«Return to Blog List 7 Reasons for Businesses to Blog
More and more, business owners are starting to understand that blogging has value for their businesses. But business blogs are still relatively new, and the vast majority of businesses don’t have one (here in New Mexico, a surprising number don’t even have old-style static websites). There is an impression among many that blogs are "just another fad," rather than the result of a fundamental shift in business/customer communication.
While many businesses continue to miss opportunities, their competitors are jumping in one-by-one, as they come to understand some of the following reasons for launching a company blog.
- Improve Search Engine Rankings – Whether or not they buy online, the majority of people now start with an online search for options and price ranges before shopping. That makes it important to have a website that can be found when customers are looking for information, even if you don’t sell online. Search engines LOVE sites that are continually updated with new content, which explains why blogs often are found at or near the top of organic (non-paid) search results. This reason alone justifies the time invested in a blog for many companies.
- Get Feedback from Customers – Conversations are the basis for marketing, providing feedback and valuable information about what customers think and want. Such conversations are not always complimentary of your company or its products, but acknowledging and dealing with criticism openly can actually be good for your business. Old-school communications professionals have a hard time with this, because they’re used to putting out carefully crafted, business-formal messages, and they see blogs as just another outlet for press releases. But people don’t read those kinds of messages, nor are they moved by them to participate in a conversation.
- Build Stronger Relationships with Customers – Blogging and responding to customer feedback is largely about building relationships. And relationships are what we tend to rely on when things get difficult. Like now, for instance.
- Test Marketing Messages – Part of engaging in conversation is the opportunity to see how people react to your primary messages. If you hit a hot button, you’ll know quickly. If you are attempting to swim against the tide of customer needs or preferences, you’ll know that, too.
- Establish Authority and Credibility – You can differentiate yourself from competitors by becoming a source of information and perspective. The longer you blog about developments in your industry, the more you will be perceived as someone who knows what you’re talking about. Of course, this assumes you provide some value in your posts and talk to customers as intelligent peers.
- Build or Support a Community – This is a relatively new thought for many business owners. What does community-building have to do with selling goods or services? Many people see their purchases as a means of expressing their subscription to a particular school of thought or values. Want to show your concern for the environment? Buy a Prius. Want to show you support your local economy? Buy your vegetables at the farmers’ market. Figure out why people buy what you sell, and make your blog a place that supports those values.
- Clarify Your Thoughts About Your Business – Nothing forces you to think about your business and consider alternatives like writing to and for your prospective customers. As you say what’s on your mind, you may surprise yourself with thoughts you hadn’t considered before, some of which may create new opportunities.