Business Blog: Online Presence & Need for Visibility?

The business need for an online presence

In the future every busi­ness will need an online pres­ence to sur­vive” ~ A soft­ware CEO from the 1990s

What is an online pres­ence? Put sim­ply it is about being vis­i­ble on the Inter­net. Hav­ing a web­site is the most obvi­ous way of doing this. List­ing your busi­ness in the on-line ver­sion of yel­low pages, or a spe­cial­ist direc­to­ry, is anoth­er way. Using busi­ness pages on LinkedIn is a fur­ther option. Get­ting an on-line list­ing doesn’t have to be expen­sive, but it will usu­al­ly cost something.

Is that enough? Much will depend on your busi­ness goals. Is a blog nec­es­sary? A sub­ject dis­cussed here.

 

Online Presence — A Marketing Tactic

Lets be clear, a busi­ness blog is a mar­ket­ing tac­tic. It enhances your online pres­ence, but isn’t overt­ly about sell­ing. It should enhance the stand­ing of your com­pa­ny by demon­strat­ing the lev­el of exper­tise in your mar­ket­place. This will be as true whether you make mul­ti-mil­lion dol­lar gas tur­bines, are a con­sult­ing busi­ness, or are a local guest house owner.

How does a blog that demon­strates mar­ket­place exper­tise help sell prod­uct? Busi­ness blog posts should clear­ly show what the name of the busi­ness is with­in the body of every arti­cle, it should also con­tain links to the com­pa­ny web­site, along with a para­graph adver­tis­ing the com­pa­ny, brand, or prod­uct. If your busi­ness has a blog it should already have a method of sell­ing through the web.

The com­pa­ny man­u­fac­tur­ing gas tur­bines may pub­lish a blog post answer­ing the eter­nal ques­tion “how do you clean a gas tur­bine?” They can also answer the ques­tion “how fre­quent­ly should gas tur­bines be cleaned?” Oth­er posts may con­sid­er ques­tions about plan­ning main­te­nance cycles etc. Answers will pro­vide solu­tions to any organ­i­sa­tion that is a client or future prospect. Advice giv­en may either be gen­er­al or spe­cif­ic and may even be for com­peti­tor products.

 

Web Traffic Driver

internet-by-geralt-cc0-public-domain-from-pixabayPeo­ple love ask­ing what, where, when, why, who, and how? Answer­ing these ques­tions is a great way to gar­ner people’s atten­tion and blogs are often bet­ter at pro­vid­ing answers than com­mer­cial pages. You have an oppor­tu­ni­ty, when repeat­ed­ly asked, to tell cus­tomers about your blog and how it may answer their ques­tions. This should demon­strate that your busi­ness needs an online pres­ence and a blog is only a part of the approach.

Pages should be writ­ten by experts in the sub­ject, not mar­ket­ing peo­ple. There are sev­er­al ways to bring vis­i­tors to your web site, including:

  • Search results,
  • Adver­tis­ing links,
  • Social medi­al activ­i­ty, and
  • Blogs.

How big is your web­site? There are like­ly to be a large num­ber of pages, per­haps sev­er­al hun­dred. Pages are hard­ly ever updat­ed, hon­est­ly most busi­ness­es should update them more. For exam­ple there is no need to update the “Con­tact Us” page unless you open a new office loca­tion, or move. Adding new prod­ucts may be the only change that occurs.

Blog­ging pro­vides the abil­i­ty to ensure the web­site is reg­u­lar­ly updat­ed. Each new post is a new ful­ly-indexed page being added to your site. Cre­at­ing blog posts is a cue to Google and oth­er search engines that your web­site is active and they should be re-index it reg­u­lar­ly. It should also aid your social media activ­i­ty pro­vid­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for soft adver­tis­ing. The blog is a grow­ing repos­i­to­ry of con­tent, most of which remains rel­e­vant, even many years after it was first written.

 

Generate new Leads

Sales leads by Green StreetPeo­ple you pro­vide good advice to will remem­ber. It is a pow­er­ful way to gen­er­ate good­will and busi­ness is of course found­ed on the good­will of its cus­tomers. Include a lead-gen­er­at­ing calls-to-action with every blog post. Read­ers are pro­vid­ed free offers e-books, white-papers,  fact-sheets, web-sem­i­nars, free tri­als, pro­vide them the oppor­tu­ni­ty to become a client. The read­er must pro­vide you their, email address, com­pa­ny, street address, phone num­ber, and any oth­er con­tact details you find relevant.

