Friday, December 11, 2009

3 Compelling Reasons Small Businesses and Non Profit Organizations Should Blog

With social media marketing increasing in importance, blogging is taking on the same importance for small businesses, small non-profit organizations and, churches. In fact, blogging is an important component of social media marketing for the following three reasons:
• It helps establish thought leadership and expertise
• It helps to build a brand
• It drives traffic to the business or organizations website over time
This becomes especially important to businesses and organizations that do not have large budgets to build brand recognition and awareness with other types of media advertising. Over a period of time, blogging will achieve each of the above mentioned outcomes at a much lower cost.


Establishing thought leadership


Blogging regularly, by this I mean at least six times per month, will provide content that can and will gain a following, if the content is well written, interesting and, of benefit to the readership. This is the way in which the business or organization establishes though leadership and expert status. This is true of any business or organization that offers a product or service that is in demand. It could be anything from a computer networking company, a small accountancy and, a medical practice, to a food bank, homeless shelter or community active church. The target customer, participant or member will dictate the nature of the content. For example, a community outreach church would provide content that would interest community members who would like to become an active participant in the outreach. An IT computer networking company would provide content that would help a small business or organization understand the basics of maintaining their computer network and server system. Or, a food bank would provide content that would educate people in the community about the effects of hunger.


Brand Building


Good content will develop loyal readership over time and, loyal readership will translate to brand awareness. This is a very economical way to build brand awareness. You can use the social media sites, twitter, face book and LinkedIn to promote the blog content. This is where social media and blogging become productive partners. I use the term over time often to emphasize that this is a strategy and tactic that does take time. It will not yield fruit overnight but, it will yield great results with patience. So many of the social media marketing guru’s are promising a quick result and while that can happen when something remarkable goes viral it is not the rule. The rule is that it builds slowly over time but, it also builds steadily and build is the important term.


Driving Traffic


The more interesting and remarkable the content, the faster you will drive traffic to your business or organizations website. The search engines respond well to new content, updated often and, when a blog is a link in your website it gives added importance to your website in the view of search engines. Likewise, great content will be tweeted, re-tweeted and linked to from other websites... which will provide back links to your website and, in turn, will raise the authority of your website in the view of the search engines and will drive more and more traffic to your website.


Hopefully you have seen that you should begin blogging today. I appreciate comments and interaction with my posts so feel free to comment on this blog post.

8 comments:

  1. Joe, your three points are Spot On. Blogging is the Hub of all social media activity.

    My experience as a recent convert to the value of Social Media Marketing, I note that one problem is that small business people -- who don't fully understand social media -- expect TOO MUCH TOO SOON and are too easily discouraged.

    Building a brand is like any relationship. It takes time, nurturance, persistance, and patience.

    I talk about some of these issues in the article I just wrote this weekend about the 10 mistakes made by Social media Newbies on my blog Sharisax-dot-com

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  2. Joe, I found your blog via LinkeIn and will be following you on Twitter. I am fairly new to professional blogging and it's good for me to remember your three points. Thanks!

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  3. Social Networking and blogging thru the internet is both positive and negative. The positive side of internet blogging is it gives you a chance to polish your writing skill and allows you to share your ideas with a few people. In my opinion negative side of blogging hardly no one hears your ideas, and the ones that do listens will rarely financially support your work. Socially networking on the internet is fine if you have nothing to do and want to make and want to kill some time, but if you anticipate earning any source of income that will pay your rent, you will not find it anywhere on the internet, especially with social networking.

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  4. First, I want to thank everyone for the comments. I am mainly focusing on the comment by Antonio's Quest for Peace. It is good to hear the other side of the argument. I am curious, what do your base your opinion on? How long have you blogged/participated in social media without success? I will admit that it is not an overnight success method, but, it seems to build brand awareness and clients over time. What is your industry?

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  5. As much as I would like to believe that it is so easy, we are still a long way, if ever to show that it really works for more then a few talented ones. The problem is that millions and it is growing daily are cranking out time and space wasting garbage. So the voices of the ones who have something meaningful to say gets drowned in the noise. It is my opinion that over 90% of bloggers write a lot, but say nothing new or creative. You can liken this to the latest phenomenon which seem that just about everyone is writing a book, just because they can not because they have something to educate us.
    Have anyone stopped to ask, how many college educated people received 90% plus on their English courses grade. Yet we encourage them and the rest of the 60% not college educated to engage in this practice, come-on. I would suggest another headline “5 most important criteria to check before you publish your blog post”

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  6. Hi Anonymous,

    This is a thoughtful post that raises some important points. First, let me acknowledge that we live in a world that has information overload and that there is very little that is new. Having admitted that,it is only reasonable to examine some of the profound changes that have taken place with the maturation of the internet and the advent of web 2.0

    Traditional types of marketing are not nearly so effective as they once were. Caller ID enables telephone screening. Spam blockers and the delete button cuts down on the amount of email read. Cable TV makes it more difficult to reach people with the television medium and the proliferation of internet use makes the web a perfect way to market and inform.

    I think that your analysis over simplifies the case as it exists. People are the judges of what content is valuable and what is not. It is important that the content is high in quality. I personally do not follow content that is not informative and fresh. I think most people are the same. This blog is dedicated to informing the small business person on marketing trends and blogging is certainly a trend that will not disappear anytime soon.

    With respect to the quality of writing, it is possible for small businesses to hire ghost bloggers at a reasonable rate to develop their content. I want to re-emphasize that it takes time and that it will make it possible for small businesses to develop a niche following as they establish thought leadership. I am not one that is advocating that it is an overnight guaranteed success for everyone. It is however, a viable worthwhile pursuit. Thanks for the comments.

    Joe

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  7. I have a client who quotes a statistic on yellow book spending, somethoing like $35 billion.

    How much is spent to get listed in a phone book? Who do you know uses a phone book?

    I, like many people, search online.

    If you compare the money spent online vs traditional, most businesses experience better ROI online. Mostly, it takes time to produce content worth reading. But business owners can track clicks and mine data -- that simply isn't possible with traditional marketing.

    Traditional marketing is like a firecracker: You spend a lot of money for a quick, flashy show and everyone goes home.

    Internet marketing and social media are like a campfire: With some nurturing and fuel, you can feed and entertain all night long, creating lasting memories.

    Nothing sustaining comes easy.

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  8. Hi Suzanne,

    Thanks for the information on the yellow pages. You are right; I can't even find my phone book.:) I see that you are in the blogging business as it were. How much of the yellowbook pie do you think should be going to blogging assistance?

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