When it comes to building sales and brand awareness, blogging is a great way to strengthen and promote a brand as well as drive sales and increase website traffic. Neil Hussey of Denco Lubrication Ltd in the UK led a discussion for USA Manufacturing Hour Chat on Twitter about the benefits of blogging for businesses.
What Are Advantages to Blogging?
Neil started off the discussion asking if companies wrote blogs and if so, what they saw as an advantage of blogging.
Ben Nordman from Obsidian Manufacturing in Illinois said, “The main advantages for us are the SEO for our site, brand awareness and also just educating people.”
Shannon Simpson from DuraTech in Wisconsin said, “It gives us an additional opportunity to educate our visitors about our company and what we can offer them, as well as showcase our culture. It also helps with SEO.”
Paul Kiesche of Aviate Creative in New Jersey said, “We blog for three main reasons, but there are others. 1. Improve search engine rankings 2. Show expertise and build credibility 3. Keep our site active and looking relevant.”
“Blogs provide insights and build those online relationships through engaging content. It’s also another way to create content for social media that will bring people back to your website. Also helps with SEO but by far having great content is the most important”, said Gail Robertson from Gail Now Manufacturing Marketing
According to Manufacturers’ News Inc, “We have 2 blogs now. So many advantages to blogging. Keeping customers engaged, generating more relevant inbound traffic, providing a platform for our clients to publish, generating a sense of community, providing helpful information...”
Julie Basello from Radwell International in New Jersey said, “Blogging has been great for brand awareness and brand credibility as well as driving website traffic.”
Strat Mg in Illinois said, “We have 3 blogs go out per week. We feel that the benefit is helping educate our clients and prospects on best practices and tips to better position their company. It helps us stay in their mind too and become a go-to resource.”
“I write blogs to keep fresh content on the website and to create internal links,” said JD from Cleveland Deburring Machine Company in Ohio.
Gina Tabasso from MAGNET, Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership in Ohio said, “For me, blogs are all about SEO and content to repurpose as well as backlink strategy. “
“Absolutely no point in doing blogs if you don't do the SEO to drive traffic,” said Hussey. “Blogging for your business shows you as an industry expert or thought leader in your field, building credibility with your audience. It also gains your potential customer’s trust.”
Can Blogging Increase Sales?
The discussion then turned to whether blogging can increase sales. There were some definite opinions on this topic. Many were very positive about the ability of blogging to increase sales.
Kelly Pernicone from NACL Industries in Ohio said, “Absolutely! Blogging demonstrates knowledge which builds trust which leads to increased sales!”
Dan Bigger of Custom Profile in Michigan said, ”I think it enhances all that you do and allows customers to read and understand who you are, what you do, and how you do it. That way they start further in the process as they have begun the work of building the relationship.”
“It can drive leads for the sales team,” said Tabasso.
Ruby Rusine from Social Success Marketing in California said, “Yes! Your blog content can help build trust within your target market and attract new clients. It’s also a great way to get your company noticed.”
“Blogging helps you appeal to the right audience, or ideal audience- or customers. We like to show solutions to issues customers may have because it helps build trust.” said Simpson
Strat Mg said, “Absolutely! As we build more credibility and trust indirectly through our blogs, we believe this can help us increase sales and attract new industrial manufacturing clients.”
Kati McDermith from Industry Net said, “I think that is why we blog... to put a spin on our product/service that will get the attention of a new audience ... in order to increase sales
Rebecca Hart from Drive Source International/Dynamic said, “Blogs can directly and indirectly increase sales. No doubt.”
"Yes blogging can increase sales,” said Pavel Stepanov. “All the more if you are creating content that is searched for the most, popular trends (related to your niche), and educating your audience. People always ask for questions, and if you have the answers, they find you valuable and that drives the traffic.
Freight Pop in California said, “We absolutely believe blogging increases our sales! Along with driving traffic to our website, blogs also generate leads, which is the first step in making a sale.”
Manufacturers News said, “Yes! Blogging=content=SEO=traffic=sales. Plus, it's among the best ways to get the word out & build faith and trust in your brand. It shows dedication to your industry and your customers.
“Absolutely”, said Kendie from Snaptron in Colorado. ”Having a great blog can elevate your brand and drive traffic to your website!”
“Yes, blogging helps you appeal to the right audience, or ideal audience- or customers. We like to show solutions to issues customers may have-helps build trust,” said Shannon from DuraTech
VirtuDesk said, “Yes blogs increase sales because uploading and updating your blogs every day already drives traffic. Adding the searches relevant to your niche and using keywords to your content increases it more.”
Some participants, however, felt blogs were not the most direct way to increase sales.
“I think blogging can increase sales, but it's just one part of many marketing efforts that work together,” said Paul Kiesche.
JD said, “The chances of a specific blog post increasing sales directly as a result of the content is slim in my opinion. But indirectly through brand awareness brought about from an increase in search engine rankings by keeping continuous and fresh content on the site, yes.”
Felix Nater of Nater Associates Security Consulting in North Carolina said, “While I do not necessarily think that blogging alone will create the sale, it can certainly establish your authority in influencing the sale. By sharing your expertise and knowledge you show you are open and willing to teach your readers everything you know about your specific field. It may attract interest that influences the sale.”
