3 Reasons Why Blogging Is an Excellent Public Relations Tool
At the time of this writing, a Google search for “benefits of blogging” will produce over 16,000,000 results. A further search for “benefits of blogging for business” produces almost 14,000,000 results.
Yet, it’s near impossible to find “better public relations” listed as a benefit of blogging. Only two posts on the first page of Google mentions public relations. In one of them, it’s seen as a “secondary,” not-so-important benefit of blogging.
According to Wikipedia, “public relations is the practice of managing the spread information between an individual or an organization (such as a business, government agency, or a non-profit organization) and the public.”
With that definition, I’d be presumptuous to say nobody talks of public relations as a benefit of blogging. They do. Problem is, they itemize the PR benefits of blogging.
For example, several posts talk about “making money” as a benefit of blogging. Nobody lists the over 60 ways of making money from blogging separately as a benefit of blogging. But those who mention PR benefits of blogging list them separately.
You’ll find three reasons why blogging is an excellent PR tool below:
1. Blogging helps you connect with customers/clients personally
PR firms or PR specialists handle public relations for most businesses. From Wikipedia’s definition of public relations, a PR firm’s work is “managing public reputation of a business.” That means when you experience difficulties, your PR specialist does “damage limitation” for your business, often putting a spin on it, to minimize the problem.
For example, let’s say you own Saas company. And you’re hacked. Through your PR specialist, a press release is issued. “Everything is under control,” you say, as you apologize and ask for patience from customers while you resolve the problem.
Customers would love to get updates on what you’re doing to solve the problem. But they have to browse through hundreds or thousands of press releases to get updates. Or they keep searching via Google to see if any media outlets have updates on your situation.
Frustrating, isn’t it?
Now consider what Buffer did when they were hacked. They posted it on their blog. The post was originally titled “Buffer has been hacked – here is what’s going on.” It wasn’t just an apology, they kept posting updates of the situation. (There were ten updates).
The best part? The founders hopped on the comments section to help customers with any difficulties they had. You only need to read the comments to discover how generally impressed customers were.
Not bad for PR. Use your blog well.
2. Blogging shows customers you care about them
You can show customers you care about them in several ways through blogging. That includes doing the following:
- Write posts showing people how your products are used (how-to posts are still popular)
- Answer questions your customers may have by writing blog posts about them
- Answer questions your customers may have about your blog posts in the comments section
- Alert customers to any changes, whether they’re good or bad, and address their concerns and difficulties in the comments section (like Buffer did)
- Post hot topics in the news related to your business, products, and services
Statistics shows that for every customer who bothers to complain about problems they face when using your product or service, there are 26 others who stay silent. Blogging about questions you receive often means you’re helping more people use your product or service better.
Prospective customers are more likely to do business with you when they can sense you care about them. And they don’t mind paying higher for your products and services.
Let’s call your product Y. Imagine a customer searching “how to do X” or “how to do X on Y product” and a blog post you wrote about it pops up in the search results.
You’ve not only effectively done what a good PR firm does—managing the spread of information (in this case good information)—but you also directly control the tone and narrative of such information.
The Close.io blog is a good example of all the above.
Show your customers you care. It will enhance your reputation. Talking about enhancing your reputation…
3. Blogging enhances your reputation
When you regularly produce useful and relevant content on your blog, you’ll be seen as a thought leader. You make yourself more relevant when you publish evergreen content on your blog. Your blog will be a helpful resource to your existing and prospective customers, and it will improve their customer service experience.
Research shows 65% of internet users see online search as the most trusted source of information about people and companies. Go ahead, do a Google search of your name, business, or company. What do you find?
When people search your name, ideally, their first point of contact should be your website or blog. Seeing it on a guest post isn’t bad either, since you’ll often be allowed a bio linking back to your site. Being visible in search engines because of your blogging efforts adds to your credibility.
As an example, since we’re here, let’s use Duct Tape Marketing. This is what a Google search looks like:
And this is what a search for John Jantsch produces:
Not bad right?
But it doesn’t happen overnight. You have to continuously update your blog with relevant content. Content influencers share. Content people can’t stop talking about. Content that helps your readers.
It will do wonders to your reputation and the public’s perception of you. And you may not need a PR firm ever again. Well, except they’re blogging for you.
What PR benefits have you experienced from blogging? Share in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.
Iniobong Eyo is a copywriter and content strategist. He writes so that businesses lacking time and skills to do so do not have to. Send him a message to see how he can help you out with your writing needs.