Your blog is much more than an outpouring of your personal emotions, thoughts, ideas and opinions. If you want, it can be your online hub; the place from where you conduct business, interact with your target audience or customers, solve their needs, market your products and services, sell them, and do a whole lot more with your blog.
Yes, your blog can be your definitive online hub, a real, sustainable and profitable ‘operations window’ that looks out upon the people you want to get in touch with, and do business with.
A Blog is your Online Identity
Say goodbye to websites, as the definitive online presence, the age of blog’s is upon us. Yes I know the last part sounds straight out of Lord of the Rings, but it’s true. If you want to add a bit of personality and character to your online presence, you need a blog. By its very nature itself, a blog will be considered by your target audience as a more personal thing rather than something that has a far deeper purpose than say that of a website or some other online tool or presence.
People will connect better with a blog than through any other online medium.
Better Audience Connect
With a blog, it’s not just about reflecting your personality, but it’s also about connecting with your audience in a manner that is more open, and makes for better engagement and interaction. A reader regards a blogger as a friend, who he can talk to rather than somebody that he is getting instructions from. Yes, the reason why he is coming to your blog is to get insights and answers about a particular topic or domain, but for him, the blogger is somebody who he can talk to, if needed, and not as a follower but a peer.
This is why a blog can act as a successful bridge between your business and its customers. Your blog can be used to connect your business with its target audience, and what’s more without it looking like a marketing hard sell or even a soft sell.
Your blog is a more personal way of interacting with your customers. Even if they know it’s a blog that represents a company selling something, they will still regard it as a friend that means them no harm.
Blog as a Marketing Vehicle
Yes, it is that too. You can definitely use your blog to market your products and services, but not in an upfront manner. The idea here is to offer information in your blog that is in some way or other connected to the products and services that you are selling on your website or for that matter through your brick and mortar stores. And all this can be done in a manner that is not too explicit.
If you are a pizza maker, a blog about baking is a great way to hold the readers attention to trigger a thought process in their minds to try out your pizzas.
The key here is to leverage some of your blogger authority to sell your products and services. If you come across as a baker, who knows his business, there is no doubt that readers will give a thought to buying your pizzas. In this case a link to your website in your blog, or the address of your physical location will help them get in touch with your business.
Using a blog as a vehicle of marketing is all about starting a particular thought process in the minds of your readers, regarding your products and services. It’s not about hammering home a point.
Oh Yes! If you want your readers to see yourself as an authority figure in your niche, you need to build that authority; this takes time. You will need to work at it, and keep at it.
Your blog as Sounding Board
Consider your blog as a meeting place of minds, yours and those of your target audience, who, if you are a business, are also your customers or potential customers. This is why a blog can be used as a great way of getting feedback from your audience as to what they want.
Let’s take the pizza maker example, again.
You can get an idea about the likes and dislikes of your customers through your blog posts, from the feedback you receive; Think of a blog post like “Does Using Paprika, Enhance the Taste of Pizza”
The comments that you get for your blog post, will give you an idea whether your customers really appreciate paprika in their pizzas or not. This will help you create a lineup of pizzas that is in line with your customer’s interests.
Yes, your blog can be your online hub, but only if you want it that way. It’s not something that happens automatically; you will need to put in a lot of effort into the proceedings and understand blogging and blog marketing inside and out for this to happen. More importantly, you will need to implement all that you have understood, to make your blog work. Otherwise, it’s not going to be your online hub, if you don’t work towards it.
Its hard work, but it will pay rich dividends.
February 24, 2014