Benefits to Blogging for Business

Twenty years ago blogging did not even exist.  Now there are over 150 million blogs online.  Blogs, or weblogs as they used to be called are written for a huge number of reasons, whether it’s for online diaries, daily news digests, documenting weight-loss, or documenting travels.  What started as personal blogging has transferred over to the business world. Business blogs have become the latest trend in marketing to increase online visibility.  Let’s look at some of the wonderful benefits of blogging for business.

  1. Drive Traffic to Your Website. Every time a blog is posted it is one more indexed page on your website.  Every indexed page is another chance to show up on a search engine.  It is also a cue to Google and the other search engines that your website is active.  Blogging also helps your company get shared and noticed on social media.  A well-planned blog with well-placed keywords will show up in a search and drive traffic to your landing page.
  2. Convert Traffic to Leads.  Each post is an opportunity to generate new leads.  Your blog will be shared and find new readers daily.  Those people may opt in to your email lists and mailing lists.
  3. Make Yourself and Authority.  Blogging allows you to share your expertise in your filed.  You can showcase your knowledge and skills for visitors to learn from.  By giving your company a human voice it can build a strong relationship with readers thus bolstering your brand awareness.While information on a website is usually precise and to to-the-point for ease of reading, a blog gives you a chance to write at length and expand the information of your products, services or skills in video or picture form.   Blogs can give you a great way to highlight a special promotion or a new product.  Link the blog directly to your landing page and social media to get even further exposure.
  4. Build a Community. A blog is a personal voice that allows for a true connection to customers, partners and a much wider audience.  This building of your work community is just another major benefit of blogging.  A good blog can encourage interaction, comments and feedback.

Blogging can be a fun aspect of your business marketing plan that has low cost, is easy to start/maintain, and may be a long lasting asset to your online presence.

 

Manage Online Reviews

With the quick accessibility of smartphones and the ease of researching on the internet, it is no wonder that online reviews are a strong influence of consumer buying behavior.  Review websites such as Yelp, Google Places and City Search are a treasure-trove of online archives rich with consumer opinions.  You may ask. . . “Do people really look at those reviews?”  The statistics scream at us, “YES!”

According to Local Results Online, 60% of consumers consider ratings and reviews when researching a product or service.  Nearly 70% of American internet users report that they compare prices and read reviews before visiting a store or visiting a business.  More than half of those surveyed said that they are more likely to visit a business after reading a positive review.  With these numbers in mind, small business owners should take the time to actively monitor and manage reviews for the health of their business.  Not all reviews will be glowing but a negative review that goes unanswered can cripple a company and possibly lead to their demise.

Here are some key tips to responding to negative reviews while promoting positive ones.

  1. Monitor review website.  Most review sites offer a monitoring ability that you or a trusted employee can handle.  If you feel that you are unable to actively monitor then hiring a management company may be the way for you to go.  morexpertise.com, reviewpush.com and chatmeter.com are just a few.
  2. Generate Positive Reviews. Encourage satisfied customers to post positive reviews.  Set up business cards, fliers or emails to point customers toward online reviews.  Your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn accounts could have review links or ask for testimonials.
  3. Promote your reputation. Create  “Read Our Review” button on your social media sites and your landing page.
  4. Respond quickly and professionally to reviews.  Whether the review is positive or negative, responding in a timely and appropriate fashion gives you a chance to win back an angry consumer and show others your diligence by resolving the problem.  Thanking customers you send a positive review is always a good idea.

Don’t let a negative review hurt your business by letting it go unresolved.  Track your online reviews either in house or by an outside party.  If your consumers attitudes are not on your radar you may be missing out on feedback that could impact your business.

Email newsletters

Email marketing is an extremely valuable marketing tool available to develop and maintain customer relationships.  So how should your business go about organizing contacts, creating a newsletter, and avoid common mistakes?  Choose an affordable email system designed for marketing such as Constant Contact to design and manage your professional email letters.  Let’s look at some of the benefits of Constant Contact for your small business.

  • Professional Appearance This email system provides professional HTML templates to make polished looking emails. Templates are pre-formatted to help you organize your content easily. They include fonts, colors and placeholders for graphics and company logos.  These are easily customized to create a look that matches your company’s website or brand.
  • Affordable and Easy to Use -Constant Contact can save you precious time and money. There are no set-up costs, and Constant Contact provides free ongoing support, so that you can focus your dollars on your business, not on the logistics of email marketing.
  • Ease of Management and Organization of Email Lists –  -Constant Contact hosts your email list and automatically performs critical list management functions. These functions can include: signup for new subscribers, editing capabilities so that subscribers can edit their own profiles, and the ability to unsubscribe with one click. Because you are required by law to process an unsubscribe request within 10 days, the unsubscribe functionality alone is critical to successful email marketing.
  • Measurable results – Constant Contact enables you to measure the response of each email campaign. Constant Contact reports the number of emails sent, opened, who opened, who clicked through and which links they clicked on. These reports help you track and measure your success, target more effectively, determine leads and improve your results over time.

Read More about Constant Contact

Editorial Calendar

An editorial calendar is used by bloggers, publishers, and business owners to control and organize all publications of content. The primary purpose of editorial calendars is to control the publication of content to ensure regular appearance of content that interests readers and advertisers.

Why Else Should You Use an Editorial Calendar?

 

Organization – For example companies that have multiple publications such as  newspaper articles, magazine stories, blog entries, email newsletters, and social media outlets may need multi-users to work on each publication.

Attract Advertisers – Business owners can also use the editorial calendar data to make it publicly available to attract advertisers. For example an advertiser may know that a certain topic covered on a particular day relates to their product so they may want a shot at best product placement.

Publishing Regularly – Traditional print publishers have used editorial calendars in some form for centuries to manage the publication of books, magazines, and newspapers. The internet has dramatically increased the number of publishers who also need to organize content and ensure content is published at regular intervals.