Why Blog As Part of Your Marketing Plan

Why Blog As Part of Your Marketing Plan?
While many business owners understand how important a website is to their business, far fewer understand the value of a well maintained blog to their digital Mesa web marketing success.
Phoenix, AZ

It was shown in studies by the Pew Research Center that as of November 2012, 78% of American adults owned a desktop or laptop computer, by October of 2014, 64% owned a smartphone, and as of January 2014 only 14% of American adults do not use the internet. With the internet having become such a popular option for social activities, information gathering, and shopping, many businesses large and small have created websites to promote their products and services, and even sell their products directly online. In fact, a Washington D.C. based research firm called Clutch performed a survey that showed that 74% of businesses have websites, and another 9% planned to build websites to promote themselves. When business owners without websites were questioned, some responded that their businesses are already maxed out in production or that they were already too busy with the work their businesses already have.

So it’s generally accepted that if you want to grow your business, you need to have a website. But one of the top mistakes that many businesses make is creating a simple template website, posting a few pages of information on it, and never touching it again. Why is this a problem? Static websites that never change rarely rank well on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo!, and won’t drive traffic to your business. An important aspect of making your website successful is continuing to add new information to your site to continue to bring in new customers and clients, as well as encourage old clients to return. So how do you continually add content to your website? The best way is by blogging. Adding a blog to your website where you frequently add new posts with new and interesting information not only adds that unique content that search engines like so much for their ratings, but they are also a way to interest customers in your services or products, and prove to them before they ever speak to you that you are an expert in your field.

Why Blogging is Relevant for Marketing

A frequent complaint from small business owners is that they don’t have enough to say to warrant a weekly or bi-weekly blog post about their company. However as noted by serial entrepreneur Francine Hardaway in an article about blogging, if you or someone in your company doesn’t have any information to share, “you’re probably in the wrong business.” Your blog content can be anything that is of relevance to your business or clients. If you are designing a new product, update your current and future customers about improvements or setbacks on your design process, create hype and take pictures along the way, showing glimpses of what the finished product will be. If you are already selling a product, show what uses it can be put to, how clothing can be accessorized, how doodads can be used in different crafts, and the different ways an innovative hand tool or software program can be used. Talk about events you have gone to and the great people you have met if you’ve learned anything new about your own craft or how learning about someone else’s craft has helped you with your own. If you provide a service to clients, talk about different specific and general ways you can assist them. Let people know when you’ve made a major sale or give “in progress” updates about a big job you’re working on. Offer discounts for mentioning your blog or announce special events going on in your store. Make videos about how to use your products or how effective they can be and post them. Talk about major difficulties people can run into if they don’t use someone in your profession. Discuss studies that have been done in your field and your opinion on controversial topics. There is an unlimited number of topics you can write about in your blog about your business.

Another common complaint about blogging is the time it takes to blog, which is completely true. Blogging takes a small amount of time and you need to commit to doing it regularly to get the most benefit out of it. However, most entrepreneurs spend a large amount of time staying on top of their field already. Learning about new technologies relevant their field, finding out what competitors are offering, testing out tools or equipment for cost-effectiveness or longevity, creating new products or branching out into new fields of service. If you spend several hours, or more, doing research for your company, then spending another 30 minutes discussing what you’ve learned, conclusions you have come to, and any changes you may or may not be making due to these conclusions, makes for an excellent blog post and shows customers that you’re being proactive in ensuring they get the best service from you. If you attend a professional event or spend several days working on a project, taking a few pictures while you’re there and spending a few minutes discussing what’s going on in those pictures can make an interesting blog post with very little time investment. If you spend hours every week showing customers or potential customers the best ways to use some of your products, taking an hour to make a video showing the same thing and then writing a step-by-step how-to guide to go with it can actually save you time by encouraging people to go watch it online rather than make you explain and reenact it time and again. Likewise, if your customers have questions that you answer time and again, making posts with answers to each of these frequently asked questions can be quick to jot down, and may reduce the number of times you have to repeat yourself every week. Even better, if a potential customer tries to Google one of those questions, your blog is likely to show up in the search results, bringing new leads and more traffic to your website.

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So is a blog worth it?

Absolutely. As shown in Neil Patel’s Infographic, companies that have blogs have 97% more links that those without and many more indexed pages, which improves search engine results, more than 60% of American consumers have made a purchase after reading a related blog post, more than 80% enjoy reading content from company blogs, and 41% want to be notified by email every time their favorite blogs add a new post. That means your clients want to read about your company, your products, and want to return to your site again and again to read more. And when it’s time for them to make another purchase? Your company is the one making the profit.

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