The blogging advantages for small businesses aren’t easy to spot. Especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
Because of a lack of time & resources, some miss out on what a great relationship building tool it can be.
A great example of this…
Because I think it perfectly captured a hesitation I’ve seen before.
And this hesitation makes a ton of sense.
Because there are a ton of content marketing options out there:
- Social media marketing
- YouTube videos
- Live streams
As a result, this leads to a very important question.
How are the blogging advantages for small businesses different?
How are these advantages different than other content marketing options?
Here are some of the advantages to keep in mind.
1) You don’t have a lot of equipment to work with
In a Libris and Contently report, which included the input of over 500 marketing and creative professionals:
81% of respondents claimed that video is still the hardest type of content to produce.
And it makes a lot of sense because there are a lot of steps required to produce any kind of video.
Not all of you know this but I’m the daughter of a professional actor. So, I spent a lot of time growing up on my dad’s film sets.
The one thing that blew my mind about how film sets work…
Is just how many moving parts there are.
- What a person is wearing
- To the light, sound, and position of a camera
Make or break how it all turns out. I would also make a similar argument for podcasts as well, where you need the right equipment for the right results.
So I totally understand why so many people find video intimidating…
Especially if you:
- Don’t have the experience or resources to pull off decent results.
- And you’re not in a position to hire an entire team of film industry professionals.
Not to mention, audio and video equipment isn’t cheap.
And that can make podcast and video production inaccessible to small businesses.
The best part of blogging is how few resources you need…
Which is one of the most important blogging advantages for small businesses.
In fact, all you need is the following:
- A computer
- Software for image design, SEO, editing, etc. If you’re looking for recommendations, check out the blog’s resource section.
- WI-FI access
- A social media account(s)
- A list building tool (I.E: AWeber or MailChimp)
- G-suite, or some (email) equivalent.
But above all else…
You need reliable writers who can produce content consistently.
So, what do you do if consistency seems challenging? You can always hire a blogger to produce content a certain amount of times per week.
However, it’s challenging to keep your content organized without a really solid content marketing editorial calendar.
Just in case you have no idea what that even is, here’s a definition. According to Garrett Moon:
A content marketing editorial calendar is essentially a planning document that gives your team a plan of attack. Like a traditional editorial calendar, it gives you a bird’s-eye view of what is going on. However, it should be expanded to fit all the different channels a marketing team specifically would care about.
This “plan of attack” covers everything from article ideas to deadlines, to how you plan to promote the content and find core essentials (I.E images, research, etc).
No idea what to write about next?
You can always repurpose content that you’ve published on other platforms. A great way to do this is to take important ideas you’ve already explored, and talk about them from either:
- A different point of view
- Or… a perspective that elaborates on ideas that you didn’t explore in enough detail.
This will help you write content that focuses on the goals of your organization and audience.
2) You want a medium that guarantees trust
Full disclosure. I watch just as much YouTube and Netflix as the average person. And I love podcasts.
So, if you create videos or podcasts, this is nothing personal.
I’m only saying this because of one, very important bit of info: blogs are the 5th most trusted source for accurate information.
And there’s a reason why that’s the case. No matter what you’re writing, it’s inevitably going to be framed in a deeply personal way.
That’s exactly why the trust element happens so naturally (if it’s a strategically and well-crafted blog post…of course!)
And if you produce content that maintains a consistent tone & schedule…
You’ll build a meaningful relationship.
Because readers who like your point of view, and find it insightful will return to your site.
And you’ll know that you’re doing something right when your readers feel emotionally invested in:
- Your message
- And everything that makes you…well… you.
Which brings me to my next point…
How do you measure emotional investment?
It’s all about measuring results. And if you want accurate results, keep track of your stats on a regular basis.
But why is this something you should be paying attention to? According to Robert Katai:
Sometimes it’s getting a little frustrating when you have to stop your work, put down the “guns” and start looking at numbers.
Numbers that will tell you whether you are doing a good job or a terrible job. Numbers that will show you what you should do to have better results.
So, what numbers is he talking about?
When it comes to blogging, the important factors are:
- Social media engagement. I.E: shares, reactions, follows, etc.
- Comments on your blog posts.
- The number of visitors. More specifically, how/when a majority of your readers are finding your latest content.
- Subscribers. How many, what they respond to, etc.
4) Your target audience wants to learn everything they need to know quickly…
Blogs, podcasts, and videos appeal to emotions in completely different ways. Therefore, the perfect choice for you depends on your target audience.
There are times when your audience might prefer to read a brief article rather than watch a video since it’s faster and does not require as much of their attention.
Therefore, you’ll experience blogging advantages for small businesses, more specifically…visibility…
When you cater to the “always in a hurry/on the go” crowd.
