Times have changed. The traditional marketing methods are not always as effective as they used to be. As the marketplace is now highly competitive, many small and medium sized businesses veered into more creative and interactive approaches to doing business. New markets bring new opportunities, new consumer segments and new and improved marketing tools. For example, many website owners now use business blogs.
What are Business Blogs?
A blog (short for weblog) is a website in which diary-like entries, called posts, are written on a regular basis and shown in reverse chronological order. New entries appear on the homepage so visitors can read what is new. It is an easy, frequently updated online diary, focused around a subject, industry or personality. Writing a blog or adding an article to a blog is called blogging, while the person who posts these entries is known as a blogger.
Typically, a blog is composed of hypertext, images and links to other web pages. Sometimes they also contain audio, video and other files. A blog is different from a standard website in that it allows readers to write their thoughts and comments to what was written in the blog post. Another great thing about a blog is that a blogger can usually update his blog instantly from any Internet connection on any computer. This is includes off course mobile phones and tablets. He just types his entry into his blog and it becomes readily available on the web for a worldwide audience to see.
Over the years, blogs have evolved from simple, personal online diaries to effective tools for Internet Marketing. Along the way, search engines like Google and Yahoo were displaying popular media blogs produced by journalists, in most cases, appearing above other search result rankings. Propelled by this discovery, internet businesses started writing blogs to provide relevant information about their products or services to potential customers to visit their sites.
What then is a business blog? It is a ‘blog about a business’. It is an organized diary about a company’s products or services. A business blog provides specific news, statistics, product releases, and other relevant information related to the company to prospective customers. Starting a business blog and providing this information give potential customers enough reasons to visit a company’s main site. Just imagine prospective clients visiting a company’s blog periodically without the company having to spend hefty amounts of money on advertising and promotion. As they say, give readers valuable pertinent information (see our previous posts) and they will come. Additionally, customer service matters may be addressed through the blog.
A business blog is best viewed as an addition to a website. If a company has a website, a business blog is often embedded in it, although you can also have as a separate site on it’s own – like a ‘portal’ that gathers customers and sends them to your main site. Especially for small and medium sized businesses, business blogs help to put a personal touch on an otherwise bland business site. A business blog can be an excellent marketing tool to support the main business, to provide value, build healthy relationships with potential clients and that way create personal brand and image.
Blogging as a Marketing Tool
Business blogging is a way for companies and readers to meet on common ground and discuss ideas, products and services in the hopes of building an audience that become potential customers. A business blog provides a cost-effective alternative to having a website, as you can get these completely free in many instances. For small and medium sized business entrepreneurs without the time and the means to set up a website, blogging offers an inexpensive tool to make known the company’s presence on the powerful Internet.
Business blogs provide businesses with an avenue to share their expertise and knowledge with a bigger audience. Both online and offline businesses can use blogs to take their products and services to a wider audience increasing web traffic and boosting sales. The fact is that business blogging has become a sustainable marketing strategy for any online marketer. There are many ways a business can benefit from having a blog.
An effective business blog can help give a human face to a business. Blogs bring a personal dimension to the web. Blogs make business sites more personal. Since blogs are updated by individuals, the “voice” of the blogger will resonate through. This will assure potential customers that there are real people behind the blog engaging them in real conversations. Blogs can be opinionated, informative, at other times infused with humor thus eliciting better response from target audience.
A business blog if used productively can improve customer service. It provides instant customer feedback through comments. It allows one’s audience to comment on a post and create a dialogue with them. A blog can act as a question and answer forum. Customers can post questions and receive instant replies. An effective business blog functions as a central knowledge base of articles, tutorials, product development status, and other relevant product or service information. This is good customer service.
Blogs keep an archive of older posts organized by date and categorized by topic. This gives the target audience easier access to information. With blogs, it is also easy to add new information on a regular basis. Frequent updates in the form of fresh new posts mean visitors will have all the reasons to keep coming back thus building loyal readers – best potential buyers.
A business blog can increase the chances of prospective customers to visit a company’s website. For a start, visitors to a business blog can be redirected to the company’s main site through links and special offers. Use of relevant keywords and popular links to specific sales pages improve search engine ranking of both the blog and the main website. Just like the main website, top search result rank equals traffic. With more and more people turning to the all-powerful Internet to search for products and services, it is essential for businesses to be easily found by search engines. Since search engines thrive on new content, the more likely the search engines are going to visit a blog and share it with the world.
Regularly posting valuable content on a blog builds company credibility and creates sound business reputation. A business blog can help project a company as an expert in a chosen business area. Customers feel more comfortable transacting business with a reputable company.
A blog can be used to introduce new products or services. Ideally, a blog is not about selling as such. Use the blog to mention new products or services and direct visitors to the company’s main website, in the process generating more sales. Interestingly, several advertising programs such as Google Adsense allow companies to monetize their business blogs and generate extra revenue.
However, a business blog is not urgent but important for Internet business. Off course, a blog alone is not enough to market a company product or service. But it is good investment for start-up businesses to have conversations with customers and prospective clients. Business blogging is an effective way to start conversing with visitors interested in ones products or services but it is in no way to be viewed as a stand-alone strategy. Yes, business blogging can do wonders. But it is not going to work on its own. A blog is most effective when it is used in conjunction with other online communication tools such as e-mail, press release, PPC (pay-per-click), company websites, to name some.
Setting up and maintaining a great business blog that visitors will find useful and relevant is just like having an effective built-in public relations staff that will spread the word about the business.
As a final thought, starting a business blog is easy but transforming it into a marketing tool that drives traffic and sales to a business takes time, dedication and consistency. So keep tuned – we will be revealing all important techniques that will make your Internet Business progressively more profitable!
If you can’t wait and want to start earning a SIGNIFICANT INCOME with your own blog NOW Click Here!