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 – Communication of Strategy
As a Content Strategy company, our blog is central not just to the distribution of our ideas but to the communication of our whole strategy. Everything we post has a strategic imperative: It educates our clients and non-clients; it positions us as knowledgeable and respectable in the space; it sells our services and products; it gets people thinking. It's also the hub of our content marketing and where everything begins. Perhaps most critically, it has been a way for us to engage in meaningful conversation in social media, by sparking interest, commentary and sharing.
Thanks to Leticia Mooney, Brutal Pixie
#2 – Add Value for Clients
I started my business blog because I wanted to add value to my existing and future consulting clients. Most of my leads and clients had similar questions resulting from complex business strategy topics. I wanted to give free content that established a base of authority on those subjects so they would be more likely to reach out for an engagement. The best business blogs answer common questions their leads and clients have. If you're consistently creating content that's helpful for your target clients, it'll help establish you as an authority in their eyes.
Thanks to Joshua Schall, J. Schall Consulting
#3 – Interact with Customers
Our blog is one of our favorite ways we interact with our customers and engage new customers. We write articles based on both questions we receive and questions we anticipate about our products, issues our target audience cares about, tips for living a happier and healthier life, tips and tricks for making better choices with easier solutions, and so much more. Blogging is a great way to continuously deliver fresh content and synthesize research. It helps develop our authority as skincare and candle craftsmen, building both trust in our brand, and demonstrating that we are real people. It helps us target our audience because people who engage with our blog and continuously read are people who would probably want to shop our products. At the same time, we don't use our blog to solely sell our products, because blogging is more than advertising; blogging is the written adventure of defining your niche, your audience, and yourself.
Thanks to Kristen Fusaro-Pizzo, Bath, Body, and Candle Moments
#4 – Dig Deeper
BeFunky is an online photo editing and graphic design platform that makes creating powerful images and designs simple for the everyday user. Our users come from a wide demographic range; from business owners to bloggers to aspiring photographers. Because of this, our blog is ultimately meant to inspire our users to dig deeper and get more creative with how they're using BeFunky. Our case studies showcase how everyday business owners, bloggers, music artists, and beyond are using BeFunky to create materials that set them apart. Our tutorials act as a guide for using our features to create amazing images and designs. We produce content at least twice weekly and our goal is to help our users learn how to use our tools more efficiently. We can visibly see the results as images and designs are uploaded to BeFunky accounts, and it's been really cool to see how our blog posts influence our users to be more creative.
Thanks to Tekin Tatar, BeFunky
#5 – A Unique Perspective
Our brand is more than just about selling clothing, it’s about immersing customers into a lifestyle experience; our blog serves as an extension of that idea. On the blog, we present rich content that’s coupled with style advisory, current events, and unique perspectives on how menswear is reimagined, interpreted and consumed. To that end, we influence change through insightful narratives from tastemakers whose followers align with our mission. Customers can find informative messages from fashion industry artisans and craftsmen, along with unique views into the world of inspirational photographers, musicians and cultural progressionists.
Thanks to Julian Eison, Eison Triple Thread
#6 – Community
I had the idea for Pinkly Perfect over a year ago but knew there was a lot of work for me to put in before launching my brand of summer-inspired beach clothing and accessories. So last summer I decided to launch a blog where I could build up my customer base while behind the scenes I was working on designing clothing and accessories that would appeal to my target customer: beach loving teenage girls. Throughout the process, I realized I needed to get into my future customer's head more. So I opened up the position of Pinkly Perfect Contributors (read: freelance blog writers) to high school girls with serious beach town pride who love beach-inspired food, entertaining tips, fashion, beauty, and fitness. I built up a group of ten girls, all my potential target customers, and I got to see firsthand what they followed, liked, and best responded to. By reading their articles, I got to know my customer much more and have new, interesting content and personality to my blog. When I launched my product line three months ago, I knew I had a much deeper understanding of who I was targeting and how to go about it. I still have these girls writing on my blog now and also use the blog to link back to Pinkly Perfect products as much as possible.
Thanks to Maddy Sasso, Pinkly Perfect, Inc.
#7 – Value for Attention
I’m a big believer in content marketing, because I think it’s a great way to offer value to your customers in return for their attention. A blog is an excellent space to write content that can be shared online. If the content’s interesting or a viewer sees value in it, they’ll visit your website to read the rest of the article and hopefully they’ll respond to your call-to-action within the post. Unlike outbound marketing techniques like advertising, content marketing is less intrusive, and also multi-purpose. For example, I’ve written a series of blog posts about how to use different social media channels, which is all based on research and experience I used to develop into an ebook, emails to my subscribers, and a Huffington Post article. Blogs are also a great venue to answer frequently asked questions. Link to your blogs from other areas of your site to answer the most common questions your readers have. This builds trust and also can alleviate some general email inquiries. There are a few other big reasons to blog (SEO being one of them), but using it both as a source of communication and client attraction have been the most important for me.
Thanks to Rikki Ayers, Be Rad Media
#8 – Factual Spins
For our company we mainly use blogs to push topical, factual and unique spins on areas surrounding the different areas we deal in. Working in customer service, marketing and software development it gives us a wide range of topics to write about, allowing us to reach a wide audience of people. This has allowed us to build brand awareness and trust through the use of insightful and distinctive posts.
