Blog marketing is big business, and it’s our business. Countless brands use it to promote themselves and grow their online presence, but what exactly are they doing? Today we discuss what blog marketing is, how it works, and the pros and cons of business blogging…
What Is Blog Marketing?
Blog marketing is all about using a blog to reach your target audience, and hopefully direct attention to your business. Business owners using blogs to market their brands will post a variety of content, including written posts, pictures, videos, and even audio recordings, in order to attract more customers.
Most of the time, these posts are meant to educate the readers about a certain aspect of an industry or reveal some ‘behind the scenes’ information about the business, all while subtly promoting the products and services being offered. Some business owners even use their blogs as a source of feedback, asking their customers to leave their opinions and suggestions in the comments!
Nowadays, you’ll find most business blogs attached to the brand’s online store, though some people will choose to host their blog on a completely different site. Regardless of where you find it, a business blog will always include backlinks to products and services, as well as options to create an account or sign up for a newsletter to stay updated.
How Does It Work?
Blog marketing works by showing potential customers that there are real people behind a brand, who care about their customers’ opinions and are genuinely trying to connect with the people who support their business.
Posting educational and helpful content on a business blog makes that brand seem more trustworthy – they’re trying to help their customers understand the industry and answer their questions, instead of just shoving a promotion in their faces. It also shows that the people running the business actually have experience in their industry and are willing to pass on their knowledge to others.
Likewise, posting more personal content like “Meet The Owners!” makes the brand seem more trustworthy as it shows a more genuine and laidback side to the brand. A lot of people prefer to support businesses that are open about who they are and what they stand for, and a business blog is the perfect place to talk about those things without the risk of being too unprofessional.
Pros Of Business Blogging
There are truly countless pros to business blogging and blog marketing, and you can find just a handful of them below:
1. It’s super affordable
One of the main pros of using a blog to promote your business is how inexpensive this sort of marketing is. You’ll only really be paying for the domain name and web hosting, which costs very little compared to other marketing options like posting ads. Running the blog itself can be done by virtually anyone who knows the basics of writing, and pushing your blog to the top of search results doesn’t require any monetary input if done correctly. This makes having a business blog an amazing option for small businesses that may not have a huge marketing budget just yet.
2. It’s easy to do
Blog marketing is also quite easy to master, especially with the various blogging platforms that are widely available to use these days – you can create a professional looking blog and get it published in a matter of minutes. There are also countless guides and courses available online to teach you all about blog marketing strategies if you’re a “do it yourself” kind of person, or skilled and experienced professionals that can do the work for you!
3. You’ll boost traffic to your website
Hosting your blog on the same site as your general business website can help to significantly improve the traffic to it. Consistently publishing new content will give people a reason to keep returning to your site, and chances are they’ll stop by to check out your products or services while they’re at it. Also, increased traffic and regularly returning readers will alert search engine algorithms that your site is worth boosting, and you’ll end up near the top of search results in no time!
4. It opens up more revenue opportunities
Once your blog gains some exposure, you may suddenly find other brands contacting you to sponsor a post, send you affiliate products and links, or to purchase an advertising spot on your site. All of these will not only give you an extra source of income, but will also show your customers that other brands trust you enough to work with them. You can even get your products advertised on another blog in exchange for a sponsored post, which will increase the chances of you gaining more customers as you’ll be exposed to a wider audience.
5. You’ll develop a closer relationship with your customers
As we’ve mentioned before, people like supporting brands that they trust, and running a business blog gives you the perfect opportunity to develop a closer relationship with your customers. A business blog is much more personal than a newsletter or a paid ad, as it encourages the customers to interact with the people running the business. Using a relatively laidback yet still professional writing tone will show your customers that you’re an approachable person, and not just a money-hungry brand looking to make as much profit as possible.
6. It’s a modern solution
Millions of people have some sort of online presence, or at least use the Internet regularly. This means that they are much more likely to see and be interested in a brand that uses the online world to market itself, rather than sticking to traditional poster and TV ads. Nowadays, having at least a basic knowledge of the online world will indicate your overall competency as a brand, and what better way is there to show that off than with a business blog? Not only will you be promoting your products or services, but you’ll also be demonstrating that you’re capable of keeping up with the changing times.
