— September 18, 2019
For an established successful business, adopting a modern practice such as blogging might feel out of sync with their internal culture or external brand. However, a blog is what you make it! Think of it as an expansion of the services offered to your audience with very low overhead and the potential to expand your customer base.
Successful businesses often have anywhere from several years to decades of specialized knowledge to draw upon for content creation. Blogging, whether short or long-form, is an effective outlet for sharing that information with others, as well as the latest developments in the company’s industry, surrounding community or sphere of audience interest. As a result of this content creation, businesses that have previously thrived on word-of-mouth and traditional marketing can stay engaged with their current audience and expand their reach, or potential customer base, in a modern environment.
You may ask, “If my brick-and-mortar company already has a website, why do I also need a blog?” Establishing a blog on your website can measurably benefit both your business and your audience. Though not every company needs to start blogging to stay above water in the rising sea of digital content, it can give established organizations an edge that helps them stay successful in a rapidly-changing landscape.
6 Reasons Marketers Emphasize Blogging for All Businesses
Blogging offers benefits for new and established businesses alike.
Advising businesses to begin blogging regularly is now standard content marketing advice, as seen in this article on reasons to blog for business by Simple Marketing Now. Three Girls Media has been covering the topic since 2010, beginning with this post. However, there is still a chance that a successful business has had limited interaction with marketers.
Word-of-mouth notoriety coupled with traditional marketing has allowed countless mom-and-pop establishments to blossom into thriving corporations. The ubiquity of content marketing notwithstanding, it is still fairly common for a successful business to limit its web presence to a homepage or infrequently-updated Facebook page.
Even if your business is doing well with limited online visibility and traditional advertising, the paths that consumers take to find companies and products they become loyal to is radically shifting. Google searches and online advice (often in the form of blog posts) make up a significant segment of methods consumers use to make purchasing decisions. Here are the most common reasons marketers advise all companies, whether they are a new or already successful business, to start blogging.
- Search engine optimization (SEO): For this post’s purposes, SEO is a way to increase your company’s place in a list of businesses that appear in a search of industry/product advice or local business searches. The terms and topics included in your blog posts can increase consumer access to information on your services and location – both by relaying it in the written word and making it easier to find.
- Increasing brand awareness: Brand awareness is something that every business owner has a vested interest in, whether they refer to it in those terms or not. Potential customers knowing (1) that your business exists and (2) about the features and benefits your company offers allows you not only to create profit, but to operate at all. Blogging creates more opportunities for brand awareness by offering a digital product of value to consumers who might be interested in future purchases.
- Tapping into content marketing’s success rates: In statistics listed by Hubspot, a 2017 study by the Content Marketing Institute found that content marketing attracts three times more leads than traditional marketing. Leads gained through SEO marketing strategies, like blogging, result in a purchase 14.6 percent of the time, which is nearly ten times more often than leads referred via traditional marketing (1.7 percent).
- Showing your expertise in your industry: Specialization, or expertise within your niche, is what sets one business apart from another in its industry. Blog posts are an opportunity to share the specific knowledge, skills and philosophies that make your company the best option among competitors.
- Increasing sales: According to SEOTribunal, 61 percent of consumers have purchased a product after reading a blog post that listed its positive attributes. Additionally, 60 percent of consumers feel more positively about a company after reading its custom content. Blogging about your own products or services can effectively drive sales.
- Recouping your investment in a web domain: Whether it’s through traditional advertising, content creation or other means, all businesses pay to generate brand awareness in some form. Building, hosting and maintaining a website is one such cost. Blogging not only drives 55 percent more traffic to websites, according to Hubspot, but also increases both sales leads and actual purchases (as discussed above). Increased website traffic can result in a considerable return-on-investment, or ROI.
6 Ways Blogging Helps a Successful Business
Blogging can help already successful businesses an edge when it comes to competing with newer, tech-savvy companies.
Long-time business owners may be reticent to take part in something that seems less organic than direct customer interaction, such as a blog. However, creating content that carries your branding into digital platforms can set the stage for that genuine interaction. Online content opens the door to conversations with your audience. For example: when a Facebook post includes a link to an article from your business’ website, the post itself and attached comments offer insight into how others relate to your company.
Additionally, blogging allows brick-and-mortar-based businesses to stake their claim online in the age of Yelp reviews and Amazon’s marketplace.
- Taking control of your marketing: Creating a blog can help a successful business maintain control over its branding and web presence. Through posts, your company can drive its own success and speak to its place among competitors.
- Sharing information with your existing customer base: New or expanding businesses are often advised to create content because it builds trust with customers, as seen in this WebSolutions article. If you already have an audience that trusts your brand and advice, blogging allows you to showcase these things in an incredibly accessible format.
- Increasing traffic to your brick-and-mortar location: Admittedly, there are no statistics that speak directly to the relationship between page views and in-store purchases. However, creating a blog does improve SEO, which raises your website’s search engine ranking. This makes it more likely for your business’ locations to come up in local searches like “restaurants near me.” Data from 2018 shows that an impressive 72 percent of customers using Google’s local search function will visit an establishment within five miles of their location.
- Generating media coverage: If your company does not have the resources to distribute material to the media, covering developments and milestones in the ongoing history of your successful business can lead members of the media to you. Especially if your organization has a strong community presence, new products, locations or events are news items journalists specifically seek out. Make information on your contribution to local culture easy to find to encourage media interest.
- Creating a new channel for interacting with your brand’s community: The average successful business has a group of committed patrons who have been loyal for several years. They’ve likely stuck with your products or services despite the appearance of newer competitors and national chains that may have moved into the surrounding community. Keep them up-to-date while strengthening the connection they feel to your company by providing trusted, branded content to your biggest fans.
- Reducing risks associated with pivoting, expanding or rebranding: Long-standing businesses weather the storms of time through a careful mix of adaptation and consistency. Any changes, great or small, present risks in the form of lost customer loyalty. Take advantage of blogging to get the word out about alterations to your services – such as shifts in sourcing or merchandise, the opening of a new location or even a name change. This can make transitions smoother for your existing audience. According to Velocitize, you can also seek feedback from your base on new ideas, which may allow you to avoid such risks altogether.
Blogging Ideas for a Successful Business
Embrace opportunities to share your brand in new ways through various blogging formats.
If you are considering adding blogging to your already successful business, go here for Three Girls Media’s step-by-step introduction to blog creation. As the article suggests, to get started on blogging for business, you’ll need a robust list of topics to expand upon. Brainstorming can take the form of reading other blogs in your field of focus or from your local community.
The list below can also serve as a series of prompts for ideas. Common blog post topics published by businesses of all sizes include:
- Industry news and current events
- Areas of shared interest
- Partnerships and collaborations
- Community involvement
- Answering frequently asked questions
- Brand, product or location developments
- Behind-the-scenes features
As you develop a voice and style for your posts and receive feedback from your audience, topics may become more focused and less broad. This kind of evolution over time is natural in content creation like blogging, so keep an open mind when first embarking on your business’ blog creation journey. As you move forward, you’ll learn what does and doesn’t work through social media engagement and website analytic results.