Many businesses have blogs as another way to connect with their consumers. What is a business blog and how do businesses use them? Why do they have a blog when they already have a website? Business blogging is another way to reach consumers, and most businesses should have them to show their customers just one more side to the company.
What is a Business Blog?
Blogs themselves, according to Cio.com, are a “contraction of Web log, which is a website where users post journal-like entries that are displayed in reverse chronological order, with the most recent posting at the top of the page” and have various different topics. There are food blogs, where users post recipes and cooking pictures, writing blogs where the subject is writing and publishing, mommy blogs about homemaking and childcare, and computer blogs about computer developments and repair. Pick a hobby or business, and there is likely a blog about it.
Business blogs, however, differ just a bit, although the format of reverse chronological order often stays the same. Hubspot.com defines business blogging as a “marketing tactic that uses blogging to get your business more online visibility.” The way that visibility is found is through the content created through the blog. Have the right content on your blog, and it is likely that someone will discover your business and services through the blog post, and from there, what your business has to offer.
Why is a Business Blog Important?
A business blog will allow customers to find you on your website. How does this happen? Through content! A blog allows you to post content related to your business. The customer can then find you through that content.
For instance, if your business is a building supply store, you could write a post about remodeling a kitchen. In that blog post, you could include “cost-saving,” “contractors,” and “timelines” in your blog post about remodeling a kitchen. Someone doing an Internet search for “kitchen remodel timeline” could likely stumble upon your post and discover the fact that your building supply store will deliver to their residence and work with their independent contractor. Posting advice about how to keep costs down during a remodel, tips about doing a remodel, or even a “look-book” post for dream kitchen remodels will have people continuing to visit your site, even when they are not necessarily remodeling. If they hang out on the site long enough, it is likely that they will become a customer.
How to Use a Business Blog
Blogging just to blog will not work for a business. Businesses must blog with goals in mind; business goals, marketing goals, and sales goals.
Business goals should first start with your business itself. A blog is just another way to sell your company and your products to a consumer. Since this is the first goal, your blog should reflect your company’s values. The Content Marketing Institute states that your blog must display your company’s “loves, core values, and driving principles” to your consumer through what you post.
Marketing goals may seem like a no-brainer. Post often and the people will come, right? Well, not exactly. First, you must plan what kind of goals you want to reach. Want more customers? More B2B click-through? Build your reputation? Remind people of your existence because sales have been slumping? Figure out what goals you want by answering the question: “What do you want your blog to do for your business?” Once you have those goals, then you can move onto content.
You must post the right content to have people find your blog. Post content that is relevant to your field. If you are running a marketing business and are hoping for more customers, posting a general blog post about your company’s history may not help, but posting something like “Ten Reasons Why Your Small Business Could Benefit from a Marketing Plan” could draw some customers to your doorstep. Include a link to services, and you may find yourself with new customers asking about small business marketing plans your company may be able to offer them. Think like the customer. What is your customer searching for when they are looking for your business?
Sales goals can be tied in with marketing goals. Are you interested in selling more of a particular type of product or service? Go back to what your customer might use or need, and then write a blog post highlighting that product or service in relation to what your customer needs. Make a case. Back to the kitchen remodel example. If you have an overstock of kitchen cabinetry you’d like to sell, creating a blog post highlighting the benefits of this particular line of cabinetry for someone on a budget, or even someone with a short timeline, may generate some sales after your blog post highlights the reasons why particular cabinetry is perfect for their project.
Overall, blogging can be a great tool for businesses, so long as it is used in the correct way. Do you blog for business? What would you recommend for a new blogger?