There is no doubt that technology is playing an ever-increasing role in the engagement between small businesses and their customers. It is essential that a small business have a great website which has been SEO optimized, which is mobile-friendly, and which provides relevant and useful content for all visitors. However, the fierce competition on the business landscape dictates that you have to take this all a step further and make use of more components of digital technology to reach out to your customers.
One very effective way of accomplishing this, which costs very little and can generate terrific results, is through blogging. Virtually all websites which feature a blog can report that they have acquired at least some customers as a direct result of the periodic blog. In a survey taken on the subject, it was found that 82% of all small businesses reported that they consider blogging an essential aspect of their business. Here are some of the reasons why blogging can be a very important part of your overall efforts to engage with your customers.
Develop and strengthen customer relationships
One of the most important aspects of branding and online marketing is having the opportunity to increase customer engagement, and that applies to both existing customers and brand-new ones, who may actually be in the early stages of the purchase cycle. The big appeal of blogging with respect to engagement is that it provides an opportunity for you to connect with followers in a very conversational way, which does not include any kind of sales pitch, and usually doesn’t even reference products or services offered by your company.
It’s a great way to establish and build on trust that you develop between yourself and your customers, by providing them with high-quality content which is useful to them in their daily lives. If you include a comment section with each of your blogs, you’ll have a great vehicle for soliciting their feedback, and for determining what’s on the minds of your followers. It will also give you a chance to respond to their comments, which increases the engagement even more.
Search engine rankings
All the major search engines favor having fresh and relevant content on a website, and blogging is one of the best ways to achieve this. With each new blog added to your website, you are actually providing the search engines new content which needs to be indexed, and which can increase your rankings. By including some relevant keywords in your blogs, you can also help to drive more traffic to your website, because these will match the search terms used by Internet searchers.
Making a brand connection
Another very important element in digital marketing these days is creating brand awareness in the minds of your followers. Posting a regular blog will allow you to provide your followers with a behind-the-scenes look at your business, often with a personal touch that humanizes your company to them and helps them feel more connected. Once you’ve established this kind of personal connection with your followers, it becomes much easier to convey the important elements of your brand in an informal manner, which is not possible through normal outbound marketing strategies.
If you compose your blogs in the most effective manner, you’ll be able to provide your followers with a clear sense of your corporate values and standards, the character of your business, the vision you have, and a sense of your company personality. These are all essential for creating brand recognition, and for establishing the beginnings of loyalty in your customers toward your company.
Establish your company as an industry leader
Regardless of how large or small your company actually is, you can increase its size in the mind of your readers with clever and effective blogging. By providing content which is recognized as relevant to readers and which includes expert information, your customers will eventually come to see you as an authority in your field and recognize your company as an industry leader.
If your business has been around for any length of time at all, you will have gained valuable business insights and information which you can pass along to your readers, so they become aware of how much you’ve achieved and learned in business. Over a period of time, this can cause you to be the go-to source for all information in your particular field, because you’ve established yourself as an authority on all subjects related to it. This puts you in a great position with your customers, because they will have acquired the habit of coming to you for information, so it’s a natural extension for them to come to you for the purchase of products and services related to your industry.
Opportunities for sharing
There’s one last benefit to blogging which most people don’t think about, but which can be a very powerful agent for increasing your presence on the Internet. Readers who enjoy the content you’ve provided for them will always have the option of sharing the link to your blog with friends and relatives whom they think might benefit by reading the same information. This can be an extremely powerful mechanism, because there are literally no limits to how much sharing can take place in this manner.
Without you being personally involved, the information you’ve created can be shared endlessly across the Internet, provided that you’ve created content which is of value to a large number of people. These days, there are more platforms available for sharing than there have ever been before, which means you have far more opportunities to have your blogs reach greater numbers of individuals. Your blog can be tweeted, emailed, or shared on all the social media, so as to reach huge numbers of readers, without you having to do anything at all to make it happen. You might even strike just the right note among users and have your blog go viral, and to create enormous market growth for your company.