Post was first published on January 23rd, 2009.
One of the bloggers I follow and read daily is John Haydon who has a great blog called Corporate Dollar. John writes about using social media marketing for small non-profits. However, what I have found is that almost everything he writes can be applied to any business, even those who operate for a profit.
A prime example of this is a post John had just the other day called, 22 Ways A Blog Can Rock Your Non-Profit’s Social Media Campaign. After I read this post I got to thinking, most of what he was talking about in that post can be applied to business blogging. For those bloggers who are using a blog to promote and market a business or professional service firm. I threatened John that I was going to take a creative license with his post and do just that. I am going to apply most of his list to business blogging in my own list below.
Just as John uses conversations with clients for post ideas, I do the same. And if anything, the list below is some of the things I talk about with clients. First of all, when I am talking to people about blogging and social media, I usually start off the conversation explaining how the two are different and how they work together.
What is blogging?
A blog is something you hold an ownership interest in. It is something you grow. And, it is something you can grow right along with your business. For some, their blog is actually their business. Social media like twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are the tools we can use to grow our blogs.
Where the problems start is when people are not sure why they even want to blog. Or why they want to use social media. We visit with people almost daily about blogging. Like John does when he talks to clients, I like to get some questions answered. Mainly this one:
Why do you want to blog and what are you hoping the results will be for your business?
This compound questions must be answered before you even consider blogging. Look at what you want to accomplish and make sure blogging is a way for you to grow your business. If you start blogging before you do this, you are doing it all “bass ackwards.”
The other problem is when people try to use too many of the tools available. They use the shotgun approach. Or as some might say, through a bunch of crap up on the wall and see what sticks. Just as John did with the client he mentioned in his post, I almost always recommend they focus on no more than three social media tools. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. And to use them as tools to grow their blogs. None of them will replace blogging. But they can enhance it for you.
As I mentioned, I warned John on twitter I was going to take a creative license with his post and apply his 22 Ways A Blog Can Rock Your Non-Profit’s Social Media Campaign to a business or professional service firm. Here is my list.
12 Ways a Blog Can Rock Your Business or Firm’s Marketing Campaign
- Your blog will enable you to deepen relationships with your fans. They find fresh, relevant content that is useful to them – and have a place where they feel heard. You need to encourage and enable your readers to engage in the conversation.
- Your blog is a powerful way to attract new visitors by demonstrating you are willing to provide them with information in a form and fashion they can understand and use. Where the problem lies with this one is when a business or firm is afraid to give away something for free. Get over it. Those visitors will become readers and eventually become customers/clients or may even refer some to you.
- Your blog will save you money on IT costs because blogs are easy to use and maintain.
- People using Google will find your business or firm a lot easier if you have a blog. Blogs get much more “search engine juice” than traditional, static websites.
- You and your key people will learn to speak in a more human voice through blogging. I always tell our clients to write to their readers. Don’t write above them and darn sure don’t write down to them. Write to them. (Which leads to a whole other issue and question. Who are you blogging to?)
- You will become a better writer through regular blogging. And you will become more informed in your own industry too by blogging. Blogging is actually a perfect way for a new business or firm to become a so called “expert” in their own niche. I don’t like the word, but that is how people will come to know you because you are providing them with so much information.
- You will experience a spike in the number of visits and depth of engagement from your fans. Because blogging, if used right, is a conversation between you and your readers, you will find them to be better informed and better customers/clients.
- Your blog will be a tool to enhance and develop valuable partnerships with other businesses or firms. I can say from my own experience this is very true. I have developed some great partnerships over the last couple of months alone because of my blog. This blog in fact.
- You will actually empower your readers, clients and customers to talk about why they love your business or firm. A blog is a great place to put testimonials from clients and customers.
- You will be able to learn more about your industry just by jumping in and starting a blog and using social media tools to grow your blog.
- You can increase your conversion rates with content that is relevant and useful to your readers. You are showing them you are the place they need to go for answers to their questions, solutions to their problems or where they can get the right product to handle what they need.
- A blog will position you as a “thought leader” or “opinion shaper” in your niche, business area or industry.
I only listed 12 and even changed some of them to fit how I thought they would apply to a business or firm.
Did I miss anything? What other benefits have you realized from using a blog to market and promote your business or firm?
Leave your comments to this post so we can keep the conversation going.
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