To Blog or Not to Blog in 2013
January 4, 2013 1 Comment
Blogging started in the 1990s when people used this platform to share their interests, hobbies and thoughts online. The goal was to connect with like-minded individuals and freely express opinions. Today, blogging has become a crucial publishing and marketing tool with an astonishing number of people using it and an even greater number following it. In the U.S. alone, there are more than 31 million bloggers as of July 2012.
Here are some more business blogging stats from business2community.com:
- 60% of businesses have a blog
- 35% of businesses post at least once a month
- B2C companies who blog regularly see an 88% increase in median monthly leads and B2B companies who blog see a 67% increase in leads
An infographic by Blogger.org has some more interesting facts about blogging:
While the importance of having a business blog is well-established, it’s hard for SMBs not to be overwhelmed with the constant pressure of looking for something new to publish, while handling a myriad of other tasks and responsibilities. How do SMBs find enough content to keep a blog interesting and current on the latest industry trends? Here are some tips that could help you generate a steady stream of ideas.
- Remember that change is the only constant. It is a good practice for small- and medium-sized businesses to keep track of what’s hot and what’s trending. SMB marketers needs to be in touch with the realities of their customers’ problems and aspirations to know which developments and topics would interest and get them to visit the blog often. At Affinity Express, we understand our clients’ desire to produce better creative. That’s why we publish blog posts featuring our best ads for holidays and different business categories. We also produce regular posts on marketing tactics for the future and discuss which tools are most helpful for our target audience.
- Become a credible news source. Many companies, especially those that are engineering-driven, treat their blogs as nothing more than a public relations outlet to introduce products or announce initiatives. In other cases, companies use this interactive platform to provide how-to information for products and services. But the real objective is to get people to regard your blog as a source of credible information. To do this, you have to share industry updates and trends and add a personal touch by including your views on the news. Your posts will be a hit if you can answer “yes” about your blog posts to as many of these questions as possible.
- Is this a new development about which you have unique knowledge or details?
- Does your company or the author have a position of authority in the industry on the topic?
- Is it breaking news? If not, then are you sharing it with your views, which are different from the general consensus? Is it an event where you are one of the leading presenters?
- Is the information in your post directly relevant to your audience? Does it solve their problems and improve their lives or businesses?
- Does your post offer an idea that is new to your industry?
- Look ahead and forecast. People always look for ways to stay one step ahead of their peers and know what is coming, so insightful predictions get a lot of attention. Or your blog could discuss small changes or ideas that could lead to big transformations. An example of this kind of forecasting on our blog is this post that discusses the importance analytics with creativity that will shape the marketing of tomorrow.
- Keep it democratic. Does your corporate blog provide space for readers to submit ideas and suggestions? As our readers become more involved and vocal about their likes, concerns and preferences, asking for their inputs on what should we publish on our blogs makes good sense.
One of the most interactive companies, Playstation, has a section on Playstation.Blog where users can submit and vote on ideas for improving PlayStation’s products. As of now, the most popular idea on the site suggests adding the ability to talk to friends using the PS3 Bluetooth headset even if they are playing other games. The idea has received over 25,000 votes. Inputs such as these have incredible value to businesses.
- Build in fun. Establishing a strong relationship with your clients and prospects requires an element of fun, in the same way that environments which inspire employees and allow freedom of expression seem to have the highest productivity (a great example of this is Google). Consumers look for companies and service providers that are excited about what they do and spread the enthusiasm. Incorporate humor and the best of your personality into your posts and readers will feel positive about your blog. Plus, it is a great way to start conversations and strengthen connections with your audience.
What other blogging tactics have worked for your business? Tell us the sources that you look up when planning your blog posts.