What is the purpose of business blogging?
It is surprising how many businesses start a company blog without really asking this question. A this is the thing to do attitude comes over people, and a business blog is started as an experiment. The result is usually haphazard content of little merit that nobody ever reads. Before long, the experiment is over and it's been months or years since the last post.
A business blog is a marketing tool that should support business development goals. The purpose of business blogging is to:
- Increase online exposure via SEO and social media
- Create an affinity with prospective clients
- Establish expertise and authority using an informational forum
- Help fill sales funnels and increase profits
Unless these goals are recognized, it is unlikely that a business will expend the resources necessary to maintain a blog, and there may not even be enough initial buy-in to get the blog started.
What type of content should be used in a business blog?
A business blog is not a place for sales content or to rant about how great you think you are, but rather is used to create an affinity with prospective clients. The content must deal with pain-points, questions, and concerns readers have, and address them with concise, useful information. At the same time, the content should direct them towards solutions provided by your products or services.
This type of content is known as informational marketing. It addresses the prospects need to be informed, particularly early in the buying process. Think about:
- Questions prospects commonly have about your products and services
- Pain points your solutions solve
- Benefits you provide that require explanation
- Industry and cultural trends that relate to what you do
If you provide information that has merit and value upfront, clients will ultimately reward you with their business.
What are other benefits of business blogs?
Your informational marketing material is only useful if people find and read it. Blogs are an excellent search engine optimization (SEO) and online marketing tool:
- Blog software works as a content management system that allows you to easily update your website without any HTML skill. Search engines favor websites that have fresh, updated content.
- You can create a large number of keyword optimized pages on a blog. Each post is a new page on your website that builds relevancy around keyword groups.
- Blogs are interactive, allowing readers to post comments and actually add to the content development for your site.
- You can direct people from social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to comprehensive articles on your blog.
Beyond online marketing, blogs are an convenient tool to manage your informational marketing collateral. Whether a client finds you on Google or gets your URL off a business card, the informational articles you create in your blog can be accessed at their convenience. You can also link to blog content from online newsletters and email marketing campaigns.
Professional, well-written content that deals with legitimate concerns and topics of interest is a powerful way to create an affinity with top prospects. A business blog is a perfect tool to develop and publish this informational marketing content.