If you’re looking for innovative ways to jump on the digital marketing bandwagon this year, then blogging cannot be overlooked. In 2016, there were some major advances made for blogging, and over 75% of marketers agree that producing more content is the way to increase results in 2017.
So why is blogging so important for small businesses, and how can you blog your way to success in 2017?
Before we get into that, let’s see some of 2016’s stats for business blogs:
Highlights of 2016 for Business Blogs
Techclient.com has done a wonderful job of compiling some stats for blogs in 2016. Here are the highlights:
- Websites with blogs have over 430% more indexed pages, and 97% more inbound links
- 61% of US consumers have purchased something online because of a blog post
- Small businesses with blogs generate 126% more leads
- 70% of consumers learn more about a company through its website content (i.e. its blog) than through ads
This is just a taste of the information that Techclient.com has gathered. The full infographic has even more compelling statistics that prove that blogging is the next big step in content marketing for the digital age.
Blogging for Small Businesses- Why So Important?
All of these statistics are impressive, but what makes blogging so important in generating sales and leads for small businesses?
· Creates Visibility
When people go to the internet, what are they looking for?
Although we wish they were coming directly to our brands, services, or products, they’re not. Instead, most people start their web searches looking for information.
So how can you use this to your advantage? Simple: provide the information that your target audience is looking for.
For example, if you are a hostel in a major city like Paris, Barcelona, New York, or the like, then figure out what kind of people would stay in your hostel and what kind of information they’d look for online. Then, provide that information! It could be travel tips for the city, restaurant recommendations, advice for traveling on a budget, etc.
Basically, post anything that your potential customers would enjoy reading!
When your blog is seen and appreciated by potential customers, they’ll start to like and share your content. This means they’re sharing your website, where you are also advertising your products or services.
The more shares on your content, the more your website is promoted across the web. You’ll be seen by potential customers, bringing you a steady stream of new revenue.
· Proves You’re Active
A website that is left untouched for a long time is bad for small businesses in different ways. One of these is how you are viewed by visitors.
For example, if you have no recent updates and your website seems neglected, potential customers who have found your page may start to wonder if you’re still in business.
However, an active blog shows that you are busy with your business and looking for new customers. You’re reaching out to your target audience, and they’ll be sure to reach back!
· Establishes Your Business in the Industry
If you’re a small business in the travel industry, you know how difficult it is to be seen. There are hundreds of other travel brands just like you, all vying for attention from the world of consumers.
That’s why you need to be different.
The more you produce helpful and engaging content for your readers, the higher you go in the ‘expert’ ranking. Inbound links from related authority websites also give you more credibility, thus building your travel brand even bigger.
· Helps You Gain the Trust of Consumers
Likes, shares, comments… this is the lifeblood of your blog. If you start to receive regular interactions from your target audience, you’ll see your results increase dramatically.
As mentioned above, quality content brings these happy interactions, thus allowing your business to be viewed as an industry expert. Once that happens, people will start coming to you for the travel advice they need. Your company starts to gain a band of loyal followers, and these people will make all the difference.
· Makes the Search Engines Happy
Search engine ranking is the final benefit on this list, and one of the most important. The higher you rank in search engine queries, the more visibility your website has.
Why is that? Because people don’t spend days scrolling Google pages after they’ve searched keywords. I know I hardly ever click past the first page of search results, and I’m sure you’ll probably say the same. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your website gets a better search engine ranking, and blogging is a great way to do this.
First, posting regular content on your blog is good for SEO (search engine optimization). Search engines like active websites (as do people), and they’ll rank you higher as a reward for your hard work.
Also, quality content that includes relevant keywords will place your website in people’s searches, letting them find you more easily.
How to Blog Successfully- Basic Tips for Small Business Blogs
So now that you’ve decided to start a blog for your small business, how can you go about doing so? Here are some basic tips for starting a small business blog:
· Create Content for People
Remember that the amount of words you write or blog posts you create does not equal the amount of dollars you will see returned to you. In fact, focusing on the money will make you miss out on the real point: the people! Instead, focus on writing in a way that real people will enjoy.
· Add Relevant Media
Pictures, videos, infographics, etc.: these are all great ways to catch people’s attention. Blog posts with some sort of media get far more engagement than those that don’t. If you’re not an expert photographer, don’t worry. You can get free stock photography from websites such as pexels.com.
· Provide Solutions to Your Reader’s Problems
Keep up to date with the travel industry news. What are people asking? What problems are they having that are related to your small travel business?
When you find consistent questions or problems being presented across the internet, it’s time to write a new post! Get started by creating a catchy headline and help your readers to get the answers they need.
This could be in the form of a how-to post, a city guide, budget advice, or anything else your readers will find useful.
· Occasionally Promote Your Services or Products
I want to stress the word ‘ocassionally’ in the sentence above. It’s not the job of your blog to blabber about how great your products and services are, or how fun your company is to work with (although I’m sure you are a great company with fantastic products and services!).
Instead, when providing answers to the travel community’s questions, include hints towards your services or products, perhaps even subtly linking to a relevant sales page.
When done correctly, your company is then not only seen as a provider of information, but as a helpful friend. Your readers will be introduced to your services or products and shown the practical value you can provide.
· Hire a Content Marketing Professional
Maybe at this point, you’re starting to get a bit overwhelmed. As a small business owner, you have a lot of responsibilities to take care of, and a blog may not seem high on your list of priorities.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s time to throw in the towel. By hiring a professional content marketer, your blog can be written behind the scenes, steadily growing your following without taking any more of your precious time!
A content marketing professional should know your industry and your target audience. They should be able to communicate your brand in the style that you want, and according to your parameters. A good content marketer will help you reach your goals and achieve greater reach for your business.
Although creating a blog for your business may seem daunting, it will absolutely be worth the time and/or money you invest in it. To achieve success with your content marketing strategy in 2017, don’t forget to include a business blog!
Like what you see? Don’t forget to like and comment down below! I’d love to hear your thoughts on blogging for 2017, and whether you think this is a viable marketing strategy. If you’re already on board with the idea of blogging for business, send me an email at Hello@AmyCopadis.com and we can talk about content marketing solutions for your small business!