We inhabit a world where words like “content marketing,” “content strategy,” “SEO” and “PPC” are thrown around like the backyard game of toss from your youth. If you never hear any of those words again, you’d be fine. After all, that’s why you hired an SEO firm—they can spend all day chasing Google’s tail for you. You have a business to run.
Thing is, you and your staff do manage your company’s blog, a job that seems to grow more daunting by the day.
Ideas are tough to come by. There’s hardly any time to write, even if you do have an idea. And to make matters worse, no one on your staff would consider themselves a writer, especially not you.
Don’t beat yourself up. It’s not your fault.
No one is born a writer. It takes times, lots of effort and even more time to become skilled at the craft. But be ye not deceived: The path to creating a successful blog has already been paved, and it has nothing to do with being a great writer.
An amazing, resourceful company blog is about ideas…ideas that connect what you do and who you are to those you desire to serve. Lucky for you, the successful business you currently run is an idea-generating machine.
Here’s how to mine the resource to connect with clients, loop in prospects and grow your business.
1. Answer a question. You get questions every day, whether it’s in person, by phone, email or through texts. Select a handful of the most common questions received, then begin creating individual posts around them. The answers don’t have to be long—just 250 to 300 words. They need only to be accurate and reflective of the tone you should take when looking to attract new business. As a bonus, you could “set aside” one day of the week to answer a question on the blog, such as “Tuesday’s With Paul” or “Answers By Ed.” Make it fun and informative, and people will notice.
2. Take a picture. Visuals are far more impactful than text. Make this fact work for you by creating blogs around interesting or significant images, which could then be shared on social media to draw interest and interaction. Maybe it’s a funny sign on a customer’s car, the quirky inscription on the coffee mug you recently picked up at the local coffee shop or a t-shirt worn by one of your most loyal customers. If you find it interesting, others likely feel the same way. Why not share it in a blog?
3. Share a story. Everyone loves a great story, and after being in business for years, you have plenty to share. Spend some time thinking about a significant occurrence that made a huge impact in your business or personal life, and then share it as a blog on your site. What does this have to do with business? Very little. But remember, customers become clients only after they have a connection to you and/or your brand. Your story could be just the connective tissue your business needs to grow.
4. Invite readers into your world. Your customers need to know you’re human. They long to see you as more than someone who sends them an invoice each month. Use your blog to highlight your home life, showing readers a behind-the-scenes look at who you are away from the office. Share your morning routine, the traffic you endure to get to the office, even annoyances such as your kids always leaving plates on the table or your spouse always losing his or her keys. (In a separate blog you could give the same treatment to your office life.)
5. Highlight a negative-to-positive interaction. In business, nothing goes as planned 100 percent of the time. Personalize your brand as one that prospects would enjoy doing business with by bringing to life an instance where the client wasn’t happy with your product or service and how you successfully resolved the situation, creating a win-win for all parties.
The content marketing world would have you believe a blog is some magical instrument capable of reshaping the arc of your business.
In reality, your company’s blog is a sharp tool continually wielded to drive value to existing clients while capturing the attention of prospects as an invaluable resource.
Provided you keep the needs of customers and clients—not the needs of the business itself—as the focus of your blogging efforts, it’s hard to go wrong.
What do you think? Any ideas immediately jump out at you as excellent fodder for blogs?