Over the years blogging has become an essential tool for business online promotion. Unfortunately, many small business owners, till this day, still look at blogs as personal journals. Worst still, many others simply consider blogs as some social networking tool that is popular among young people out there in cyber space!
If you have that opinion back in 1995 you would be correct but not today!
One thing you can be sure of today is, Blogging Has Evolved!
The question is no longer, should you blog? Rather it is, do you have a blog?
Let me say it categorically that if as at this day you're not blogging, as a small business entrepreneur, then you're missing out BIG! And so, you must move from defining blogs as personal journals. They are presently powerful marketing tools. Savvy business owners are using blogs for brand recognition, connecting with clients/customers and of course, create more opportunities for their businesses.
But in this blog article we are talking about blog marketing.
What Is Blog Marketing?
It is important that we have a clear understanding of what blog marketing is for us to better appreciate its benefits. Over the years I have to tried to really get a grasp of this. I want to say that of all the definitions of blog marketing that I have come across, I think this clearly captures the true meaning:
Blog marketing is any process that publicizes or advertises a website, business, brand or service via the medium of blogs. This includes, but is not limited to marketing via ads placed on blogs, recommendations and reviews by the blogger, promotion via entries on third party blogs and cross-syndication of information across multiple blogs.
As you can see blog marketing involve a whole lot of things. But for this article I will restrict myself to the aspect that is concerned with using your business blog to directly market your business online. This consists of creating blog articles and using same to drive traffic to your business website.
Why Blog Marketing?
There are various benefits your business can get from blog marketing. Please read this article to understand some of the reasons why you should add a blog to your business website.
But to really understand the importance of business blogging, here are some stats that will interest you:
- B2B marketers that blogs receive 67% more leads than those that do not.
- Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI.
- Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website.
- Blogs have been rated as the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information.
- By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationships without talking to a human.
As a small business owner it is sure you wouldn't ignore such stats, or do you?
5 Tips for Effective Blog Marketing
Here are some ways you can ensure good results from your blog marketing efforts:
1. Link Your Business Blog to Your Website
If you have a website for your business, link your blog to it. This is a good way letting your customers/prospects know you do blog. This could create an immediate surge of traffic to your small business blog thereby making it popular in a short time.
2. SEO Optimized Content
When you are marketing a blog, you pretty much do it the same way that you would market a website. It is going to need keywords, and content. You can write the content yourself, or pay someone else to write it for you. That part is totally up to you. However, you will want to be sure that the content is decent and something that your readers will want to read. This will keep them coming back.
Make sure that the content is written from special keywords that you choose. You will also want to become familiar with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO will help you to optimize your blog to get a better ranking with the search engines.
3. Exchange links with relevant sites
Once your blog is up and running with the right keywords and some content published, you will need to get it out there some more. Link exchanges are wonderful for marketing your small business blog. You want to try and exchange links with sites that are relevant to yours, but not in direct competition. If you try to exchange links with sites in competition with yours, you are going to find that many of them will turn you down in fear of losing business to you.
4. Submit To Blog Directories
While this may not really make much impact today but it is not a bad idea to do this. There are many online directories that caters specifically to blogs. Submitting your business blog to these directories is a big part of small business blog marketing. You can pay some directories to list your blog URL in their directory under the specific category that it falls under. However, some of these even have specific qualifications that you must have to get in. Follow all of the application steps, and you should be ok. Just do not try to submit your blog to a directory that it does not qualify for, or fit in.
5. Make Your Business Blog Truly Interactive
This is important for small business blog marketing. For example, if someone leaves a comment on your blog, acknowledging and responding to it make your blog a truly interactive platform.
You can also comment on other blogs that are relevant to yours, and leave a link to your blog as well. This will help bring in visitors to your blog, and you will begin to see more and more traffic.
Small business blog marketing is something that anyone can do. It's not rocket science. Having a blog and keeping it up to date with the latest information is not hard. All you need to have is a plan and you will be set to market any type of business from your blog. Whether you are selling a product or a service, it does not matter. A blog that is marketed the right way will be beneficial to any business whatever it might be.