Blogging has gained popularity over the past few years, but business blogging has really exploded. In addition to making clients and prospects aware of their products and services, organizations use them for customer service, lead generation and promotion. Following are eight benefits of business blogging that can apply to all organizations regardless of size and industry.
1. Create and control media coverage
No longer is mainstream media needed to get messages to large audiences. Blogs allow businesses to create and control their own media. They can say what they want; when they want; and how they want to a worldwide audience or to a specific group in the format of their choice.
2. Marketing and PR
Blogs can be used for marketing and PR purposes. Posting information and benefits about new products and services, promoting company events and causes and responding to negative publicity are just few ways specialists can use these sites. They should not be used as online press releases or sales pages.
Conversations help build relationships – online and offline. Whether the topics are positive, negative or controversial, blogs can get them started and keep them going. If discussions get a little heated, the company has a chance to show their level of commitment to customer service and client satisfaction.
4. Relationship Building
Ideally, the relationships built on business blogs will continue offline in the form of long-term clients and partnerships as well as referrals. Because it takes time to build quality relationships, organizations need to present their best images on blogs as it may be the person’s first encounter with their business.
5. Free market research
Business leaders can get first-hand information about the likes and dislikes of their customers and prospects from comments left on the blog. And it’s free! This information can be used to evaluate and adjust products and services accordingly.
Blogs are excellent branding tools. They help businesses become information resources based on the tips, tutorials and other useful information shared. Eventually, prospects and clients will pass the information along to others via blog posts, social networking sites and social bookmarks.
7. Access to Global Audience
Before the Internet grew, it was challenging for small businesses to compete with large companies due to size, resources and budgets. Blogs help level the playing field by giving all organizations, regardless of size, access to a global audiences and resources.
8. Generate revenue
Although making money is not a priority on many business blogs, there is opportunity to generate revenue. This is most easily done after the company has established quality relationships. Remember, people do business with people they know, like and trust.
Above are eight benefits of business blogging. Refer to this list when company executives inquire about the time spent blogging vs. the value of blogging. Be sure to note, though, that the value given to customers and prospects through content provided on blogs is invaluable.
Image: Amateur Geeks