Nowadays businesses are realizing more and more that blogging is not just a way to share thoughts, opinions and ideas, it’s a way to develop a community, grow a loyal fan base and build a brand.
Not just any brand, but a brand that people can emotionally connect with, a brand where people who know you go to your website day in and day out to find information on the things that matter to them, a brand where people go to be entertained, share ideas and grow with the business, a brand that shows them how to achieve the things they want and gives them the information and tools they need to get there.
And the way this is being done is through creating a blog.
It’s true that blogging has been around since the 1990’s, but it didn’t really begin to pick up steam in the business world until around 2005, although some may say it was sooner than that.
In fact in some ways you can say blogging is the new marketing.
With all of the advances in technology, overwhelming choices in products and services, and burdening distractions people face every day it is becoming harder and harder for companies to keep their customers, clients and fans attention, and to keep them from leaving and finding a new place to go.
Even if people were to listen to all of the advertising and marketing going on they would be incapacitated by all of the choices and decisions they have to make about who to listen to, what to buy and what to do.
Over the years people have learned to drown out most of the information that seems irrelevant and ignore the
hundreds thousands of advertisements placed in front of them on a daily basis, and because of that a new way to connect with people has emerged and it’s called building a blog.
Why is blogging important?
They inform, teach and entertain their audience and connect with the reader or viewer acknowledging them and sharing their views.
They give people a reason to come back and be part of an ever-growing community that shares ideas and beliefs that reach them at their emotional core the same way a great leader or speaker can get their audience to follow them, spread the word and take action.
Seth Godin often talks about the importance of building a tribe of 1000 raving fans that hang on to your every word, tweet all your posts, buy all of your products and bring 3 of the best friends.
I have to say I agree with him and building a business through a blog is one of the best ways to build a thriving brand and community.
Not only do you gain a fan base, you also build a place for instant feedback on your ideas, projects and products.
A place where your word can spread like wild-fire bringing you thousands of readers, fans and customers.
A place where your brand is an emotional experience not just a slogan.
And a brand that people can grow with not grow tired of.
Blogging also keeps you fresh in the minds of those who are ready to take action.
Your blog is here to lead the way and get your audience to take the steps that will help move them in the right direction.
How is blogging marketing?
Marketing is about creating awareness to a targeted group of people who are interested in what you have to say, teach or sell and will bring other people who share your view into your circle.
You market because you want to attract those people who ARE interested in your products and services and because you want them to pay attention and take action.
Those who are in your circle can give you great feedback on making improvements to your products and services and will share your content which is essentially free marketing to you.
They will also be the first ones who will want to buy your product.
The better you make it the more your audience will rave about it to others.
It’s important to find a targeted audience because they are one of the most important elements to the success of your business.
Those who are not in your target audience may listen and pay attention here and there but they won’t promote you like your raving fans or share you ideas or buy your products.
Your blog is an every growing sales letter that keeps people informed and in the loop.
You stay fresh in their minds by consistently creating useful content and as a side bonus you create value for the search engines which creates organic traffic.
The more content you create the more opportunities you have to gain lots of great traffic from the search engines alone.
You can also gain notoriety from other blogs or websites that appreciate what you are doing and may promote you furthering your business by marketing your website and your products.
Become the brand people can’t stop talking about by creating excellent content on a consistent basis which reinforces why people should know, like and trust you.
What steps should you take in building your audience
- Focus on building connections and community with your readers and other blogs.
- Don’t be afraid to share a view or perspective that not everyone will agree with. Some polarization helps others stand up for what they want and believe in while weeding those who don’t care as strongly. If you try to appeal to everyone you will appeal to no one.
- Teach others how to get better at the things they care about. Teaching sells and just like in school the first person the student goes to for answers is the teacher.
- Have products and services that will help fulfill your audiences needs and desires.
- Focus on your target audience because they will do your marketing for you by tweeting your content, liking your posts and telling their friends. They will also be the first people in line when you have a product that meets their needs.
- Reach out to new audiences through social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+, as well as YouTube and Podcasting.
- Use multimedia such as video, images, audio and graphs to explain things in greater detail and appeal to people who take in information in different ways.
- Give tutorials of your products and bullet lists with step by step actions and ask them to share your content and ideas as well as providing useful feedback.
- Don’t be afraid to write articles about your products and services frequently. Not so much that it becomes annoying but enough that it stays fresh in their mind, besides those extra articles can also bring in organic search engine traffic.
- Make it easy to share by including share buttons on all your content.
- Flaunt your numbers. If you have lots of traffic, comments, subscribers or social media shares let the new visitors know by making those numbers prominent. Social proof is huge for attracting new people into your circle and building your brand.
Blogs have become much more than a simple way to share ideas.
It is now a way to build a business with a brand people care about.
It allows you to connect with your audience in a way that businesses have never been able to in the past.
You can now reach your audience on an iPad, computer or smart phone in a way that is much more interactive and informative than a commercial or advertisement.
You create a great format for gaining feedback and can teach your audience about the things that matter to them and when you have a product that fulfills their needs they will be happy to purchase from you.
You are no longer just a name you are a brand, a teacher, an entertainer and a guidance instructor.
The more you give your audience the more you will gain in return.
Ask yourself, “am I giving my audience more value than my competitors?”
So what do you think about creating a blog for your business? Do you have any suggestions or ideas that can help you grow your business better? Please share your ideas and views in the comments.