When you're in the midst of starting up a new business, it feels like there are an overwhelming number things on your "To Do List" for getting off the ground. From business plans and marketing strategies to hiring employees, picking a workplace and focusing on your branding, starting a small business is a big deal. In all of the craziness, many business owners overlook a crucial element in reaching their audience, expanding their brand, and increasing their online presence: blogging.Maybe the thought of writing something that your audience will want to read is enough to make you break out in hives? Or for those who like to write, blogging can get pushed to the bottom of the “To Do” list because it seems like a time-consuming task that doesn’t produce a measurable ROI. But your startup needs a blog! And not a half-done blog that you update as an excuse to avoid some other task you like even less. Your startup needs a solid, relevant and consistent blog to accelerate lead generation! And with a few easy setup tricks using the right marketing software or website analytics tracking, you'll know EXACTLY how much ROI you're getting from the time you invest. Here’s how it works:
Make Friends With Search Engines
If you’re not familiar with SEO, it’s time to learn. Search Engine Optimization is the way your website or blog talks to search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Ask.com. There is a strategic way to implement keywords in your content that Google will pick up on. The better you get at SEO, the better your chances of landing on page one of a search engine. When is the last time you’ve bothered to search the 2nd or 3rd page of results when searching for something online? Exactly. Being on page one is top priority, and SEO helps with that. Having a blog allows you to create content that is optimized for search engines and increases the number people who see your blog, and then your website. Having a blog is an extension of your website. It’s a place to put more info and keywords for search engines to pick up on and relay to curious web searchers.
People often use search engines like Google to find solutions to their problems. They’re more likely to search for terms like “what vacation home software should I use?” than the actual names of vacation home software companies. Having blogs with these questions and terms sprinkled throughout will allow your blog to come up in the results when people search for solutions to problems that your business has the answer for.
Show Off Your Stuff
Having a blog is one way to show off your knowledge in your particular field, as well as your personality. Writing helpful “how-to” blog posts helps your audience see your company as an industry leader. The more information you can offer to your audience about the issues they’re facing, the more confident they’ll feel giving you their business. Many potential customers browse the website and read a few blog articles before they ever reach out for information. Giving them a glimpse of your expertise (without giving it all away) allows the audience to see that you know what you’re doing.
Share Your Voice
A company’s blog is a significant way to show off the company’s voice, character, and personality. People can get a pretty good idea about your personality when they read your blog. If your blogs are professional, straightforward and factual, your audience will expect that from you. If your blog is a mix of light-hearted articles and helpful “how-tos,” they’ll know to expect that from you too. And, if your blog is a hot mess of randomness, your audience will assume that is how your business is run as well. Take time to pinpoint how you want your readers to feel when they come across your blog and what you want them to know about your company through each post. Your blog is your voice, so use it wisely!
Start A Conversation
Any experienced business owner will tell you that customer feedback is key to improving and developing a business. You should be open to hearing the thoughts of your audience, even if it hurts a little. A blog is a great place to bring up a particular topic and open up the floor for questions, comments, and debate. It’s essential to handle all online conversations with professionalism and respect, but also to be open-minded to the ideas and experiences of others. Interacting with your audience via blog is a great way to show your audience that you’re invested in them and your online presence, and that you’re more than a website. They can get a peek at the people behind the business, and you can establish a relationship of trust this way. Customer feedback is paramount in molding your business into something that provides a solution for a common problem. A blog is a great place to start a dialogue with current and potential customers who fit your ideal customer profile.
Tell A Story
Your website is specifically designed to convince people why your business is the one that will help them solve their problems. You have limited space to get your message across and convey the highlights and benefits of what you have to offer. A blog provides the space to get more personal, to tell a story, to share a customer testimonial or spotlight a specific employee or service. You’re not limited by space on a webpage when using a blog. You can go as in-depth as you want, and really paint a picture for the reader. Your blog can touch on the emotions of the reader and showcase your company as relatable, real and honest. And while your content should always be relevant to your business, you can write it in a way that feels personable.
You don’t have to be on the New York Times Best Sellers list to write a blog. You don’t have to write in stunning eloquence or be a comedian to relate to your audience. You simply need to be consistent, creative, and relevant. You need to provide value for your readers and make them interested in what your company has to offer. Your blog can be the medium that drives people to your website, which is the primary goal of any type of advertising.
Starting a blog is inexpensive and relatively low maintenance. And if you can’t do it or don’t have the time, hire someone! Our consulting agency handles this for multiple clients with great results.
However, you need to get it done, get it done. A blog is a game changer for growing any small business, and you'll be amazed at the number of qualified leads it generates for your sales team.