Businesses are increasingly using blogs as another way of connecting with customers and potential customers.
Like newsletters, they are really just PR tools and involve little if any direct selling. Through their blogs, companies attempt to provide useful information that benefits its readers, helping to build relationships with people in their target markets.
A typical company blog might include news stories about the business, information on new products, helpful hints and tips, case studies of satisfied customers, news of awards received, special offers and so on.
The aim of a company blog is to build a group of people within the business's target market who keep returning to read the latest posts.
Most blogs also offer readers a range of ways to 'subscribe'. For example, readers may want to enter their email address to get each new post sent by email, to save them from having to keep returning to the blog itself to check for updates.
Blogging can help project a positive image for a company, while at the same time making it more likely that readers will turn into buyers.
Another important aspect of blogging is that it is interactive; it therefore provides a channel for people to express any concerns they may have about the company, perhaps making suggestions about its future direction or new products and services they would like to see - making it an excellent tool for market research.
The individual page is optimised for Google, so that when someone searches for similar content, your page is displayed in the search results. Once you have the person on your site, they can then browse further and see what you have to offer.
For instance, a new building company based in London, will have too much competition getting their website seen in search results. By creating ‘extra’ individual pages (perhaps offering building tips) with each post optimised for search engines, gives your website countless more chances of being picked up.
Unfortunately even the greatest of SEO setups, can’t always guarantee that your website will be on the first page of any search result, other than actually typing in your company’s name and SEO companies that do offer these guarantees should be avoided.
Many static websites fail to attract lots of traffic because once someone has visited the site; they’re unlikely to return again unless there is some fresh new content for them to see.
Advertising initially helps to get people onto your website to see what you are selling, but by offering a little free information you will keep potential customers on your site, while giving them a reason to come back again and again.
The more posts you have out there on the web, the more people you have visiting your site through your blog. If you have 100 posts on your website - you have 100 extra webpages that can be picked up in search engine results.
The wider the range of articles you have on your blog, the greater the possibilities for more potential clients and sales. In a way you could think of a blog post as a piece of advertising, though your posts shouldn’t try and sell anything directly, but rather spread good will, which therefore encourages better relationships with your clients.
Using blogs and other online content in conjunction with Micro-Blogging facilities, really starts to get your products and services out there to the kinds of people that are interested in what you have to offer.
Getting feedback for your business is a very useful tool and most companies take it very seriously. Having customers comment on your posts not only offers better public relations, but also gives you an idea of the types of things your customers are looking for.
Even the smallest of businesses can benefit from blogging, perhaps offering regular reviews of new products, or discount offers. A monthly post is usually the minimum requirement depending on your goals, though at least a weekly post is needed if you are trying to build up a following of people that subscribe to your site. But this can vary, especially if you are looking to post lots of regular articles and so forth.
Today, we live in a digital world where most people have mobile phones and tablets, that can access their emails and blog updates from anywhere. So whether they are sat in a café or in the doctor’s office, people always have time to check up on the latest info from a company that can benefit them.
An article posted on your blog is a backdoor to your website, as people will not always funnel through your homepage. Initially, you may not be able to compete with the big guns that have been around for a long time, but you will be able to still get to the top of some search lists through your posts.
If a person has already gone to the trouble of searching for a particular piece of information, you’re already half way there in achieving your desired outcome.
Twitter and similar sites allow people to post small snippets of information about themselves or their business. It also allows the posting of web addresses (or URLs). This is an essential tool when trying to promote your website pages or blog posts. By routinely posting your webpage’s on Twitter and other Micro Blogging facilities, you can continually post links on your timeline for your followers to find.
These services offer businesses the chance to post very short updates, with links to other online content. This will keep the business at the forefront of your prospects mind, in the same way as seeing the same printed advert in the newspaper every day - your business will eventually become a household name.
Micro blogging has become an important tool in advertising your business through your online content, articles, blog posts - and your overall marketing plan.
Using twitter and other micro blogging sites, you can now tweet links to many different areas of your website, including your homepage, sales pages, good reviews, gallery, contact and so on.
If your contacts have a high number of followers themselves, then your tweet is likely to get lost in a sea of messages on that persons timeline, which is why it is important to be continually tweeting various links and photos - which can be time consuming.
Rather than solely bragging about a company’s successes, running a twitter account involves sharing information that is relevant and interesting to people in your target market,
even if some of this generates no direct benefit to your business.
Account management also involves interacting with other Twitter users by asking and answering questions and generally contributing in a positive way to the Twitter community. Obviously including updates that promote your business but such promotion being done in a subtle way, interspersed with other non-marketing-directed information.
This includes re-tweeting interesting posts from other users, and replying or sending direct messages to potential customers.
As you can see, regularly posting tweets can expose your many webpage’s to countless followers on a regular basis, promoting your services affectively. This can be done manually by yourself or as part of an online marketing package.