Blogging for business is something I swear by. Of course it is. The very fact that you’re reading this line is proof that it works.
But why should you, as a non writer, try blogging for business or investigate content?
Let me break it down.
Why should you blog for your business?
Blogging is a different kind of marketing art because it does something most ordinary sales and marketing doesn’t do very well- it builds an ongoing relationship with your customers and intended audience. The idea is to use story to attract, educate, convert and retain customers.
As such, blogging in a business setting forces you to think long term in terms of strategy and to create an ongoing believable, genuine and helpful connection with your audience. You can only do that if you are willing to share a lot of your own passion, insight and internal musings.
So if blogging for business helps you connect genuinely with your audience, why don’t more companies do it?
Because being that open with a customer scares the beejesus out of most brands. And unlike putting an ad somewhere and measuring the clicks or calls, blogging is not an immediate marketing fix.
It takes time and patience, and a lot of businesses undervalue both of these commodities when it comes to marketing.
But there is an upside beyond building that long term connection via blogging that YOU as the business owner can immediately access.
Great content gets you thinking about your customer more. It makes you think not about what you want to give your customers but how your customers will receive it. It trains you to think about your customer and critically analyse how they perceive your business on a regular basis. This is invaluable.
So too is having a tangible and effective way to humanise your brand.
If you do feel keen on letting people go behind the scenes, you want to be known for offering totally tail-kicking customer service or if you want people to view you as an authority in your field, blogging for business rocks. Blogging is a great way to get a little quirky, special and creative in the kind of conversation you want to have with your customers, too.
It allows you to communicate directly with your customer without the natural rejection of marketing getting in the way.
What should you aim to do when blogging?
Believe it or not, your customers are waiting to become serious champions of your business. They may not know it quite yet though, and that’s where content and blogging comes in.
Blogging appeals to consumers for a variety of reasons.
We love being able to get up close and personal with our favourites. Yes, even our favourite brands and companies.
Being able to research the heck out of a product or service really makes a consumer feel empowered.
Some customers have an insatiable appetite for learning and are supremely curious about what it is that makes your business tick.
Others will do anything to build a human connection and/or check out behind the scenes.
No matter the reason, it all comes down to 3 key points. Customers choose to read blogs because they want to be 1) informed, 2) entertained and/or 3) inspired.
And if you can keep that in mind when writing your content, blogging for business becomes a fairly tasty piece of cake.
How do you keep blogging for business when the ideas run out?
As outlined in my content eBook, ‘The Age of Word Love’, my personal formula is based on collecting ideas for headings, creating blog shells and spending time playing around with words. The key to any kind of blogging success comes from thinking about your customer and trying to improve their situation.
Here are a few on the fly categories that people love to indulge in when blogging from the customer’s perspective:
- Does this product solve my problem?
- What do I need to understand to buy or use this product?
- What is it about this product that makes me want to buy it over the other options?
- Why is this product for me? Why would I be happy to say I am their customer?
- How does this business feel about the topics I care about?
- Where does this business fit into their industry?
- Do these guys know their stuff? Can I learn from them?
- How are they going to allay my fears?
- What’s their idea of having a good rant and/or taking someone or something to task?
- How do I describe their product or service to my friends effectively?
- How do I convince my dad/mum/partner/sister/friend/pet cat to buy this for me?
Next, spend some time thinking about whether your reader is a loyal fan or someone who could potentially not even know your solution exists before they stumble onto you through search. By thinking about the kinds of information your potential customers need to make their purchase journey easy while also thinking about the different stages of the buying cycle they are in, blogging for business becomes a lot simpler.
What’s the best way to start your blogging adventure?
Ask yourself if you have time for creating blogs and other content. Blogging isn’t an immediate fix nor will it bring customers running to you without a consistent and lengthy effort. If you do, think about the kinds of questions your customers may have. And think about the kind of content that motivates your customers to action and whether blogging will help with creating that motivation at sales time. And consider some sneaky tips to help you create blog posts when you first start off, or when you get stuck.
You can also try some great books including Optimise and Managing Content Marketing. And you can get my content eBook here.
Or you can ask the questions you have here, in the comments.