Entering the world of business blogging

Blogging is a powerful and simple tool to take your marketing to the next level, and many SME owners have cottoned on to that fact, with statistics from social media marketing company Vertical Response  showing that more than half of small businesses maintained a blog in 2012.

Additionally, 45 per cent of these small businesses spent anywhere from one to three hours to create a blog post and 16 per cent spent more than three hours. According to the study of more than 460 firms, finding and posting content was ranked the most time consuming. But why would businesses go to all that time and effort?

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That's because most of them recognise the inherent value of blogging that could translate into increased brand awareness and possibly sales.

Blogging is one of the best marketing tactics and gives customers a peek into what makes your business tick, says Joy Deangdeelert Cho, founder of popular design blog Oh Joy!.

"Customers tend to be more loyal when they feel like they're getting access to the brain behind the business," Ms Cho explains in her how-to book Blog, Inc. "Especially since so many companies exist virtually these days, a blog can help a business, big or small, interact with customers all over the world.

"For the same reasons that documentary TV shows or movies pull you in, customers love having a sense of involvement or getting a behind-the-scenes picture of their favourite personalities and brands."

A large part of making your business personal to your customers is the sense of community it creates amongst like-minded readers, which can be difficult to achieve through your professional website. Perhaps customers want to know more about how to use the different tools sold in your gardening supplies business, or learn how to come up with different outfit combinations based on the clothes sold at your shop.

Image from  Vertical Response

A blog, an extension of your website, can provide that how-to advice, trends and tips to consumers, which will in turn build your brand as an innovative source of knowledge in the industry.

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Moreover, enabling comments on your blog can help create dialogue with customers, as Flying Solo  contributor and blogger Deb Pilgrim can attest to.

"Twitter is like a calling card. Facebook is like a phone call. Blogging is like a full-fledged conversation!

"Blogging is a powerful way of developing a relationship with your community, tribe or circle of friends. It's about having a fully-fledged conversation with not only your current clients, but also your potential clients. These are the people, who up until now, may not have thought they needed to work with you, or buy from you."

Indeed, blogging is an integral part of online marketing and gives you the ability to reach new customers in different markets. According to business.qld.gov.au, blogs can build a dynamic exchange of information, solutions, reviews and opinions about a business and its products and services.

"The interconnected nature of social media, where a single customer can share an experience with their own network, presents opportunities to reach many more people.

"Also, the dynamic nature of a blog, which is always being refreshed and updated, helps achieve higher internet search result rankings, which in turn attracts new customers."

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