Often when people get in touch with me, they query the usefulness of having their own blog. They want to see proof that it works, and ask why such a simple thing as writing a daily online diary can support their overall marketing mix and enhance their sales strategy.
So does writing a blog really help people to generate sales leads and promote their business? This could be a very short article. The answer is, categorically, yes. There are some caveats to this, though. It’s not as if we can just put a blog out there and suddenly our business is transformed in to an organization as successful as Microsoft. Some things to think about are:
- Blogging is not an overnight method of generating business – it takes time.
- Successful blogs are run by successful bloggers. Without giving your blog time, effort and professionalism, like you do to your business, it won’t flourish.
- Blogs are usually used in conjunction with other products, rather than as a stand-alone service. This may include free downloads, professional services or consultancy. Very few people make their fortune just by blogging alone.
All that said, it is possible to support your business brilliantly through blogging. In fact I’d go so far as to say that no business is truly making the most of its marketing capability without a great blog supporting it.
How does it help?
- Most simply, a blog helps generate awareness of what you do, and the services you provide. This means that you have a broader platform to sell from, and more opportunities of getting your message out to your target audience – paying customers.
- Blogs are cheap to set up, simple to run, and massively effective. When you think that a simple advert which runs for a week can cost upwards of $250 dollars, a blog suddenly makes massive financial sense.
- Blogs are one of the few two-way communications tools out there which invite your customers in to open dialogue. Unlike adverts, brochures and static websites, blogs actively encourage your customers to get in touch and give you feedback. This shows you whether you are on the right track and offers you free advice on how to improve, every day.
- Blogs work for you while you are sleeping. Face to face communication is a great way of generating relationships, but you can’t be out and about all the time. Your blog represents you just like a sales rep would working on your behalf, globally, night and day. You have the capacity to open up your services to an instant global market, and let your site do all the hard work for you.
- Blogging is measurable. Often, when you pay out for advertising or marketing, there is no way of calculating your return on investment. Blogs let you see just how many people are accessing your site, where they come from and when they are looking (use the free Google Analytics). It’s as if you have a world-class marketing agency at your fingertips at all times, telling you your customer demographic and alerting you to what is effective, and what isn’t.
These are just a few of the benefits of a blog. By getting to the top of your search engine through regular, targeted updates, a great blog will work wonders for your networking, customer visibility and marketing mix.