Con­tact prospects once they have had oppor­tu­ni­ty to digest the free mate­r­i­al pro­vid­ed. Free give-aways should all be avail­able through the blog and web­site alike.

 

Blogs Establish Authority

A busi­ness blog should answer the ques­tions clients and prospects have. Con­tent should resolve any issues your clients have. You can find the ques­tions clients ask in a num­ber of ways:

  • Respons­es to your “Con­tact Us” page.
  • Ques­tions raised via on-line forums.
  • Ques­tions raised on Social Media.
  • Mail sent to your company.
  • Com­plaints in the press.

All these may iden­ti­fy poten­tial future con­tent for your blog. A cus­tomer com­plaint should be respond­ed to hon­est­ly and frankly, send a response direct­ly to the cus­tomer. You may also make it the basis of a future blog post (espe­cial­ly if the response can gen­er­ate a new “how-to” post).

For exam­ple the prod­uct, a food mix­er. One cus­tomer com­plained they could not make one of the recipes list­ed in the instruc­tion man­u­al. This is an oppor­tu­ni­ty to cre­ate a blog post demon­strat­ing how to cook that spe­cif­ic recipe, includ­ing a video show­ing pre­cise­ly how it is done, it is about respond­ing to the com­plaint but also estab­lish­ing author­i­ty in the sub­ject at the same time.

 

Driving Long-Term Results

Positive ApproachYou may con­sid­er “Estab­lish­ing author­i­ty” to be a “fluffy” met­ric, and it is true that this is dif­fi­cult to mea­sure it in respect of short-term sales uplift. The blog can be a great tool for cus­tomer reten­tion as they see your blog as being the go-to place for spe­cif­ic infor­ma­tion, whether or not they cur­rent­ly use your prod­uct. The blog is anoth­er form of sales enable­ment.

Prospects who have reg­u­lar­ly read your blog will come into the sales cycle bet­ter informed, know­ing more about your prod­uct, its capa­bil­i­ties, and how it can help solve their problems.

Look­ing at the longer term impact there is more oppor­tu­ni­ty for sales as the blog grows and grows, New posts bring in new leads and con­tacts, but so do old­er posts, indeed for most blogs 60 to 70% of traf­fic each month relates to old­er posts. Remem­ber not all users of your prod­ucts will encounter the same prob­lem at the same time and the “how to” post is still as rel­e­vant today as when orig­i­nal­ly writ­ten a few years ago. If you recall the ques­tion about clean­ing gas tur­bines, these are huge indus­tri­al machines and main­te­nance cycles need to be planned often months in advance so the ques­tion is only of inter­est when main­te­nance is due to remind oper­a­tors about the process.

 

Growth over Time

Busi­ness blogs tend to com­pound their growth over time. When they start it takes time to estab­lish and online pres­ence, build author­i­ty and grow trust. Once trust is estab­lished peo­ple will return to your busi­ness blog time and again. Con­sid­er this 1 post per month means 12 new pages per year added to your site, 1 a week is 50 a year.

Read­ers will pur­chase prod­ucts from the asso­ci­at­ed website.

 

Other Relevant Articles:

 

 

Buy Peter B. Giblett a cof­fee as thanks for dis­cussing the need for busi­ness blog­ging and build­ing you online pres­ence. Images includ­ed here are from roy­al­ty free pub­lic domain image col­lec­tions, pho­tographs from Pix­abay, car­toons are cour­tesy Green Street.

 

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4 Replies to “Business Blog: Online Presence & Need for Visibility?”

  1. […] Busi­ness Blog: Online Pres­ence & Need for Visibility? […]

  2. […] Busi­ness Blog: Online Pres­ence & Need for Visibility? […]

  3. […] rela­tion­ships and the increased vis­i­bil­i­ty the blog brings. I agree, which is one rea­son I also wrote on this top­ic some time ago. I am a great believ­er in busi­ness­es hav­ing a blog. The blog should com­pli­ment their […]

  4. […] Busi­ness Blog: Online Pres­ence & Need for Visibility? […]

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