Let’s define a business blog just as a regular stream of commentary on a topic. Here’s how it can work:
Engages and builds trust with customers and prospects.
Your prospects are looking for a solution from someone that understands their problems. Show your customers how much you know about their business challenge, and they’ll believe your product addresses those needs… especially if you don’t overtly mention your product. You can also shape the issues faced by buyers of your products. If done honestly, that can directly benefit your sales effort.
Establishes thought leadership in your industry.
If you’re an expert in your field, a blog gives you an effective channel to put your knowledge on display. Blog content is inherently more sharable than a white paper, and more timely besides. HealthpointCapital, a private equity firm, is a notable model for a firm that used a blog to dramatically expand the reach of its research output.
Helps keep your website dynamic.
We all know the the main function of most websites is to develop and qualify leads, and that drives the main content and structure. However, a blog addresses two nonstandard types of user visits. First, buyers will occasionally visit your site and want to know what’s new. Second, your painstakingly written “regular” website content may not address all problems faced by prospects. A blog engages visitors in these two situations and nudges them along the selling cycle.
Lifts your website up the search engine rankings.
Google smiles upon sites with regularly updated content. That means higher rankings on the search results page, and more traffic for your site.
Complements your email and offline efforts.
This is multichannel marcom. For example: Interview a customer, and put it on your blog. Formalize the interview into a PDF case study, which your field sales team can use. Turn the material into a “customer win” press release. Excerpt the interview for your email newsletter to customers. Blogs fit nicely into any marketing campaign.
Does so by not costing too much. Blog software is cheap, and they can fit into your website without too much effort. That said, the commitment to keeping a business blog is steady and does claim a fair amount of time from your marketing staff. (Or, you can outsource it.)