Chances are you’ve seen a lot of buzz online about how blogging is an awesome marketing practice, but you just haven’t got around to it yet.
I totally understand. It can be intimidating looking at large organisations’ blogging schedules. Competing with the big dogs who blog 3 times a week or more can be an overwhelming prospect when you are a one-person-band with limited time and resources.
Or maybe you’re a sceptic and you’re simply not convinced. Everyone online raves about blogs, but you just don’t see the benefit of blogging when other marketing channels are working well for you.
Both schools of thought are perfectly legit reasons why you may have pushed blogging to the bottom of your to do list, but for all of you small businesses on the fence, here are 14 reasons why blogging is an excellent thing to start doing.
Why Your Small Business Needs a Blog
1. People are constantly searching online for information, “how to” guides, and answers to their questions. If you address in-demand industry topics on your blog, there’s a chance that people looking for answers to those questions will stumble across your site. Because people are more likely to be looking for answers rather than your specific name and brand, it’s a great prospect for brand awareness.
2. When you create a post that people find useful, it gets people on-side because you’ve given them helpful info. Once readers value you, you have a better chance of convincing them to take further action as opposed to trying to appeal to a total stranger. “Further action” may not necessarily be a sale, but can involve furthering your relationship like following you on social media, or downloading a lead generation resource.
3. Most blog functionality allows for readers to leave comments, and for you to reply. By interacting with folks who leave a comment, you’re opening a dialogue with interested parties; this telegraphs that you are here to help and eager to start a genuine, two-way connection with your readers. This authentic generosity always goes down well – offline and online – regardless of the size of your audience.
4. A regularly updated blog means that you’ve got a constantly growing library of content to share on social media rather than basic image or text posts. With a little bit of social media know how, you can easily use your blog content to help increase your reach on your fave social platforms.
B2B marketers that blog receive 67% more monthly leads than those that don’t. (Source: Hubspot)
5. Google favours recent and updated pages in search rankings as it has a better chance of being relevant than a piece written years ago. Thankfully, adding new content in the form of blog posts helps to keep your site fresh and up to date.
6. A blog gives you an opportunity to regularly demonstrate your knowledge and skills. When you talk about new industry developments on your blog, you show your readers that you keep up to speed with news in your field, and that you are a knowledgeable and trustworthy resource. It also allows you to demonstrate your awareness of industry developments without changing the static text on the rest of your site.
7. If you sometimes feel a little out of the loop with regards to new developments in your industry, writing a regular blog can give you the impetus to keep up with the latest news in order to inform your blog’s readers.
8. Writing an in-depth blog post about each of your product ranges or areas of service informs your customers about the finer details of what you offer without having to rely on lengthy product descriptions or rambling service pages elsewhere on your site.
The majority of marketers canvassed by Social Media Examiner (38%) hailed blogging as the most important type of content for their business. (Source: Social Media Examiner)
9. Your blog can be used to make company announcements; promote new products and services, sales, company news and offers. You can also blog to promote lead generation resources such as ebook freebies if you have any.
10. The barrier for entry to blogging is lower than ever; and websites set up with content management tools like WordPress or Joomla make blogging super easy. However, if you don’t already have a site that’s set up for blogging, there are plenty of tools out there while you redevelop. Free platforms like LinkedIn Pulse, free WordPress blog sites and Medium are all great places to start. This approach also lets you get used to regular content creation while you prepare for the real deal.
11. If your brand’s tone is a little formal and stuffy, but you want to integrate a more approachable aspect to encourage engagement and conversation, you can totally do that with a blog. You can tell your business’ story a little more candidly and generally open up to your readers.
60% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content on its site. (Source: Content Plus)
12. Without getting too technical, the more content you create, the more material Google has to make a judgement about what you do and where/how you should rank. Writing blogs that talk naturally about the topics your keywords describe can go some way towards helping your rankings for those terms.
13. If you are stuck for a topic for an email campaign, you can always promote a recent blog post in a mailout if you think it would be particularly relevant to your email subscribers.
14. Though blogs are usually timestamped with the date and time they were published, the content is always going to be there to benefit you and your readers (provided you keep the site live of course!). Look into using “evergreen content,” to harness the best of this potential timelessness.
I sincerely hope you get on the blogging bandwagon, even if it’s simply to build a collection of PR assets that you can use to raise your profile online and to grow your social media following.
But before we part ways – a few tips:
Some Beginner Blogging Tips
One of the biggest questions to ask yourself is “how frequently should I blog?” There’s plenty of advice out there that states the best posting frequencies backed up by research; but when you’re starting out I’d simply advise to work to a frequency that suits you. If you overwork yourself to create your blogs, your quality will drop and you will end up hating the whole experience. Work with your own time and limitations, not against them.
Use keyword research tools to discover relevant and in demand topics to blog about. The topics you choose need to be appropriate to your brand, but also things that people are really searching for. Google’s Keyword Planner and AnswerThePublic are my personal favourites.
Once you’ve created a post, always share a link to it on social media! But don’t just share it one time, continue to share it for the duration of its useful life. If it’s a post about a piece of industry news, it may only be relevant for a few days or weeks. But if the content is evergreen, you can post it for as long as it may be useful – whether that’s weeks, months, even years. If it’s a topic that people can still benefit from – continue to share the love!
64% of B2B marketers outsource content writing (Source: Content Marketing Institute)
And remember, if you don’t have the time, inclination, or person-power to craft meaningful B2B blog content in-house, Obsidian is here to help. Through my agency, I help small to medium B2B businesses up and down the UK make their blogging plans a reality. For a chat about what Obsidian can do for you, just drop me a line at jenii [at] obsidiancontent.co.uk.