Nikki Vasquez needs a business blog. Her chic shirt and handbag designs caused a buzz sorority row and inspired her to switch majors from Humanities to Fashion Design. However, after graduation she had to move back home and now creates clothing and accessories in her parent’s basement.
She thought for sure that having her former sister model her clothing on Instagram would kickstart her business, but the influx of revenue barely covered her cost of materials. A novice to marketing, Nikki started doing her research and chatted with a few micro influencers about their success.
“Do you have a blog?” Sheryl Kleinberg, a runway model with just over 10,000 followers asked.
“No, I haven’t even thought about it,” Nikki admitted. “Do you think starting a fashion blog would help?”
“Absolutely,” Sheryl said. “Fashion is a tough industry to get into. If you start writing about your products or talk about fashion in general, you’ve got a much better chance at getting someone’s attention. Anyone can take a few cute Insta pics, but writing about why your designs are worth buying – now that takes talent!”
So Nikki did her research, and it turned out that Sheryl is right:
- Marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI
- 77% of internet users read blogs
- Having a blog on your site increases your chance of ranking higher in search by 434%
If that’s not enough to pique your interests (Nikki’s was just getting started), here are 7 more reasons why you should absolutely have a business blog…
1. Build Better Brand Connections
Pictures are worth 1,000 words. Writing about your niche, educating your consumers on the benefits of your products, your brand message and personality, and why you do what you do is priceless.
If Nikki posts photos of her designs and commenting on what makes them unique, that can be helpful. If she were to write a blog about how she donates 5% of her profits to the Make a Wish Foundation because her little brother had Leukemia – that’s going to help her connect with her audience.
Customers aren’t purchasing your product or service – they’re making an investment in you. The better your customers get to know you, the more they’ll be able to trust you. That trust is invaluable!
According to Marketing Charts, 82% of US consumers continue to buy from brands they trust, even if another brand becomes more trendy. 75% will continue to do so even if a competitor gets better reviews.
Let’s try this again – you’re at the store to buy toothpaste. Crest “Whitening” costs $3.99, while a brand you don’t recognize is also highlighting that their product can whiten teeth costs $3.49. Which product are you more likely to buy? If you’re like 63% of Americans, you will buy Crest even though it costs more because it’s a brand that you know and trust.
If you look around your home right now, you can probably spot dozens of products that you bought despite there being a cheaper option. Why? Because they are from brands you trust.
2. Establish Yourself as a Thought Leader
The more you’re able to talk about your industry, the wiser you’ll appear (assuming your information is accurate). It’s one thing for Nikki to post about her new line of handbags. If she writes about how her bags were inspired by Alexander McQueen’s ‘Dante’ collection and why they inspired her, that’s something else entirely.
The more content you’re able to get out into the world about your brand, your take your industry, and where you fit into it, the more trust you’ll be able to build with your base. You’ll notice that trust is a common theme here. High-quality content builds trust. In an age where fake news is everywhere and products can be misleading, trust is everything.
Here’s an extra bonus for being a thought leader: other brands may begin to look at you as a resource or source of inspiration as well. If your content engages your audience, you’ll find yourself starting a conversation, building a report, and generating more leads.
3. Stand Out
Blogging is by no means an innovative way to reach customers. There are over 600 million blogs out there, and 77.8 million new blog posts are being published each month. It’s very easy to start a blog. Maintaining one is another story – and it’s much harder than you think.
However, if you maintain your blog successfully, you’ve got a significant competitive advantage over every company in your industry that failed. Would you feel more confident in a company with a blog that’s collecting dust, or with a company that posts consistently, is linking their posts to social media, and has a respectable amount of comments/likes/shares?
Blogging another way to prove to your brand followers that you’re taking your business seriously – so they should, too. You’ll be seen as a credible thought leader and – you guessed it – you’ll be seen as a more trusted brand.
Companies with blogs receive 97% more links to their website. More links = more traffic = more leads. Speaking on traffic and leads…
4. Boost Your SEO
Search engines love new content. Having a high-quality, relevant blog that you update on a regular basis will greatly boost your organic ranking. This means that it will be easier for your target audience to find you. More importantly, they’ll find you before your competitors who aren’t developing consistent new content. There are four ways to improve your SEO:
- Create high-quality blog posts with relevant keywords
- Develop a strong inbound linking strategy
- Accumulate a number of high-quality backlinks
- Have a relevant domain name (or at least that’s professional and easily searchable)
5. More Shareable Content
Pictures and video make great pieces of shareable content on your social platforms. If they’re paired with a link to a blog post that will take leads to your site – even better.
One of the coolest things about content is that it’s versatile. From a single blog post you can:
- Grab a quote and use it as a hook for a social media post
- Take a featured image in your post and put it on social media with a back link to the blog
- Create a video script and make a short video to post on YouTube
- Write a ‘Twitter short’ hook with a link to your content and relevant hashtags
- Create an Instagram Story about your post with relevant hashtags
- Create a podcast discussing the material
- Further develop a linking strategy for a blog or web series
- Turn it into a chapter for an ebook
- Contact the authors of other blogs or articles that you sourced and share it with them in hopes that they will reshare your post with their followers
- Repost the blog at a later, relevant time and retarget your audience
The more content you have, the more opportunities you have to engage your audience.
6. Highlight Your Products/Services
Depending on what you’re selling, you may find that having a blog series that emphasizes how to use your product or service could come in handy.
If Nikki is coming out with a whole line of handbags, she could have a post that highlights each one, why she made the creative choices she did, and what inspired her design. Nikki, either through a personal recommendation or a testimonial, can suggest other products that her customers might enjoy. If she were to include sprinkle a few links for similar products in her blog post, her audience might be 4-5 articles in before they realize that they’ve spent 20 minutes exploring her site!
If you’re an acupuncturist who specializes in fertility, having a blog that talks about all of the benefits of acupuncture and how it can help a woman get pregnant can be very informative. Doing so would be much harder in a picture or via a quick blurb on Facebook.
You can also treat your blog as a FAQs guide told in story form. For example, FreshBooks has a “product news” section of their blog that highlights how to use various aspects of their software. They also have multiple content buckets based on the needs of their audience. The possibilities are endless.
7. Your Business Blog is Yours
Nikki might have profiles on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube Pinterest, Twitter, Etsy, Amazon, and LinkedIn, but they don’t belong to her. Businesses violate content rules and get their accounts suspended or deleted for these platforms all the time. It probably happens more often that you think – and it can really hurt a brand when it does.
If you have a business blog, you have your own channel to publish your content on. If you’ve collected a healthy list of subscribers, you’ll be in even better shape while you’re rebuilding your social profiles.
A well-planned blog and content strategy can really take your business to the next level. It offers your business a huge opportunity to build trust with your brand’s followers, increase traffic to your site, and gives you the authority you deserve as a thought leader in your industry. It’s one of the more inexpensive investments you can make in your business, and the ROI could prove to be invaluable.