Small business people rarely give much thought to building their business’s brand. Large companies have marketing departments to take care of this. So that’s “branding” and why should you care?
Essentially branding is building awareness of your business: creating an identity that’s instantly recognized. Businesses undertake branding strategies for their long term effects: becoming known for what they do.
Contrast this with advertising. Advertising is expensive and all advertising has a life span: an ad in a newspaper lasts a single day, for example. Television and radio campaigns may stretch across several weeks, and are very expensive.
Although it’s expensive, small businesses budget for advertising because it’s essential. Whether your company is a real estate agency or a plumbing service, advertising is what keeps the business doing business.
Unfortunately, a lot of expensive advertising just bombs. It’s a waste of money, but there’s no way to estimate whether an ad will work or not until you run the ad.
Blogging as Branding: your blog can build your brand, inexpensively
Prior to 2006 when online advertising took off, marketers scoffed at blogs. In 2007 it’s amusing to watch the leading scoffers jump onto blogs like a starving wolf pack onto prey. Marketers have realized that blogs are a prime branding tool.
Blogs work as branding tools because the longer a blog is online, and the more content it has, the more useful it becomes for organic search for more terms. As Web searchers discover the blog, they’re led to the company. This builds brand awareness and ultimately generates sales.
You still need to advertise, even if you have a blog. A blog won’t solve all your advertising headaches. However, a blog does give your business credibility. People buy from businesses they know and trust, and your blog makes you a trusted entity, so you’ll be able to get by with less advertising.
So if you’ve been wondering whether your small business needs a blog, stop wondering and start blogging. As your blog grows, you’ll be able to save money on advertising, and the longer your blog is online, the more it will do for your business.