In today’s digital climate, blogging is no longer just for celebrity gossip or advice on motherhood.
A blog for your equipment rental business should be a crucial piece of your overall marketing plan. This is because blogging is a cost-effective way to market to new customers. It extends the customer experience beyond the initial transaction and allows you to stay top-of-mind, increasing the likelihood of return clients and word-of-mouth referrals.
Research shows that businesses that keep an updated blog on their websites generate more leads and have higher sales than those that don’t.
You can’t afford to not be blogging. Here’s why it’s so important.
3 Ways a Blog Can Boost Your Business
1) A blog is an extension of your customer service; it provides value to your clients.
When a potential client needs to rent equipment like you offer, what do you think they do first?
That’s right. They turn to the internet.
A first-time customer may spend hours online, simply learning about their need. For example, a bride-to-be may need a crash course in party planning along with her tables and chairs. A real estate agent will appreciate learning about the psychology of interior design as he or she picks out sofas and end tables.
Your blog can become a dependable resource for your current clients, which ensures repeat business for you. An updated, on-point and helpful blog is also a magnet for new leads, which means growth and an increasing bottom line.
Think of your business blog as a repository of helpful articles for your ideal clients. What problems can you solve for your clients to help them in their business? What new industry insights can you be the first to offer?
Make your blog the source your clients turn to if they have a question, quandary or a challenge – and they’ll likely not even consider asking anyone else.
2) A blog establishes you and your business as a trusted thought leader in your industry.
With all the expert advice, tips and ideas you’re giving your clients, you and your business will automatically earn the trust of your readers.
This trust factor is critical for making sales, especially to other business owners. Why?
Because people recommend and buy from businesses and leaders they trust.
“Research shows that the more trusted an individual is, the greater their sales effectiveness. One of the fastest ways for sales reps to build that trust is by focusing on helping their prospects rather than selling to them. Buyers don’t want to hear a sales pitch – they want to learn something. And while prospects can easily find information online, that doesn’t mean that they always understand it or know how to interpret and apply it to their own business situation.
When you extend the customer experience through your blog with the primary purpose of helping – not selling to – your clients, you inevitably become a partner they trust.
3) A well-populated, optimized blog means a greater opportunity for your ideal client to find you.
What business owner doesn’t love when the ideal client pops up, ready for a business relationship?
This is what a customer-oriented, well populated, and search engine optimized blog can do for your business: bring your customers to you.
Let’s break down each of these components and see why they are important.
- Customer-oriented – We’ve already covered this point above, but to recap: Make sure the content you write is something that your ideal client needs and write with the intention to help and serve.
Go back to the questions above and write posts that solve problems. Some informative content is fine, but the majority of your posts should be written as if you’re answering a client’s burning question.
You know your industry and the common concerns or challenges your clients continually talk about. How would you help a client solve those problems?
Specifically, how can renting equipment from your business help someone overcome these problems? It should go without saying, but steer clear of publishing unrelated content, such as personal posts.
And when your customers know you’ve got the kind of information they’re looking for, you can further engagement by adding a lead capture form to your blog where they can sign up for your newsletter. Save these email addresses in your customer relationship management (CRM) software, and use your mailing list to deepen customer engagement and loyalty with customers that have found you organically.
- Well-populated – The more you update your blog, the more Google sees it as relevant and legitimate. The more Google sees it as relevant and legitimate, the more it will offer it to readers when they perform a search query.
HubSpot found that companies that had more blog posts on their website generated more leads. “Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got about 4.5X more leads than companies that published 0-4 monthly posts.”
Specifically, they noticed the benefit of compounding posts. Compounding posts are blog posts whose views increase over time.
HubSpot says, “As a compounding post generates more traffic, its search authority increases, generating more search hits and more traffic in a virtuous cycle.”
Work to make most of your posts compounding — with tactical, not topical themes. Stay away from timely subjects that have an automatic expiration date.
- Search engine optimized – You want to give your blog post the best shot possible at being discovered. You do this by making it optimized for internet search engines.
There are two sides to the SEO coin: knowing what your ideal client is looking for, and creating and labeling that content in a way that your client actually finds it.
Of course, the most coveted spot on a search engine is Google’s first position on the first page.
So, how do you get to Google’s page one? With consistent and focused SEO practices on all of your blog posts.
Effective blog post SEO is invaluable to the visibility and viability of your business. Learn as much as you can about using SEO effectively, and if you’re able, hire an SEO expert to help fine-tune your efforts. It’s a good investment in your business.
A great free tool for a helping hand with SEO is the Yoast plug-in for WordPress. If your blog is built on WordPress, install and use this plug-in, which will help cover the bare minimum SEO basics. Yoast also offers courses, articles and guides to help you navigate basic SEO principles.
Better Business Could Be Just a Few Blog Posts Away
One great benefit to blogging is that you’ll likely see the fruit of your efforts sooner rather than later, and the effects appreciate as time passes.
Commit to posting to your company’s blog at least 3-4 times a month and be prepared to welcome new customers, more sales and increased revenue to your equipment rental business!
Mary Bernard is a writer for TechnologyAdvice.com. She has helped all types of companies – from small brands to multi-million dollar franchise corporations – grow their businesses through blogging and content marketing. She is a freelance writer and editor based in Nashville, TN, where she resides with her husband and three teenagers. Find out more about Mary and her business, A Way With Words, at www.maryparkerbernard.com.