Many free and/or low-cost marketing channels now exist for small businesses, but small business owners may not know how to utilize them effectively. One such tool is a blog, which is utilized by many, but may not be utilized to its full potential. If your company has a blog but isn’t maintaining it, the blog is not doing any good. If your company doesn’t have a blog, you may want to consider starting one. Lara McCulloch, small business marketing consultant, explains why every company should have a blog and how to use it effectively.
(Photo courtesy of Lara McCulloch)
Your blog makes you credible
A blog is the best way to build a relationship with customers, and to build yourself as an expert in your industry. McCulloch advises against using the blog specifically for product promotion. “First, many businesses are still stuck in the ‘pay to play’ mindset, where we used to pay money to get our message in front of our target audience. We could be loud and brash, and it was applauded when we went in for the kill and asked for the sale. In blogging and other social selling, it’s a mistake to outright sell without first building a relationship. Consumers consider this noise and will ignore you, but if you can build trust and show your expertise, asking your reader to take action can be highly effective.” She also explains how not to use keywords. “Another blogging mistake is keyword stuffing. Again, in years past, companies used to ‘game’ search engines by repeating keywords in their content over and over again to get their article ranked. Today, you’ll be penalized by both the search engine as well as the reader. Instead, search engines will reward you for writing something that’s so good your target market can’t wait to share it with their friends.”
Anyone can use a blog
It may seem like in your industry a blog isn’t a necessary tool, but McCulloch mentions that anyone can use a blog. “Unless you want to remain your industry’s best kept secret, you have absolutely nothing to talk about that would be of interest to your target market or you’re unable to talk about your business, a blog can be effective for your company. The only other time a blog is not suited for your business is when it doesn’t support your business goals or requires time and resources that would be better suited elsewhere.”
Using a blog to market your business is a great way to build visibility, and to build your customer base by allowing them to find you. With so many professional looking and easy-to-use blog services available, it is worth investing your time in creating dynamic, interesting content that is relevant to your business.
This article was written by Alaina Brandenburger of Examiner.com for CBS Small Business Pulse.