We have also forayed into the often avoided field of self-promotion, using some of our blogs to emphasise the excellent ethos our company has, but through the medium of easy-to-read articles that don't come across as being too sales-related.
Thanks to Andrew Hart, FM Outsource
#9 – Increase Search Traffic
I use my blog to attract increasing amounts of search traffic (increased by 10x in the past 12 months), to build my list through opt-in and content upgrade offers, and to supply content I can then use for various other purposes to help build my business. For example, the content will be used for regular emails to my list, building the relationship and driving them back to the blog to build familiarity with my business, brand and to educate them on the service offered. I also use the content for regular updates through my social channels, attracting followers, building authority and influence, and driving traffic to the blog. Finally, I'll repurpose the content for content platforms around the web, putting me in front of thousands of people in my market who I wouldn't otherwise reach. Often the engagement levels on these platforms are far higher than I would otherwise achieve with the content solely on my blog. So I repurpose for sites like Quora, Medium, SlideShare and others, multiplying my online visibility.
Thanks to Steve Shaw, vWriter
#10 – Share Development
At ShoutEx we use our blog with two goals in mind. Our first objective is to share online advertising techniques and strategies with the market at hand. We do this to show thought-leadership and create a follower-base of potential clients. Most of these visitors are through organic searches – that's why we spend considerable effort making our content search engine friendly. Our second goal is to inform our existing clients of new developments and services in our firm. We use the blog as a way to provide customer service as well as increase mind-share with our clients. These readers tend to find our blog directly and show high levels of engagement (they are more likely to share and comment on our posts). By addressing two distinct groups through our blog, we are able to maintain a good balance of building our brand reputation as well as filling the top of the funnel with new leads.
Thanks to Zaki Usman, ShoutEx Marketing
#11 – Provide Advice
The Logistics Plus News & Notes blog is used almost daily to update our customers, partners and prospects on news, awards, projects, and the services we provide. We also try to provide frequent ‘tips' and ‘advice' for businesses that may be struggling with the many complex aspects of domestic freight transportation, warehousing and distribution, or global customs and compliance. Having an active blog is important to our communications and a critical component to our SEO (search engine optimization) strategy. Well-written, relevant blog posts can help your company be found by prospective clients that may be searching for that topic online. Once they find your article, it's also important to have a clear call-to-action so that the reader can contact you for more information if appropriate. Our daily blogging also provides the content needed for our monthly e-newsletter; so in that sense, we kill two birds with one stone, so to speak. Thanks to active blogging, our website traffic has doubled over the past year, and online inquiries have quadrupled.
Thanks to Scott Frederick, Logistics Plus Inc.
#12 – As an Example
As an inbound marketing agency we use our company blog as an example to other business of how blogging can benefit and grow their business. We use our blog to attract our target market into our website. We're particularly focused on nonprofits, so we look at what communications, marketing and public relations issues may interest that target market and write about it. We use our blog to share information and at the end of each blog we offer a link to additional resources like e-books or reports we've written. These additional resources allow us to better identify who is visiting our blog and to create a follow up plan to eventually turn them into customers.
Thanks to Hilary Hamblin, Momentum Consulting
#13 -Business Promotion
I use various kind of free blogs like tumblr, blogspot, weebly, wordpress and so on to promote our website's listing in search. Each one we use for specific purposes like product release, supporting awareness details, video promotion and much more. I basically do a research before publishing a post. I will search for popular relevant terms, images & names of those, title or description from Ad section for my search term and based on these I will make a post on a product or awareness or whatever it may be. But your job is not done when you just publish it on net. We must publicize the post in social profiles like twitter, linkedin, G+ and so on to get hits. This will work as a base for our website's popularity. And I strongly believe, if we use the blog in a right way, definitely we can reach heights and it help us get listed for popular searches. This is how I use my blogs for my business promotion.
Thanks to Billie Jean Bateson, Amazing Wristbands
#14 – Relevant Information
At EcoloBlue we offer machines that create water from air. We use our blog post in many ways. We post about upcoming events, anytime we make the News and anything we find relevant to water sustainability. Although EcoloBlue has been around since 2007 there are still many people that are not aware of us or how our system works. Our blog post have been the best way to make people aware of our product and the service we offer. We use other social media sites to get consumers to visit our blog page and this is a great way for us to communicate with consumers. We often construct articles that bring awareness to consumers about different water concerns including plastic pollution at beaches and how harmful Microbeads are to water. We also post news articles we are in including how we are donating 250 of our machines to residents of Flint, Michigan that have been affected by a water crisis. If anyone wants to know more about EcoloBlue go to our blog page and you should get all the information you need.
Thanks to Trena Wilson, EcoloBlue
#15 – Marketing and Outreach
Our blog is an instrumental part of our marketing outreach and it plays a couple of major roles. The first is building thought leadership within the education space. We publish a few times a week to share thoughts and news on trends in higher education. We also use our company blog as a resource for the students we work with by publishing tips and how-to articles that cover everything from how to apply for a student visa to how to set up a checking account in a foreign country.
Thanks to Daniel Bjarne, SchoolApply