Use a Blog to Get to Know Your Customer

There is more great information over at eMarketer.

This time, the site is highlighting some interesting insight into the minds of small business owners. For some, this is a prime target customer. So it’s good to understand the frustrations these folks have because that means opportunity.

From Mobile Is the Gateway to Small-Business Owners, SMBs:

In March 2012, marketing agency Cargo and Inc. Magazine found the majority (52%) of US small-business owners felt companies did not market to them effectively. Along similar lines, 45% said companies made little effort to understand their business and 43% said B2B marketers did not understand their individual needs as small-business owners.

I found it interesting that nearly half of small business owners felt that B2B companies did little to actually for a relationship with their target clients. It seems there is a big opportunity for B2B companies. I’m sure having a product or service that fills a void and is useful is still the most important fact of making a sale, but if your company can also show effort to form a relationship with clients you might be able to gain an advantage over competitors.

The question then becomes, how does one form a relationship with small business owners?

How to Use a Company Blog to Form Relationships

In the article linked above there is an insight that small business owners are short on time. As a business owner yourself, you can probably relate. You’re busy. Your clients are busy. When is there time to really hone a business relationship that yields results for all parties over time?

One way to improve relations with clients and potential clients is with a company blog.

Part of a relationship is showing the other person that you listen. Blogging is a great way to show that you listen to the problems your clients have. You can use their problems as inspiration for blog posts. You already do the same thing when developing products and services. But if a problem just requires some insight, you can provide the answer in a blog post.

For example, on this blog I try to listen to the questions clients have about blogging as well as the questions other bloggers have. A recent question that turned into a blog post was How Do I Give Credit For Blog Ideas? This is a big issue. I often use other articles for blog idea inspiration. I always try to include all links to original articles. I also try not to use too much content from the original article. The idea is to add to the original article with more original insight.

The article turned out to be popular with readers and seems to be helpful. The fact that a common question was answered seemed to be important to clients and readers.

This is just one simple example of how a blog can be used to improve customer relations. It’s important to listen to your clients to better understand their business and what they expect from you. With a blog, you can have another outlet for providing proof that you listen and useful information that can help clients with their questions and problems.

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