Wouldn't it be nice to generate enough attention for your business all-year round? We're talking about a steady stream of marketing that can continuously keep people's attention, rather than the sporadic bursts that comes with seasonal promotions.
Blogging is a great marketing tool for this very purpose. But before we go any further, let's bust a myth or two about blogging.
Business blogging, not personal blogging
Business blogging is completely different from personal blogging. Let's do a side-by-side comparison.
How exactly does blogging work as a marketing tool?
Blogging falls under the category of content marketing. What this means is that you use content to market your business. The content you use depends on your industry, market and brand goals. For example, a photographer can use content relating to product photography, tips and tricks for the perfect photo, and camera reviews.
When you use content marketing, you're aiming to gain the trust of your customers. Trust is the single most important thing for your business if your brand is planning to be around 10 years from now. Customers who trust you will become repeat customers. They'll be the ones sustaining your business.
There are more than four reasons why you should blog to market your business, but I'm just going to highlight my favourite ones!
1. Blogging humanizes your business.
People like to buy from people, and people prefer buying from nice people. Have you ever preferred a store or business over another simply because the employees were warm and friendly? When your business or marketing is online-based, it's even more important to make personal connections with customers, especially since they don't know who's behind a business.
You can slowly introduce yourself and your employees through your blog posts. Once customers become familiar with your 'characters', they'll be more comfortable to purchase from you because they can put a name and face to your brand. Although it's not blogging per se, we love how LUSH connects its customers to its employees in their videos. Watch this video and read the comments!
2. Blogging is a relatively low-cost form of marketing.
Blogging is actually pretty easy to sustain, cost-wise. What you need is a free blogging platform (like Wordpress or Tumblr), a domain name if you want to make it look more professional (www.YourBusiness.com) and the tools you already use for your social media marketing (like your smartphone). Anything else is a bonus, but you can definitely do a great job with just these things.
As for the content that goes into your blog posts, you only need time and effort! There are tons of blog post ideas that don't cost a lot or even any money to write on. You don't need to travel halfway around the world to make your blog posts interesting. As long as they are relevant and useful, they'll be a hit with your customers.
3. Blogging drives traffic to your e-commerce site or website.
A blog is not an e-commerce site or website. It's a marketing tool instead of a standalone platform. It's your e-commerce site or website that showcases your products or services. So the thing you want to do is drive customers to your website or e-commerce site again and again.
After all, the more customers visit your website or e-commerce site, the more likely will they buy your products or services. So having a blog on the side and publishing blog posts daily or weekly is a great way to attract them even if you don't have new products or promotions going on.
4. Blogging is a stepping stone for more advanced marketing.
Everything starts with writing. The time and energy you invest in blogging will never go to waste, because there's this thing called repurposing your content. It means that you reuse the content you already produced as other forms of media. Instead of being single use, your content works double- and even triple-duty for you!
When you're about to record a video, do you just jump in front of the camera without preparing beforehand? At the very least, you'd have an outline of what you're going to say. You can use your blog posts as your outline. This way you don't feel too pressured to come up with original ideas for every single content you have to produce.
What if you're not a natural-born writer? Blogging can seem like a lot of work because you don't feel like you're good at it.
We hear you. A lot of people are concerned by their ability to sustain their blog because they don't think that they're good at writing. BUT, blogging about writing, not really. It's about sharing. If you overthink it, you're definitely going to have stage fright.
Focus on the sharing part. In time, you'll feel more and more comfortable with blogging.