Does your business blog?
Have you been thinking it might be time to consider a blog, but aren't sure (a) you can pull it off and (b) it will provide value?
Keep reading. This article will help you (or someone you know) understand the value of a business blog.
Is Google the Only Reason to Blog?
I have a question for you, and it's a serious one: If you never garnered another single visitor to your company blog through search engine optimization (SEO), would you still have one?
For many, especially execs who don't necessarily “get it” when it comes to content marketing, the answer would be, “No way!”
That's what this article is all about. There's much more to having a company blog than just getting more visitors to your website because Google decided to send them there.
In fact, here are 5 other powerful reasons why you should be blogging, and I look forward to hearing what you would add in the comments section at the end.
#1: The Power of Team
Ever heard of HubSpot? The Boston-based company and all-in-one social media platform for small- and medium-sized businesses is one of the fastest-growing in the world, and considering Google just invested $32 million in the company, they seem to be on solid ground.
Although there are many reasons HubSpot is rocketing up the charts of the business world, one of the core components to their success model is the “team” feel of the company. Ranked two straight years as the #1 Best Place to Work by the Boston Business Journal, HubSpot allows EVERY single person in the company to produce content for the company blog. With over 300 employees, you can see why it's nothing for them to post 3-5 articles on most days.
When it comes down to it, we, as humans, like to be part of a movement. We want to be part of a team. When all hands are on deck and each person is contributing to building the company's content base, magic and momentum can truly happen, and all benefit together.
And keep in mind, this principle isn't just for large companies. Whether you're an army of 1, 5 or 500, working as a team to produce content can have a powerful effect on any company or organization.
#2: Blogging Sharpens Your Sword
Before I started teaching people about business and marketing, I was (and still partially am) a “pool guy.” That's right, I own a company that builds in-ground swimming pools throughout Virginia and Maryland. Over the last 10 years I've had over 1000 in-home sales appointments.
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Three years ago, when I embraced the power of content and started our company blog, I noticed many benefits. One of which was the fact that my sales presentations became much, much better. How so?
By creating 2 to 3 articles a week for my blog:
- I was forced to stay up to date with every new technology in the industry.
- I became much better at explaining things in a way the consumer could clearly understand. (In other words, I learned how to become a better teacher.)
- I found that I seemed to have an answer for every question a customer could throw at me.
Simply put, writing a blog post is like practicing for a game. The more one practices, the better their skills, timing and overall play—which ultimately leads to more victories, or in this case, sales.
#3: You Become the Trust Agent
When it comes to blogging, the process of making sales is not nearly as complicated as we sometimes make it. Look at it this way:
Do you remember your kindergarten teacher? (Yes, I know that was a long time ago, but try.)
How did he or she make you feel? Did you trust him/her?
Although there are many reasons why most of us love our earliest teachers, the biggest reason we respect and appreciate them so much is because they took the time to patiently teach us things in a way we could actually understand.
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That's right; they weren't there to impress anyone, as their only goal was helping us understand.
When a company's blog takes on this “kindergarten content” approach, they do everything in their power to answer consumer questions by seeing the world from the consumer's point of view, not their own.
Once this occurs, walls of doubt are torn down and the trust level between the customer and the company immediately starts to go up.
And as I mentioned above, this trust will lead to more phone calls to your office, more forms filled out on your web page and eventually many more sales.
#4: Content is the Great Qualifier
Has your company ever gotten a lead that wasn't exactly qualified or ready for your product/service? Chances are, if you've been in business for longer than a day, this has happened many, many times.
And when it comes to sales, the more time a sales department spends with unqualified leads, the less time they spend with qualified ones, which is obviously a very bad thing.
There are generally two types of consumers:
- Price Shoppers: someone only focused on lowest price to make their buying decision
- Value Shoppers: someone looking for a combination of product quality, customer service and reasonable pricing to make their buying decision
Ask any sales and marketing department which client they'd rather have and they'll tell you “value.”
I mention this because with the advancement of the Internet, companies can now track behaviors of their leads when it comes to the content customers are viewing on their website.
For example, here are two leads my company has gotten in the last week. Which appears more prepared for a sales appointment?
100 out of 100 will say the first one, as that particular person has shown not only are they a serious shopper, but they're also very, very informed as to the company's teachings and product doctrine. (BTW, if you're not blogging, there's a good chance your company website doesn't even have 55 pages, so let's get busy!)
Remember, the more pages a visitor reads on your website, the closer they are to making a buying decision with your company, so integrate your blog's content into every aspect of your sales approach.
Also, if you're not currently using a technology that allows you to track lead analytics, I'd strongly recommend it, as it can save your company thousands and thousands in saved time alone.
#5: The Power of the Blog Comment
Does your company blog allow for comments and promote discussion? If not, you're missing out on a golden opportunity to learn from readers and allow them to tell you exactly what they're interested in.
Often businesses approach blogging from a very myopic and limited point of view, and simply don't do a good job of seeing the world through the eyes of the consumer.
By promoting active discussion on your company blog and then truly listening to what is said, you will constantly get questions from individuals wanting to find out more, much of which can then be turned into another blog post.
As you might imagine, this cycle of “teach then listen” can become an ever-flowing content factory for any company that takes the time to do this the right way.
Also, the comment section of a blog is your great opportunity to build a community of passionate individuals who appreciate your company's brand and mission, thereby becoming your greatest advocates, on- and offline.
Now It's Your Turn
I've shown you 5 reasons (beyond SEO) why your company should have a blog. But I've also intentionally left out many others because I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter as well.
What do you think? Have you seen these 5 benefits within your company? Which one has made the most impact? Also, what would you add to the list?
Jump in, everyone! I love nothing more than discussing the power of great content, so please leave your thoughts and questions in the comments box below.
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