Recently a friend and I were chatting about what I do for a living: I support small businesses in managing blogs, newsletters, websites and social media accounts that tell stories about the wonderful product and services my clients offer. I am a storyteller, even if seldom I attach my name to what I write. This friend was amazed (appropriately curious, not rudely gobsmacked) that there was a market for what I do. She thought it was wonderful, but outside her impression of the usual marketing mix.
I don’t blame her. When we think about “marketing” we often think about the advertisements we see in our local paper. A company wants to promote a sale – they take out an extra big ad and contract a designer to make it shine. We might think (a little less fondly) of the flyers we get in our mail box – coupons, special offers, letters or notices. This is advertising and promotions – isn’t it?
Not so anymore, friend. The world is changing and with the rise of digital media, the ways of the past are, well, just that: set further and further in the past. This is not to say that ads and letters don’t have their place, but more and more blogs (that support businesses), are becoming important. Here is why you should have a blog for your business:
Showcase your knowledge
A blog is an excellent opportunity to talk to your community of supporters (and soon to be supporters) about what you do best: what is your product or service about? And how can you enrich the world of knowledge around this topic? Brainstorm ideas and turn them into an Editorial Calendar, which will guide you week to week in telling you what to write about. The key is to offer a tidbit of information, and have your readers wanting more! Get them excited about learning more about your product or service.
Get noticed by Google search terms
The more content you add to your website, the more search terms by which Google-searchers can find you with. You don’t need a degree in Search Engine Optimization – just work with the keywords that define your blog post, product/service, and your company. Make sure to enrich your text with these keywords and put them into your title and headings.
Have something to talk about on Social Media
Everyone is on Social Media! So what is all this fuss about? Well, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are all ways to drive traffic back to your website – where people can learn more about what it is you do. Peak their interest by tackling an important topic from a new and surprising angle. Get them to your site, wow them with your writing and then have them browse around. Hopefully, the curious become the shoppers.
It is easy to get started blogging to support your business. Search for companies you admire and see what they are doing to tell their digital story. Have your web developer attach a blogging page to your existing website. Craft a calendar of topics (Editorial Calendar) and start writing! If writing isn’t your thing, consider hiring a writer/editor who can help you – minimally by inspiring topics or at maximum by managing it for you. If you go it alone remember, a little personality goes a long way and keep it all business (unless your lunch has something to do with your business, maybe it is best to talk about that elsewhere).