You need to get a post out for your company blog today. And, you are struggling with what to do. Ugh!
So, like McCauley Culkin in Home Alone, you send out a primal scream and look for something... anything to do instead.Does this sound like you?
It is easy to put off this important but not urgent task by occupying your time with other more important to-dos.
Look at your emails...Check.
Have that important conversation about last night’s Walking Dead episode...Check.
Learn how to juggle by watching that awesome YouTube video...Check
THE PROBLEM? It’s not easy to create entertaining and educational blog posts about hazardous waste, toner cartridges, prison uniforms or a host of other difficult business topics.
Many companies begin a content marketing strategy only to abandon it after the initial excitement wears off.
Let’s face it... it takes a lot of discipline and some hard work to come up with interesting and targeted material, especially if your business is by most standards considered BORING!
So Why Do It?
Because people are doing internet searches every day for a whole host of topics including searches related to your business. This means the key to capturing their attention involves blogging, creating eBooks and other relevant content that educates your visitors, entertains your prospects and nurtures them until they become satisfied customers.
No matter what business you are in, inbound marketing is here to stay and people are using search engines such as Google and Bing to find relevant information about topics related to your business. If you are not creating material because you think it is dry, you can bet that your competitors are. And, they are gaining market share as you read this.
Here are 3 ways to spice up your boring blog posts and help get the juices flowing, come up with some great content and avoid creating boring blog posts:
1. Do Your Investigation
It’s time to put all of those hours you spent watching TV detective shows to good use. If you want to be a great content creator, you must first understand your target audience...your current clients and your future clients.
This takes time.
Begin with creating a buyer persona, a representation of your ideal customer based on real data about demographics and online behavior, as well as speculation about their personal histories, motivations and concerns.
Launch your own investigation into understanding what troubles your clients have so that you can better gauge how you can help ease their pain.
But, to solve a case, your investigation must be thorough. After all, the most thorough investigations bring with them the most likelihood of success.
Use your client list, your social media feeds and your blog to ask questions. Then, ask some more questions, and more after that. Keep asking questions until you truly understand what your customers are looking for and where their problem lies.
Here are some questions to ask when you are developing your buyer personas:
- Who are your ideal customers? In other words, you should be able to identify their:
- Background, including job and family
- Demographics, such as male or female, age, income and location
- Details of their company, including their industry, size of company, role in the company and the chain of command
- Identifiers, such as their demeanor and communication preferences
- What are their goals and challenges they are are currently experiencing - and may experience in the future?
- What do their online preferences look like? What social media channels do they use, personally and professionally? What type of online content do they use to educate themselves? Content they may use includes:
- White papers
- Social media
- Why should they buy your product? This may be one of their greatest challenges. How can you help them overcome this?
In the end, the description of your buyer persona should be able to answer these questions:
- What do they fear?
- What do they need?
- What is stopping them from being successful?
- What information can you give to help them?
2. Think Like a Teacher
Once you understand what their pain is, find your inner John Keating from “Dead Poets Society.” Jump on the desk and teach the poor souls, who are desperately searching for an answer to a problem, what the solution is.
Every day, people are looking for information in an effort to solve problems. And, this is why you have a business. At some point, someone (It may have been you) recognized that there was a problem that needed to be solved. And, you had THE solution.
Building a great lesson plan - or in this case, a great content marketing strategy - is key to providing that solution and growing your business. After all, HubSpot reports that 72% of marketers said having a good content strategy in place was a major reason they were successful in 2018.
- How-to videos
- Buyers’ guides
Combine content marketing and social media to ignite lead generation, and pour every ounce of your energy into helping businesses or individuals get past their problems, pain or fear.
By providing a solution that helps your prospects solve their problems, you build authority and trust. And, ultimately, you gain the right to earn their business.
3. Tell A Good Story
To grow your business, you must understand and solve your customer’s problem. The best way to get them in the door is through a story. If you have been in business for any length of time, you have a lot of material to work with.
Somewhere along the line, a customer had an interesting problem that you were able to solve. If one person had the problem, you can bet ten have the same problem.
Share your other customers' stories! (Without mentioning their name, unless they give you permission, of course!) You can share these stories on social media, in your blog articles or as proof of a successful implemented strategy in your eBooks.
As pointed out above, the content that you create should attract your customers and keep them coming back for more. The stories you share are a great way to let your customers know that you truly understand their pain, and more importantly, that you have a solution.
As a bonus, the more they love what you are providing, the more they are likely to share it with their friends, family and co-workers. After all, they probably know other people that can benefit from what you have to offer!
Investigate, teach and tell not only a good story, but their story, and you will keep them coming back for more.
Bill is the CEO and Founder of InTouch Marketing. Bill drives the vision and direction of InTouch except when England's playing in a soccer tournament, because everything stops!