If you are the owner or operator of a small business, you know how difficult it can be to compete in a world full of giant corporate entities. Unless you are a niche business that offers a selection of product too nonstandard for the big stores, or a service unlike any that are out there already, then you are probably struggling to stay in business.
Small businesses are making a comeback in the United States thanks to improvements in technology that everyone is capable of using. Larger brick and mortar stores are vanishing, creating a vacuum that small businesses are primed to fill. Online businesses are popping up almost hourly. There is a lot of growing competition between the smaller companies.
Between the increasing amount of competition and the fight to survive, it’s becoming increasingly important for your business to maintain a blog. Blogs are not just a social event. Used correctly, they can be a great tool to expand your reach and improve company profits. Here is why blogging should be incorporated into your business model:
Build a Customer Base
Firstly, blogging can help you connect with customers. Those who have already bought your products or used your services will be interested in reading what you have to say, especially if their experience with your company was a pleasant one.
You can engage with your customers on a different level than was provided in past business practices. By posting relevant content for your customers, you are building a reputation with them and developing trust. This will keep them coming back to you each time they need your services or they want to make a purchase, rather than your competitor.
Blogging will also help establish your company’s credibility. This will help draw in additional traffic to your site or store. Comments left by customers and potential clients can help expand your credibility because it gives you the opportunity to connect directly with an individual. Your responses can improve your standing with the audience. Honest, well-written replies can make you more trustworthy than larger corporations.
Your blog will not only discuss issues of relevance with your readership, but it will also help build brand awareness. Marketing efforts of old focused on television ads targeting children watching Saturday morning cartoons who would grow into brand-loyal adults; basically, they were being brainwashed. In current days, television has changed and companies no longer promote products in this way. The public is freeing itself of this form of brand loyalty.
Instead, in the digital age, companies are relying on other methods of generating brand awareness. Blogging is one of those methods. It is allowing companies to create an image of who they are, what they stand for, and what services they provide through words. Since everyone is reading information from the Internet, this is an excellent way to spread your brand awareness.
This awareness can expand beyond your blog and your store. Word of mouth will spread your business’s name and reputation to places you could not do otherwise. Customers will share their thoughts on the incredible number of social media sites on the web, not just to Facebook and Twitter.
The branches of the World Wide Web can do wonders for your brand awareness, and it all begins with a blog. When you select the name for your blog for your blog, make sure it is relevant to your brand. The company’s name is probably the best to go with so that you are not confusing your customers.
Advertising on the Internet is all about SEO, search engine optimization. Search engines are used to find a particular type of business. Google, Yahoo, and Bing all scour the Internet trying to find the greatest number of mentions of your business and the most number of links. The more you are out there, the higher the chances of your company being found.
When maintaining a blog, you need to post often. By keeping the content fresh, you are giving these search engines newer links to find; newness is better when it comes to search engine optimization. You can also include links to other articles on your site that customers will find relevant to their reading. The more connections you make to your other articles, the likelihood of new-customer discoveries increases.
Also, you need to make sure you are making use of keywords in your blog. Search engines also use specific words to direct their efforts. You will need to identify the keywords customers in your industry are using to locate businesses such as yours. This will improve your chances of showing up on the top of the results list.
If your blog is not getting you to the first page of the search results, you may not have your keywords identified correctly; or you are not posting enough, or not posting relevant material. This is a crucial part of a small business’s marketing strategy. Make sure you are doing it correctly.
Your business can establish itself as a leader in the industry. Again, through high-quality content, intelligent interactions with customers, and pertinent subject matter, you will be supplanting your company as the best overall of your competitors.
Even if you are in an industry with national and international giants, you could still be seen as a major player. You can offer what larger firms cannot: connectivity. By connecting with your clients in-store and through your blog, you are placing yourself in front; you are the go-to for questions and concerns.
Often the big players tend to lose knowledge along the way. Employees seem to come in then disappear quite often, and when they do stay they are not as knowledgeable as employees in smaller locations. Use this knowledge to your advantage and allow your employees to share their expertise on the blog. This will show that your business values its hard-working employees and add to that level of connectivity that can make you a leader!