Just an addendum to several good answers I've seen here: if you can post once or twice per week, blogging will increase your SEO profile substantially.
Set up your site on Wordpress, connect it with Google Analytics/Webmaster Tools and Yoast's SEO plugin, and then take the time to find keywords and concepts that answer questions about your business and your industry, then use that information to for news on how to use products or services, interactions with customers, your interaction with your community, industry news, and some fun material, as well.
Cross-post, quote and link between your site, other friendly sites, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and maybe even MosaicHub to drive people to answers you've written on your blog, like this:
Hi Anonymous... I've written about this extensively on my blog. Here's an article that answers your question in detail,(“Inbound Marketing” & “Content Marketing” buzzwords briefly explained. http://richwebster.com/inbound-marketing-content-marketing-buzzwords-briefly-explained/) and there's a lot of other great stuff there as well: RichWebster.com
Note that the Title of the post and the URL match and are loaded with keywords related to searches people do on Google for these subjects so Google can match searches with your content. Over time, if you post 2 articles per week you end up with over 100 posts per year on your subject, your business, and your expertise. I honestly never get around to more than a couple per month, which is better than nothing. And some people will link to those posts, and that helps increase your "PageRank". If it's set up right, every time you post, you're telling the search engines, "I'm here, I'm active, I'm providing value" and that will move you up the search engine results.
Is this necessary? Well, no. But getting traffic on your site and telling those visitors you're thinking of them and sharing your expertise and passion: Priceless.
Considered, yes. Necessary, no. In fact because a blog is primarily a person-to-person communication most business organizations will not post the type of communications that will benefit them or their customers.
A Blog is seen as more 'personal' than a website so adding a blog helps to bering one closer to ones clients/customer/readers. It can provide an invaluable tool for feedback also.
A believe a blog that is relevant to your business will be some good for your company because you are not only providing people with news and information about your company, but you are also giving people good content about the trends of your business' industry which will make your business an expert in the field. People are more than likely deal with your company because you have expertise in the relevant field your business falls under.
Sophia makes an excellent point about sustainability. The only thing worse than not having a blog is having a blog that has no content. This is one of the the most important things about having a blog. Of course, you could always take it down if you don't have the time for it, but if you are going to incorporate it into your business website, make sure you have a plan for content. It is a a lot harder than it seems, especially if you are trying to do it on your own. Having a content-rich blog gives a person reasons to visit more than once. Those are the customers of the future.
Zack and Steve also make good points, but I would stress the "Extra dimension" part. In my experience, a blog can be a "value added" type thing, a great informational tool, a tickler to stay in front of potential clients, and a great conversation piece to allow potential clients to talk about your business and its products. What a blog is not is a salesman. While it can act as an amplifier or catalyst, it doesn't replace lead generation and customer contact.
Is it necessary? No. Blogs are great, but for the vast majority of consumers, they want to READ a blog not necessarily interact with its creator, at least not at first. This is again where consistent sustainable content is huge. A customer that visits your site is, many times, vetting your company. If the information they find in your blog is wrong, doesn't indicate that you have product knowledge, is nothing more than a come on, or is just a random mish mosh of links to other sites' content, you may lose customers.
If you need a blog or not depends mostly what kind of business you have and how do you usually interact with customers.
Most companies should have a blog to keep customers up to date with news in company, new products.
You can start with periodic updates, like once every 2 weeks and increase if you have more content.
Yes, if you can sustain your blog writing effort and provide relevant articles.
Yes, if you need more traffic. Content is king. If you use social media, you can use your blog's articles to get more interested people to visit your main website.
It is not necessary if you already have a business website. But it is a plus if you have a blog to supply fresh articles to support your cause. A blog can help you interact with your target market or potential clients. If your business website already does this, then a blog won't be needed.
Here is a sample of a blog with interaction with interested readers.
If you can do a blog right, you should.
If you can't do a blog right, you shouldn't.
The web is full of bad blogs that are doing businesses no good. And what makes a good blog? Content and the ability to write it consistently, on schedule, ad nauseam. You have to have plans for the slow weeks, etc.
If the blog is just for press releases, it ain't a blog.
Just as you said "blogs are a great way to connect people...";
Now, it's all a matter of choosing who'd be the blogger.
The short and simple answer is Yes you need a Blog for following reasons:-
1. Blog serves as a platform to share & get connected with your user in a casual way!
2. People love to get connected with real people from a Brand!
3. Blog also serves as your newsletter, your billboard to share all important or even small happenings within your organization with your customer's.
4. Blog serves as a great vehicle to move your content travel at Social Media sites, Search Engines and many other benefits.
5. Last but not least you can share Coupons, Special Announcements etc at your blog which is not possible for you to do in a interactive and social way at your website!
Happy Blogging :-)