I recently pitched a super cool local business. It was a cold call – I reached out after stopping in the shop on a whim and then checking out the company website and social accounts. Whenever I see exactly how and where I can add value to a company I admire, I almost can’t help myself. This time, it was a swing and a miss, because while the business owner understands the value of strategic blogging, she isn’t in a position to spend the money on it right now.
I understand that budget is always a factor, but it got me thinking. Sometimes, it takes a strategic investment to improve your visibility and boost revenue. And the thing is, a blog can do that. Here’s how.
your business blog is a marketing powerhouse
With the caveat that it’s done right. And by done right, I mean your content is planned, cohesive, relevant, timely, accurate and, you know, worth reading.
Think about how people find your website.
- Are they going straight to your site? That’s awesome, but it means you’re already on their radar. They know who you are, so they aren’t considered new traffic.
- Are they seeing your sponsored ad at the tippy top of their screen when they search for something? That works to an extent, but people are getting savvier about those paid spots and it means that once your ad budget runs out, any traffic you have as a result of those ads disappears too.
If your goal is to reach a new segment of your target market – the ones who don’t know about you yet but will love you once they do – how can you effectively drive traffic? With blogging, social media and search engines, respectively. And here’s the best part – it’s a cumulative thing.
blogging –> search engines –> social media
Your website probably has a handful of pages with copy that you wrote and tweaked until it was all perfect. And no one updates perfect, right? That means you have a site with perfect, stagnant content. But through regular blogging, you can consistently add indexed pages to your website, increasing the chances that you rank well on search engines and driving traffic. And then there’s the SEO aspect of letting search engines know your site is alive and well and churning out great content.
Your blog content is a natural fit for social media, too. First, it’s shareable and the good stuff can take on a life of its own when people read it, like it and share it to their own accounts. Your blog posts are a great way to bolster your social reach and drive new website visitors – a real give-and-take thing.
turning traffic into leads into sales & customers
Once you have traffic coming to your site through your blog and your social content, you have potential customers and sales just roaming around. The real trick there is including some kind of call to action to further engage visitors, but that’s a post for another time. Just remember that the more people you have coming in, the more opportunities you have to increase revenue.
positioning yourself as the expert
When you blog well – writing content that answers questions, shares insider tips, offers useful info, all that good stuff – you create relationships with people before they even meet you. Consistently creating resonating content is a way to position yourself as an authority, which may not be a concrete metric like traffic and leads, but it’s undeniably useful in building trust and educating your market.
and the best parT?
Blogging today is going to serve you tomorrow and next week and next year. Really. The blog post you write, publish and share to your social accounts today isn’t useless after the initial interest dies down. That post is going to start ranking on search engines too, which means it will continue working for you around the clock. And when you continue getting sales and customers from a post you wrote a year ago, well, you’ve created an awesome situation. That’s the beauty of business blogging – it scales wonderfully. Immediate results may be small, but you can keep benefiting from a blog post long after you’ve paid someone to write it.
The key, as I wrote earlier, is in the quality of the content. And if that means hiring someone to make it happen because you don’t have the time or the know-how to do it yourself, proceed wisely. The truth is, when you’re staring at your budget and trying to decide where you’ll get the most bang for your buck, a business blog should be way up high on that list.