Liberty League International,
Blogs As Marketing Tools For Small And Medium Sized Businesses
candyshop999 at gmail.com
Tue Jan 8 02:16:49 PST 2008
Liberty League International, Blogs As Marketing Tools For Small And Medium
Times are changing. In the highly competitive marketplace, small and medium
sized business entities (SMBs) veer away from the traditional to more
creative and interactive approaches to doing business. Opportunities now
spring from new markets, new consumer segments and new marketing tools
exemplified by websites specifically business blogs.
Understanding Business Blogs
A blog, short for weblog, is a website in which journal-like entries called
posts are written on an ongoing basis and displayed in reverse chronological
order. New posts appear at the homepage so visitors can read what is new. It
is an easy, frequently updated online journal, focused around a topic,
industry or personality. Authoring a blog or adding an article to a blog is
called blogging while the person who posts these entries is known as a
blogger. Typically, a blog is composed of hypertext, images and links to
other web pages, audio, video and other files. A distinct feature of a blog
is that it allows readers to write their reactions or comments to what was
written in the blog post. Another wonderful thing about a blog is that a
blogger can update his blog thru a special type of blogging software called
a blog tool instantly from any Internet connection on any computer. He just
types his entry into a simple online form and the entry is readily available
on the web for worldwide readers to see.
Over the years, blogs have evolved from simple, personal online journals to
effective tools for augmenting business communications. Along the way,
search engines like Google and Yahoo were displaying popular media blogs
produced by journalists, in most cases, appearing above other search result
rankings. Propelled by this discovery, companies started writing blogs to
provide relevant information about their business to potential customers to
visit their sites.
What then is a business blog? It is a blog about a business. It is an
organized journal about a company?s products or services. A business blog
provides specific news, statistics, product releases, and other relevant
information related to the company to prospective customers starting a
business blog and providing these information give potential customers
enough reasons to visit a company?s website. Just imagine prospective
clients visiting a company?s blog periodically without the company having to
spend hefty amounts of money on advertising and promotion. As they say, give
readers valuable pertinent information and they will come. Moreover,
customer service issues may be addressed using a blog.
A business blog is best viewed as an addition to a website. If a company has
a website, a business blog is just embedded in it. For small and medium
sized businesses, business blogs help put a personal touch on an otherwise
bland business site. A business blog can be an excellent marketing tool to
support a main business, to provide value, build healthy relationships with
potential clients and thus create personal brand and image.
Blogging as a Marketing Tool
Business blogging provides a way for companies and readers to meet on common
ground and discuss ideas, products and services in the hopes of building an
audience that can become customers. A business blog provides a
cost-effective alternative to having a website. For small and medium sized
business entrepreneurs without the time and the means to set up a website,
business blogging offers an inexpensive tool to herald the company?s
presence on the powerful Internet.
Business blogs provide SMBs with an avenue to share their expertise and
knowledge with a bigger audience. Both online and offline small and medium
sized businesses can use blogs to take their products and services to a
wider audience increasing web traffic and boosting sales. The fact is
business blogging is fast becoming a sustainable marketing strategy for any
online marketer. There are numerous ways a business can benefit from a blog.
An effective business blog can help give a human face to a business. Blogs
bring a personal dimension to the web. Blogs make business sites more
personal. Since blogs are updated by individuals, the ?voice? of the blogger
will resonate through. This will assure potential customers that there are
real people behind the blog engaging them in real conversations. Blogs can
be opinionated, informative, at other times infused with humor thus
eliciting better response from target audience.
A business blog if used productively can improve customer service. It
provides instant customer feedback through comments. It allows one?s
audience to comment on a post and create a dialogue with them. A blog can
act as a question and answer forum. Customers can post questions and receive
instant replies. An effective business blog functions as a central knowledge
base of articles, tutorials, product development status, and other relevant
product or service information. This is good customer service.
A business blog keeps an archive of older posts organized by date and
categorized by topic. This gives the target audience easier access to
information. With business blogs, it is also easy to add new information on
a regular basis. Frequent updates in the form of fresh new posts mean
visitors will have all the reasons to keep coming back thus building loyal
readers ? best potential clients.
A business blog can increase the chances of prospective clients to visit a
company?s website. For a start, visitors to a business blog can be
redirected to the company?s main site through links and special offers. Use
of relevant keywords and popular links to specific sales pages improve
search engine ranking of both the business blog and the main website. Just
like the main website, top search result rank equals traffic. With more and
more people turning to the all-powerful Internet to search for products and
services, it is essential for small businesses to be easily crawled by
search engines. Since search engines thrive on new content, the more likely
the search engines are going to visit the blog and share it with the world.
Regularly posting valuable content on a business blog builds company
credibility and creates sound business reputation. A business blog can help
project a company as an expert in a chosen business area. Customers feel
more comfortable transacting business with a reputable company.
A business blog can be an avenue to introduce company products or services.
Ideally, a blog is not about selling. A blog can be used to mention new
products or services and direct visitors to the company?s main website in
the process generating more sales. Interestingly, several advertising
programs such as Google Adsense allow companies to monetize their business
blogs and generate extra revenue.
However, a business blog is not urgent but important for small and medium
sized businesses. A business blog alone is not enough to market a company
product or service. But it is good investment for startup businesses to have
conversations with customers and prospective clients. Business blogging is
an effective way to start conversing with visitors interested in ones
products or services but it is in no way to be viewed as a stand alone
strategy. Yes, business blogging can do wonders. But it is not going to work
on its own. A business blog is most effective when it is used in conjunction
with other online communication tools such as e-mail, press release, pay per
click, company websites, to name a few.
Setting up and maintaining a great business blog that visitors will find
useful and relevant is just like having an effective built-in public
relations staff that will spread the word about the business.
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