How to Market Your Business with a Blog
Think blogging is “old-school” or irrelevant in today's fast-paced culture? Have you dismissed having a blog for your business as a waste of time?
If you have, maybe it's time to reconsider short-form writing as a way to market your business and as a crucial part of your business's marketing strategy.
I'm a huge fan of blogging. But, I like to write. Writing helps me clarify my thoughts and clear my head. Blogging is also how I got my start as an online entrepreneur and how I began crafting my exit strategy from my corporate job.
Regardless of how you feel about blogging, we can't ignore the fact that short-form writing is an entire industry. Magazines, both print and digital, like Forbes, the Huffington Post, Inc, Fast Company, and so many more, wouldn't exist without blogs.
Essentially, these sites ARE blogs.
Blogs have existed since the invention of the printing press in the form of short stories, pamphlets, newspapers and other writing in short-form. Though shows like House of Cards often dismiss blogs as written by greasy people in their mother's dank basement and bloggers as people to be ignored, the truth is, both blogs and bloggers have value and the world pays attention.
As the owner or leader in your business, blogging shouldn't be just “one more thing” you have to do. And, you shouldn't see blogging strictly as a marketing tool to sell your products.
Blogging for business is about communicating and connecting with your audience in a real and transparent way – two things our society can't get enough of these days.
If you're still not convinced you should have a blog for your business, here are three reasons why every business needs a blog, including yours.
But, if we agree that a blog could be a powerful way to market your business and connect with your audience, clients, and prospective customers in a real and meaningful way, here are a few ways you can do it.
11 Ways You Can Market Your Business with a Blog
If you believe your company hires the best people around, share how you do it. Use this type of blog post as a way to brag on your team and share the accomplishments of your employees. A blog about your company's hiring practices would also be a good opportunity to state your values and how important they are to your business.
Good companies treat their customers like rock stars; great companies treat their employees even better. If you want happy clients, you must start with happy employees. If your training and hiring practices are focused on bringing in the best people and training them in a unique way, highlight that. Happy employees will be your best advocates.
The Factory Tour
In Fredericksburg, Texas, a couple of the wineries have this process nailed. Each time we go, my wife and I take a tour of the Grape Creek facility, taste their wine direct from the barrel, and talk to their employees. Showing your customers how the sausage is made can be an impactful way to stand out from the crowd and distinguish your company from your competitors.
To see how one Texas winery is thriving and how you can do the same thing, click here.
Strategy and Long-term Growth
You have goals for your company, why not share those goals with the people who's help you will need to achieve them?
If you share this with your prospects and clients, they'll know where you stand. Posts that polarize your audience are the same posts that create raving fans.
Year in Review
In 2013, I published my first “Year in Review” type post. It received nearly two dozen comments and readers called “inspirational” and thanked me for sharing my journey. Two years later I still publish these “Year in Review” posts because they connect with readers and show transparency where it's not popular.
By sharing your wins and losses for the year in a real and meaningful way, you can show the world your company is more than just concrete and steel and believes in more than just profits.
New “Secret” Product/Project in Development
At the end of 2015, Star Wars: The Force Awakens sold more than $50 Million in ticket pre-sales largely due to trailers and hype from fans (Source: Hollywood Reporter). For the first time, we got to see the secret project J.J. Abrams and his team were working on, and we were hooked!
What could a blog post or short video series about a “Secret Project” do for your business?
Introduce New Owners or Executives
How many books, blog posts and research articles have been written about iconic business owners like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Sheryl Sandberg or Michael Dell?
The head of your company is often the face of your company, and customers, shareholders and even employees are curious to know about the person steering the ship. Writing a post about the new leader's family life, personality, goals for the business or even their favorite hobbies could do wonders for making a smooth transition in leadership.
Own Up to Mistakes
Lots of people shy away from this one, but a fantastic and transparent way to market your business with a blog is by sharing and owning up to your mistakes. We all make mistakes; that's a fact of life. But people and companies who are willing to hold themselves accountable and who are willing to admit their mistakes are few and far between. Be one of those companies, own your “oops,” and your business will stand out from the crowd.
Don't believe me?
Just take a look at the growth Domino's Pizza has seen over the last five years since they owned up to their mistakes and decided to tell the world about it. (Source: Google Finance)
My post about how I lost credibility with my wife still brings traffic. You can read it here.
Share Your Wins
Another great way to market your business with a blog is to share your wins. Because, well, everyone loves a winner! Share your wins, share how you got there, and how you're going to do even better in the future. Use this type of blog post to thank your team, your valued employees, and especially, your customers.
Want to generate a never-ending supply of high-quality content with your blog? Download the resource I use here!
Behind the Scenes
While the “Factory Tour” post is a polished production of how you do business. On the other hand, the “Behind the Scenes” post is your opportunity to pull back the curtain and share what very few people see. This type of post might be best served as a video recorded on your cell phone or with a small crew as you tour the office. Whatever delivery method you choose, the behind the scenes look should be casual, personal, and somewhat raw.
Mission Statement & Core Beliefs
Any time is a good time to share your mission statement and the core beliefs of your company. At the beginning of a new year, during a transition of leadership, after a bad stock report, right as a new product is about to launch… you get the idea. It's your job as the leader or owner of the company to state your beliefs and state them often.
Ready to market your business with a blog? This post will show you how to get started blogging in just a few minutes!
If you wrote a post about each of the topics above, and only published one a month, you'd be better off than you were before. Though a few posts in a year would be the bare minimum, it would be one of the best investments of your time and could do wonders for your business!
Over to you: Have you used a blog to market your business effectively?