Blogs are quickly becoming more popular with average, everyday businesses. According to an industry survey by marketing software company Hubspot, over 65% of all businesses have blogs in their website, with this percentage steadily growing.
However, there are still some companies who refuse to blog. This may be because they don’t have the time to spend blogging, or maybe they don’t believe that the amount of money that they would spend would justify a blog. The truth is, they are leaving money on the table by not having a blog.
For those who don’t know what a blog is, a blog (short for weblog) is a space where entries are made in the form of posts online. Blogs usually also contain a comments section to allow for others to comment on the posts, and there are often links to share the posts on various social media.
Many businesses that have blogs believe that they are vital to their business. 85% of companies reported believing that their blog were an asset to their company, with over a quarter (27%) believing that blogs were critical to their business.
The growing importance of blogs to business is reflected in the amount of money spent on their blogs – with companies reporting that they spent 17% of their budget on blogs and social media in 2011, almost double the 9% of their budget they spent in 2009.
So why do companies put such a high value on their blogs? And why are they willing to spend more and more on blogs?
The truth is, blogs represent a fantastic investment in their business, with many businesses reaping huge financial and intangible rewards for a successful blog. Here are 7 reasons why every company needs a blog:
1. Great SEO – A blog is one way to optimize content in order to make it easier for a page or website to gain valuable high ranking spots on search pages. Because blog posts are not limited in the same way a product description is, businesses can strategically target key words and phrases that will be more likely to draw traffic to their website. Besides direct SEO benefits, search engines such as Google and Bing are placing increasing importance on blogs to rank websites.
2. More customers – It is a little known fact that blogs have the ability to draw far more leads. In fact, it is estimated that 60% of blogs have a direct impact in drawing more potential customers. Not only that, but these leads are far more likely to be interested in what that business is selling, meaning that customers brought in by blogs are willing to spend more than customers brought in by normal search methods.
3. Blogs provide feedback –Because of their interactive nature, blogs provide valuable feedback that can be used to develop or tailor a company’s products and services. A blog can be uses questions about various aspects of their business, or products/services that they intend to introduce, figure out the best marketing strategy for consumers, and gather other direct customer information. Through blogs, customers provide valuable insights and consumer data that can be used to produce a customer driven product.
4. Blogging develops a voice/brand – Branding is important to companies because it helps them to create a unique presence or persona. Blogging is one of the most useful ways to develop a brand, because it allows businesses to differentiate their products and personality business from other businesses. Not only that, but it allows businesses to develop a community of followers who believe in that brand and who will support, share, and evangelize on that business’s behalf. Blogs represents a way to inject style, personality, and individuality into their products, making those companies and products far more exciting.
5. Shows expertise – Blogs are often used to educate or inform the public about a topic related to the particular industry that the blog is in. For example, a restaurant blog may have a blog post about the different types of gluten free snacks that are cheaply available. Readers access this information, and come away with the feeling that the blogger and the associated company are experts in that field. This allows for customers to develop trust in that company, which makes potential customers far more comfortable in purchasing and interaction with that business.
6. Provides Links – A good, thoughtful blog post about a certain topic will lead others to link to a blog because of the impact that it has made on them. By having premium content on a blog, others will actually help a business in spreading the word about their website and products by promoting their posts through links or social media. While people may not see the need to share a mundane advertisement for shoes, having a funny or controversial blog post about shoes will make people more likely to share that blog post with others.
7. A blog allows you to build relationships – By writing a blog and sharing personal stories and experiences, a business allows their readership to experience a close sense of connection that simply would not be possible with having a “normal” website. Through a blog, a business can lead people to feel closer to your business or brand, making it more likely that they will be willing to interact with that business further.
The answer is clear: if you don’t have a blog, then you are clearly missing out on an opportunity to make your business more profitable. A blog brings customers, revenue, demonstrates expertise, and brings a human side to your business. Even on the customer interaction alone, a blog provides valuable feedback from readers that many marketers would pay thousands for. If you don’t have a blog, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t start one today.
Do you have a blog that provides benefits other than the ones listed above? Please comment below, I’d love to hear from you.