Should your small business have a blog? If you’re wondering what all the blogging hype is about, look no further.
Romain Damery, a digital marketing strategist for Path Interactive, an SEO, pay-per-click, and social media agency in New York City, explains why a small business blog can provide a great return on investment.
“I think one of the reasons why so many small businesses blog today is most certainly because of a real opportunity for growth, whether it be in search visibility, thought leadership, lead nurturing, or brand awareness,” he says.
To break it down even further, here are four specific reasons for your small business to start a blog:
1. You can become a leader in your industry
Customers respond to leadership. Use your blog to demonstrate your expertise in a certain area, Damery suggests.
For example, Humana, a health insurance company, wrote articles on its blog about the Affordable Care Act to position itself as a leader in the field.
To do this, take your time and write in-depth articles that offer your readers some “news they can use.” Be sure to write with some frequency to show your readers that you’re on top of change trends.
2. You’ll get free advertisement
As a small business, your advertising budget is probably slim. A blog can offer a cheap alternative, Damery says.
“Advertising doesn’t come cheap and organic search traffic is free so it’s to be leveraged by small businesses and startups that can’t compete with the big guys,” he says.
It takes some internet-know-how and some marketing smarts to boost your search engine rankings. You want customers to sit down, search for a product or service you provide, and have your company name pop up. To do this, you’ll need to learn a little bit about SEO, or search engine optimization. You might want to pick up a how-to book to guide you through the process.
3. You’ll boost your social media presence
A well-written blog article can spread like wildfire on social media, Damery says.
“If you have good content, people will want to stay in touch, which gives you a unique opportunity to grow a following,” he says. “Through social media platforms you can build a complementary medium to engage with your audience and entice fans to share and spread your content.”
Make sure you have social media buttons on your blog so a customer can easily find your social media sites.
4. You’ll grow your email list (and your sales)
You can use your blog to increase your email list. On your blog’s homepage, add an area where customers can enter their email address to get company updates. For example, the blog attached to money-saving site, Pocket Your Dollars, uses prime website real estate at the top of the page to ask for email addresses.
What’s so great about email addresses? A business with a robust email list can capture sales through promotions. You can craft an email about your upcoming sale or send out a company newsletter to keep your brand at the top of your customers’ minds.
Creating and maintaining a blog will take time, which small business owners are usually short on, but Damery says it’s worth the investment to grow your business while it’s in its infant stages. Make the effort to start the blog now and your following will grow with your business.