For some companies, especially in creative fields, maintaining a business blog seems to be as natural as breathing. It’s a practice that seems to lend itself particularly well to certain industries.
But if your industry doesn’t depend on storytelling or sharing creative processes, you may wonder whether you should even bother. Can it be worthwhile to blog about your business, even if none of your competitors seem to do it? What about if all of your competitors are already doing it?
In almost every single case, the answer is yes.
Maintaining a blog is a great marketing practice and can be immensely helpful in the sales process, too. Here’s why:
It establishes you as an authority in your industry. If your competitors aren’t blogging, this is an especially good opportunity. You get to stand out as a helpful voice next to your silent competition. What if all your competitors are already blogging? It may seem daunting to try to add your voice to the conversation, but you likely have something to say that your competitors haven’t already said. You may offer a new perspective on a well-discussed topic, or approach it with a different personality than your competitors.
It drives traffic to your site. When someone is searching for your product or service, a blog post can be a great way to stand out and attract them to your site. More eyes on your site (especially your products and services pages) means more potential business.
It creates a helpful relationship with prospects before they become customers. Showing up to answer your prospects’ questions as they arise is a great way to establish a positive rapport before you ever speak to someone in person.
It creates a library of resources that you own. Unlike paid advertising (which also has its place), a blog is something you own. The only cost is the time it takes to write the content. Once you’ve written it, it’s yours forever, ready to be reused and repurposed as many ways as you need. Evergreen content can be so useful in the sales process; it creates more educated prospects, and provides resources for salespeople to share with them as they continue along the buyer’s journey.
How can you start blogging about your industry, especially if you’re worried that your content or your industry might be too boring to attract an audience?
First of all, remember that it it’s helpful, it’s not boring. If someone is researching to make an educated decision about your products or services, they will not find a helpful blog post boring.
Make sure you're not relying on industry jargon. Instead, break everything down into plain English. Remember that your prospects don’t all work in your industry, so they don’t have the same vocabulary that you use with your coworkers to describe what they’re looking for.
Don’t be afraid to let your personality show through. What you write doesn’t need to sound academic; make sure you’re writing the way you would talk. Your blog is a way to open up conversations with prospects, so make sure that what they read gives them a good idea of the culture of your company and the kind of person they’ll talk to if they work with you.
If you’re lost about what to write about, talk to your salespeople. As client-facing team members, they are some of your greatest resources. Ask them about what questions they are frequently asked by potential customers, and answer each question with a blog post. Your blog can help your visitors educate themselves before the sales team even gets involved, creating highly-qualified prospects.
Blogging is an excellent discipline for any marketer or salesperson. It adds tremendous value to your company by starting a relationship with visitors on a positive, helpful note. Even though it's not a quick or easy fix, and it requires perseverance and strategic thinking, the payoff can be well worth the effort.