Let me start off by saying: if you do not currently have a blog for your business, you should seriously consider starting one. A blog–if it is setup as a link from your business site–can help drive traffic to your business and transform you into a trusted resource in your industry (but be careful not to make your blog a platform to push sales). If you are a one-man team (like myself), finding the time to blog can be hard, but if you can sit down at least once a month, that is better than nothing. However, if you have a team working for you, there are many advantages to getting them to blog as well. Here are 2 of them:
Lead Generation: According to a survey done in 2010, 80% of business blog traffic is from first time visitors–visitors who might become customers. As I said above, a blog can generate leads for business especially if there is a link back to your homepage (which is actually not an option, it’s a must). If you write each post on a relevant topic and with Google search results in mind, then people who land on your blog will most likely be curious to learn more about you and your business. Blogs show up in search engine results just like regular websites and with the right SEO (Search Engine Optimization), your blog can turn up on the 1st page of Google. Whether the lead turns into a customer or just a visitor, you now have 1 extra person who has been introduced to your business through the blog.
Employees Become Experts: Social media is like the new word-of-mouth marketing only in this case, the word is coming from your employees. As your employees start to write on topics that they specialize in, they become trusted experts to both local customers and even possibly journalists and editors looking for sources for related stories (betcha didn’t think about that!). Let’s say for example your business is a hair and beauty salon. You or one of your stylists writes about current hair trends or how to pick the right makeup for your skin tone. As current and future customers follow your blog, they will start to see you as a trusted source and want to give you business. They will trust that their hair and makeup appointment will go well because you have shown your expertise through the blog. Let’s look at the TV and appliance industry. If one of your staffers writes about a common misconception that he/she has encountered with customers or how to choose the best grill for your budget and cooking needs, they become a trusted expert. Don’t be surprised if customers walk in asking for the employee who wrote a blog related to their reason for shopping.
So where do you go from here? First I recommend holding a meeting to talk about what a blog is. If you have a staff of varying ages, chances are some will not know the difference between a blog and a website. After you have crossed that hurdle, then look at examples of blogs in your industry and blogs written by local businesses. Next, give your staff a chance to make a list of topics they would like to write about (i.e. their interests, specialties, anecdotal experiences in the store and so on). And lastly, set a reasonable goal for each person whether it’s 1 blog a month or every week. You can also offer the option of doing a video blog or written blog. The important thing is to make it fun and something they can benefit from.