Does a business blog really make a difference?
The fact that most companies’ customers today are actively online, makes having a balanced internet strategy essential.
It’s clear from the below graph that companies agree with this statement. All of them have plans to significantly increase spending on website promotion and further make use of social media.( according to Laura McLellan, Follow the Money Trail in Digital Marketing)
Although traditional advertising campaigns still account for the biggest response, there is a substantial reallocation taking place within the total advertising budget.
The business community is beginning to realize more than ever before that the exchange of information and mutual support among internet users is so significant that they can no longer afford to ignore it.
Moreover, it will have to actively engage in the online discussions in order to try and steer the information stream somewhat. One of the best ways to achieve that is through blogging!
The Advantages of a business blog
- Higher visibility and more traffic
Surveys in the United States revealed that websites with a blog generated 55% more traffic than websites without a blog. In addition, maintaining a blog led to almost an 80% increase in Twitter-followers. That’s most certainly also due to the use of important keywords in the blog. By these means, the website’s online visibility is considerably increased.
- Improved client contact and information delivery
With a blog, the entrepreneur comes more easily into contact with his (potential) clients and is then in a position to offer much more information about his company and the products. Moreover, he can respond in an efficient and effective manner to new developments affecting his business and product range.
By blogging, the entrepreneur engages in conversation with his (potential) client and if handled in a considerate and careful manner, this can lead to constructive client feedback. That’s how IBM discovered that when their employees were intensively engaged in blogging, it led to very fruitful interaction with the clients. Often the best ideas come forth from this kind of constructive feedback!
IBM has designed a systematic strategy for these blogging activities, one which is well integrated with other advertising efforts. Unlike, for example, Apple who avoids like the plague the criticism of clients which might damage their image, the sometimes painful confrontation with the client is not to be pushed away, but to be seen as an opportunity to further improve on what a business has to offer.
- Show and gather knowledge
Writing a good article requires substantial knowledge and that knowledge is not always on hand. Extensive reading and research is often necessary and keeps the writer up to date. That knowledge can then be shown to (potential) clients in an informative and entertaining way. An excellent business card!
Creating a successful blog is a question of taking a deep breath and a well constructed approach. Tips for Business Bloggers goes into depth on which requirements a blog needs to meet.
A good business blog definitely does make a difference
That a blog can add great value to the results of a business is clear. But one can still rightfully ask the question - does a blog make sense for every business? That’s very similar to the question discussed in the blog of last July: Does a website really make sense for a small business?
The conclusion then was: a website makes sense for a small business provided that:
- the website functions well and enhances the presentation and results of the business
- the website will not overshadow other business activities
This applies more or less to business blogs as well. Just as no entrepreneur should miss a single opportunity to properly showcase his company on the internet, certainly bigger businesses cannot afford to ignore such a versatile medium as the blog.
By the same token, a blog is a great way for the smaller business to stand out from the crowd.