Can our businesses still benefit from blogging in 2017?

I want to show you just how important blogging can be even to – especially to – small businesses like ours. And I’d also like to update you on the role blogging plays for SMEs today.

Can our businesses still benefit from blogging in 2016?

Can our businesses still benefit from blogging in 2016?

There have been lulls in its popularity, and also there have been reversions to it after brief incursions elsewhere. More of that below.

As you know there has been a huge shift in emphasis of selling and business promotion in the last 10 years or so. And as somebody the other day said…

People today don’t want presentations: they want conversations.

Blogging is the fastest and most effective way of starting such a conversation. As long as you devise and write your blog posts well, you DO start conversations with your customers and prospects.

There’s no pressure on anyone. No hard sell.

It doesn’t cost much, if anything.

AND, the other very important role that blogging plays for most of us is to get us brownie points with Google.

Blogging is an amazingly fast way to get your business up in Google rankings.

For small local businesses, being on the first page of Google can be especially important.

Your customers and prospects are lazy. Or even if they aren’t, they’re pushed for time and want to find what they need NOW.

That’s why statistically they’re much more likely to click on an entry that’s on Page One.

Despite that being just as true today as it was 10 years ago, over the last few years blogging has gone in and out of fashion, and back again.

Blogging for business – away from home

Recently we’ve got all hyped up about blogging on Facebook and blogging on LinkedIn and blogging on Google Plus and sharing videos on YouTube and running live chats on Blab and so on and on, rather than focusing on our own sites.

As we’ve seen before we get a flurry of activity like this and blogging drops off the radar for a bit until businesses come back to one stark reality:

When you blog anywhere other than on your own site, you do not own the real estate.

Should the actual owners of the real estate feel like dumping all your content, they can, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

The other rather important issue here is that if you publish on someone else’s real estate like LinkedIn or Facebook, sure – you may get more eyeballs on your material than you would on your own site.

But what you don’t get, is Google attributing the material to you. And that can be very expensive in terms of lost opportunities in search engine optimization.

And business blogging via video is, er, “where it’s at?”

This is instead of blogging via text, and because YouTube belongs to Google it’s worth getting in front of your little camera and talking rather than writing.

According to an absolutely brilliant web developer I work with a lot these days, that’s b*llocks, frankly.

And although people argue about that a lot I think he’s probably right. Why?

Because on a lot of American websites at the moment, bloggers are posting a video of themselves speaking their stuff, and that’s fine.

Then underneath the video box, they show a full transcript of the video in text.

This way…

1…The audience can choose whichever method of absorbing the information they prefer and

2… They can get all their SEO keywords into the text, because Google can’t hear them or see them on video (unless the whole video is captioned with subtitles, in which case, why shooting the footage in the first place? Just to watch your pretty face?)

What that tells me is that no-one is convinced that video on its own, is the way forward for business blogging.

But there are no hard analytics about a business’s ROI from blogging?

Well, er, yes there are. Now

Here at last are some hard facts as provided by Hubspot.com, which is a highly respected resource.

A few of Hubspot’s stark realities

  • Business to Business marketers who use blogs get 67% more leads than those who don’t blog.
  • Businesses who prioritize blogging are 13 times more likely to get positive ROI.
  • By 2020, customers will manage 85 percent of their business relationships without talking to another human.
  • The only thing that blogging costs is your time.
  • Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website.
  • Blogs have been rated as the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information.

Now, how about social media? Here’s what Hubspot said

  • Blogging not only attracts traffic from search engines but also from social media. You want to make sure to add social sharing widgets to your blog too.
  • People love to share content they like on various social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest among others.
  • When you publish high quality posts full of useful information it is likely to be shared by readers with their friends and family on various social media site.
  • Your content gets more shares on social networks which in turn brings builds more awareness about your brand.
  • Blogging also helps with building up your social media presence as the repository of content on your blog, and that can be used for building up your social media profiles.

Something that Hobspot.com does NOT point out is the extra grunt and street cred you can gain when you are a local business, trading locally.

That’s because you get two bites at the cherry.

One, you can blog about your business and all its associated issues, stories, history, background and so-on.

But TWO, you can also connect into local issues that affect your customers – anything from how to avoid the roadworks in the High Street, to how you and your customers can enjoy the summer fête or local AmDram production.

That’s a major benefit and one I know many businesses can use to a much greater advantage than are doing currently.

In summary, these are key advantages of blogging for business in 2017:

  1. Gets more targeted traffic to your website
  2. Creates a powerful authority boost for your business
  3. Creates better customer relationships and customer retention
  4. Builds greater brand awareness
  5. Most importantly, it keeps your content where you have total control

My conclusion? Business blogging rocks – even in 2017. But what do YOU think? Please share!

Questions? Drop Suze a note on suze@suzanstmaur.com

Comments

comments

Thoughts

  1. Everything you say makes sense. An important principle is to encourage ‘conversation’ and you’ve underlined this. Most bloggers fail at this. You do exactly this by ending with the question “What do you think?”

    Something I try to do is end my blogs with two or three specific questions? One or two amusing, one serious.

    For this blog, you might ask –

    1. Of the blogs you follow, which is your favourite and why?
    2. What was your very first blog about?
    2. You don’t blog? What’s stopping you?

    • I can see your point about offering readers a choice of questions to answer, Steve, but I wonder if that might put readers off? It’s a little like TV/Radio interviewers who ask two or three questions rather than one which confuses the interviewee and puts them off answering. I prefer more open ended questions myself. And in any case, because I promote my articles heavily on social media, most of the discussions take place there rather than on here. This one has already set off a number of discussions on both Facebook and LinkedIn, in both cases within business groups. Anyway, thanks so much for your comment here!

Thoughts

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