I realized that even though we had the week-long Blogging & Your Business event, I’ve never actually taken the time to explain why your business should blog. I frequently pitch blogs to my Egg Marketing customers, so it’s apropos that I post my reasons.
I talk a lot about how times, they are a changin’. It’s inevitable that we will not be able to reach customers in the ways we did in the past. To successfully grow any business, you have to be open to change. Customers adapt faster than businesses, and that’s the downfall of many companies. It’s a tiresome race, always trying to find the new way to market before the consumer discovers it, but it’s a necessary evil.
Blogs aren’t the future. They’re the now. If your idea of blogs is someone’s journal about what they ate that day, that may have been true in 2000, but it’s not true now. But you know that because you’re reading this. Blogs are meant to inform. Rather than buy a set of encyclopedias from a door-to-door salesman, you can have any type of information you seek with a few clicks of a button, and much of it is on blogs. Consumers like free information. Provide that to them, and their sales will follow.
Think about the places you get free information. A newsletter, direct mail, television – whatever the source, chances are there is a company who sells things behind it. And if you know this, and appreciate the information you are given, you are more likely to buy from that company than its competitor. Blogs are no different. I write about marketing because it’s what I love. I would probably blog about it anyway, but I also run a marketing firm. While I’m of course not pushing anything on you, it is my hope that if you need marketing one day, you’ll think of the woman who writes such useful articles on Marketing 2.0.
Consumers are in a hurry. Blogs provide easy access to information that people can quickly digest. People don’t even sit down to read the newspaper anymore, so it’s important to get readers’ attention quickly, offer what they’re looking for, and let them go on with their lives. But be assured that somewhere in the back of their minds, they know where that information came from. If you provide an RSS, it’s even more convenient for them, since they have to do virtually nothing to get your updates.
If you have frequent news about your business, where better to let consumers know than on a blog? While it’s hard to track readers from sending out a press release, your results are measurable with a blog. You can track how many visitors are on your site, and even how many people read a particular post. You know how many people you’re reaching at any given time.
With all that being said, please understand that a blog isn’t going to generate sales overnight. A blog takes months to get up and running (and to grow your readership), so consider it always a work in progress. The more frequently you post (2-4 posts a week) the faster it will grow and help your bottom line.
So let’s review your reasons for starting a blog so you have no excuse not to:
1. You have to roll with the punches. Marketing is constantly changing, and so must your technique.
2. Blogs are growing in popularity and are accepted as common marketing tools.
3. Giving consumers free information will increase your brand recognition and sales.
4. Making it easy for consumers to find information makes them appreciative, and they will reciprocate in purchases.
5. You can measure your results.
6. And did I mention, it’s pretty affordable to have a blog. You can DIY or pay a writer/blogger to post. Beats the cost of a billboard!