small-business-blogging-in-2014Small businesses that blog generate 126% more leads than SMB’s that don’t blog. I’m hoping that alone will convince you to start a blog for your small business.

Companies that blog also have 97% more websites linking to them as well. More links = more traffic, social shares, leads and as a result: more revenue.

SMB Blogging: Did You Know?

  • Over 60% of consumers have made a purchase based on a blog post that they read
  • Approximately 70% of consumers learn about a company through their blog rather than through paid advertising
  • 60% of consumers have a positive feeling about a company after reading their blog

Those are some serious stats! It’s fairly well documented that if you’re a small business and participate in content marketing, you’re going to do well. Just take a look at how many people are searching on Google for content marketing:
content-marketing-search-trend

As you can clearly see, content marketing is growing every day. More and more people want to learn how content marketing will improve their business and replace part of their more traditional advertising spend.

One of the best ways for a small business to improve content marketing is to start a blog. You’ve got a few options when it comes to picking a platform to blog:

Still asking yourself if you should create a blog for your small business?

  • 82% of consumers enjoy reading content from company blogs
  • Over 30% of consumers consider a blog to be the second most influential factor when it comes to making a purchase
  • Businesses that commit to blogging and publish over 51 posts receive a 77% lift in monthly leads.

Content Syndication & Multichannel Marketing

If you want to push your local content marketing to the next level, it comes down to content syndication and marketing through additional channels.

Syndication
You need other people talking about your content. Bloggers republishing your posts, guest blogging in other networks, being found on a top local content publisher like NearSay. These are things that will significantly improve your content marketing plan.

Multichannel Marketing
Content is what powers the value of your channels. Your email list, Facebook updates, tweets, LinkedIn updates and Instagram photos have much more value if they’re supported by great content. You need to be telling your stories through multiple channels to reach your customer. Without great content marketing and syndication, this is a difficult task.

What Does It All Mean?

By publishing content online frequently (1-2x per week), you will see significant and measurable results. Without a blog, your small business is not firing on all cylinders.

Have you recently started a small business blog? What kind of results are you seeing?


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  • thebigkahuna2009

    I don’t doubt that increased blogging can be correlated to increased leads, but I highly doubt it is causal. Most business owners I meet that pour time into following loosely-constructed advice like “you should be blogging!” have gotten zero results. What makes more sense is to identify the closest path between a business and its paying customer, and to figure out how to capture that paying customer’s attention and lead contact information. Rarely is the solution to that found in an overly-broad statement like “you should blog more!”.

    • I completely agree. It does need to be done the right way. I think we’d both agree that small business owners should produce good content. A blog is the simplest way to do that. But yes, it should be great content and it shouldn’t be done aimlessly. We have a presentation here for more SMB content creation tips: http://localvox.com/resources/beginners-guide-writing-amazing-small-business-content/

      Thanks for the comment!

      • thebigkahuna2009

        My overall point is that a blog is just a tool. We have clients we’ve helped make significant amounts of money through blogs, social, etc…but honestly we’ve found that it’s a waste for most people because, like I mentioned, blogging does not do anything to directly generate leads and solicit business. For businesses who hire someone to handle social /blogging full or part time as part of a clearly articulated ROI-driven marketing campaign, it works. Articles like this one, I feel, drastically simplify the issue of whether or not blogging is worth the explicit or implicit cost–cost of hiring or opportunity cost. For the average business in fields such as law, industrial, and other professional services, I would recommend focusing on AdWords and conversion rate optimization first and foremost, simply because being in front of a prospect who wants your product / service NOW makes more sense than hoping blog articles will magically fall into the hands of people looking for your services.

        • kennethetucker

          LocalVox isn’t talking’: “loosely-constructed advice like “you should be blogging!”, Mattie offered a link to a DETAILED guide to create ‘valuable’ content.

          So, perhaps, instead of decrying the lack of specificity in a what appears to be a keyword-laden, data/stat-rich, high ranking blog about blogging SURE to rank high and bring more EUs to LocalVox (proving the point) – and – just going ‘negative’ on blogging in general, maybe it would be worth a DL & a read. #justsayin Recognizing. of course, it IS a ‘horse to water’ thing.

          • thebigkahuna2009

            Hey there, it’s not really about being “negative” or saying that blogging never works, and it doesn’t have anything to do with Matt. Like I said, we have made clients money through blogging, so I certainly don’t hate the channel.

