There is a saying which goes something like this Communication is all about understanding.
Although many may not agree, this certainly is the case when it comes to your customers. The prospect of running a business blog makes some business owners nervous. They either think that blogging will be a lot of hard work, or they think that it will cost too much. However, a business blog can be a valuable marketing tool. A blog can also open a valuable line of communication between you and your customer, fostering trust and relationship.
What is a blog?
A blog short for web log is when you add posts to a website in the style of journal entries in reverse chronological order. Blogs give information on a particular subject and allow readers to leave comments. A typical blog will combine text, images and links to other blogs, web pages and related media.
Why use a blog?
Blogs are not just for use as a personal journal as there is no limit to what topics may be covered. A blog gives you a voice to the world and raises your profile to a broad market. By having a blog you can become an expert in your industry by posting relevant and useful information. By giving something that is useful, people will keep reading. There are many reasons businesses should blog but three good ones are:
Reason #1 – Marketing
If you want to get a marketing message across to your customers then blogging is a great way to do this. Blogging reaches out to people in a way that no other medium can achieve as it is more personal. If someone makes the effort to contact you through your blog either by leaving a comment, sending an email or directly contacting you, it shows they are interested in the products you are offering. If your business blog is a good blog then it will reinforce and enhance your companys brand and image. The blog entries posted by you will help your clients and perspective clients to understand who you are. Search engines will help you convey that understanding to more people, who you may not otherwise reach.
Reason #2 – Cost
Having a blog is one of the most cost effective forms of marketing for any business and it can be set up with very little cost and effort. You can create a blog for free on sites like Google Blogger and WordPress.com, or you can chose to buy a domain name and hosting to set up your very own branded blog. Try and use a domain name related to your business and download a free / open source blog like WordPress where there is no cost for the software.
Reason #3 – Communications
The bottom line is that a blog is about communication. With that end in mind you need to make sure that content on your blog is of the highest quality. Remember, the blog represents your company. For some people, the blog may be their first contact with your business. Getting quality content for your blog may mean hiring a writer, or assigning the task to someone in your organisation. While you don’t need to add new content to your business blog every day, it is important to post regularly. Your blog readers should feel that they are getting the inside buzz on your company. A blog is more than just a series of articles, though. A business blog is a conversation between you, your customers, and your perspective customers. Make sure that comments are enabled and respond promptly and politely to anyone who leaves a comment. Be open and helpful. Blog with authority, but avoid turning your blog into an advertisement for your company. Finally, something to consider, if you don’t have a business blog, the chances are that your competition will.
Getting support with Blogging
Blogging has never been easier than now, with providers such as WordPress and Google Blogger providing a platform to set up, design and run your Blog, for free. If you are looking for something a little bit special, you can consult a reputable Web Design and SEO company as many will specialise in solutions like WordPress design and will be able to support you in building an exciting and informative Blog within your very own website. Some may even provide copywriting support and consultancy to help you to formulate your blogging strategy and deliver your key messages. Over the next few weeks we will be covering a series of topics in more depth. Please follow us @opaceweb on Twitter and Opacewebdesign on Facebook for information on blog updates, please feel free to subscribe to our feed.
Image credit – Kristina B