In this age of social media, one-way information on a business website often does not cut it anymore. Many people now expect interaction online. They do not want a business to merely talk at them; they want to be involved in a conversation where their opinions are heard. Not only that, but they want to converse with a distinct personality – the face behind the business, so to speak.
Incorporating a blog into your business website helps accommodate this preference. At its most basic, a blog is an effective way to share information quickly to a potentially large audience. In business, it can be used for making visitors aware of developments within the company or enlightening them about the overall industry. The blog could aim to entertain, too. A company might share relevant, relatable links, and perhaps offer an opinion about it, which further personalises the website.
Encouraging feedback through comments after the posts is a useful way to facilitate another critical benefit of blogging – visitor engagement. Delivering information that gets nothing but a cursory scan does very little for a business. However, offering valuable content that people can respond to on the website – and that people might also share with others – helps turn uninspired browsers into consumers of the information you share.
In that way, blogging is a non-sales way to sell. By offering quality blog posts, your business is adding value to people’s lives while remaining in the back of potential customers’ minds. When it comes time for the happy consumers of your content to make a purchase in your field, it is likely that they will buy from you. They appreciate the value you have supplied them through your content, and they expect your products and services will also be of value.
The conversion from consumer of information to customer should not stop at the blog, though. Instead, the blog should be a starting point for further interaction with the company. If visitors like what they are reading, they should have access to additional information. For example, they could sign up for additional e-news, special offers, or promotional items. Calling readers to action through a blog in these kinds of ways is an effective way to capture leads because many potential customers are more willing to offer information if they are getting something out of it.
For all its benefits, there are a few things to keep in mind about blogging to make sure a business gains from it. First, it is important to remember that your blog is accessible to the public. It is a reflection of your company, and as such, it should remain professional. If you outsource writing responsibilities, ensure the content is top notch. The tone should be professional, too, with minimal complaining.
Updates should also be frequent. For a company to benefit from a blog, it needs to commit to the project. People are unlikely to follow a blog that rarely has updates, and the business will also lose any ranking benefits that can come from having fresh content online. If you do not have the resources within the company to devote time to content creation, outsource the task.
A blog on a business website can be a powerful tool for sharing information, facilitating visitor engagement, and capturing leads. If done frequently and well, blogging is an excellent way to draw in new customers while reinforcing the loyalty of existing ones.
- by Elizabeth Bailey, on behalf of Mercedes Benz Silver Star Motors