            Go re-read the title of this post: “Why Every Small Business Needs to Blog in 2014”. What I’m saying is that there’s more to success in internet marketing than just telling people “EVERYONE should be blogging!” (which is the overall point of this article) without context and understanding how it fits into a business’ overall marketing funnel. Saying that this is just going ‘negative’ on blogging really over-simplifies what is actually a really important discussion on how an organization can best optimize its marketing budget.

            I’m curious, if you are in marketing, what do you do when a new client approaches you? Do you just tell them to start blogging, or do you consider their overall marketing strategy and sales funnel first? Maybe there’s something I’m not seeing…

          • kennethetucker

            “…there’s more to success in internet marketing than just telling people “EVERYONE should be blogging!” (which is the overall point of this article)…” | BK, we’re ‘talking’ at cross purposes here. The ‘point’ (as I see) it of this article/blog’, like ALL blogs should focus on is to tell a story, raise awareness, and/or ‘fix’ a problem by bringing more EU’s into the fold; eg create leads/generate business. Which this blog does. Mission accomplished.

            This (blogging recommendation and platform assist via LocalVox) is just one component of a multi-tiered solution set designed to optimize EVERY web/SM channel (a Paul Harvey, after this True Value commercial thing, not readily apparent in this piece BUT will be when visitors link thru to LocalVox ‘central’) so… I STILL think wrailing against blogging w/ unsubstantiated claims and (most likely) a ‘small numbers’ dataset:

            “honestly we’ve found that it’s a waste for most people because, like I mentioned, blogging does not do anything to directly generate leads and solicit business

            does poor service for your ‘argument, such as it is.

            And, for the record, three decades of B2B, SMB, F100>500 sales experience is my knowledge base/perspective. And, what I would ‘tell’ a SMB business is to work w/LocalVox to connect locally. Because to be enabled to seamlessly ‘connect’ “everywhere online – social media, search engines, directories, email lists, local publishers & mobile” for just (literally) $0.50/hr, makes a lot of sense to me. And, apparently, an extensive corporate universe too. #justsayin

          • Thanks for the lively discussion Kenneth! I’m in full agreement with you and blogging being just one part of a bigger marketing picture.

          • thebigkahuna2009

            Yeah this is a lot of fun. I have no agenda except that I see business owners mis-apply online marketing advice all of the time. That’s why I was a bit concerned upon seeing that this article take data that indicates only a correlation (increased leads from blogs) and interpreting that as causation without any other data to prove causation. Remember: your claim was that EVERYONE (every small business) needs to be blogging! 😉

            I agree; blogs can’t hurt, and I would actually agree with you that everyone should blog…given infinite time and resources. But the importance you place on a blog–that EVERYONE should be doing it–directly implies that it should get overriding priority…and this priority comes with a cost, be it time or money…and that’s a cost that should have a built-in return on investment. Your statement implies that time and funds are infinite, which of course they are not. So therefore, marketing expenditures of time need to be weighed and compared before deciding any one should take prominence to the point of being an absolute requirement.

            All I’m saying is that rather than saying EVERYONE should blog, I would say analyze the business model, see if blogging is likely to generate leads / make money, and go from there. For “most” small businesses (non-restaurant, decent profit industries), I’d rather focus on CRO, segregated landing pages, and AdWords / SEO for relevant niches before blogging. Perhaps the better message here would be to demonstrate how blogging can work for certain niches, and how it should always be given prominent consideration as a marketing strategy.

          • kennethetucker

            While there are (only) 168 hours in a week (per person in a SMB), I don’t know ANY biz owner who could ‘straight-faced’ say they didn’t have an hour a week to knock out a timely, relevant, blog about THEIR biz, THEIR life’s work/passion…THEIR ‘baby’. NO ONE knows THEIR ‘baby’ the way they do, inside out, up and down, good and bad, product line by product line, competitor by competitor, issue by issue so…it’s just a matter of ‘motivation’ then, isn’t it?

            A Henry Ford quote ‘fits’ here: “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.”

          • thebigkahuna2009

            Hey there it’s nice and sweet to talk about passion, quotes from Henry ford about fitting thing in, and 168 hours. But my clients demand to know how they will get results from their time, and I have to justify from an opportunity cost point of view that blogging or some other marketing endeavor is what they should be spending time and money on. Neither you nor the author have made any effort to counter this point with anything other than platitudinous statements like “if you’re passionate about your business you’d find the time”. And I think if neither of you will acknowledge that time is valuable and how to spend it needs to be carefully weighed against other competing priorities (and therefore not just telling businesses that EVERY business should be blogging, but rather saying that step 1 is to look at the issue at a high level), there’s probably not much to discuss here (though it has been enjoyable!).

