(even if you don’t think you have time)
Remember when advertising in the Yellow Pages could be all you needed to build a business? Or when you only other marketing options were direct mail and cold calling?
These days there are a million other options for marketing your business, from low or no-cost options all the way to platinum plated ones. Blogging represents a fairly low-cost option if you can do it yourself, and doesn’t break the bank if you get someone else to do it for you. Buy why should it be part of your marketing strategy and what are you likely to get as a return on your investment?
- Blogging gives you a voice in a space you control – 10 years ago you would probably have been advised to do lots of PR for your small business. Speaking as someone who spent 13 years doing PR for Morrisons and the Environment Agency, I’m not convinced of the return on investment available as your messages are too easily diluted by the journalist, or your target audience just don’t read the article. But blogging is within your control, on your own website and on LinkedIn. No changing the angle of what you want to say, no working hard to create something newsworthy, simply a space for you to demonstrate your expertise
- Pass the “expert” test – if you’ve been recommended by someone, the prospect is likely to check out your website. They may look at your services and examples of previous work, but how will they know you’re an expert in your field? Your blog is the place to have an opinion on what’s going on in your industry, and to show a bit of personality too. People buy from people, not faceless corporations, so don’t be afraid to be controversial or start a discussion (as long as you’re willing to defend your opinion!) A client of mine took a call from a company in London offering them a decent consultancy project on the basis that they had a well-written blog on the particular specialist topic the client was interested in. No further effort to convince the client of expertise was required
- It helps your website rank well with the search engines – if you want people to find you by searching online, a blog is an absolute must. I’m no search engine optimisation (SEO) expert, but the basics of SEO include regularly updating your content and posting rich and relevant content that your audience wants to read. A blog ticks all of these boxes with almost no further SEO knowledge necessary
- You can tell your story – since cavemen drew pictures on walls we humans have been programmed to remember stories. Your blog gives you the chance to fill in some of the gaps of your story, to capture people’s imaginations and help them build a connection with you. When >70% of the buying journey takes place before you even get chance to speak to a prospect, you need to pass some of these early tests and make sure you’re still on the shortlist
- You can use it in multiple ways, getting you more bang for your buck. If a blog takes you two hours to research and write, you need to make sure you max-out its reach. So post it on LinkedIn too, send it to your email list (as long as you’ve ticked the relevant GDPR boxes, speak to Bellingham IT if you haven’t) and make sure you post it via your social media accounts. Now you haven’t just produced 500 words, you’ve produced content for four different ways to appeal to potential buyers
I recently ran a workshop for The Business Network going into much more detail about the benefits of blogging and how to get started. If you want a coffee to chat about this topic – or anything else to do with writing for business – feel free to get in touch by calling 07921 543898.