By adding a business blog to your company’s website, you can provide your customers and prospects with helpful and important information that’s available for them even when you are not.
Traditionally, customers called or visited a business to ask questions and to learn more about the company’s products or services. Although that personalized model of service is still alive and well, a business blog allows you to do that and more — much, much more.
When you use a business blog to help educate your customers, you create engaging and meaningful dialogue. This helps establish your business as an expert source in your industry and demonstrates your commitment to prospects and customers.
And, while you’re at it, it might not hurt to provide a little fun and frivolity along the way.
The Engagement of Education
When we talk about the concept of engagement, we mean the psychological or emotional attachment that a prospect or customer develops with a company, product or brand.
When you freely offer consumers something beneficial, they perceive that you are investing in them and their interests. So when creating and updating your business blog, don’t hesitate to declare your intentions to do just that.
Tell your blog readers that your goal is to educate and inform them. As long as you make good on that commitment—through meaningful, high-quality content—you will engage them and provide motivation for them to come back again and again.
This is priceless, and virtually impossible to buy with traditional forms of marketing and advertising. And lest you think consumer engagement isn’t important, take a look at a recent Gallup study that demonstrated the measurable financial benefits of engaging the consumer.
But don’t stop there. Prove to your prospects and customers that you intend to provide them with the experiences they want by inviting their input. Ask them what information they want and need. Ask for their questions and provide meaningful answers.
It’s a Matter of Trust
You will never successfully convert your prospects without earning their trust. Even local consumers begin the purchasing process online. Consequently, you must earn their trust — at least in part — before they ever visit your location. If you sell products through an e-commerce site, your job is even more difficult in light of security concerns related to online purchasing.
So how do you establish trust with a business blog?
You must make — and make good on — the commitment to share freely of your expertise, which you must capably prove by having exceptional content. A business blog is an effective, simple and affordable means for doing just that.
When you provide high-quality content in your business blog, you demonstrate your knowledge of your industry. When you answer questions and solve problems for your prospects, you establish your company as being reliable.
Just like engagement, this translates into sales and a boost to your bottom line. Even more important, establishing trust with consumers will help sustain your company through economic downturns, challenges from competition and situation-specific crises such as data or security breaches.
All Your Competitors Are Doing it, and for Good Reason
The chances are good that your competition has already discovered the value of a business blog for educating consumers. Not only does an educational business blog help you establish trust and engagement, but it also increases your efficiency.
Although you can’t possibly be on the clock all the time, your business blog is on the job 24/7. Nights, weekends and holidays, your customers can find valuable information when they need it.
What if 10 calls come in at once, all with questions about how to use your product? You can try to take each call, one after the other, or you can pull 10 members of your staff off their own tasks to answer questions.
But if the answers are already online in a business blog post, video or product information sheet, you and your staff keep your focus on the tasks at hand.
Now, here’s the extra special bonus that you might not have considered: Your educational business blog will also give your SEO a major boost.
Engagement and trust are the main objectives of blogging; however, the search engine ranking benefits of a well-constructed, high-quality business blog are significant.
Incorporating SEO Strategies into Your Business Blog
Your business blog, when used correctly, will improve your SEO status significantly. When your position in the search engine rankings improves, you enjoy more qualified traffic on your website. And more visitors means more leads and more opportunities to convert prospects to buyers.
Leverage SEO in your business blog as you would with any other type of online content, by incorporating your keywords and key phrases into high-quality content. If you are a locally based business, be sure to include your location information in every post as well.
Exceptional business blogs also can help your SEO by generating backlinks. If you content is good enough, influencers may aggregate (share) your content, including links to your site. And likes and shares can make your content go viral.
Leverage the Value of Entertainment and Storytelling
Have you ever heard the term edutainment?
It’s a portmanteau of education and entertainment, and a popular approach for energizing your business blog. By using a fun and engaging style in your blog posts, you will attract and engage more prospects. The most effective way to accomplish this is through storytelling.
Today we know that storytelling is the best way to engage any audience. Your readers probably won’t remember statistics or dry, stand-alone facts. Tell them a story, however, and you’ve changed the game.
Marketing research has repeatedly demonstrated the power of storytelling for differentiating your brand. But we also know that you can use this powerful technique for every marketing campaign, product launch and press release — and especially for every business blog post.
When you use effective storytelling in blog posts, you will definitely entertain and engage your prospects and customers. But at the same time, you will strike a chord with emotions and memory that increases brand awareness and helps you grow your business.
If you aren’t sure how you can incorporate storytelling for your business — especially if your industry isn’t particularly flashy or exciting — learn from the masters. Check out the way that the Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer spins a magical tale about the lowly charcoal briquette, or J. Peterman’s prosaic description of pajamas.
And for the ultimate example of storytelling to turn unexciting products into something special, observe the mastery of the Duluth Trading Company’s T-shirt marketing. In fact, about halfway down the page on the left side, they actually offer to tell you more of the story.
Of a T-shirt.
Practical Strategies for Educating with Your Business Blog
The majority of your blog posts will consist of (or at least begin with) writing the copy for the post. This is where the magic is made. Now add images, graphics, illustrations, infographics or multimedia to your post to illustrate your points and to help capture your audience’s attention.
All your posts don’t have to be copy blogs. You can do video blogs (vlogs), podcasts, live streaming Q&A or chat sessions (to which you can later post a video link), FAQs, webinars or case studies.
When you launch your business blog, your only boundary is your own imagination. If you struggle to come up with dynamic ideas, if you fear your writing skills aren’t up to the task or if you’re simply too busy running your business to create and maintain a blog, Be Locally can help.
We specialize in internet and content marketing and all the related methods of building your business online. With an experienced team of content creation specialists and SEO experts, we can handle every aspect of your website creation, maintenance and content as well as PPC campaigns and social media.
Contact us today to learn more about why we are experts in the creation and maintenance of some of the internet’s best business blogs.
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