By now most of us have heard that blogging is one of the best things we can do to drive traffic to our small business websites and increase the awareness of our brands. In fact, here’s a great post from Phil Mershon (Social Media Examiner) that gives statistics on the impact that frequent blogging can make on website traffic as well as customer leads.
However, we speak and work with many small businesses in industries that, on the surface, don’t seem to be very “bloggable”. Plumbing companies, for instance. After giving tips about leaky faucets or the best temperature setting for a hot water heater, what is there to write about? That’s a great question, but it’s also taking a narrow approach.
When a small business begins to blog, the primary goals for having the blog are usually increased awareness, website traffic and, hopefully, leads. The content that a small business posts on a blog needs to be something that people are likely to read. If nothing else, it needs to be something that people will “skim” and associate with your company name and brand. Many small business owners believe that any blog posts from the company have to be very industry-specific. However, this is not the case. If you’re a plumbing company, you can post content about a wide range of helpful topics, with the operative word being “helpful”. As an example of what can be done with a seemingly “unbloggable” industry, here are some interesting ideas I found while perusing plumbing company blogs:
Oldest water heater contest: Radiant Plumbing in Austin, Texas gave away two free water heaters to homeowners with the oldest water heaters in town. They found one that was 47 years old! The company got two posts out of the contest- one announcing the contest and one reporting on the winners- complete with pictures.
What would you do if you didn’t have a toilet? Benjamin Franklin Plumbers of Arizona posted an article about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s challenge to reinvent the toilet to bring better sanitation to the 3 billion people in the world who don’t have access to a toilet.
Choose the potty of your dreams: Yes, you read that right. Moon Valley Plumbing of Phoenix, AZ invited everyone to ask about their June special on Toto brand toilets and find the toilet of their dreams. Moon Valley Plumbing also posted articles about the local home show, the truth about hard water, and the importance of supporting local companies.
How much it would cost to remodel a bathroom? Click’s Plumbing in Spring, Texas wrote an article about many of the questions a homeowner needs to take into consideration when planning a bathroom remodel. Plumbing is only one part of a bathroom remodel, but Click’s Plumbing provided some helpful information about the entire process.
New energy efficient household products: Raymond Plumbing of Lorain, Ohio, posted an article about some new household products that are designed with green technology and can provide savings to homeowners.
Blogs should be written with the target market in mind. Good questions to ask when blogging for a business are:
-What questions do we get asked the most on a regular basis, and can we answer them in a series of posts?
-What type of information will be helpful to my customers and potential customers?
-What content will help them feel as if we are looking out for their best interests?
-Is there anything humorous or attention-getting that we can post in order to increase our awareness and bring a little personality into our industry and company?
-Could we create and include some simple videos into our blogs?
-Where else will we be sharing the blog posts to gain maximum exposure?
Even if you are not a writer, you don’t have time to write and/or you don’t have a writer on staff, there are many people out there who would be happy to create great content for you.