We thought we would celebrate the latest blog at NJBIZ by laying out some of the reasons a blog is a great tool for businesses of all sizes. Our digital content editor Joe Ross explains the benefits.
1. Control the message
Press releases never get the amount of coverage you were hoping for because they are passive and always force you to be on the "ask" side of the communications and marketing equation.
A blog is on the active, "tell" side of things, offering the opportunity to explain new features or products in detail, describe how power users or frequent customers get the most out of your product, and address common support issues that may arise. It also makes your company more likely to appear in search results, potentially bringing in new business leads.
2. Call to action
A blog helps you control the timing, context and content of your message - and make a call for action. It gives you your own place to explain how people can have similar successes by signing up for a free trial or consultation.
3. Accentuate the human factor
What email are you more likely to click - the one from Company A with "Try our New Product today!" in the subject line, or the one from your friend Joe with "You HAVE to read this" in the subject line?
Give people something useful to share. They will get authority points for passing it along, and you'll get an evangelist ready to spread the word about your product or publication.
4. Address complaints and maintain positive customer relations
A blog will open a channel for incoming complaints. This may feel like a negative consequence, but it's probably the biggest positive reason to have one.
Most complaints are made to friends or on social media, especially when someone feels it's impossible to directly contact the brand. This makes it very likely that complaints will go unanswered, and that negative sentiment will be amplified. A blog will give you a chance to reverse that course. More than that, it will show that you are human.
5. Branding and influence
A blog is a great way to develop influence in your area of expertise, not just your product. Make your blog a destination for anyone interested in your core focus, instead of limiting audience and reach to only those people who already use your product. Simply put, adding value beyond your core focus brings people to your site who may never have discovered your core focus. And a willingness to share solutions with your customers outside of those that come from your products shows you're confident in those products and knowledgeable about the broader industry in which you participate.
So maybe you thought your business wasn't one of "those" that can benefit from the occasional blog post. Chances are that you're very wrong, and even a weekly update incorporating one or more of the elements discussed above can go a long way toward building brand awareness, positive sentiment, and subject matter authority.
If your company has a blog or you have any questions or thoughts on this post, let us know in the comments.
Digital content editor Joe Ross is @joeross on Twitter.