          • kennethetucker

            BK > ‘analytics’ > unless you’re just ideologically opposed to blogging (and/or alternatively, profit-tied to Adword ‘pushing’) why would Mattie or I need to ‘explain’/detail how ‘your clients will get results from their time…’ eg You ‘do’. You ‘measure’. And, you re-do and/or repeat what works for you. btw, analytics are a part of the LocalVox bundle/solution so…less #snark and more reading might work for you. #justsayin RIF < KT

          • thebigkahuna2009

            Hey man…thanks for the response, but again I don’t think it really addresses the point I made in the first place…that unequivocally saying “EVERY” business should be blogging is (in my opinion) not sound advice. I’m not sure how saying that people should measure and evaluate the cost of their time is “#snark”, but if it is, then I’ll take that as a compliment. Like I said, the vast majority of business owners I know that “go blog!” because they read articles like this “or heard from someone else” that blogging “will help their brand” usually get no results. I’d be happy to elaborate on my specific experiences if you are interested.

            Oddly, I think your recent comment essentially makes my point…that doing, measuring and finding out what works for you is the right approach. You do realize that that’s different from the premise of this article: that EVERYONE should be blogging, NO EXCEPTIONS!, right?

            Ironically, I just had an appointment with a prospect who “heard that her company should be on Facebook” and had a grand total of 70 likes after 5 months and hours of time sunk. Given that they are in commercial B2B contracting (and for other reasons), it made basically no sense to do this, but the chorus of “EVERYONE should be using Facebook!” proselytizers got to her. (Of course this article is about blogs, not FB, but it’s that same sort of “EVERYONE should be doing it!” thinking that caused her to waste time. Wouldn’t the same be for blogs?).

            As for LocalVox…I have nothing against it and frankly know nothing about it…my guess is it’s a highly-valuable platform. I found this article through my LinkedIn feed and found the premise amusing, so I decided to comment. And I understand why the author wrote this article…great for SEO, a topic that businesses are searching for answers on, conveniently placed on a website with high PA and DA and that benefits from high brand recognition….this approach works for a company like LocalVox that has the money to pay someone like Mattie, and the expertise to know how to harness Mattie’s talents and abilities to help drive leads and value. What works for LocalVox serves as no proof that the same works for small business.

            This has been a lot of fun, but I don’t want to overstay my welcome here more than I already have ;-). If you have a rebuttal to my main point, I’ll gladly continue to discuss. But if not, I’ll let you have the last word to talk about my “#snark” and to end with another “#justsayin” 😉

          • The strategic reason for a business to blog is that they have to educate their customer, before that customer will buy.

            An SEO strategy will not meet this objective.

          • There is more to success for small/local businesses. Blogging alone isn’t the answer. Some businesses will benefit more from content marketing than others. But yes, I do believe every business should have a blog and post great content that attracts links and encourages repeat visitors and leads.

            Not to say that should be the highest priority tactic for every business, but like I said, I strongly believe it should exist.

  • tracysestili

    Hey Matt, can you provide the resources behind these stats? I actually just pub’d a piece on why you should give up blogging and I’m wondering if I should update it with this info. But I’d need to know the sources & dates of the stats. You can email me – tweet me for my email @tracysestili

    • Hey Tracy. Thanks for the comment! I’ve got all the sources handy for you, firing off a tweet your way now.

  • Localmark.co

    We launched our blog a few months ago, publishing at 1-2 times per week. Our biggest challenge, at first, was our niche: since our product integrates hiring, local marketing, and PR for franchises and franchisees, we had trouble finding our core subject matter. While we’re still discovering that niche, the process is helping us understand our company and our product. So blogging has unseen consequences as well.

  • Majharul Hossain

    Small businesses definitely need a blog! But, the most important thing is its’ usage method. I think the concept- “Search/Paid traffic>>Blog>>Business conversion” will not work properly. The concept- “Search/Paid traffic>>Business Page>>Blog>>Back to Business page” will work properly.

  • If you are just starting as a business, you should engage in blogging. This will one of the best ways to make your market bigger and increase your sales. Reaching to your possible clients through blogging.