A blog is one of the most versatile tools in your business and it can also be one of the most cost-effective tools. But do you ever think of your blog as a business communication tool?
In my post I highlighted four reasons why you should have a business blog.
Why Use Your Blog as a Business Communication Tool?
Most customers and clients are today very internet savvy, and can readily find a lot of information online…about you and your competition. Despite this, there are basic needs that your customers and clients have and these can only be satisfied through direct communication with them.
The following are just some benefits to using your blog as a business communication tool?
1. It’s an effective way to communicate directly with your customers with the knowledge that you’re providing value.
2. It gives you a chance to interact with customers and clients. This is the foundation on which strong business relationships are built that lead to customer loyalty and retention.
3. Because you’re regularly updating your blog, you can provide up-to-date information on your business and industry.
4. Blogging is a form of social media and it’s designed to create engagement and stimulate two-way conversations. Here’s how you can do that with your own business blog.
Create a Community
Create a community on your blog where people can share ideas and ask questions. There are plugins available that help you do this and one of the most popular is Disqus. It turns your blog into its own social media channel. Users sign up and all of their comments are integrated. When they leave a comment, it has a link to their blog. It also gives them a place to keep track of comments they’ve left at other Disqus blogs around the web.
In addition, there are WordPress plugins that allow comments on your blog to be shown on your Facebook page thereby adding a social element.
Get Customer Feedback
One of the best ways to use your blog is for obtaining customer feedback. Do this by ending your blog posts with a question. Ask them something like, ‘What do you think about this?’ or ‘Have you ever experienced anything like this?’
Another way to get feedback is by doing opinion polls. People love to give their opinions and you also get valuable information on how they think and feel.
Always respond to comments no matter what they say. One of the deadliest blog mistakes is ignoring someone who’s taken the time to leave a comment. Even if the comment is meaningless, thank them or give them a quick reply. Your readers will see this and it will brand you as someone friendly and helpful. Get a dialogue going and participate in it. Failure to do that is a lot like someone speaking to you and you totally ignore them. Think how rude that would be.
Frame Yourself as an Expert
Your business blog gives you the opportunity to establish your expertise. Take new developments in your industry and other things your readers wouldn’t know and inform them. In addition to showing your readers that you know your industry, it also attracts new prospects that are looking for the information you offer.
Announce New Products and Services
Use your blog to share what’s new with your business. Showcase your products and services. You can also use your blog to offer special deals and promotions exclusively to your readers. One word of warning though – don’t use your blog only for promotion. Slip promotional messages in among your more informative and engaging posts.
Your business blog gives you the opportunity to broadcast your brand message around the world. Use it to tell people what you’re all about. The great thing is that you’re in total control of it. It’s a great brand reputation management tool.
Your blog also allows you to develop your personal brand, which is the perception that others have of you.
When you have a business blog, it’s not enough to simply drive online traffic to it. You also have to get your offline customers there. In all of your communications with customers and clients offline, make sure they know you have a blog. Tell them what they can expect to find there and offer an incentive to visit and participate.
Do you have a blog set up that you’re posting to at least once per week? Do you still have doubts or questions about whether you should add a blog to your marketing toolkit?
I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have about blogging for business when you send me an email to: Yvonne [@] YvonneAJones.com or the Contact Form at www.YvonneAJones.com/contact-me.