Nordman said, “Yes, sales can increase from blogging but more likely in an indirect way. You're playing more of the "long game" of waiting until the lead is ready to buy when becoming an industry expert. Your company will be in their minds when are ready to buy because of the trust established.”
Hussey said that blogging for your business allows you to get into the minds of potential buyers & engage with them by answering any questions that they might have. This increases the possibility that these visitors to your page will return and buy when they’re ready. According to Neil, “Trust is a a big thing and solving the customers 'pain' points is always a great trust builder.”
Does Blogging Help Website Traffic?
This led to a discussion on whether blogging helps increase website traffic. Hussey added, “If you get the SEO right for a blog then it can drive traffic, especially if people are searching for information on the topic.” He did mention that having a call to action and a landing page is an important part of blogging.
“Blogging absolutely helps website traffic. However, if this is your goal, which it often is the main goal, it's important to spend time researching the right keywords and making sure they are used frequently and with relevance, “said Kiesche.
Pernicone said, “Blogging is designed to answer customer queries or provide valuable information. When done properly, it drives traffic (keyword usage, linking, strong h1 tags, other various SEO terms). Again, stress is on providing valuable info to readers!”
DuraTech said, “It is one more indexed page on your website. If you are doing it correctly, you should have key words that are searchable on search engines. Helps you be more present on web pages.”
“If the SEO is done right, absolutely!” said Kendie from Snaptron
“Blogging helps enrich your site with content. Having content on your site that is optimized for search helps your company rank for high-value search terms and attract relevant traffic for your brand,” said Manufacturing News
“Yes!, said Nordman. “If you're blogging about a popular topic that will bring readers in, it definitely will drive traffic. Also, if you're blog is SEO friendly, it will come up more in searches.”
Why Strengthen Your Brand Through a Blog?
Hart said, “Education. That's one of the main reasons we started a blog. We wanted a place where we could educate people about our technology and our industry. A blog seemed appropriate.”
Pernicone said, “It shows continued development and expertise. Refreshing content and developing new blogs shows that your organization is committed to continuous development and are committed to being a trusted partner for customers.”
Kirsten Austin from DCSC Inc in Missouri said, “You want people to keep coming back. They may not be in the market yet but you'd like them to think of you, when they are. Plus if they share your info, it's just another chance for someone to hear about you.”
Neil agreed and said, “You have to touch them at multiple points along their buying journey. Keeping them informed with well written blogs about your products/services is so valuable.”
Rusine said, “A strong brand can help you attract loyal customers and make you stand out from your competition. If you want your customers to remember you, do blogging. It's a really great way to build your brand and helps you connect with your audience.” She added, “It shows that you are present - or still in business - and on top of the events and news of the market - and the needs of your audience. I check that by looking at the staleness or freshness of a blog.”
Neil agreed that a definite benefit of blogging is to strengthen that personal connection with your customers. Once clients relate to your business, their loyalty will follow. He did caution to maintain your brand standards including color palette, style and brand voice for best results.
“A stronger brand only helps to increase visibility. 99% of people don't know you or your company. Why not do everything you can to increase your odds. It just make sense. Logical. I love simple logic, “ said Dan Bigger.
Kiesche said, “If you're educating your audience and building credibility through your blog, sales become easier and you become the go-to for those solutions.”
Nordman added, “Your brand is everything. It attracts new customers and keeps your current and past customers. Doing anything to strengthen it is beneficial!”
How Does Blogging Build Relationships?
DCSC Inc said, “Oddly enough, in many matters, like-minded business' and professionals gravitate towards content they "live" with. For instance, this blog I wrote led to many actual phone conversations!”
Pernicone added, “We blog to connect with customers. They come back because they like how you provide information. You repeat this process and that builds trust!”
“Blogging targets the common pain points of your audience. When you blog, you offer answers to these pain points,” said VirtuDesk
Erin Courtenay from Earthling Interactive in Wisconsin said, “Relationships are built on trust, good content will engender trust by demonstrating expertise.”
“It is an impression, “ said Tabasso, “A gateway. I also love when comments are enabled. Yes, you have to reject all the spam, but it gives an opportunity for engagement. And I, of course use all my blogs on social media; so, that creates conversations.”
Rusine added, “It gives a reader a sense of community. It creates a dialogue with other bloggers. It builds a sense of trust If you want to communicate a company's point of view, a blog is one of the ways to do that.”
“I build new relationships around learning new things, “said Nater, “and people gravitate to one another when they teach others. Believe it or not, blogging shows one's humanity.”
According to Hussey, new relationships are a benefit for businesses with blogs. Connections are often made with your customers and other companies as well as contributing to your industry’s community, building trust & creating links for future business opportunities. He said, “By showing readers that you are the expert, you can solve their problems or provide a service or product that they need. You can also provide value which also builds trust.”
Blogging is a great way to show you as a thought leader, increase sales, drive web traffic, strengthen brands and build customer relationships. Are you taking advantage of all these by blogging?
Anyone who champions U.S. manufacturing can join in on a new conversation each week on Twitter using the hashtag #USAMfgHour. The chat starts at 11 a.m. Pacific Standard Time/2 p.m. Eastern. Share positive blog posts, helpful articles, news, important information, accomplishments, events, and more with other manufacturers and supporters from throughout the country.