Without a blog, a business, whether online or offline based, is as good as heading towards a dead end, especially for small and medium sized businesses due to the high competition. The online penetration of companies, small, medium and even for some large ones is considered low. Most business owners don’t even have the idea of how blogging can create an online presence which can literally boost their sales and improve their business as a whole.
Corporate blogging or business blogging are terms describing the action of setting up and managing a blog to serve the aim and purpose of a business. Business blogging consultant, Michael Martine of Remarkablogger, was quoted the following statement in his How to Start a Business Blog guide:
The benefits of a website (for business) are undeniable. As a platform for websites, blogs magnify those benefits tremendously, delivering on them better than a non-blog website can.
As a business owner, you cannot underestimate the potential of this new media or ignore it. You will lose out very fast to your competitors if they have the edge over you in tapping blogging as a medium for their business expansion.
9 Benefits of Blogging for Businesses
I see the opportunity that the blogosphere has to offer for businesses to expand without any limit by just blogging properly. The following are the least of benefits that a business can derive by blogging.
- Huge Market
By having a small business selling sneakers in, say, Houston, your sales will only be coming from the Houston community. The small market, not yet taking into account the part owned by your competitors and the low market turnover will not help to expand your business fast enough.
By tapping into blogging, you will have access to the international market. The demand for sneakers of Internet users will probably outnumber the population of Houston easily! Creating an online presence by having a blog, opens up the opportunity to tap into this wide market with unlimited profit opportunities.
- Proper Medium for Customer Feedback
Consumers nowadays prefer to voice their perception of a product or service online as the impression of handling complaints being taken lightly by businesses is thick in their subconscious mind. Business owners might not even think of this but your customers might be discussing about you and what you have to offer online without you noticing it!
Having a blog as a proper portal for to consolidate customers opinions and discussions about your business is important as you have to know from what aspect does your customers want your products and services to be improved. Keep this in mind, customers’ satisfaction is one of the main items in the balanced scorecard and non-quality performance measurement of a business. Monitoring online response will not only provide accurate but also undiscovered true opinions from your customers.
- Marketing with Low Overheads
The maximum that you will be paying for a domain will be $10 unless the desired domain is currently being owned by others. The expenses of hosting fees, salaries of bloggers (can be from marketing department) and web design costs vary among different businesses but a blog and the online presence are non-current assets to a business that will reap in enduring benefit.
Overheads are indirect expenses that are difficult to trace back to a product or service that you are providing. Compared to marketing methods such as traditional advertising on newspapers, televisions, magazines or even billboards, the overheads of reaching out and marketing your business to the public via blogging are much more lower.
- Using Viral Effect to Stimulate Market Reactions
This is the scariest but possibly the most effective marketing method on Web 2.0 to pursue a large news widespread. The viral effect on the Internet is like mouth-to-mouth marketing in the offline world but it will be much more effective as cracking a released buzz on blogs and other Web 2.0 sites is a popular trend of Internet users, especially for bloggers to gain followers.
New product launches, internal buzz, improvement, fixes and gossips of a business, especially those released by the business itself are very popular and web users will help spreading it like wild fire. Businesses will need the market to discuss about their products or services in order to gain popularity and indirectly improve their market share. By amplifying such buzzes, initializing it through information delivery technologies such as RSS, there will definitely be more fans, customers and consumers discussing about your business and the conversation will only go on and on.
- Human Friendly Sales Copy
Advertising on mainstream media or other mode of traditional marketing is equivalent to the ineffective cold calling when targeting web users. Web users, even those with little knowledge on how to use the Internet will know how to search for your products via search engines for reviews before making the decision to buy from you or to make you as their service provider.
Marketing your business using blogs will not only help creating positive voices for your products or services online. Blogging will also help to create a personal and friendly tone in marketing your product. Potential customers will have the feeling of being treasured as they are pulled closer to the business and with the business actually responding and listening to them without pushing to them what they might not even need.
- Retain Loyal Customers
High competition is everywhere when we talk about business and it is near impossible we can see businesses owning more than 50% of the market share. Thus, loyal customers are important assets to a company. Customers are not obliged to stick with a product or brand forever and they could move their stand from being a BB hater to a BB supporter easily.
To counter this sway of support or the loss of loyal customers, business owners need to get closer to them. One of the ways will be by having a blog. Blogging adds a personal tone to a business and put a real person (the blogger) to communicate between the customers and the business, which is an abstract party. With the close relationship, the bond between the customers and the business will be much more stronger and harder to break.
- Stopping Rumors Spread
If you don’t have any online presence or a department monitoring the Internet for any buzz about your business, will you know if fake bad news of your business is selling like hot cakes on the Internet? Your competitors or your haters might take the advantage of you not having a blog that will enable a fast response to sabotage your market by spreading negative buzz.
By having a blog, apart from creating buzz to the market, a business can also respond to a news that are being spread on the Internet or to describe the remedial actions taken just to calm the market and customers down in case of a negative news widespread. Also, showing the market how well you can respond to a business trend or happening, such as a recession will raise the interests of stakeholders in your business.
- Repossess Lost Customers
I have to remind you that the annual search volume recorded by various search engines has exceeded 6.7 billion, which is the figure for year 2005. Project the figure for this year yourself. You can’t really deny the fact that more and more people are utilizing the search engines to search for what they want. People do search for product and services reviews when they are doubtful to become a customer for a business and when they are considering which business to purchase from.
Lost customers can become a continuous market for your business if you have a well-managed blog. Also, blogs are platforms that can easily have search engine optimization applied and are favorite sites for social media users. These customers, when arrived at your blog will give you all the time that you have to persuade them with your blog on how good their experience with you is going to be.
- Sourcing New Talents to Provide Job Opportunities
Venturing into blog marketing for your business will definitely need new talents or person who have basic writing skills and SEO knowledge. These talents are not as expensive as they sound. They can be freelancers just trying to fill up their project schedule or to build their portfolio as a start. Thus, they will only charge a low price and come up with a great piece of work.
With your willingness to create a business blog online, you are indirectly performing social responsibility by creating job opportunities. You are contributing to the community apart from reaping the benefits that you can get by business blogging.
- Acquiring First Hand Benefits
As I have mentioned earlier in this article, businesses, especially those offline-based, using blogs as an online marketing media is way to low compared to the amount of companies and businesses out there. The main idea of the Blue Ocean Strategy written by is that to avoid and make stiff competition irrelevant, one shall move into a field which competitors have not yet have their hands on.
Moving the focus of marketing to blogging, which will help your business into the new market for most offline-based business will simply move your competition away. Apart from this, all the benefits that I have cited above will only be enjoyed by you as most of your competitors are not into this new media yet.