So you've started a business blog and are struggling with what content you should post. Blogs have been very successful for individuals, but what can you offer your customers in a blog that will appeal to them?
The good news is that you can develop an effective strategy for your business blog that will attract customers and grow your business.
Many businesses do not really develop the full potential of their web presence. Sure they pick up a few customers now and again. A few people find their business on the Internet, but these are few and far between.
Mostly their websites serve as billboards in cyberspace that people may see as they surf the web, but don't really pay attention to. Your website does not have to be this way. An effective business blog strategy can be a crucial tool in helping your business.
A Fresh Approach to Your Business Blog
So what should you be doing with your business blog? On your blog, you can engage in an ongoing conversion with your target market.
By posting informative, valuable and educational content about your field, you begin to develop relationships with people who are interested in what you have to say. These people will eventually become your customers when they have a problem that only you can solve.
Imagine that you own a nursery and garden center. Your blog could share about the best gardening practices for your region. It could answer questions that your customers are frequently asking you.
As you build a body of content that answers these questions, people will start to visit your site again and again for the valuable information that you provide. Where do you think these gardening aficionados are going to shop when they need garden supplies?
They are going to come to their trusted source of great information about gardening: you!
It's Not About You!
The most important thing to remember about your business blog is that it is not about you! It is about your customers and potential customers. You want to think about how to solve their problems, cater to their interests and provide for their needs.
This is not a venue for you to sell your products. You might occasionally feature your products when you talk about how to solve problems, but you are not trying to sell. You are trying to inform, add value and educate.
By shifting the focus from your business goals to the goals of your customers, you are moving your business blog in the right direction. You are building long-term relationships with your target market that will result in continued growth.
Benefits of Blogging
Bring Exposure: The more new content that you post on your page, the higher the search engines will rank your site. This results in more people seeing your content and increased exposure for your business. People simply have more ways of finding you with more blog posts available to look at.
Build Connections: You want to do more than simply acquire new Facebook likes because people found an interesting coupon. You want to build long-term connections with people who look to you to solve their problems. By blogging, you establish these meaningful and long-term relationships with your readers.
Form an Engaging Community: As you begin to interact with your audience on your blog and through social media, a community begins to form around your blog. This community represents an engaged group of people with like interests who believe that you have something valuable to offer. You will not simply be resolving complaints, but helping people derive more value from your services. This community can also point you in the direction of new markets and opportunities for growth.
Create Brand Ambassadors: Your blog empowers your best customers to spread the word about your business. They can share your content on social media, provide social proof of the value of your business and bring new customers to you. Blogging can turn your customers into a valuable marketing tool.
Developing Content For Your Business Blog
The first step in developing a strategy for your business blog is to construct buyer personas. These personas represent the types of people you are trying to attract with your blog. Constructing personas helps you see what you are doing from your reader's perspective.
Think about what the people who match your buyer personas want to see featured in your blog, what their problems are and how you can help solve them. You can then create relevant content that people will be interested in.
As the owner of a nursery and garden center near Denver, you know that people have a hard time maintaining grass lawns.
You also know that a significant number of people have become interested in permaculture as a way to integrate their home's landscape into the natural environment.
You could develop a series of blog posts designed to educate people about how to do this in Denver. This will attract people interested in permaculture in Denver and bring them to your store.
The more customer personas you develop, the more people you can attract by blogging.
At this point, you can develop a series of blog posts. Here are some ideas for blog posts:
Tutorials and How-To's: These popular blog posts show your readers how to do something. For example, our nursery and garden center might have a tutorial on how to build raised garden beds. The posts could allude to the supplies required that are available at the garden center but mostly the post would be educational.
Video Testimonials: These are powerful tools to create a narrative that is told by a third party where your business is the hero of the story who saves the day. You let someone else toot your horn for you.
Great Outcomes: You want to feature stories about people who have accomplished great things. The nursery and garden center could feature before and after transformations of landscapes or gardens. Nutrition stores and fitness centers could show before and after pictures of people who have been on their plan.
Reviews: People want honest opinions about products out their in the market place. By offering honest reviews of the products that you carry, you can attract traffic and help people make a decision to buy something.
Resource Lists: You could let your readers know where the best resources are for your topic. The nursery and garden center could provide information about gardening courses, free seminars, great books and local garden clubs.
As you can see, your blog can be a valuable asset to your business. It has a lot of potential to transform the way your approach your target market in your online advertising.
By providing valuable information and content to your audience, you develop strong business relationships that result in new customers and growth for your business.