If you are starting a small business, there are numerous things to consider. Asides from the straight-forward corporate side of things, including registering your company with the IRS and considering small business insurance, you need to think about the world wide web if you want to be seen as a modern, forward thinking company.
Asides from perception, starting a small business blog, combined with an effective social media strategy, can be perhaps the best possible way you can meaningfully engage with customers. This includes both prospective and existing clients, as well as a great way to increase high quality traffic to your company website.
Here are four key reasons to start a small business blog.
1. A blog can increase your company’s authority
Writing a blog, passing comment on the pressing issues within your industry and meaningfully engaging with people asking real questions about your industry can be a priceless asset to have in your business strategy.
A well written, properly researched and thought provoking company blog can establish your business as a thought leader in your chosen industry or niche. The kind of high quality traffic that a great business blog can attract has the potential to prove priceless.
Quality, authoritative business blogs have, on the whole, much lower bounce rates and increased dwelling time than other forms of digital marketing such as PPC (pay per click) and email marketing. They can be a voice of reason and the go-to place for industry insights – if executed and managed properly.
2. A blog can give your staff a creative outlet
The days of faceless internet sites are behind us (unless you’re Amazon or eBay).
Personalisation is in and it pays to have real people with a pen pic, short bio and links to their social media profiles beside every blog (LinkedIn and Twitter are the most appropriate). This is especially important for small business trying to grow their audience base.
Encourage your staff to post, promoting their work and ideas. This can be anything from their views on the latest industry developments to what they enjoy about working for such a great company (and it is a great company isn’t it?).
Depending on your business sector, it may pay to have a compliance team look over your staff entries before they are published. You should also be sure to have them tag their social media bios (particularly Twitter) with a disclaimer along the lines of ‘whilst I work for company X, all my tweets are in a personal capacity’.
3. A blog enhances your brand visibility via SEO
Whether you are a multinational or just starting a small business, search traffic is vital to your success.
Targeting the right key phrases can be an invaluable source of low cost, high quality traffic for your business blog and company website.
If your website is relatively new, i.e under a year old, a good strategy may be to target long tail key phrases. For example, ‘why do I need general liability insurance’ would provide a helpful article for the user.
A good place to start is think about the real questions that your potential customers could be asking about your products or commercial niche.
Then try typing them into Google. If they are a commonly searched for item, Google will recognise this and ‘predict’ what you are going to type. Get 10 or 20 of these key phrases in a spreadsheet then have a think about how your business could author a meaningful blog article based around these search terms.
Once you have decided on the terms you want to go for, start writing, or pass the task on to your company blogger.
4. A blog can create new business leads
It’s all very well creating lots of great content and increasing your web hits, but this traffic is practically useless unless you convert your web visitors to customers.
How do you do this?
In order to generate business leads, you require some method of capturing your visitors data. However, they aren’t going to give you their details for nothing in return.
Entice your potential audience by creating quality, premium business focused content, that they will want to access, and either place this on a gated section of your website, or ask them to call in for access to the content. Give them something they cannot find elsewhere.
You can do this by placing a capture form on each blog that you write with a clear call to action. Ask the web visitor the sort of questions you need to gain insights into how you can convert them into a customer.
Once you have their details, you can pursue the lead.
Of course, creating a blog is just half the battle. After you have written your masterpiece, it’s time to promote it across all of your social channels, outreach with bloggers, PR, paid activity and email marketing.
So if you are looking for some small business ideas to really give your startup a kick start, put pen to paper and start writing today!