Should I, or should I not? Start a blog... that is
Everybody seems to agree that blogging for business is becoming somewhat of a necessity, but the big problem is that not everybody seems to know why. And because of that, many opt to stay away from it, missing out on all of it's amazing revenue-inducing potential... Others tend to do it, wildly and recklessly - and miss out on all of it's amazing revenue-inducing potential.
Knowing why you blog is just as important as knowing whether you should and HOW start a blog. So, let's explore some of the more common reasons why you SHOULD blog.
Reason 1: Your customers can be found online
Before you say, "my customers don't look for my services in Google," remember that the question isn't whether they're looking for you (they may not even know about you - and they're certainly not convinced your services or products are necessary... because they're not customers yet), it's whether they're online.
The answer is probably yes. According to this study by the Pew Research Center, only 15% of our country refuses to accept cyber space. Now, it's quite possible that your perfect customer happens to be in that group that doesn't spend time online, but are they your ONLY target group worth mentioning? Still yes? Then, okay, this is not for you...
For the rest of us, let's move on...
Reason 2: Your customers use Google or Yahoo or Bing
I'm still not asking whether they're looking for your services in those search engines, but whether you believe they are searching for anything at all. There's a good chance they don't know who you are, and another chance that they aren't aware of how your service-type or product could help whatever issues they have.
If you blog about those problems, you are likely to attract people looking for answers (on the condition that you're using language they understand)
Get the playbook by Orange Pegs Media on leveraging your blogging strategy for leads
Reason 3: They're looking for answers to their problems with search queries
If they're online and they're using Google, Bing, and/or Yahoo, then they are looking for answers to their problems. Your product or service SOLVES those problems, and they just don't realize it yet.
Well, herein lies the most convincing argument yet: Blogging helps you educate your prospective customers on the problems that your business is in business for solving.
(Learn more about why we blog for business HERE)
If you're convinced now more than ever that you need to blog but still need help getting going, let's talk about some of the things you can do to ensure your efforts are not wasted.
Blogging without purpose will get you nowhere fast, but blogging without a plan will get you there just the same, but at an expense. So, to round out this list, here are a couple of moves you should make prior to committing to the weekly posting.
Reason 4: You have convincing lead conversion opportunities
This is important. In most cases blogging for traffic alone is a losing bet. You have to have opportunities for your traffic to convert into paying customers that address more than the buying stage. Sometimes that path from point A to point of SALE is a longer journey than others (like when they're still in the awareness or consideration stages; more HERE)- instead taking days, weeks, or even months to complete.
If you don't know, ask your sales teams the questions of how many touches they need to have before they can convert a sale and how long it can take for a lead to convert into a customer.
A good chunk don't happen right away, do they? And who's to say that there aren't others falling off because they didn't like what they found on your website and moved on? Maybe the "contact us" form was too direct, because your visitors were still trying to diagnose their problems and were looking for guidance, not direct contact with a pushy sales person - "Pushy," being their assumption because your site doesn't address educating visitors without inserting a overtly sales-driven agenda.
The way you create a transaction for those not ready to buy is by offering them content that is considered valuable that they're willing to divulge their contact information in order to receive it. The more content you have available for this transaction, the better, so you can address different buying stages and target groups - the same way your blogging strategy will behave.
By having content to exchange, your blogs can promote it, thereby initiating that lead conversion process.
Check out the Fluid Marketing playbook by Orange Pegs Media
Reason 5: You and/or your staff have the bandwidth to socialize with your blog
Now that you have such great marketing collateral, get it out there! Don't just wait for your SEO attributes to kick in over time... get it out there NOW, and use it to leverage more conversations, more lead conversions, and more customers.
I suggest implementing a social media plan that focuses on getting followers, interactions, traffic, AND leads to your website.
But don't stop at the corporate level, because your sales teams are DYING for support in this area. Believe me, if they're worth a grain of salt, they're on LinkedIn at the very least. And they use it to network with people they meet, cold call, or discover through prospecting in the social medium.
Your blogs can be great tools for them to share and help educate their prospective customers. It will bring them closer to your brand, your message, your mission, your vision, and your sales people.
Then you'll see others start sharing your content, and before you know it, your blog posts are going viral.
It's sad but true...
If you're in staffing, your sales teams can probably count on one hand every time that somebody called them out of blue to fill a position. If you run a SaaS I bet it's the same as how many people understand what your app does in the first minute of the sales pitch. Your challenge of wanting your sales teams to find more customers is not unique, nor are the challenges your customers experience that lead them to your doorstep in the first place.
Blogging using the inbound methodology changes all of that. It creates opportunities for people to find you (even be drawn to you), educate them on all of the reasons why they need you, and provide inlets that kickstart your sales process.
Remember, don't just blog to fulfill a necessary evil. Do it to grow your business. Do it with purpose, and do it with a direct agenda. If you want help spelling it out and executing it, try connecting with Orange Pegs Media for a free marketing assessment and an introduction to our blog writing services: