Why blogging is good for your business – 4 tips to make it easier
Back in 2008, Marcus Sheridan was the co-owner of a pool company hit hard by the recession. A rapid decline in sales meant a rapid decline in the available marketing budget—and a complete rethink of strategy. He began blogging, answering a customer question in each blog post. The company’s honest and detailed answers drew traffic to the site and restored the company’s sales.
At the time, his approach was novel: His blogs directly answered the questions for which people were searching for answers—inadvertently dominating long-tail search terms.
Blogging is so much a part of business DNA and has become a critical part of marketing strategy. So, how do you know what to blog about?
One of the main complaints we hear from our customers is, “I’ve nothing to write about!”
Facing a blank screen can be hard. However, if you keep in mind your objectives for writing your blog in the first place, finding subjects to write about should be easy. You know your business inside out and are passionate about your brand—so you can wax lyrical about the things you love about your business with aplomb.
But talking about what you want to talk about isn’t the vital ingredient for blogging success—it’s thinking like a customer.
Blogging as a strategy
Start with this approach:
- What questions dominate your online chat?
- What do your customers most want to know?
- What requests does your support team field on a daily basis?
Here are four tips to guide you along the way.
1. Demystify new buzzwords and topics in your industry.
Even the most junior staff can help to brainstorm blog topics. Here, their lack of knowledge may even be an advantage—especially if you want to create a series of blogs that explain topics from an amateur point of view.
Just because your CEO has been throwing around phrases like “IoT” and “AI” for the last six years, it doesn’t mean your customers have any clue about what they mean and, especially, what they mean within the context of your product.
Explainer tips are a great way to draw in a wider audience for your blog.
2. Tell the story of your brand.
People buy from people. Tell your story (take a look at ours). Help your customers to understand who you are and what drives you. This can be anything from simply profiling members of your team—have junior team members tell their stories or offer them a chance to blog about the issues they help your customers solve every day.
More importantly, remember to be consistent with your messaging and authentic.
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3. Advertise your successes.
Giving your customers an opportunity to advocate on your behalf is one of the most rewarding ways to generate content. It’s always nice to hear from happy customers about the things you are getting right and to share that with your team.
Taking the time to ask your customers about why they like your products and services very often tells you things you didn’t know about why people buy from you. Consequently, this allows businesses to change their messaging based on the feedback they’ve received from customers during case study interviews.
If you’re open to listening to the negatives, too, you can uncover opportunities to do better. Naturally, you don’t need to publish these, but you do need to act on them. Customer-focused blogs are easy to get started on: reach out to your customers and ask them to share their thoughts.
Remember this is an opportunity for your customers to shine too.
4. Ask your customers what they want to know.
Marketers used to task the sales team with asking customers and prospects which newspapers and magazines they read. The responses could help marketing understand where they need to place their messaging.
Today, business owners and leaders need to be asking the sales team to ask a different question of customers and prospects: What issues do you most want to know about?
If you need help to expand your digital footprint, we can help.