Why does your business need to blog? Blogging is one of my primary marketing tools. It’s cheap, effective and shares your expertise with your customers without beating them over the head. More importantly, it shows that there is a person behind the branding.
As my regular readers hopefully already know, people ultimately buy from people. The term ‘faceless corporation’ isn’t usually applied by anyone who has had a good customer service experience. Simply put, sharing content which shows the human face of your business increases engagement and the likelihood of a continuing relationship.
But what do you include? The primary objectives of a blog are to nurture the sense of a personal relationship between you and your customers and to demonstrate your expertise. Social proof is incredibly influential in consumer decision making; at its simplest level a prospect is more likely to become a customer if their friends have recommended you. If your audience regards you as an expert in your field they are more likely to choose you over your competitors when they need help. Your blog posts can support these aims by featuring work that you’ve already completed, or any current projects. They can also be used to demonstrate that you understand your customers’ needs. Where are their pain points? Which of your products is the most popular, or which service do you perform most frequently? Use your blogs to talk about them and show how you can help.
If you can link your blog to something that’s happening in the news or another prominent event, the message can resonate more strongly as it will be reinforced every time your readers see something related. If you can give a special offer to your readers, that’s even better. It’s nearly Easter, are you running any special promotions? (For my very own Easter egg, see below!*)
Crafting good content is an art, but if you want to write your own blogs there are a few simple principles to follow. Firstly, choose a goal. What is this blog designed to achieve? Drawing an analogy between your business and something personal is fine but it needs to contribute to the same overall message. You should also check whether the message is something that your customers are going to care about – bluntly, does it pass the ‘so what?’ test?
A blog is a piece of personal writing so it doesn’t have to be as formal as your other business communications as long as the overall tone fits with your brand. If inspiration deserts you at the sight of a blank screen, try talking and recording instead.
Ultimately, I would be selling myself short if I didn’t suggest that you speak to a writer. I spend a huge proportion of my working day writing blogs, both for myself and others. I even get asked to check and rewrite pieces that need a change in tone or some legal fact checking. I work with people who are excellent writers themselves but find that their time is more profitably spent doing other things. A good content writer with knowledge of your business can not only write, rewrite and edit for you, they can come up with suitable topics too. You can also share content and memorable quotes via social media and newsletters so they keep working for you.
Whatever route you take, I hope you give blogging a try, it could transform your business. If I’ve inspired you to give it a go, feel free to share them with me via Twitter (@KirstyFrance) or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/KirstyFranceWrites).
*OK, here’s your Easter Egg – sorry it isn’t chocolate! For a free copy of my guide ’10 Tips to create copy that converts’, register for updates here