More than 50% of consumers begin a search for a new business or service online. For that reason, almost every successful company runs a website that highlights its products and services. Having a strong online presence is absolutely essential in today's economy.

But you can do more. If you want to make the most of your online presence, then establish a blog connected to your website.

A company blog has many benefits: It can draw increased visitor traffic to a business's website, it can provide an excellent platform for making announcements about new products and services, and a blog is a relatively low-cost venture, making it an ideal investment for the budget-conscious business owner.

A blog can help any company build strength in various ways, including the following four.

1. Tying Together Your Online and Offline Efforts

Using a company blog to promote offline events can pay huge dividends. If your company will be exhibiting at a tradeshow or launching a new product, raise awareness in advance by writing some engaging content about it on your blog, remembering these key rules:

  • Give readers a reason to read. Drab posts that outline only the date and the location of the event will be ignored and will provide no benefit to anyone. In contrast, interesting, informative content is mutually beneficial: readers get the information and context that they want, and you get the information about your offline event in front of a reader. And if they find the content engaging and informative, then they may well share it, promoting your event to an even wider audience.
  • Give readers time to take action.Posting the day before an event, no matter how well you write, isn't helpful. Give readers time to digest the information, plan their attendance (if relevant), and share the information.

Similarly, use offline events to point people to your site. Try running a competition at your tradeshow stand, with winners to be announced on the blog, as Marler Haley did recently. The uptick in traffic will benefit your site, and because the entrants took the time to visit your stand, chances are good that they will find further useful and relevant information on your site.

2. Demonstrating Knowledge

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Chris Lee is a blogger and online marketer who writes extensively about tradeshow marketing. He currently writes on behalf of Marler Haley.