Why SMEs should consider blogging and vlogging
It’s no secret that successful businesses realise the benefits of digital marketing. It’s a great way to attract potential customers – 77% of adults bought goods or services online in 2017, up from 53% in 2008 (ONS). However, when the online world is such a crowded place how can you get your message heard?
Blogging and vlogging are amongst the most powerful web marketing tools available to grow your online presence. Over 409 million people worldwide read more than 23.7billion pages every month, according to blogging platform WordPress. Crucially, business marketers have reported that B2B companies who regularly blog receive 67% more enquiries every month than those companies who do not.
What is blogging and vlogging?
Blogging, and its video counterpart ‘vlogging’, may have started out as a way of keeping an online journal (a ‘log’) but entrepreneurs were quick to capitalise on its marketing value. Now, blogging in the business world refers to creating content (a ‘blog post’) for a part of your website where the post relates to your business. Vlogging is simply blogging but using video to convey your content.
The benefits of blogging and vlogging for your business
Both strategies are another way for small businesses to add to their digital shop front – getting web surfers and potential customers to come in for one reason and then stay to look at your products or services. More specifically, blogging and vlogging:
- Increases search ranking – the position in search rankings is fiercely contested – the higher up the search results your website link appears, the more likely readers will be tempted to click on it. Websites with regular, new content are ranked higher than those which have less recent new content.
- Provides website update material – while businesses may have periodic cause to update products and services on their website, blogging provides an excellent vehicle for refreshing your website more often and keeping the reader ‘juice’ flowing in between other updates.
- Gives added value and builds customer loyalty – blogging and vlogging give prospective customers added value and another reason to visit your website. You can establish your business as an ‘expert’ in your sector e.g. a dental practice could blog about dental health generally or a construction business could add content on the latest building news. Don’t post company sales information but build market authority and show you understand your readers’ concerns. In this way it can help build a loyal audience who will be open to your marketing efforts.
- Showcases clients as case studies – while you shouldn’t use blogging primarily for company updates, you can use it to blow your own horn by featuring occasional client case studies or testimonials – you can use the post to explain how your product or services worked for that client.
- Capitalises on the current video trend – according to industry experts, the average person watches a staggering 182 online videos per month with a high percentage of viewers sharing them with others. A vlog can make a low-cost human connection with many prospective customers especially if it’s you or your staff talking to camera eg. an FAQs video or explaining the benefits of the products or services you offer.
- Provides content to share on social media and in newsletters – compelling new blog and vlog content will also give you excellent and regular material to link to from your Facebook social media accounts e.g. Twitter, Instagram etc. which all serves to drive customer traffic to your website. 1 in 5 of all social media messages are believed to include links to content. Another advantage is that if readers have received something interesting they are more likely to share it, giving you free promotion. You can also link to interesting posts in any email newsletters which the firm sends out.
Tips on blogging
A blog page can easily be added to your main website, with links to it from your website’s home page. Each blog post needn’t be long – about 500 words, with images, is ideal. To be effective you’ll need to commit to regular blogging – ideally not less than 2-3 posts a month and once week at most. Your firm may have in-house capacity for posting regular blog content or you can contract an external source such as a marketing company or freelance copywriter.
With the many calls on the time of small businesses it’s easy to overlook fine-tuning your digital marketing. However, even if it’s a small business with a few employees blogging and vlogging can pay dividends for your online presence.