Originally posted on WDMChamber.org Expert Advice Series
Modern businesses, both large and small, have a plethora of options to consider if they want to attract attention in an aggressive marketplace.
These days, it takes more than a top product or service for a company to be recognized or recommended.
Every brilliant idea and invention needs to have significant amount of publicity and promotion in order to bring in the big bucks.
One way a business is distinguished is by its digital presence. Some of the most successful companies we’ve worked with are ones with top-notch websites.
Knowing this, how can you give yours a competitive edge? What elements do you need for it to stand out in the crowd? How can your zero in on your target audience while building value and trust with potential clients?
We believe in the power of the blog.
When you add a blog to your site, you’re showing that your business is worth the extra time and effort to provide timely and value-added content to your audience. You’re creating a way to connect with them.
Here’s a statistic that’s hard to ignore: regular bloggers get up to 126% more leads than non-bloggers. That alone is reason enough to add a blog to your business website.
At Kinseyco, we’ve seen blogs of all shapes, sizes and niches.
You need skill, patience, and some technical skills in order to create one that speaks to your established audience and draws in new clients at the same time. If you manage to hit the right tone and stay on message, there are a few things we know your blog will accomplish.
1. Boost your credibility and authority
When you meet a client for the first time, it’s in your best interest to make a positive impression.
You aren’t going to show up at a meeting half-asleep and wearing dirty clothes (instead you want to look sharp and smart). Same goes for your website; only the best will do. You can’t expect to attract business with second-rate photos or incomplete content.
Your website is a reflection of your company and, in turn, a stand-in for you that open 24/7.
Adding a blog proves to your customer that you’re knowledgeable about your subject and you have valuable information to share. Your blog is a chance to establish yourself as a trusted expert who knows what customers want to read about.
We believe that every blog should have a distinct voice and style that represents the heart and soul behind the company and product line.
Writing catchy, intelligent, and relevant posts is one of the best ways to hook your current customers and pull in new ones. Over time, you (and your voice) will become recognized and trusted and you will build credibility and authority in your industry.
2. Increase your web traffic
At Kinseyco, it’s our job to understand search engine optimization (SEO), or how a website improves its visibility in the search engines.
For example, say you sell resume consulting services. You want to appear at the top of Google when people search for “resume consulting services” and related topics. Implementing a proper SEO strategy will enable you to do just that.
In short, SEO helps bring traffic to your blog. One way to increase the number of visitors to your website is to write SEO-optimized articles about topics that potential customers or clients are already searching for.
First, you’ll have to do a bit of keyword research to figure out what your audience is searching for online, and then write stellar content based on those keywords.
SEO is quite complex and there are a lot of moving parts, but if you implement the strategies correctly, your blog articles will be well-positioned in Google.
A well-executed SEO strategy, together with outstanding content creation, can take your website, and your brand, to the top of the SERPs.
With time, the traffic will come trickling in at first and with strong growth over time. Experts say it can take several months to a year to start seeing the effects of proper SEO.
3. Answer questions on autopilot
It’s a given that people will come to you with questions and concerns about your product or service. Most likely, people will have the same or closely related questions, which you will have to answer over and over again.
Let’s face it: this can time-consuming, exhausting and extremely inefficient. With a blog, you can stop repeating yourself.
Practical and well-timed blog posts are an excellent way to explain all kinds of questions that keep coming up with your customers.
Having an exhaustive FAQ will keep your customers and clients in the know while freeing up your time to do more important things like product development, service delivery, and marketing, just to name a few.
Instead of launching into a full explanation (again), direct your client to your blog or FAQ, where all of their concerns are addressed.
A comprehensive blog that meets the needs of the market will encourage sales and motivate return customers.
4. Open up communication and make room for discussion
Your blog says two important things to your customer. The first is that you have valuable information to share. The second is that you’re interested in knowing how the information affects them on a personal and professional level.
The best blogs encourage viewers’ comments and feedback (both positive and negative).
This interaction makes your company seem especially open and approachable. And while your customers are appreciating your accessibility, you’re gaining valuable insight into the needs and trends of your audience.
Something else viewers can do with your posts is share them. When they do this, they are promoting your business and, perhaps, reaching an audience you hadn’t even considered before.
5. Tell your story
Backgrounds are powerful tools in the business world. When you add a narrative to a product or service, you’re creating a memorable connection with another person, who you’re more likely to turn into a paying customer.
Your blog is the perfect place to share your company’s origin story and its highlights to date. You can also share tips, tricks and plenty of value-added content to gain readers and grow your business.
You may even want to include the flip-side of your success story, recounting some of the mistakes you made along the way (and how you recovered from them). This can help humanize your company or brand and connect with readers.
By including the good and the bad in your narrative, your readers can’t help but become emotionally invested in your company and you.
And when this happens, you’re on your way to gaining loyalty and respect.
Think of it this way: a story can bridge the gap between a potential customer and a final sale.
Say "yes" to the power of the blog
There are multiple reasons why a blog is a force to be reckoned with in today’s competitive marketplace.
It will help you establish yourself as a credible authority in your industry, and enable you to increase traffic to your business website or online store.
Having a blog can increase the efficiency within your business, as you can include all of your relevant information and dedicate your time to other important tasks.
It will allow you to hear back from potential clients and interact with them, and it will give you the chance to share your company’s unique story.
We’d be remiss if you we didn’t stress the fact that a worthwhile blog requires time and effort.
What’s more, writing your first posts may put you outside of your comfort zone. But if you commit to adding a blog and leverage it correctly, there are endless benefits.
Soon you’ll be connected to more people in a way that’s professional yet personal, original yet memorable.