Small business owners and entrepreneurs, let’s face it: marketing your business can get expensive! You can easily spend hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars just to hire a large marketing firm to plan and execute your ads.
Although this isn’t an issue for well-established companies, not all of us have an unlimited budget to spend on a large-scale marketing campaign. Even if you do, there’s no guarantee that these massive and costly marketing efforts can generate the results you want in gaining better brand recognition and retention.
That’s why a lot of small businesses and startups turn to blog writing for their marketing.
Blogs are a cost-effective tool you can use to reach a wide range of customers in a matter of minutes, meaning you can talk about topics and events affecting your business and your community as it happens. With a skilled writer and a quality platform to release your content on, blogs can be instantly published to reach your target market and tap into their interests, enticing them to want to know more about your business and increasing awareness for your company in the process.
Blogs are growing in popularity with online users. As of this year (2021), there are over 400 million people viewing more than 20 billion blog pages each month. This promising figure shows just how valuable blogs are and how they can be utilised to a business owners advantage.
Blogs also offer additional value to a company’s existing content offering. Its flexible format allows it to be an avenue for digging deeper into a small business’ grassroots story, elaborating on customer testimonials, frequently asked questions or an industry-relevant issue or concern.
Content within your blogs can also increase customer trust as well as boost your authority in your industry and drive traffic back to your website. This allows a wider range of potential customers to get to know more about you and your products.
To make the most of blog writing, it helps to understand the benefits blogs offer in order to create clear objectives for your content and develop a solid strategy for the writing, posting and scheduling.
Benefits of blogging for your small business
Blogging has amazing benefits for very little outlay. Through blog content, companies are able to market their products in more detail, highlight their past achievements, address customer questions, discuss issues relating to their industry and release new updates about their services. Visit copywriting services to know more about strategies for creating a quality blog and other various content.
Having a blog for your business can help:
- Increase your online presence. Regularly releasing relevant and well-written blogs can create a positive conversation with your customers. The more they talk about your business, the more likely they’ll remember your brand and recommend it to others. This increased brand awareness opens up your company to more potential customers through word of mouth.
- Build credibility in your industry. Blogs show how knowledgeable you are in your industry. By releasing well-written and researched content, you’re able to establish yourself as an authority figure in your business. When this happens, customers will readily turn to your blogs for reliable information on certain topics.
- Relate to your customers on a more personal level. Since blogging is rich in text, it allows businesses to develop engagement, intrigue and empathy or relatability through good storytelling. As well as triggering an emotional response, storytelling also helps readers retain information, as people recall stories more easily than facts and figures.
- Generate leads for your business. Businesses that use blogs get 67% more leads per month than companies that don’t, giving companies that release blogs more online exposure and more opportunity to increase traffic and conversions.
These benefits show just how big the impact of blogs can be in increasing business visibility online. In order to see results, you’ll need to set up the right blogging structure and release content that relates to your target audience. We’ve outlined the steps to follow below so you can build a strong content marketing campaign for your small business.
5 steps to building your business brand with blogs
Adding blogs into your marketing initiatives seems simple at first, but it takes research and proper planning and preparation to use blogs effectively in building your brand presence.
Here are five steps to follow to help take your blogging efforts to the next level.
1. Create a plan that’s in line with your business goals
To have direction, you need to know where you’re going. It’s important for you to sit down, analyse your current online presence and list the objectives that align with your overall business goals. This will serve as a guide for the topics you’ll write about in your blogs and let you plan the next steps needed to generate positive results.
Beginning your blog content without a plan will mean you have no clear way of knowing whether or not the blogs were effective in your marketing.
In addition to goal setting, you’ll need to allocate time and a budget for blog writing. Researching and writing a blog can take hours, so it’s best to schedule days when you or your marketing team will be able to work on it.
You can also choose to outsource to a content agency or to a seasoned writer to ensure that you’re releasing high-quality written content. Remember, these people do this for a living, so it can help your business to have your blogs professionally written by a third party expert.
2. Establish a solid content strategy
After laying out your goals and setting up a schedule for writing, it’s time to create a content strategy.
