It should be obvious that every business has a website. In an online world, it is your virtual business card, and you can show the whole world what you have to offer, every day of the year. However, this is where many businesses stop. They don’t bother exploring blogging. For some, it may be intimidating, while others feel that they don’t have what it takes to write a blog. It may not be obvious, but it is an essential part to your marketing campaign and it costs a fraction of what traditional marketing does.
You need a blog to build trust.
While a traditional website is static, a blog allows you to add posts and let your readers comment on them. Let’s take a small business like a hardware store for example. The owner is a keen handy man and posts tips on how to fix things in and around the house. He gets a fair amount of readers and he gains a reputation as a go-to guy online. He has reached expert status by helping people do something that he loves. He freely offers advice to his readers. In fact, many of his readers go to his store to ask his opinion on certain products, and again he gives them the best possible advice.
The hardware store owner is trusted by his readers and his customers, and it keeps them loyal. He gives his advice and tips away freely and this earns him trust. The trust that he’s earned both online and offline gives him a huge advantage over the hardware store down the street that has no website and no blog.
You need a blog to drive traffic.
Using the same example as above, the hardware store’s blog has become incredibly popular due to the quality of content that the owner shares. The content is great and read by so many people, that his online traffic increases, along with his search engine rankings. With the increased online traffic, the owner can sell his products online, and will sell them easily, as his customers trust him, and will buy nearly anything that he recommends.
The blog can also drive offline traffic. People want to meet the man that has given them valuable advice in person and they feel comfortable purchasing goods at his store, knowing that he would suggest the right products. Due to the higher volume in customers, he can offer DIY workshops, which will build even more trust, resulting in more traffic, which results in more business.
You need a blog to interact with your customers.
A blog allows customers and readers to comment on your posts and get in touch with you. They can ask you questions on your blog that they might feel stupid asking you in person. People communicate differently over different mediums. Some people prefer to write, while others prefer picking up the phone and talking, while others will climb into their car just to come talk to you face to face.
The interaction between you and your customers is priceless. You can bounce new ideas off them and they can give you feedback on a range of subjects, perhaps pointing out a potential problem that you never knew even existed.
Blogging is inexpensive and easy.
Blogging is really cheap when you consider it. The main expenses to consider are a domain name, hosting and a decent theme. WordPress is the world’s most popular blogging system by far and it is absolutely free. Setting a blog up is quick and easy and it doesn’t take an experienced web designer to put them up.
Blogs are an excellent tool to keep your customers engaged. They also keep you in the front of the customer’s mind when they’re thinking of your particular industry. If you have a small business, does your business have a blog?