The Blogosphere is here and it is not going anywhere. It’s not just for people talking about what their eating for lunch or their next celebrity crush. Blogging is big business for entrepreneurs and business owners. CEO Blog Nation recently launched a blogging community and we regularly blog for entrepreneurs and business owners and there are numerous reasons to blog.
Rescue a CEO asked some businesses how they use blogging to help their business.
# 1 – See the You
It's definitely a challenge putting time, thought, caring, information and energy into each post. let alone the graphics and/or pictures to go with it.. But it is so important for a few reasons. First and foremost I think it connects you to your brand. It makes your audience see the “you” behind the brand and not just the product. I know it made me be more introspective, sharing more stories of my life and work, the same way I would chat with a customer if they came into the shop. I think when a customer connects with you and your brand, they want to purchase from you. Again and again. It is a way to share your knowledge and prove on a regular basis that you are an expert in your field. I really think there is no downside. Well, except really poor grammar.
Thanks to Roberta Perry, ScrubzBody
#2 – Center of the Entire Business
Our blog is the center of the entire business. It shows our knowledge, that we are at the forefront of the industry, it drives traffic, attracts leads and builds our credibilty. Our blog is also at the center of our SEO strategy, email strategy, social media strategy and pay per click strategy. Employees rally around our blogs, both on our main site and the guest blogs we do, as it gives them a connection to the inudstry and something to be proud of. When we write a press release, we link to our blog for more information and drive more visitors there. Blogging is such a powerful tool. But if you are not doing it 100% correct, it is not worth the effort. Content marketing and blogging is so competitive, so to do a great job you need to know all the important subtle online marketing strategies that make blogging successful. But if you know these, it can lead you straight to the top of an industry.
Thanks to John Lincoln, Ignite Visibility
#3 – Provide Answers
Here's how we use our blog: First, we put ourselves in our prospects shoes. What are they searching for, what problems do they have and what solutions do they need? For example, we're a booking software for salons & spas, but we don't hammer our blog with repetitive posts about the importance of booking software, etc. Our prospects are owners of salons & spas, and as owners of salons and spas they have questions that they need answers to. We use our blog to provide answers that our target audience might have – even if the answer isn't “buy our software”. Is someone who's searching for adwords advice for their salon going to purchase our software? Probably not. However, we are building a relationship with them by creating content like this, by solving their problems and if they are do find themselves needing a piece of booking software, or if they know of someone who does, we gain brand preference and they choose or recommend us. Simply put, we use our blog to help our target audience. Hopefully they appreciate that help and if they ever find themselves in need of a solution we provide, they'll choose us.
Thanks to Anthony Myers, BookPrimo Salon & Spa
#4 – Thought Leader
Blogging has a number of benefits for the entrepreneur. Perhaps one of the biggest is to establish yourself as a thought leader in your field. When you publish credible, well written, content on a consistent basis, your audience will recognize as the go to expert for your niche.
Thanks to Karen Repoli, HIT Virtual
#5 – Insight About Topics
Your business blog gives you the opportunity to answer all the questions you wished your prospects or clients would ask you. If you ever feel frustrated that an poorly-educated prospect doesn’t understand the value of your offering, use your blog to give insight about the topics you wished they were asking about. These types of blog posts can justify the true value of your product or service by exposing everything that is behind it. For example, I wrote a blog called “Stop Making Content McNuggets” about why people should focus on high-quality content, not on high-volume, low-quality content. With this post I was able to explain the difference and position our firm as providing a higher-valued service.
Thanks to Emily Brackett, Visible Logic, Inc.
#6 – Showcase New Items
I use my blog at HAUTEheadquarters.com for a variety of things. My posts consist of answers and tips to questions and concerns that consumers frequently email me like “How to Travel with Jewelry” or “How to Layer Necklaces Like a Pro”. I also use my blog to showcase new items, upcoming trends, industry news, and press features. It's also personal as I tend to develop a lot of relationships with my clients so I showcase posts featuring jewelry pieces that I personally love and suggest for the season. Recently I have also started interviewing bloggers and designers that we work with doing Q&A blog posts about their personal jewelry style and design inspiration!
Thanks to Nicola Ford, HAUTEheadquarters.com
#7 – Inform and Engage
I use my blog, the Accountable Update, primarily to inform and engage my customers and prospects on financial topics. When a piece is well received, I will also pay to promote it on various social media. I try, whenever possible, to include local businesses and organizations in the content which not only provides them free PR but gives me cross promotion opportunities.
Thanks to Jeff Weeks, ATX Portfolio Advisors, LLC
#8 – Cornerstone
My blog is the cornerstone of my website and really all of my marketing for my company. I use it to express a unique point of view about the state of marketing in the world today and various issues we face as professional communicators and I find that my posts attract an audience that very often turn into referrals and hot sales leads. You see, you can’t fake expertise — you either actually have it or you actually do not and if you can show that in a blog on an ongoing basis and not put the audience to sleep, then you have a great shot at building a powerful and sustainable brand in the marketplace.
