What is a Blog?
Think of it as a 250-400 word opportunity to educate your customer on topics, issues, and even terms they might be reluctant to ask when visiting your business. Consumers are thirsting to be educated, and they are looking for a trusted, reliable source to deliver that information to them. They would prefer for that source to be someone knowledgeable and local. That can be you.
An individual blog post is usually 1 topic only, written once or twice per week and can be read and reread by your customer at their convenience.
But, you say that you are not good at writing? No problem. You don’t have to have been an English major in college or write like Kurt Vonnegut to pen a good blog post. Just write in a normal conversational tone. Be yourself. Your customer will appreciate that. They will feel like they are in your shop talking with you.
6 Benefits of Writing a Blog
There are real business benefits to writing a blog that can result in more sales. Here are just 6 of them:
- Increase visitors to your website: The more customers visit your website, the better chance you have of making a sale. Hubspot, a successful Internet marketing company, ran a study that says businesses that blog have 55% more visitors to their website. That is a huge bump in traffic to your website versus doing nothing. This statistic illustrates the productivity gain that a blog can contribute to your marketing effort. No other Internet activity delivers the potential for more revenue like a blog.
- Differentiate your business: First of all, most Hoosier businesses do not take the time to have a blog to educate their customer. A blog is more informal than a website and allows your business to keep fresh topics in front of your customer that is of interest to them today. For instance, during the drought of 2012, many landscapers missed the opportunity to inform their customers how to care for their lawn and trees. A simple blog post on this topic would have been greatly appreciated by homeowners. The result could have been a life-time customer who would never forget the tips given that saved a favorite tree.
- Become an authoritative source: It doesn’t take much to keep your customer up to date on important issues surrounding your industry and establish yourself as the “go to” expert in your community. A blog can do that for you. Imagine a local doctor blogging about suggestions to reduce the chance of getting diabetes or a butcher discussing the pros and cons of grass fed beef. You may find the local newspaper or radio station will interview you as a result of an important topic you chose to cover. Free publicity can never hurt!
- Top of mind awareness: Let’s face it, how often does the average Indiana consumer wake up in the morning thinking of your business and what you can do for them? A blog with interesting and timely posts that helps the average homeowner or business owner become a more intelligent consumer or save them money is something that will be followed on a frequent basis. For instance, a local accountant could blog about year end tax tips in November or an estate attorney could discuss the different types of trusts available that can save on estate and inheritance taxes. With a blog that can happen.
- Get valuable feedback: How would your business like a focus group or sounding board for testing new ideas. A blog can do that for you without having to hire a high priced agency to do the work. A comment field at the end of each blog post invites comments from your readers. By asking their feelings or opinions at the end of the blog post, you will get thoughts that are invaluable. This also gives you the opportunity to establish a dialogue with your readers and show them what they have to say is important to your company. This is something large national competitors will not be good at doing.
- Establish trust and credibility: Good relevant content that solves problems will establish trust and credibility with your targeted customer. The result will be more visits to your website and conversions into a sale. Others in your industry will recognize the value you are delivering with the content in your blog. They will end up linking from their website, Facebook page, tweet or blog to your blog. In essence, due to your high quality blog posts others will be bringing a new audience to your business that may result in a sale. Consider this incredibly inexpensive advertising.
Don't be surprised when a new customer calls or steps into your business and states that they want to buy from your company. Why would they do this? The prospect just might be feeling a close connection to your business from reading your blog for the last several months.
In a sense your blog has become a unique, low-cost call to action that can generate a loyal, lifelong customer and increase overall sales.
Good luck...and go blog!
- A blog is easy to do and low cost.
- Blog 1-2 times per week.
- Make a blog post 250-400 words in length.
- Businesses that blog have 55% more visitors to their website.
- Use a blog to differentiate your Indiana business from the competition.
- A blog allows you to become an authoritative source within your industry.