Your business blog allows you to communicate directly with your customers on your terms. It provides an opportunity to interact directly with customers, which is invaluable for establishing relationship that will last for years. Since you are constantly updating your blog, it offer a way to provide up-to-date information on your industry and business. Most importantly, business blogging is a type of social media and is designed around two-way communication with your visitors. Here is how you can accomplish this with your own business blog.
Create a Community
Use your blog to create a community where people can share ideas, ask questions and leave feedback. There are many plugins available that help you with this process, such as the very popular Disqus plugin. Disqus turns your blog into its own social media channel with just a few lines of code. Users sign up and all of their comments are immediately integrated. When a visitor leaves a comment on your blog, it will include a link back to their own website if desired. This give them a place to keep track of their engagements around the Web.
Elicit Customer Feedback
Customer feedback is extremely valuable, but sometimes hard to obtain. A business blog is the perfect tool for obtaining feedback from your customers. You can ask your visitors directly in your blog posts with a question, such as “How do you feel about this topic?” or “Have you experienced anything like this before?”. People enjoy sharing their own stories and opinions, and appreciate when you invite them to share and show that their feedback is valued.
Make a point to respond to all comments, regardless of what they say. It can be very damaging to ignore comments from somebody that has taken the time to give you their feedback. Even if the comment is not particularly important, take the time to leave a brief reply or thank you. Your readership will acknowledge this and appreciate that you take the time to respond. This can also be the perfect opportunity to initiate a dialog and get individuals participating on your website.
Establish Yourself as an Expert
One key function of having a business blog is establishing your expertise. Share recent developments and changes in your industry and inform your visitors. In addition to sharing recent development or industry news, take the time to expand on it with your own commentary, and use this as an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise. This builds respect and appreciate of your readers, and can also help gain new prospects that find value in your posts.
Announce Your New Products and Services
Your blog is also an effective platform to talk about what’s new with your business. Talk about new products and services, offer special promotions and discounts or other offers that are exclusive to your readers. Keep in mind though that self-promotion shouldn’t outweigh your other posts. Use announcements tactfully and try to provide value to your readers – people don’t read blogs to see a bunch of advertisements; they get enough of that already!
Your business blog lets you broadcast your message, strengthen your brand name and establish credibility with your readership. Use your blog to tell readers what you’re about, what you are good and how you can provide value in your industry. By doing so you can strengthen your reputation, and in turn strengthen your brand significantly.
Just driving traffic to your business blog isn’t always enough – you also want to get your offline customers there. Remember to include information about your blog in offline communications with customers as well, since this is a perfect opportunity to get them interested in your posts. Offer incentives and valuable information that will attract them to your blog and make them regular viewers.