Thanks to Scott Robertson, RobertsonComm
#9 – Constant Flow
In my experience, most companies want content marketing, but few know exactly how to do it well. We've committed resources, time and talent to developing our company blog; in particular, creating a constant flow of articles, predictions, themes, tips, essays and thought leadership pieces our clients want to read. It's not an easy task because it requires work, and for a period of time, not-so-clear metrics. However, we know that ideas, passion and thoughts matter to clients, more than the traditional sales call or meeting. But not just any content will do, and that can be a challenge. Our clients in television and entertainment are savvy; they know “filler” content from a mile away. We gladly take on the challenge of ideating and writing about relevant industry topics in ways that are exciting and novel. Our measure of success is when a reader, especially a client, says to me, “I never thought of that! I'm inspired.” That's a metric worth striving for. Beyond that, we've been able to parlay our blog topics into original bylined articles or guest columns for national trade media, which have yielded new business requests or even invitations to participate in conferences.
Thanks to Kate Canada Obregon, Oishii Creative
#10 – Channel to Educate
Sales leads are hungry for three things: knowledge about existing or potential business growth barriers; solutions to overcome those barrier and knowing the possible provider of those solutions. Blogging provides a channel to educate, suggest solutions without sales pitches and establish credibility. I write to educate my forward thinking clients in fast growing(mid-size and small businesses under $75 million along with salespeople earning $100,000 or more or who wish to earn $100,000 or more and potential ideal clients in 3 areas, sales, leadership and workplace culture; to stay ahead of the flow when it comes to industry to market trends and to establish continued expertise and national to international credibility.
Thanks to Leanne Hoagland-Smith, ADVANCED SYSTEMS
#11 – Strong SEO Presence
Blogging has been very helpful in building my business and creating a strong SEO presence for my business. I use my blog to connect with my audience in three ways: 1) Answer questions and provide information about topics that my clients need, 2) Share my knowledge about my areas of expertise, 3) Write about topics that are relevant and on trend so that clients can find Silver Shade Group when they search for related keywords. By writing consistently, I know that I am also building both my credibility and my audience.
Thanks to Tamara Budz, Silver Shade Group
#12 – Offer New Tools
At Take Control ADHD, I use the blog to offer new tools and strategies to inspire adults living with ADHD. My intention is to provide quality content and to be a valuable resource on living their best life. In addition to the blog, I co-host a weekly podcast, I incorporate what’s going on in the podcast with additional articles on the blog. So readers and listeners will see a common a theme from month to month from both platforms. Both platforms also give me an opportunity to connect with the community and share in greater detail how my coaching services can be a part of their overall ADHD Care.
Thanks to Nikki Kinzer, Take Control ADHD
#13 – Click Tracking
We use our blog for 3 primary purposes: 1. Educational – through focused blog posts we explain different features and giving our users examples of how they can use Clkim to improve their click tracking and link monetization. 2. Make announcements – we use our blog to make business and technical announcements about our produce and services 3. Knowledge sharing – we try to include general marketing related posts that enhance our readers understanding of the marketing and advertising industries.
Thanks to Yoav Shalev, Clkim
#14 – Bring Traffic
Your blog is your greatest weapon when bringing traffic to your website because you can promote it anywhere as frequently as you wish with no cost. Great content on your blog has unlimited possibilities such as posting on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest), contributing to online communities (Google+, LinkedIn) or submitting it to social bookmarking websites (Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon) just to name a few. The key to having success with your blog however is not just creating great content but getting it out there to as many potential customers as possible. Your blog won't bring in decent traffic overnight, you will need to market it aggressively at first to enjoy the benefits later. Also make sure any articles you create have a clear call to action bringing readers back to your main website or landing page.
Thanks to Jeff Moyer, My Rank SEO
#15 – Influencer Marketing
Content marketing drives our business. We sell software at an average of $40/month and when you sell to customers at such a low amount, traditional sales just doesn't work,, economically. We knew from the start that we would need to build traffic through content marketing, and therefore launched a blog straight away. 18 months later and we have increased our traffic over 10x through a combination of content marketing and influencer marketing. This means writing great content, connecting with influencers to promote it, and then optimizing it to generate leads via emails, who eventually turn into customers. We've learned that people rarely convert straight from the blog itself. They have to be nurture over time. They follow a few blog posts, sign up fr the email, then eventually sign up for a trial, maybe hop on a call with us, and finally they turn into a customer. By then it's like they “know” us. We've made a ton of mistakes and continue to do so such as not promoting our content, or not writing content for our target audience. Content marketing is an evolving channel, so you have to stay on the cutting edge.
Thanks to Dave Schneider, NinjaOutreach
#16 – Engagement
Tasytt is incentive drivent training and onbaording software for teams, and we use blogging to keep our current customers informed and engage potential clients. We have a range of articles from general to technical so that we cater to all departments in a company, and more blogs lined up for the near future. We're a growing startup and already see a lot of engagement on Twitter around our posts. We're focusing on our content marketing strategy more and more so keep your eyes peeled to our blog!
Thanks to Alex Sopinka, Tasytt