I started my first blog back in 2009. For me it was a cool hobby - a way to share all my travels and the interesting food and drink I encountered along the way. For many bloggers, starting a blog is a way to share something that they are passionate about with the world. What starts as simple sharing of ideas and experiences, can soon become a lucrative way to earn a living and influence people all over the world. Mashable and The Huffington Post are two great examples of blogs that turned into million dollar businesses.
Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers. - Brian Clarke
The same way that individuals can have a meaningful impact through blogging, and grow into successful businesses, so too can small businesses. In fact, there are countless examples of businesses of all sizes that have significantly grown their customer base by adding blogging into their digital marketing strategy. It doesn’t even matter what industry you’re in, blogging can help your business grow. On average, business-to-customer (B2C) companies that blog generate 88% more leads per month than those that don’t; while business-to-business (B2B) companies that blog, generate 67% more than their non-blogging counterparts. [source: DBC Digital]
Furthermore, 60% of online shoppers surveyed reported that they made a decision to purchase after reading recommendations from a blog. [source HuffPost] Blogging provides businesses with an enormous opportunity to influence consumers’ purchasing decisions with timely and relevant content. The following are just a few ways that your business can win customers through blogging.
Embrace Micro Moments
According to Google, micro moments are impulsive informational splurges that can occur at any time and anywhere. These are moments in which consumers go online to find information that addresses a specific need in a given moment.
Micro moments can be broken down into four categories:
I want to know e.g. “What is the best distance to walk for weightloss?”
I want to go e.g. "Walking trails near Mission Valley, CA"
I want to do e.g. "How to track walking distance on an iPhone"
I want to buy e.g. "women’s walking shoes"
Using the above example, if your business sells women’s walking shoes in the Mission Valley area, then your content strategy should seek to provide information relevant to those micro-moments that your audience might have. The key here is to be able to anticipate your ideal customer’s micro moments and provide timely content that addresses their specific needs.
Know Your Audience
In order to create timely content, you first have to know who your ideal audience is and what their needs are. What are their burning questions everyday that would lead them in search of information that you can provide? To learn more about the content that your audience wants, you can conduct consumer surveys, get insights from your team on the journey of your current customers, and analyze the types of questions that are most frequently asked of your business.
Have A Unique Voice
Another key component of blogging to win customers is having a unique voice and way of bringing across information to your audience. A great way to develop this is to look at how you currently interact with your customers. Is it super formal/corporate, fun and interactive etc? What type of industry are you in? What’s the age group of your audience? Is it appropriate to use jargon or slang? All these types of questions can help you develop a tone of voice that would appeal best to your target audience.
Really Be In It To Help People
Blogging is not a one time thing that you do one day and reap results. You really have to be in it for the long haul and have a real desire to help others by solving problems and adding value. This is how you will win customers in the long run. For examples, let’s say that you sell outdoor power equipment (lawnmowers, generators etc). You might want to create content that teaches your customers how to care for their equipment, that shows them how to perform certain outdoor maintenance tasks, and that even helps them decide which model or brand of equipment they should buy based on their particular project.
Promote, Promote, Promote!
If nobody can find your content online, it can’t help them. Waiting for your blog post to show up organically in search results on the first page will take some time. To speed things up and get eyeballs on your content sooner, here are just a handful of the things that you can do to promote your blog posts:
Share your blog posts on all your social media channels (more than once!)
Promote through paid advertising
Share on aggregate sites and social news communities like Reddit
Email them to your subscribers (more than once!)
Add share buttons to your posts so that your audience can share your content with others
Share on social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon
Add links to your email signature and the bio of your social profiles
Add an RSS feed to your blog and submit your blog to RSS Blog Directories
#BloggingForBusiness is a great way to win new customers. It helps you to build trust with your audience and be a part of their critical decision making process. No matter your industry or the size of your business you can create a blog that helps people. If you’ve been waiting for a sign to get started, this is it! Don’t hesitate to drop us a line if you need more guidance with #blogging for your business.