The humble blog started life as a platform for aspiring writers to share their thoughts, moods, likes, dislikes, loves, losses and anything else you can think of. Essentially, it was a personal thing. But thanks to the creation of services like Google’s Blogger and WordPress, blogging has become phenomenally popular, with one new blog being created every single second. That’s pretty impressive. But gone are the days of the blog being a purely personal journal. Businesses of all sizes are embracing the platform as a means of communicating directly with their customers, potential customers and the wider general public. This platform makes such communication hugely efficient and can even offer up a level of SEO benefit for your company’s website too.
But is a blog just a ‘nice extra’ for your business or is it really an absolutely essential online marketing tool?
There’s no question in my mind that it’s the latter. 80% of consumers are now researching their potential purchases online before making them – irrespective of whether they then purchase online or off. This means that to increase your chances of attracting this group of consumers, you need to be visible on the web. A website is great! Absolutely. But there’s a whole new level to a blog that brings a more up to date, relevant and personal feel to your online business presence. Your website is likely to be a factual and informative hub of information about your company, products and services. This is exactly what it ought to be. A blog, however, can reach a wider scope. It can be used as a means to comment on news relating to the industry you work in, to convey new information about your company, a place to give details of a latest offer or a place for you personally to address matters relating to your company on a human level. And that’s the key. It’s the human touch. Websites sometimes have a tendency to be faceless. We click on a website, enter our details, order our products and we’re done. We don’t see anyone during the process and we often do not even have to speak to anyone! A blog allows you to write more openly and address your customers on a more personal level. It brings back some of the human touch to an online based business and this works wonders for an overall online presence.
It would be wholly inaccurate and far too much of a sweeping generalization to say that you will sell fewer products if you do not have a blog. Too many factors influence the rate of sales from a website to possibly attribute everything to a blog. But in adding a blog to your site and updating just once or twice a week, you’re creating a hub of relevant, topical and up to date information and doing so in a way that, through comments, opens up a discussion with your potential customers. This lets people feel as though they are getting to know you – and in turn getting to know your business.
Would you be more likely to purchase from a company you know and trust?