One of my favorite blogs is Spin Sucks. The title and content are pretty frank. Author Gini Dietrich is a leader at the intersection of PR/communications and the digital universe. If that kind of stuff suits your fancy, I’d recommend following her on twitter or reading the blog (or both).
This morning, Gini took on the question of blogging and business. The premise: Is blogging dead or are businesses not trying hard enough. The (open-ended) answer: Blogging is alive, but it’s hard to do well. Not only is blogging a useful communication tool for businesses, Hubspot found that it can lead to increased sales:
How does this relate to locally-owned, independent businesses?
1. Customers (current and prospective) will read internally created content. For example, SyracuseFirst generates significantly more online ‘clicks’ from our blog than if we were to share links from an outside source. Digital communities are constantly searching for quality, ‘home-made’ content. To be fair, this isn’t an overnight process. Consistency, trust, online engagement, and patience play a role in developing readership.
2. Time and energy may be stretched thin, but generating sales from blogging can be worth the extra effort. Unless a business can afford comprehensive, sustained advertising campaigns (which very few local businesses can), many marketing strategies focus on the one-time, quick ‘bang for your buck’-style approach. While these tactics are useful on occasion, the end goal is acquiring new and loyal customers that will become ambassadors for your brand. Blogging can develop meaningful relationships in ways that online group coupons can’t touch.
3. Local businesses have a new and interesting story and should tell it, everyday, to everyone. Word-of-mouth is the holy grail of marketing, but inspiring conversation is difficult. Blogging presents the online community with an opportunity to engage with a story and a brand – to start a conversation.
4. Remember what our mom’s said, “sharing is caring.” There’s room for everyone to have a blog. There’s space to share the work of others. Not only is it a nice thing to do, but it strengthens our online communities. Blogs are a place for learning and discussion – there are endless compelling stories out there.
What do you think? Do you have a blog? Do you have any tips for a person or business looking to start a blog? Continue the discussion on twitter: @SyracuseFirst.