7. It’ll establish your authority in the industry
A successful business blog can really help solidify your position as an authority figure in your brand’s industry. Having a blog full of up-to-date, relevant, and well-researched information about your industry and topics surrounding it will demonstrate your competency to both potential customers and existing competitors. If done right, your blog will have the chance to become the main source of information about similar products and services, and the industry you’re a part of.
Cons Of Business Blogging
While business blogging is overall a pretty great marketing technique, there are still some downsides that you need to be aware of before starting. Here are the most significant ones:
1. It can be time consuming
Even though the general creation and upkeep of a business blog are relatively simple, it can be incredibly time consuming to consistently create high quality content to post on your blog. This is especially true if you’re working on your own, as you’ll find yourself having to divide your time between blogging, stock management, answering questions, and many other responsibilities.
Depending on exactly what you post, it can take up multiple hours of your day, and you won’t always be seeing the benefits either. While the main aim is to promote your business, it can be quite discouraging if you’re basically doing 5 extra hours of work each day for seemingly little profit.
2. An oversaturated market will kill your blog
Again, this will largely depend on your brand and what you choose to post on your blog, but a lot of industries already have an oversaturated business blogging market. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand out from the competition when using blog marketing as a lot of the best techniques are already common knowledge and are severely overused.
Combined with the work you have to put into each post, you may find that this oversaturated market will soon lead to decreasing site traffic, falling sales, and even bad online reputation if your blog starts lacking in quality. It’s important to remember that starting a business blog isn’t a “get rich quick” solution, and that your brand should ideally already have an advantage over your competition in the form of better or cheaper products, or you’ll risk wasting a lot of time and resources on something that may not succeed.
3. Accessibility may hinder your blog
Similarly to an oversaturated market, a lack of accessibility for your target audience may result in your business blog completely failing. What we mean by this is that if your target audience doesn’t generally have access to the online world, or they simply don’t use it very often, you probably won’t get much site traffic. Suddenly expecting someone who only uses the Internet to check the weather to suddenly become an avid blog reader is quite unrealistic and will definitely not reap any benefits.
That’s why you’ll need to carefully consider whether a business blog is the best marketing strategy for your specific target audience. Chances are, if the demographic is mainly customers over 40 or those who live in more deprived areas, you’ll be wasting your time promoting a business on a platform that your target audience won’t have access to. Invest in a different strategy, and use your blog as a way to network with other brands instead of with potential customers.
4. Increased exposure means increased demand
If your blog does become successful, you may find yourself overwhelmed with the sudden demand for more high quality content and products. If, up until that point, you had been the sole person working on the blog and you suddenly have an audience of 10,000 readers to please, it can be pretty daunting.
If you aren’t adequately prepared for an increase in demand, you run the risk of losing potential customers due to their expectations not being met. Worse yet, this might spiral out of control and result in a ruined reputation because you couldn’t meet the increased demand. You need carefully consider whether you’ll be capable of supplying the same quality of content, regardless of how large or small your audience may be, and if you’re worried that you won’t be able to do that, consider investing in a different marketing strategy.
Tips To Get Started
If you want to try your hand at blog marketing, you’ll need to make sure you’re getting the basics right. Simply follow these helpful tips and you’ll be started in no time!
1. Keep it simple
Keep the design of your blog and the content you create relatively simple, at least at the start. Now, we don’t mean posting low effort content or publishing a very basic HTML site. We mean that you shouldn’t set people’s expectations incredibly high, or you’ll risk getting caught up in something you can’t handle. Stay natural and don’t try to show off, and you’ll be thanking us later!
2. Have a game plan
In order to truly succeed in blog marketing, you need to have at least a rough plan of what you want to achieve and how you’re going to do that. It can even just be a rough draft of blog post ideas – as long as you have some sort of “scaffolding” for the blog, your life will be much easier. This will help you to avoid things like writers’ block, where you don’t know what to write next and get stuck without content, or burnout, where you just lose motivation to keep the blog running.
3. Promote, promote, promote!
Having a business blog is great, but it won’t do you much good if nobody knows about it! When launching your blog, make sure to announce it anywhere you can, including social media and in person to friends, family, and existing customers. The more people that know about the blog before it even takes off, the more chances you have to become really successful with it!