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The 7 commercial advantages of blogging for SMEs

18th June 2014 By Lisa Barber in Small Business News

Still feel like one of the world’s best kept secrets?


When was the last time you ‘did the numbers’? You know – the last time you took an educated guess about the size of your market or played the extrapolation game to determine just how many people would be an ideal fit for the product or service your company offers?

Taking time out to review the potential pipeline can be enough to re-energise even the most cautious leaders but excitement and opportunity can soon lead to frustration, bewilderment or overwhelm when the big picture data is compared with the actual sales results coming through. Sound familiar?

When bandwidth is limited and budget is tight …

The gap you need to bridge in your business can seem insurmountable at times. You’ve been working flat out to raise awareness, establish the brand and secure the commitment of paying customers. You’ve worked through the best part of the marketing budget and yet still you feel like one of the world’s best kept secrets.

Perhaps you’ve tried social media, advertising or PR. You may have tweaked your price point, dabbled with offers, written newsletters, exhibited at shows. People in your situation often try networking with like-minded individuals to win business or perhaps you’ve engaged with an agency to review your branding, your web presence, your ‘social proof’ or your direct marketing but still the numbers aren’t quite where you want or need them to be.

… Bridge the gap with a blog

It’s so demoralising when you know you offer the perfect solution to a recognised problem but bandwidth and budget are preventing you from finding and engaging with the very people that need you the most. So how can you reach all these potential customers without a marketing budget to set your heart racing and an army of appropriately skilled helpers to implement the plan?

As SME leaders we become fairly adept at finding creative ways to stretch a budget or secure publicity for our brands on a shoestring. Generating the greatest ‘bang for buck’ possible is how we have survived, developed the company and boosted sales. But in spite of all my small business credentials and talent for building a brand on a budget, nothing had quite prepared me for the ROI (return on investment) of blogging when I first overcame the dreaded blank screen syndrome and published my very first post last year.

When done in the right way, a blog is one of the most powerful marketing tools available. This is particularly true for a small to medium-sized business in which bandwidth is limited and budget is tight. Here’s why:

The 7 commercial reasons to blog

  1. It’s free! Maintaining an interesting and engaging blog on a regular basis takes thought, time and effort. But if you’re going down the DIY route, you can save any available budget for alternative marketing initiatives.

  2. It minimizes cost per conversion! Blogging qualifies prospective customers. When someone has read your blog before they approach you they have already bought into your unique and authentic approach. This means that blogging can act as a superb filter – directing ideal customers into the very top of your marketing funnel and discouraging others from clicking – thereby minimising your overheads per conversion. Genius!

  3. It’s market research. Blogging acts as marketing research as it enables you to test out core messages and different approaches on your audience. You’ll discover what your ideal customers are ready and willing to pay for by how they engage with, respond to or comment on each blog. Plus, the feedback you receive from your growing community of followers will give you compelling ideas for potential new revenue streams or fresh blog content.

  4. Rank higher in searches. Blogging is SEO friendly. Search engines love fresh, regular and relevant content and reward you for your efforts accordingly. You’ll rank higher in relevant searches so the people that need you will be able to find you.

  5. Amplify your credibility. You can showcase your expertise and give a sense of your business culture. Use your blogs to share case studies detailing how your product or service has helped your customers. Blogging provides the perfect opportunity to demonstrate just how well you know and understand the challenges your customers are facing too.

  6. Create once, publish everywhere! By blogging regularly, you’ll be growing an archive of valuable, relevant content that can be used time and time again. You can use blogs to secure media coverage, speaking engagements, guest blog posts or a magazine column. You can share relevant posts with potential customers facing a particular challenge that your product or service could help with. You could even use your archive of blog posts as the basis for a book!

  7. Earn while you sleep! Blogging enables you to reach your target audience 24/7 – wherever they are at whatever time of day (or night!) Imagine your ideal customer desperately searching online for a way to solve the challenge they are facing. Wouldn’t it be powerful if your blog popped up in their time of need? Imagine their relief at discovering your site speaking to them about their exact challenge and suggesting a way forward.

Now it’s your turn           

Trading for Good is actively seeking guest bloggers in SMEs to shout about all the good work they are doing. Whether you are supporting charities and communities, helping young people get work, improving your environmental impact, seeking to improve supplier relationships or to make life better for your employees ... Now is the time to bridge the blogging gap in your business.

Visit www.rootsandwings.biz to get to the front of the queue.

 

Lisa Barber
About the Author

Lisa Barber

Lisa is a SME Sales and Marketing Mentor and founded Roots and Wings in June 2013.

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