In a word: no. The deciding factor between using a ‘brochure’ website and a blog is the writing aspect. If you can consistently maintain a steady stream of blog posts about your company and write about things like what it does, your profession and maybe occasionally yourself or the people in it, then you are in an enviable position and should start blogging right away.
Customers will appreciate your input and you will be promoting your business potentially just as well as buying ad space in a major daily (Yes I’m serious!) without spending a lot of money as you are merely drawing from experience and your surroundings.
It also does a service for people in your profession as a whole, adding insight and an appreciation of what you do to people who would not otherwise know any better – something I personally am keenly aware of considering I used to blog and explain technology while most people think tech is something that involves the dark arts.
If you can’t blog for whatever reason though all is not lost, First alternative is to just maintain a no – frills brochure website. A simple brochure website displaying your company’s information is actually perfectly fine.
I say actually because people shouldn’t knock it – a simple website explaining what you do plus contact info is in itself already very effective, so much so it confuses me that many companies are unable to do this blindingly easy task. Forget the Flash, forget the twirling gifs and most especially avoid adding music, all of which seem like good ideas at the start but become terribly annoying the second time you visit.
Just a simple, spartan black on white, and therefore quick loading website showing what customers need to know quickly without drama is often much appreciated. If done in good old html it will already be semantically correct or at least search engine crawlable. At the very least it will serve as a good starting point for adding other things, such as nicer images for example, that you can add later on.
The Second is a more formal publication, or a news – like section that updates in a reporting fashion. I recommend these for those starting out or who may not be used to writing longer articles. Reports such as a new promo, a new menu for a restaurant or longer or shorter store hours along with an accompanying image and one paragraph text will not impress your customer’s socks off but it at least gives the impression that your business is a thriving, active establishment and that things are moving along – always something people want to hear.
Later on as you get more comfortable writing short reports you may want to graduate into more interesting topics such as a celebratory post re your company’s new delivery vehicle, or your expansion plans into the coming year, and other non – news but still business related ideas.
What you DO NOT WANT
The last thing you want really, is to start a blog and not update it. Considering blog posts have dates on them, it will not impress anyone to see a several months old latest update.
This not only conveys an image of a good idea failed, but may make future customers truly doubt whether the business is still functioning. In lieu of this, consider just putting up a simple no frills brochure website as I described in the paragraph above. Again while less ‘hi tech’ than a blog it at least will provide the most basic functions of a website – that is, to provide information to customers – without relaying the idea they are unable to maintain a simple blog or if they’re even still around.
It will also relieve you of any pressure of maintaining a blog – something you obviously need if you find yourself unable to maintain one.
Next up: Assign A Point Person, Examples and Involving The Boss.