Because this makes it possible for your audience to digest information when they’re not in a setting where they can listen to audio or video.
However, an equally as important one of the blogging advantages for small businesses is the fact that…
You can always repurpose your blog posts, by turning them into videos.
Therefore, you should never feel like you have to stick to just one platform.
You can always start with blogging, and then use it to inform the content you produce for other platforms.
A lot depends on two, very important factors:
- How your audience prefers to digest information
- And what you and/or your team is capable of producing.
When in doubt:
- Ask your audience
- Ask your team
- And use social media to get a sense of what types of content a majority of your audience is sharing.
But what if you’re worried about your blog not being adaptable to change?
Fortunately, an extremely helpful one of (the many) blogging advantages for small businesses is the fact that it can quickly and easily be adapted for changes that may arise.
So, when one approach doesn’t work, you can always change it to suit the needs of your audience and your team.
5) You don’t feel like you’re the right personality for a YouTube channel or podcast
Especially if you’re an introvert! And if that sounds familiar, I can so relate because that’s a major part of why I started blogging as well.
I think CopyBlogger put it best when they described the value of listening in a digital world:
In today’s noisy world of increasingly short attention spans, we need more good listeners.The problem is that most people never truly listen anymore. Instead, people just wait to talk about themselves.Same thing online. Many writers online mistakenly focus on themselves instead of on their reader’s needs.We can’t trust a self-centred writer.
But we can trust a writer who listens first and offers solutions later.
Since introverts are often really great listeners, they often make great bloggers. Because successful blogging is about connecting with an audience based on what they’ve been telling you lately about their problems and concerns.
Although introverts who don’t want to be on camera, more specifically introverts who run small businesses…
Are often attracted to blogging. Because they consider its emphasis on quietly exploring ideas to be the most beneficial one of the many blogging advantages for small businesses.
For example, successful introvert bloggers like Sarah Titus use blogging to stay in their comfort zone, while slowly making their comfort zone a little bit bigger.
In fact, blogging allows you to respond accordingly to what your audience is already saying, without feeling the pressure to be a performer.
It’s an opportunity to write, edit, and reflect, at your own pace, in whatever environment feels comfortable to you.
If that sounds ideal to you…
And you’re not interested in getting in front of a camera or recording with a microphone…
Blogging is likely the best marketing strategy.
But you’re probably wondering how this ties into blogging. Search Engine People revealed that reading your audience is about responding based on peoples’ tendencies to base their behaviour off other peoples’ behaviour.
A great example of this is a scenario you likely see everyday…
Especially if you regularly walk by restaurants and/or cafes. And it typically works in one of two ways:
- A large group of people queue in front of a shop, and passersby decide to find out what they’re lining up for. Because if these many people are willing to wait in line for it, it must be good! The cycle continues, and the queue just keeps getting bigger and bigger.
- A small group of people enter an empty store, buy something, and sit on the patio or by the windowsill. Random passersby see the people sitting by the windowsill eating or drinking something the store sells and having a great time. They think to themselves: “that looks good, let’s check this out,” and decide to buy something and stick around for a while. Random passersby see both groups of people doing the same thing, the cycle continues, and before you know it the store is extremely crowded.
This principle is about building trust, by giving customers a person or group that they can relate to. More specifically, someone that gets them, and the problems they face every day.
You can pull this off with your content by…
Being an active participant in the discussions your customers have on social media, on and offline groups, at special events, etc.
Any patterns that you notice in the discussions can be used to create content that addresses common questions and concerns. The more you give people a personality they can identify with, the more people will come back for more.
And it’s pretty safe to assume that this is one of the blogging advantages for small businesses that you value the most. Because this is what leads to it being a source of leads and revenue.
But don’t get me wrong. I’m not asking you to be anything but yourself. Definitely, my favourite one of the many blogging advantages for small businesses is the fact that you can show the real you while offering value to your customers.
But the one thing that’s important to keep in mind…
Is that, at the end of the day, your decision to blog or not blog isn’t just about the blogging advantages for small businesses.
It’s also about what feels right for you…and if you have a team, the people you work with.
So, before you make up your mind…
It’s best to evaluate the time and resources that you have at your disposal.
More specifically, would you be willing to:
- Dedicate time to blogging, building an audience, and learning more about how blogging works?
- Get the apps, software, and maybe even independent contractors that you need to make it happen?
If not, you likely won’t get the results that you’re looking for. Blogging takes time to produce results. Therefore, you have to be prepared to make it a long-term growth process, rather than a short-term solution.
Otherwise, you won’t be able to reap the advantages of blogging for small businesses.
Originally published at www.rosiewritingspace.com on January 8, 2019.