Bozeman Businesses should consider a blog as a core part of their internet marketing

Key Reasons for Local Businesses to Blog

Are you a Bozeman Business owner that has set a goal for getting online in 2011?

There are several internet strategies to consider.
However, it is well known that a blog has many benefits to a small business owner when it comes to marketing.

Blogs are wonderful tools for local businesses because they are so versatile and user friendly.

They can keep customers up to date, inform them of a promotion, and act as a hub of social interaction between your customers and or potential customers and you.

Here are some top reasons for having a blog.
1. Attract Customers
If you are posting regular and good quality content, your blog is a great way to keep existing customers coming back and to attract the following of prospective customers. Experts indicate that you should post daily to build an audience.  The blog acts as a useful tool in establishing your brand, and you could even feature excerpts of your latest blogs in email newsletters. Your blog is also a way to establish and sustain customer relationships. It can provide useful tips and encourage feedback thanks to the informal tone that allows a welcoming forum for discussion.

2. Reuse the Content for Social Media Sites
Your blog can become a source of valuable  content that you can reuse on social networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. However, the goal is to spread the content around the various properties with the goal of having them opt in to a newsletter.  We are a fan of WordPress because it is free and has a large community of users that keep improving the product. There are many great plugins that allow you to customize the blog to your preferences, even some that  you can use to automatically tweet the title and link every time you post. We recently helped SanibelSunglassCompany with their intial foray into blogging and is an example of a wordpress blog.

Other tools also send your tweet or post to Facebook. A LinkedIn application will let you put tweets on your profile there. Pictures can be used in blog posts and put onto your Flickr account. Video can be added to posts and also on your YouTube Channel. Each one of these web 2.0 properties give you additional exposure and links for your content. It also increases the chance that your content will be found and shared by others. The main theme behind the whole social media movement is to meet customers where they are hanging out.

3. Gain Expert Status
There is nothing stronger to closing sales than presenting yourself as the expert. There are some key ways to do this in a way that makes your customers hunt you down when they are ready to buy.  I am having specific training in the Market2Bozeman course that goes into the various ways to become an expert. This may not apply to every business, but if you sell to other businesses, then gaining expert status is important. Even if you are a retailer, you can develop an expert presence if you educate your customers about the benefits of your products or tips on how to use them.

4. Reap the search engine benefits of blogging
Blogging is a great way to get higher placement on Google and the other search engines. However, you do need to do this strategically. We can suggest blog posts for clients that incorporate important keywords in a way that helps them in search engines.

5. Try before They Buy
Blog posts can give your potential customers a taste of your strengths and an idea of the culture or personality of your business. Your blog can create a virtual bond with your prospects that can help with the selling process. Before making a commitment they’ll get a pretty good idea of the type of services and expertise and even a sense of your character.

6.  Helps Gain Mindshare with your Customers
Part of the reason for blogging or being involved in social media is to be visible. If no one knows you’re there, they will never become your customer. Stop letting people know and you’ll start going backwards.

7. The Writing process gives you new ideas and keeps you current on your industry
Blogging is good motivation to keep up on current industry trends that can help local customers compete. Becoming a valuable resource is another way to position yourself as an expert. The main goal is to provide value to your customers. Keeping them informed is a simple way to do just that.

8. Get Valuable Feedback and ideas from your Audience
Rather than wondering what people think about your new concept or product, you can ask. Once you have a following, feedback is a valuable benefit of building a blog. I cover this in more detail in the email training series found at Market2Bozeman.

9. Blogging is a great PR tool
A lot of journalists look for story ideas or experts by reading blogs. Be sure to blog about your news and link to press releases.

10. Blogs can Build Loyalty
People can subscribe to your blog and get every new post. This builds loyalty because the more time someone spends learning about or interacting with your business, the more likely they are to actually do business with you.

11. Blog Posts Can Bring More Traffic to your WebSite
According to studies, blogging can bring 55% more traffic to your site and even  97% more inbound links.

If your business can not dedicate a resource to regularly contribute to the blog, then Twitter may be a better option. Twitter is easier to update, simpler to use, still can tie posts to Facebook, and if you don’t post very often it doesn’t look as bad as an abandoned blog.

We can show you some key ways to leverage your blog as part of a traffic generation strategy for a conversion marketing funnel. We would love to help you began to put together a plan of action for marketing your business to the local market.

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