Your startup is just getting off the ground. You’ve secured financing, you have a product, and you have a business plan. What else do you need? Would you believe your startup needs a blog? That might not be the most obvious item on the list of must haves, but here’s why you should agree and start one right now.
Startup need a Blog
No matter what your business, some of your potential customers will come to your from search engines. When they look up their need, you want to be on that first page of results, preferably number one, so they give you a try. How do you get there? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the name for the techniques that move your company up the charts. And a blog is a powerful tool to make that happen.
Your position in a search result is based on a number of factors, but one important one is long tail keywords. A simple one-word search is actually pretty uncommon when people are looking for business sites. They type in several words describing their need or their problem. This several word search is known as a long tail and these type of searches represent about 70% of all searches. Having a web page with that specific string of search terms will move you up the results. But you can’t have a page with just a huge list of long tail keyword searches. So you need multiple pages each with a different small set of keywords. A blog can provide exactly that. Each posting can be on a slightly different subject which can contain a long tail keyword. And all the posts link back to your main site.
Once people find your site they become a lead. But with a blog they can also become an audience. Even if your audience don’t all convert to become actual customers, their visits to your site contribute to your search result placement. Additionally, that old-fashioned form of marketing called word of mouth can come into play. Your audience can tell other people about your blog, if it’s a good one, and grow your numbers for you. There’s a number of other benefits of having a regular audience.
- Your blog gives you a channel to update that audience and get the word out about new projects, products, or changes. It’s a very targeted public relations channel.
- Your audience can come to know and trust your company through your blog. Your consistency and transparency establish you as trustworthy and your audience becomes more likely to convert to customers.
- A blog can be a channel for feedback from your audience, giving you reactions to products, proposals and decisions from a group already interested and familiar with you.
- A genuine community of users and readers can grow out of your blog. Not only will your audience interact with you and your company, but they can come to interact with each other. This community can become an even stronger proponent of your company.
Using your blog to provide value to your audience builds even stronger ties to these potential customers, as well as raising your search engine rating. Creating posts that provide value in some way, how to articles, market updates, or advice on your field for example, will make readers feel more positively toward you and be more likely to convert into customers. Search engines are now attempting to measure the value of pages as well as other metrics and increasing the score of pages that are more valuable to readers.
Closely tied to providing value is displaying expertise in your field. Every site wants their site domain name to be the go to source for information on their field. Using your blog to post meaningful, thought provoking, and accurate information builds your reputation as a thought leader on your topic. As more people come to recognize your leadership in the field, they will not only visit your site more often for information or trends, but they will be more likely to trust your company to provide top of the line service and products. This will encourage them to convert to customers since you are the obvious best choice in your field.
An underrated benefit of blogs is the ability to tell stories. Not everything you want to tell your audience is a simple fact or market trend. In some cases you want to talk about your corporate culture and how it affects what kind of products you produce and how your production process is arranged. You might even want to attract new employees based on that corporate culture. Your blog gives you a perfect channel to put out stories which aren’t as directly related to your typical web pages. You can build closer connections to your audience by telling stories about the founding of the company or the backgrounds of the founders. Telling a story about design problems can highlight how conscientious and dedicated to finding the right solution you are, thereby illustrating why your product is worth the price you put on it and more worthwhile than competitor products. Stories are powerful tools to influence people’s behavior.
Truthfully, these five reasons were chosen from dozens of excellent reasons that every startup, and every business, startup or not, should have a blog. They are inexpensive, relatively easy to create and maintain, and provide an impressive return on investment. If you have to do marketing in any way, if you need to have customers, if you need people to know you are out there, a blog can have a profound effect on you company. So what are you waiting for? You could have your first post out by the end of the day. Get moving!