Having a solid strategy ensures that the content you publish is intriguing and relevant to your customers. By releasing interesting and engaging content regularly, you’re able to establish trust with your target market, making them eager to visit your website and even subscribe to your email updates to be informed about your latest blog posts.
Creating a content strategy requires thorough and in-depth research on your target audience’s interests and reading habits. Researching and understanding this information will allow you to come up with the best strategy for scheduling and posting your blogs, and give you direction on the kind of content you should be releasing weekly.
3. Apply the right SEO techniques to build credibility in your industry
Using the right search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques can get your blog to appear higher up in the search engine result pages (SERPs). Having your content listed in the top SERPs adds credibility to your website and makes it instantly visible to a larger group of potential customers.
To get your blogs to the top pages, it helps to understand these SEO techniques:
- Use the right keywords: Integrating the right keywords increases the potential for your blog to show up in a user’s search results, because you are writing with the words they are actively searching for. The increased visibility can prove to readers that you have what they are looking for and bring traffic to your website. To get SEO right don’t just look for words that are trending, look for those that are relevant to your business industry. You can use websites like Google Trends or Google Suggest to find keywords to use in your blog.
- Integrate long-tail keywords into your blog: Long-tail keywords are the three to five word-long phrases people type in the search bar when they’re looking for something on the internet. This works especially well since most people search using phrases rather than individual words so you are better able to match your blog to their exact search needs. You can use long-tail keywords to hone in on your target market and cut out those who are not as likely to convert. So if your business operates only in Melbourne, then “Melbourne” would be a great word to include in your long-tail phrase.
- Make sure your blogs are mobile-responsive: Optimising your blog for mobile screens allows it to appear higher up in mobile searches. This widens your blog’s reach to not only desktop users but also to people searching on handheld devices.
4. Add value to your blog with customer-specific content
The more high-quality blogs you publish, the more trust you build between your reader and your business. In time, these people will rely on your blog as a source of credible information.
You can continue to add value to your content by making the topics more customer-centric. To do this, it helps to use surveys, online polls and customer interviews to know what kind of content is appealing to your target market. Your customers, in turn, will appreciate that you’ve taken the time and effort to understand what they’re interested in, which will then lead them to want to be updated on your future blogs.
When you have a large following of blog readers, you can monetise your blog by marketing and selling your services, e-books or online courses through that platform. This will allow you to earn extra income just by selling information you already own while also providing additional value to your customers and further concreting your authority.
5. Promote your blog on platforms utilised by your target audience
Knowing your target market will help you identify where to find them online. An easy place to start promoting your blogs is on your social media pages to get the blog to the customers you already have.
You can go one step further and directly share your blog to customers by:
- Posting the blog link in relevant groups and community forums. You can openly promote your blog to your target market by sharing it directly with social media groups and online forums they may be a part of. It’s important to remember though to tread carefully when taking part in these online community discussions as you don’t want your content to appear too forced into the conversation.
- Using targeted and paid advertising. Social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to target people using their age, gender and interests to get your blog post viewed more by your chosen demographics. This does, however, come with an added cost but you’ll find that it can benefit you down the line as it increases awareness of your business. In these cases it really helps to link your ad to a blog that contains the information they really desire or need, to encourage that click.
- Repurposing blogs and using them as social media posts. You can reshare your older blogs to reach a broader audience or repurpose it to become supplementary social media posts. You can do this by highlighting the most vital information or quotes from the blog and reusing them as social media cards for your channel as we do.
Understanding and internalising these steps to better blog creation will help you plan out what you need to execute your strategy. It’s important to realise that blog writing is more than just slapping some words on a page and posting it. To really make an impact, requires proper preparation, thorough research on your target market and a solid content strategy. When you pull all this together along with a familiarity with the best SEO practices and an understanding of the right platforms to promote your blogs you can effectively harness the power of this rewarding content marketing tool and explore the world of blog writing.
Every business has the ability to write a story and develop high-quality blog content to make their brand stand out and become more memorable and engaging for their readers. In addition to honing your blog creation skills, understanding the value of copywriting services can greatly enhance your content strategy.