You probably hear advice from marketing people like us about how "blogging" will help you get found on the internet, and we always hear from most small business clients that blogging is just another chore with a limited impact on the business.
So, realistically, what should you expect from your blog? We thought a real example might help provide a fresh perspective.
We want to share an example that comes from a fitness and rehab business we work with in Halifax, Nova Scotia, One to One Wellness.*
The owner takes full advantage of the blogging feature on his website by collaborating with key staff members, all taking turns writing posts. With eight contributors, each person only has to write a post once every two months. Over time (about two years now), the blog has increased traffic to the site by gaining authority with key search engines. It even attracted enough attention to be quoted in a national magazine, Canadian Living. And, while doing research, another reporter from Progress Magazine found a relevant post from the blog and was impressed enough to feature their clinic in a wellness article. Not long after that, they received another inquiry from blogging expert Linda Dessau, asking to use their blog as an example of team collaboration. As far as customers go, their website and blog was recently voted Silver for "Best of Halifax." The publicity continues to be a boon to their brand.
This did not happen after one or two posts. It was the result of good leadership, patience, and the basic discipline of routine over two years. The reward is strategic advantage. The simple process of blogging has created a team activity, boosted moral, and provided the foundation for good strategic content-driven marketing. A commitment to the discipline of blogging will pay dividends to all healthcare providers who embrace it and feed it with worthy content.
In preparing to write this post, I asked Nick (owner of One to One) a question:
Q: As the CEO, what benefits (so far) in the organization have you seen from your approach to blogging? What costs? Were any of the benefits/costs anticipated?
A: There have not really been any costs associated, except the cost that we pay you to support our marketing and develop our site. And I guess the opportunity cost of our time; however, it seems to be something most enjoy.
I think everyone has a writer in them. Most of us just need a deadline to actually get us to put something down in writing. There have been several benefits of us blogging as a team, including:
- simply doing something as a team - everyone participates
- giving everyone a voice and a way to speak to prospects and clients
- extending conversations; ie. allowing people to hear what we have to say without us being there to say it
- fresh content on our website that could increase engagement
- ability for people to check us out ahead of time and understand our offering more fully - several have read our posts to validate a recommendation before booking an appointment
- more far-reaching connections, such as a journalist who contacted us for her magazine article and a blogging advisor who wanted to more about team blogging
- multiple perspectives expressed
- ability to share our own content through other channels, such as Facebook or Twitter
- possibly improvement on search engine rankings
Why A Good Blog Can Be As Important As A Business Plan For Many Small Businesses
A conventional business plan has value for two main reasons; first, it demands disciplined input from the management team in order to complete, and second, the plan lays out key aspects of the venture so that others can understand and evaluate it using common business language.
A business plan reflects the nature and character of the management. It also describes the value proposition for the product and service. It is the quality of the plan, the content (along with a track record), that attracts investors, employees, and other strategic partners to support the business.
But what about attracting customers, the lifeblood of business? Attracting customers is no different, but instead of calling the result of the disciplined internal process a "business plan," we call it "marketing." As consumers of everything from A-Z, we all use the information we collect from advertising and the internet about a business to make buying decisions. Assuming an attractive value proposition, the business with the best system for communicating this value will dominate the marketplace. Businesses that deliver superior value will die or never reach their potential if they can't get the word out while their mediocre competition thrives on the strength of superior marketing.
Every Business, No Matter How Big Or Small, Can Market Effectively With The Right Content, And Blogging Provides A Disciplined Process For Building Foundational Content - FOR FREE (almost).
Learn More - Related Article: Enter Content Management - The New Frontier In Practice Management
*Thank you to Nick and Lori Matheson, Jen Sheppard, and the entire team at One To One Wellness for permission to share their blogging success story. Visit their blog at www.121wellnessblog.ca