportunities when local journalists are looking for someone in your industry to interview.
Blogging establishes familiarity. With most forms of marketing and advertising, you are speaking at your target audience. With blogging, you are speaking to your target audience. Writing your blog with a casual and conversational tone will allow your personality to shine through and help customers put a face to your name. By covering things like your employees’ achievements and your company’s milestones, you have the opportunity to not only inform, but to entertain and engage as well. And be sure to leave the Comments section on your blog open, as it will open one more line of communication with your audience.