Blogging for Business: Relationship Marketing 101
Currently, blogging for business is a topic of much debate. Interestingly, some of the individuals labeling it as “lame” and “ineffective” use it daily to promote their various online, and offline, business ventures. One or two have actually made their fortunes blogging! So, how “lame” can blogging for business be?
Blogs are used by businesses big and small to enhance their brand and communicate with their clients and prospective clients on a daily or weekly basis. There can be little doubt that blogging for business is here to stay, perhaps not in its current incarnation, but the premise behind it and its applications are incredibly powerful, its relationship building capabilities such that, at least in this author’s opinion, the blog and blogging for business are here to stay. We will discuss blogging for business here and in future articles, as it is the central hub, the linchpin of a well-thought out, well-constructed inbound marketing strategy.
As stated above and previously, one of the most effective inbound marketing strategies available for businesses, online and offline, both in terms of cost of implementation and in overall return on investment (ROI), is blogging. Why has business blogging become so important as an inbound marketing strategy? There are a variety of reasons. Blogging is conversation, it’s personable, and it’s informative. Blogging is attractive for both online and offline (i.e., brick and mortar) businesses because consumers (i.e., customers, clients, and patients) feel they are being told a story rather than sold a product or service; and, no one wants to be “sold!”
Significantly, clients and prospective clients become part of the conversation by reading the blog posts and leaving their thoughts and feelings in the form of comments.
Who doesn’t like being asked their opinion?
And, what business owner wouldn’t pay big money to know what his target audience is thinking, as well as what they react to and why?
A blog is a great way to show the world your expertise, thus establishing authority and demonstrating your competence in the marketplace and to your target market. People like to do business with business people they know, like, and trust. Prospective clients are drawn to businesses and business people who are experts in their field. Demonstrating competence enhances your image and makes the prospective client feel confident about their decision to purchase from you…you, as the expert in your field.
When properly constructed and implemented, an effective business blogging strategy is an incredibly valuable asset. Blogging for business is crucial, whether the business is entirely online or a combination of both, as is the case with most brick and mortar businesses today.
When well organized and written, a blog conveys the ultimate Internet image, an image that announces:
“This business is well run, this is a business I can do business with!”
A well thought out, well constructed blog, combined with an effective overall inbound marketing strategy, conveys a message, an image if you will, that this business owner is knowledgeable and cares enough to seek feedback about products and/or services offered from his or her clients and prospective clients.
A wise business owner values feedback, realizing there is always room for improvement, both in sales and service. Why not ask for feedback from the very people who use the product or service day in and day out? A blog can accomplish this for a business, creating a link both valuable and, ultimately, profitable. The feedback a blog offers is an often over-looked advantage; and yet, it is an incredibly powerful resource.
Significantly, the proper blogging strategy will provide a window into the thinking of your client-base and create a vehicle you may then use to improve your products and/or service.
The feedback from your business blog will also provide ideas and strategies for new products and services. Interestingly, you may even be able to gain a competitive advantage by learning what your clients and prospective clients like and dislike about your competitors, their products and services. Perhaps it’s a product or service you don’t provide but should? Perhaps it’s something to do with price? The blog provides the vehicle, the opportunities are there; and, it is up to the individual business owner to take advantage of them. A well constructed inbound marketing strategy, one that has at its center a well-thought-out and appropriately implemented blogging strategy, will put your business on track to accomplish all of the above and more.
One last word about inbound marketing, blogs, and blogging for business: photographs, audio recordings, and short videos are worth their weight in gold.
If you aren’t the greatest writer, and don’t have the money in the budget to hire a good copywriter, also worth their weight in gold, a photograph or short video can help you tell your business’ story. With today’s technology, a photograph, audio, and/or video is easy to create and it’s often the first item to catch the attention of a visitor to your blog.
It’s worth taking some time each day to blog. Think of it as going out to talk to the man on the street. Think of it as time well spent. You will find it to be a great investment in time and effort, the ultimate in ROI.
What is The Ultimate Internet Image? The ultimate online presence entails merging Internet, “inbound” marketing know-how with a traditional, offline, “outbound” approach to advertising. In doing so UII has created a revolutionary approach to marketing and advertising tailor-made for the current, search-driven, new media business climate.
Facing and meeting today’s economic challenges head-on, and by rethinking your overall approach to business building and traffic generation, The Ultimate Internet Image will demonstrate, by way of results, why an inbound marketing strategy created by UII is the logical, next-step in establishing your business as a major force in your competitive niche, as well as in your community, online or offline.
Contact us for an in depth consultation, including a competitive analysis. UII will help your business or practice grow!