What is blogging?

Blogging is a cost-effective way for small local businesses to attract more prospective customers, improve inbound marketing, and drive traffic to their website. The most crucial point here is that the content you publish on your blog has to be of value to the customer reading it. For example, why are you reading this blog?! We hope that when you read this article, it will help you discover a new free method to drive new traffic to your website and increase customer engagement and affection with your business. This, in turn, may support your business growth. Great right! We got you this far, hold on for the ride to understand why. 

    how can blogging help me?

    When a customer is at the ‘research’ phase of their buying journey, they are often not yet quite ready to make a purchase. Instead, they are looking to understand more about a product, service, company before they commit. For example, if you are a wedding cake baker, a potential customer may be researching what flavours of cake are most popular, or what type of cakes are vegan-friendly. By writing a blog article that answers these types of questions, and publishing it on your website, your potential customers are more likely to find your website on Google. 

    By visiting your website, your customers are now exposed to your company brand, and you have a captive audience to position yourselves as an ‘expert’ in your business nesh. You can talk directly to your customers about popular flavours of cakes, using pictures and examples of products that you have made from your own business. By doing this, you are connecting with your customers and building a positive relationship with them through building confidence in your baking skills and knowledge and getting to know your brand personality. 

      meaningful relationships

      Blog articles don’t have to be about a single relationship with one person, they can also be used to build a community with others of similar interests. For example, by asking the reader for their favourite cake to contribute to the poling research, you are showing that you value their opinion and are encouraging them to be more engaged and invested in your company. Remember, you must build ‘meaningful’ relationships. This means monitoring your blog comments and social media shares, and responding in a human, considered way. 

      For example, a simple ‘thanks for sharing’ maybe polite and show that you have seen the comment. It doesn’t, however, support nurturing that customer relationship further. Consider a reply such as “Hi (customer name), thank you for sharing this article. We are planning to publish an article next week on edible cake topper designs. Would you like an early sneak peek? How long is it until the big day, I bet you both are excited?”. Comments are still an active reflection of your brand. They should continue to show customers your brand personality, positioning yourself as an industry expert who cares about their customers and their customer relationships. 

      be real, be familiar

      If a customer is looking at a naked Victoria Sponge cake from Stacey’s Delicious Delights in Bridgend, and also a naked Victoria Sponge cake from Ceri’s Cake Creations in Bridgend, how does that customer decide which brand to choose? The price may be a factor, however, if the prices are similar, and sometimes even if they are not, the customer may be more likely to choose the brand they have seen and engaged with when researching which type of vegan cake to buy. People not only buy from ‘real’ people, they buy from brands that are familiar to them and have an affinity with.

       

      the facts

      The evidence of this can be seen across all industries in Wales, if a customer has the option to buy a 100% cotton, Men’s white t-shirt, why isn’t everyone buying them for £1.38 from Plain T-Shirts? Well, a very similar t-shirt is £6 in Next and £70 in John Lewis. And yet, John Lewis plain white men’s t-shirts still sell, despite the price difference. Ok, so maybe there are subtle differences between the t-shirts, but can you name them? How much are those differences worth to you? £68.62? To some customers, yes. Brand profile, ethics, relationship building a personality can go a long way to not only driving new customers to your website, but them spending more with your brand then they might have without the relationship building and expertise sharing. 

      This is the real power of content. 

      Recap:

      • Blogging is completely free.
      • It can attract customers to your website when they are in the research phase of their journey.
      • You can build relationships with your customers through personality and position yourself as an expert in your niche.
      • Continue to build meaningful customer relationships through comments and replies to your blogs and social media shares.
      • Customers are willing to invest time and pay more for brands they have positive relationships with.
      • Extra tip – once you have written your blog article, re-read it. Ask yourself, do you find this interesting, helpful and engaging? Would you enjoy and take.the time to read this content on another website? What does the customer gain from reading the article?

      more facts

      • Businesses that use blogs can get 97% more inbound links. Just like I have linked from this blog article to local bakers in Bridgend and Men’s t-shirt companies, your customers may be more likely to blog about their experience with your company and give a review to their blog readers.
      • Links from other websites to yours increase your website’s authority in Google Search, so when a customer is researching, your website is more likely to appear at the top of their search.
      • Blogging increases the number of pages on your website. More pages with quality content give you more chance of appearing in Google search results.
      • 92% of companies that do blog several times a day gain at least one new customer a month from their blogs. This can increase considerably based on the industry you are a specialist in and the number of customers interested in your niche.
      • Around 23% of Internet usage time is dedicated to customers reading blog articles.
      • 81% of businesses in the UK surveyed said that an ‘active’ blog is essential for their customer acquisition strategy.
      • 37% of online marketers in the UK expressed that blogging is the most important type of content marketing.
      • Once businesses have published around 21 to 24 blogs, they typically noticed a 30% increase in website traffic.
      • Small local businesses that take advantage of blogging can get more than 12% of leads compared to those that don’t.
      • Frequent blogging can enhance all your content marketing efforts while driving more traffic to your website.

      We hope this article has helped show you the power of blogging. If you have enjoyed reading this article, or have any questions to ask as a follow-up, please let us know in the comments below. If you would like to blog however not sure where to start, we offer Content Writing services and would be happy to get you started on your journey. 

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