Today we’re starting the marketing with a blog series. If you didn’t grab the free eBook last week Marketing with a Blog, then be sure to download your copy now. The eBook is actually an outline for one of my most popular presentations, but this series will flesh out those points in the outline.
There are a number of reasons why blogs make great marketing tools, and today’s post will share nine of them.
1- Blogging expands your outreach
Back in the multi-level marketing heyday, one of the big concepts those companies promoted was the advantage of duplicating yourself. Since we can each only be in one place at a time, they taught that by developing a network of marketers, you could, in effect, reach dozens if not hundreds (depending on the size of your network) of prospects at one time. All you had to do was convince all your friends and family members to join your network. While it didn’t always work the way the circle-drawers hoped, it really is a great concept.
Expanding your reach by broadcasting your message to a multitude of leads at once can be attained through blogging. You write a blog post and promote it through your social media platforms and/or your email marketing list, and viola! – you’ve duplicated your marketing efforts in a matter of minutes. And you don’t have to irritate any of your friends and family members in the process!
2 – Blogging speaks directly to your audience
One of the big advantages to marketing with a blog is that it gives you a direct line of communication with your target audience. Today’s market is buyer-driven. Consumers are in control and they know it. And the trend is, the one who supplies the most useful, relevant, and easily accessible content – wins!
The thing that sets blogs apart from other content delivery platforms is that not only are you communicating TO your audience, you can receive feedback FROM them through the comments. True, some social media outlets have the back-and-forth communication capability, but a blog keeps all the comments on each post nested and neat so everyone who stops by can read them all in one handy place.
3 – Blogs are easy to set up and maintain
You can literally be blogging within a few minutes of setting up your domain hosting. Once you register your domain name and transfer it to your hosting company’s server, all you have to do is use the automatic script to load WordPress and start typing your first post. It’s that easy. You will probably want to upload a new theme and a few useful plugins, but seriously, it doesn’t take long at all to start a blog.
Maintenance takes a bit more work than setup. Outline an editorial calendar and start planning your posts. Then set aside a few minutes per day to monitor and respond to comments. Once you get your routine going, blog maintenance becomes a habit.
4 -Blogs level the playing field
Blogging has given the small business marketer the same advantage as the huge corporations with massive marketing budgets. Because content marketing, especially social content marketing, is the wave of the present and future, all that expensive in-your-face advertising that small businesses couldn’t afford is no longer necessary to get attention in the marketplace.
5 – Blogs are a great branding tool
Blogs are a great way to reinforce your brand by providing content that influences a memorable response in your target market. Branding takes time, focus, and consistency, which makes blogging a perfect platform to deliver your branding messages.
6 – Blogs establish you as an expert
If no other reason, this alone should explain the importance of marketing with a blog. The first few steps in market research include knowing your target audience, knowing your competition, and determining what makes YOUR company the one your target audience should do business with.
Positioning yourself as the area expert in your industry will create “top of mind” marketing in your audience. YOURS will be the first company that comes to mind when they need your products and/or services because you’ve kept them informed and proved that you know what you’re talking about through your blog.
7 – Blogs give your business a human touch
This is a lesson that was long in coming to many major corporations. And many of them lost business until they learned it. Just because someone is researching your product or service via the Internet doesn’t mean they want to feel as though they’re stuck in some automated maze like an impersonal phone answering system. People want to feel as though it’s important to you that they shop with you. Treat them that way and they’ll not only be loyal themselves, they’ll tell their friends about you. (Read: Yelp, Google, etc.)
8 – Blogs allow you to share fresh and exciting content
Blogging is one of the best ways to deliver content to consumers. Do your on-page optimization to make it easy to be found, share your content in the places your market hangs out online, and make it compelling so that it will attract more readers and shares.
If you’re wondering what exactly to blog about, check out last Thursday’s list of 63 types of content to create for your blog.
9 – Blogs are affordable
And I don’t mean free. If you have your business blog hosted on a free platform, get your own domain and hosting. Seriously. Nothing screams amateur like having the big orange B in the favicon slot of the browser or handing someone a business card with the word “blogspot” in your company’s domain name. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using a free platform for your personal blog, but if you wish to be taken seriously as a professional, put forth a serious professional effort. (Rant over.)
Having a self-hosted blog typically runs about $5-15 per month, depending upon where you get it hosted and how large your blog is. Even if it’s a bit more than that, the return you get on your investment is excellent.
Tomorrow we’ll continue with part 2 of the blog maintenance checklist series. Hopefully today’s post has given you some tips you can use. We’ll continue next Marketing Monday with part 2 of Marketing with a Blog.