Yeah we tried blogging, but decided it wasn’t for us, is something I hear businesses, large and small, say all the time.
In case you’re not well-versed in company speak, what they’re really saying is:
We tried blogging, but we couldn’t figure out how to make it bring in visitors or customers.
After all, no company is going to stop blogging if it’s helping their business, right?
Blogging can be incredibly effective if it’s done correctly. It’s that last part of that statement that’s key.
- How do you blog correctly?
- What do you need to do to draw in your audience?
- What creative angles can you use to increase your blog’s traffic?
That’s what we’ll cover here in this blog post.
Show them that you put their interests before your own
Customers want to have the idea that you’re telling them the truth.
If you can do that, then they’re more likely to share your content and return to your site to find out more about what you’ve got to say.
It doesn’t just work well in that regard either.
For once they believe that you’re telling the truth in regards to some things, they’re far more likely to believe in you regards to other things as well.
So how do you let your customers believe you’re telling them the truth?
Give them information that would seem to put you at a disadvantage. For example:
- Do a comparison of several of your products and advertise one of the cheaper things you have as a better choice for a certain market segment or group.
When you do this, the customers will believe it must be true as you’re disadvantaging yourself. The best part? Whatever information follows afterward will be much more likely to be believed and acted upon.
- Teach them tips and tricks to make a product last longer.
Again, a similar idea. If you give them information that will let them use your product for longer – particularly if that tip does not cost them anything extra (as in, they don’t have to buy some kind of new product to make it last longer) then that’s going to put you in a good light.
- Showcase a deal by a semi-competitor. Naturally, you’re not that keen to steer them straight to a competitor’s website as they might not come back.
So don’t do that. Instead, point them to what is frenemy website. As on, somebody who offers a product that similar to yours but not the same (pools and pool covers, for example) and showcase great deals that they’ve got.
What’s more, if you can reach some kind of an agreement with that frenemy, where they return the favor, you can both benefit.
Focus on problems
And here I’m not talking about your problems. Here I’m talking about the customer’s problems.
Find out what the biggest problems are that the customer has and then try to solve them.
So how do you know what problems customers have?
Well, if you’ve got enough customers then you can try something like a survey and simply ask them.
Alternatively, you can put a Google search box on your website.
Then you can see what questions people type it and based on that you’ll have an idea of what kinds of questions they’re asking.
A third strategy is to ask your customer service department to log what questions get asked a lot.
Then you can base your blog posts on that (as an added bonus, this will make your customer service department happy).
That not an option? Then try one of the many online question sites.
So scan these websites to get a better idea of what people want to know.
Even better, when you’ve answered the questions in a blog post, revisit these websites and when people have those question, provide them with a link to your website.
Improve your best content
If you have a piece of content that is doing well you should just leave it and move on, right?
No, absolutely not. That is the last thing you should do.
If you’ve actually got some content that is drawing in customers, then take the time to make it better.
Hone it, improve it, get rid of writing mistakes and make it more informative. This will serve two purposes:
- The content will become even more valuable and will end up getting shared even more widely.
- Google always watches if pages get updated. If it finds that you’re regularly changing and improving your website, it will rank it more highly than it otherwise would.
In this way, your piece of content will rank more highly in the search results and – as people have already demonstrated that they like it – will serve to draw people deeper into your website.
There is another way that you can use this strategy and that is to take content that worked well in the past, put it in another jacket and use it again.
What do I mean with this?
Well, let’s say that you’ve got a blog post that attracted a lot of attention. Why not turn it into an infographic?
Or perhaps find an expert in the field and discuss the questions and points in more depth with them in a podcast.
The advantage of this strategy is that you’ll be able to reach a completely new audience segment.
After all, some people prefer text, some prefer audio and others prefer visuals.
Tell a story
We didn’t evolve to like companies. We evolved to like other people.
In the past, there wasn’t much of a distinction between the two. If you visited your local store the people were there.
Nowadays, however, that’s changed. Online we’ve lost that personal element.
And that leads to far less loyalty and makes it far harder for people to remember who you are.
To counteract that, bring back the human element. How do you do that?
Tell stories about the people that work in your company and what they do.
Show how your company is more than an uncaring money grubbing machine.
Give a behind the scenes look. Show that you’re human and that you care about more than selling your product.
By doing this, you’re far more likely to create a connection between yourself and your customer.
And when you do that, you’ve got the possibility to not just sell something to a customer, but possibly even create a fan.
And those are far more valuable than people realize, as they can become brand advocates.
A lot of companies get their blogs the wrong way around.
They think they can use them to sell their product from day one. Nothing could be further from the truth.
You can’t yet sell products there because you haven’t yet won your audience’s trust and respect.
Only when you’ve got that, will they believe what you’ve got to say about your product.
So, show them that you’re not just after their money by telling them how they can take advantage of you.
That you’ve got real people working in the company and how they can solve the problems that they’ve got.
If you can do all of those things, then after that you can start using it to tell them about how great your products are.
If you’ve done it correctly they might even believe you.