With businesses and organizations struggling to understand more hyped social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, blogs often get left behind, but they're no less important. Blogs are a chance to communicate a company’s message, and to show a little more personality than a corporate Facebook Page or Twitter handle allows.
Each blog post shows what makes your business or organization unique and endearing. If you’re a bakery, a Facebook post and a Tweet about a new recipe is all well and good, but a blog post about your experience making that recipe, and photos of the end product (be it cookies or a cake) will prove to be far more endearing.
That’s why many small businesses with active blogs have used social media and email marketing to drive people to those blogs. Today, we take a look at two organizations that do just that — a consulting group for nonprofits and a financial services firm.
Mark Simon, Storywalkers Consulting Group
Two prospective clients from a weekly blog post
Mark Simon specializes in conversations, especially the uncomfortable ones. That’s his job as the founder of Storywalkers Consulting Group — helping nonprofits broach provocative topics in a safe space. The biggest issue he faces when it comes to growing his business is to show the value of the service.
“Conversation is a hard commodity to sell,” he explains. To help that cause, Mark decided to begin a blog four months ago, which he called Giving and Gathering. Today, that blog has grown into a personal and professional outlet that helps Mark discuss the experiences he has during work and life and, most importantly, shows his perspective on the everyday issues that Storywalkers Consulting Group works to solve.
“The blog has really become a breakthrough for me,” he says. Mark has managed to keep a disciplined schedule of one blog post a week and is starting to see some results from that hard work: right now, he’s talking with two prospective clients who became interested in his consulting after reading the blog.
The weekly blog posts, along with occasional email newsletters, have become the backbone of the content used on Storywalkers' Facebook Page and Twitter account, so Mark always has plenty to share with his followers and fans. In fact, some of his posts are now getting upwards of 20 Likes, which is spreading the Storywalkers message farther and wider than ever before.
David Lewis, Resource Advisory Services
An engaging website doubles the number of new clients for one financial services firm
When you ask financial planner David Lewis, the founder of Resource Advisory Services, what has made his business boom in recent years, he has one answer: his blog.
“About 60% of the new clients I meet with nowadays say something like, ‘We’ve been reading your website and it sounds like you’re the advisor we need,’” he says. David started his blog in 2008 with that exact goal in mind. “I felt like I had something to say and I wanted to say it in the tone and culture of my business, to show what kind of firm we are."
David began driving more traffic to his blog by using channels like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and email newsletters. “Email newsletters were definitely a cornerstone of the whole thing,” he recalls. Almost 50% of the people that click through a Resource Advisory Services newsletter go to the blog. “We wanted to use our newsletters as a way to deliver the blog post to the clients that we were already serving.” Since putting more of the spotlight on the blog, the number of new clients seeking advice from the firm has doubled, jumping to around 20 this year, up from 10 a year ago or two ago.
David says he only posts to his blog when he feels that he has a significant perspective on a specific topic. The posts are long, in-depth, and informative, appearing on a bi-monthly basis. He believes that frequency isn’t nearly as important as quality, and a strong, comprehensive post guarantees lasting power. So, while David’s clients may not always need his financial advice, it’s always available when they do — whether they read the Resource Advisory Services newsletter, Facebook Page, or website.
How has your company used a blog to make business more personal? Let us know here or on our Facebook Page.