By some estimates, 347 new blog posts are published each and every minute — that’s almost half a million each day! Blogging has become a powerful platform for any and all to voice their opinion, market their products, and do essentially whatever they see fit with it. With so many blogs, it’s hard to believe anyone would read yours. Right? Wrong. Blogs remain a powerful tool for small businesses to capture a targeted audience, bring traffic to your website, and ultimately convert this traffic into leads, patients, or customers.
Capture a Targeted Audience
It doesn’t matter if you’re a small business or a budding digital analyst, blogs are rarely designed to be read by anyone or everyone. You’re typically trying to get a certain segment or niche of readers. An economist, for example, will want readers who are interested in economics, much like a fiction writer might write a blog to attract her fans and other writers. Whatever the subject of the blog, there should always be a specific type of person the blog is seeking to capture. Otherwise, it risks having no readership at all, since the posts are unlikely to continuously address the interests of its audience.
What kind of audience would a small business want to attract? Why not find out what your prospective patients, clients, or customers are into? One tool that helps you accomplish this is Google Analytics, which provides a number of interesting and easily accessible statistics on your readership, such as affinity categories. With Google Analytics, you can also break down this data to provide feedback on specific groups of readers, termed segments, to get an accurate idea of who your readers are. You can use this information as a general guide on the kind of topics you should write on to attract the readers you’re targeting.
You can also go about researching the old fashioned way: think about the demographic you’re targeting — their age, common interests and activities, et cetera — and use your creativity to explore the topics you think that demographic would be interested in. By looking at data on the number of visitors each blog post attracts and its retention rate, you can gauge the success of different topics as you experiment with them.
If your patients, customers, or clients are all local, you can also use your blog as a platform to share information on community events and news. By establishing yourself as a good source of information for what’s going on locally, you can attract a steady and loyal flow of traffic. This is one approach we take here at Now Media Group when we blog for you, making your blog not just an educational resource, but also a local hotspot.
Your Blog is a Tool
If you’re a small business, your blog is a tool to bring readers to your website. Not every single reader is going to buy a product or a service right away. But, these readers will have your brand or your business at the top of their minds. And the more interesting your blogs are, the more likely they are to be shared and retweeted, helping you grow your audience. This is an audience which is more likely to buy your products or services when they need them, since they will be familiar with your business and what it offers (making them the perfect candidates for advertisement retargeting).
There’s also an indirect value to blogging, as long as you can attract and retain your readership (see “Five SEO Terms You Need to Know for 2015”). The more people who visit your website, the more people who read what you write, and the more people who move on to look at different parts of your site, the better your website will perform on search engines. Generally speaking, the higher on a search engine your site is ranking, the greater organic reach it will have (i.e. the greater the number of people who will find it through search).
Bottom line: A blog provides your business or practice exposure. It not only makes people aware of your website’s and your business’ existence, it also keeps them coming back.
Are You Blogging?
You provide valuable services and your website is a way of making this known to your patients, customers, or clients. But, if no one visits your website, its purpose will be stunted. Blogging is a means of making sure you get the most from the investment you made into your online presence. Capture the audience you want to target, address their needs and interests, and keep your services at the top of their minds, so that when they need them they go to you first.
Blogging is not easy work, but Now Media Group makes it easier. Our success in this area is built on our professional writers and our data-oriented approach, keeping what works and discarding what doesn’t. If you would like to learn more about how blogging can help you, leave a comment below or contact us at 858-333-8950.
Formerly at [Tony] Robbins Research International and at Now Media Group as their Director of Marketing, Jonathan has a background in quantitative economics and analytics.