Updated: Oct 23, 2020
I’m getting more and more enquiries from businesses wanting to engage me to create a regular business blog for them. But when I ask them why they want to blog the answer is often that ‘someone told them they should’, or that ‘their competitors do it’.
It seems there’s a gap in understanding of the true value of business blogging, particularly in the SME space, where the MD or another staffer may be juggling multiple roles including marketing.
What to write about in a business blog
Before I explain the value of business blogging, it’s important to define what a blog is (and what it shouldn’t be). Because if you don’t get the content right, your blog will never be able to reach its full potential.
A business blog is a content marketing tool and should aim to do one of three things:
1. PROVIDE HELP - Look to answer the common questions that many of your clients have. You’ll know what these things are – they’re the things you’re always being asked, or the pain points you frequently come up against. If you’re in the business-to-business space you can take this one step further by also looking to answer the common questions that your clients’ customers (the end-users) have.
2. SHARE YOUR EXPERTISE - Comment on the current big issues in your particular sector, which will position your business as thought leaders by showing your clients that you’re well informed.
3. BUILD RELATIONSHIPS - Let your clients get to know who the key people are within your business and what drives them. This kind of content can be lighter and more conversational.
One thing a business blog shouldn’t be is self serving; telling clients things you want them to know, but that deliver no value for them (ie. you’re upgrading your IT system, you’re moving to a bigger office, you’ve got a new staff member in a non-client facing role). If you do need to notify clients of changes such as a new business address, consider another form of communication – your blog is not the place to do it.
Why should a business blog?
Done well, creating frequent and regular blog posts can improve your bottom line in the following ways:
Positioning your business as the experts in a particular sector helps to build your credibility in the eyes of your clients and keep you top of mind when they’re making a purchasing decision.
By answering/solving for client pain points you add value, and you give them something for nothing (and who doesn’t like a freebie!), all of which builds brand loyalty. This is also true if you’re in the B2B space and are able to solve the pain points of the end-customer. If you can make your clients look good in the eyes of their customers they’ll love you forever!
If you can answer a common customer question in a single place, it’ll increase productivity by saving your staff from answering it over and over again.
People like doing business with people they feel they know and trust. Distance, time constraints and now, COVID-19, make it harder than ever to do this face-to-face. But your blog can build a sense of community between your business and its clients.
How frequently a website is updated is one of the metrics Google uses when ranking search results. Adding blog posts to your site regularly (ideally monthly at a minimum) helps your website rank achieve a higher page position following a Google search, making it easier for new business to find you.
A blog is a versatile piece of marketing content. Not only can you add it to your website, you can email it directly to clients as an eDM (electronic direct mail), and you can post it on social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (depending on which are most appropriate for your business), all of which can increase your business reach.
Here to help
Another way to look at it is that business blogging is the new advertising, and considering all the different ways it can be used and can help to grow your business, you can get a lot of mileage out of one piece of content!
But if writing just isn’t your thing, the good news is there are plenty of writers out there (like me!) who can help. If you’d rather just outsource to an expert, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.