Apr 21, 2010

Business Blog - Is It Worth The Time & Effort?

Since all Cole WebMarketing clients are businesses, most of them B2B (business to business) companies, I'm often asked by the business owner or Marketing Manager if creating a blog for their business is worth their time and effort to set up and maintain.

Before I answer that frequently asked question, let's first answer...what is a BLOG?

A blog (a contraction of the term "web log" is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs.

Blogs for business can be used internally to enhance the communication and culture in a corporation or externally for marketing, branding or public relations purposes are called corporate blogs.


A few quick facts should quickly answer the question about "what's the VALUE for having a corporate blog"? A business blog can...

- help win back past customers
- help retain current customers
- help attract future customers
- help create more visibility/exposure for your company
- help create a "community" within your customer base
- make it easier for customers and prospects to connect with your company
- help your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts because blogs are "crawled & indexed" just like "real" websites.
- help keep your content updated on your company website (when your blog is "embedded" into it


I'm almost always asked "What should we (our particular type of business) blog about?"
Most prospects and customers like to read about company news (new products/services, industry news and updates, special promotions, upcoming tradeshows, plus tips & advice, tutorials, how to articles, etc. You can provide some really good customer service before, during and after the sale by "posting" content like this.


I mentioned SEO above, and you can really maximize your SEO efforts when adding content to your blog by "optimizing" your blog posts for keywords. Be specific!
Use “long-tail keyword phrases” not just single keywords whenever possible. For example, write "social media marketing tips" rather than just "marketing tips". If your company targets just the local or regional market, add your city or state to the keyword, as in "charlotte social media marketing consultant".

Links INTO your website are important, especially in the eyes of GoogleBot, the search engine spider robot for Google. Make sure you include hyperlinks into your website whenever possible. At the very least, each and every post should include a "call to action" (for more information, to get a quote, to order now, etc.) along with your company name, phone number and website address (link).


Encourage readers to FOLLOW your blog. Following allows people to be informed automatically when you post something new. The free Google Reader is the way I manage the blogs I follow. You can learn more about Google Reader here: http://bit.ly/fQdyFN

Also encourage visitors to interact with your blog by posting comments & questions.  In order to maintain "control", make sure your blog is set up to "moderate ALL comments prior to public posting". This way, you'll get an email notice telling you that someone has posted a comment and you can approve or deny the comment. Yes, this can involve censorship, but I prefer to call it "protecting your corporate branding".

However, if someone posts a common objection, take advantage of this opportuity to overcome the objection so that you ''nip it in the bud'' for other readers that might have the same or similar concern. If it's a complaint, don't panic and instantly delete it! Consider it instead as an opportunity for you not only to make a wrong right, but to also show customers and prospects that if there is a problem or a mistake has been made on your end, your company will act quickly to satisfactorily resolve the issue. Make sure you respond quickly (within a few days) on your blog to any comment or question posted on your blog.


Once you've set up your blog, customized it, and posted something more than the initial "welcome to our blog, check back soon for yada yada", you need to take an ACTIVE role in promoting your biz blog.

  • Use your Facebook Business Page (see my other posts about using Facebook to help build your business) to help drive traffic to your Business Blog.
  • Mention your company blog in your company newsletters. You can write a press release about your new business blog (there are many free business press releases services...here's one: PR.com and many paid ones too PRBuzz.com has a nice package for $300 a year)
  • Include a link to your business blog in your email signature

Make sure you provide high quality, interesting, and relevant information that's written to target your specific market. Avoid "selling" in your blog. Some soft selling is usually tolerated, but if readers think you're just trying to use your blog to close another deal and you're "pushy" about it, they are very likely to leave and not return. The back button is just a click away!

If you'd like to start a business blog for your company, call us at 704-503-7069. We can set everything up for you, customize it and embed the blog into your website. For more information about this blog post topic, please visit CarolinaWebsiteDesign.com and then call Cole WebMarketing at 704-503-7069.