Let’s get real.
Some of us work in industries that to the “Average Joe” are just plain BORING.
You know who you are.
But what if I were to tell you that to some people, you and your BORING BUSINESS are flat out INTERESTING.
Like “MOST INTERESTING MAN IN THE WORLD” interesting.
Who are these sad and lonely people?
Well your potential customers, of course. People whose problem you are uniquely qualified to solve and who are scouring the internet day and night searching for you.
The question is, have you left enough breadcrumbs on the internet for them to find you?
Here’s The Good News
People are doing internet searches every day for a whole host of topics including searches related to your products and services and companies that have an effective content marketing strategy, including regular blogging are destroying their peers.
By how much?
According to recent statistics, businesses that blog generate 67% more leads than companies that don’t. (Source: HubSpot)
This means the key to capturing the attention of all these B2B procurement specialists looking to make a purchase involves an effective content strategy including blogging, eBooks, videos and other relevant content that educates and entertains your prospects and nurtures them until they become satisfied customers.
No matter what business you are in, or how boring you may think it is, people are using search engines such as Google and Bing and social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest to find relevant information about topics related to your business.
If this is the first you’ve heard of it, or if you think your business is too dry for people to care then you are missing out on one of the most effective marketing options at your disposal today.
Ready to get started?
First things first, it’s not easy.
It can be incredibly challenging to make hazardous waste, toner cartridges, prison uniforms or a host of other products or services informative and interesting.
But, it’s possible.
Here are five business blogging tips to help you hit the ground running and start engaging your prospects.
Tip #1: Nobody Cares How Great You Are
Before you embark on your journey, this is the “Golden Blogging Rule” that you must follow. Don’t talk about yourself or your business.
I will repeat that again.
Don’t talk about yourself or your business.
Nobody cares about how great you are.
You are writing your blog for your readers and trying to help them solve their problems.
Your long term goal of blogging may be to generate leads and increase sales, but if your blog posts are used to spread sales messages or distribute press releases, you are missing the point, and you will struggle to build an audience.
Most people who land on your site aren’t interested in your business, and most definitely are not interested in your sales pitch.
It’s all about this one question.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?
Take off your sales hat and start thinking like a problem solver.
By providing solid advice on a continuous basis, you build authority and trust. Ultimately that is how you will generate leads and make sales.
Tip #2: Investigate Your Prospects
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 dig deep and try and
understand your ideal customer’s pain. This takes time.
Use your client list, your social media feeds, and your blog to ask questions, ask some more questions, and then ask some more questions until you truly understand what your customers are looking for and where their pain lies.
Get out the black CSI lights and do a thorough investigation until you truly understand what troubles them.
In fact, you should work your fingers to the bone to find out what is troubling them. Is it something they fear? Need to get by? A blockade that’s killing their business?
Once you have a thorough understanding of your customers’ challenges, then you can start the process of developing relevant topics that provide solutions to those challenges and start the process of writing.
Tip #3: Think Like a Teacher
Once you have completed your investigation and understand the pain, find your inner John Keating, Jaime Escalante, Walter White or any other great teacher depicted in movies or television.
Ok, I may have to rethink the Walter White thing, but you know what I’m getting at.
It’s OK to jump up on the desk and teach the poor souls that are desperately searching for material about a problem for which your business IS the solution.
Every day people are looking for information in an effort to solve problems. This is why you have a business because someone at some point (It may have been you) recognized a problem that needed to be solved and had THE solution.
Pour every ounce of your energy into helping that business or individual get past — a problem, a pain, a fear. By helping your prospects solve their problems, you build authority and trust and ultimately gain the right to earn their business.
Tip #4: Tell a Good Story
To grow your prospect list by blogging, you must retain your prospect’s interest. The best way to keep your prospects attention is through sharing your compelling story, even if your business is something as mundane as disposing of a client’s hazardous waste, or the latest in sanitary port-a-potties.
Hey, when you have to go, you want it to be clean!!
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 had the same problem.
Share the Story!
The content that you create should attract your customers and keep them coming back for more. The more that you use story to let your customers know that you truly understand their pain, and more importantly that you have a solution, the more they will love you and share your material. They know people that have the same issues.
Do you have a great story about how you solved a customer’s problem? Take a minute and share it on your blog!
Tip #5: Singles Not Homers
The best business blogs play small ball. It’s not about swinging for the fences on every post, but rather creating relevant content and maintaining consistency.
Why does consistency matter?
Unlike other old school marketing tactics like newspaper ads or the phone book, a blog article lasts forever. Once a blog post is published it’s out on the internet forever, working day and night. People run across articles on search engines even if they are several years old. For every small time investment today, significant results can be achieved years into the future.
This is unlike other forms of advertising, whether online of offline, where the minute that you stop paying for the advertising, your flow of traffic and prospects stops.
From our partners at HubSpot “…………. think of blogging as an annuity. If you publish one blog post today, it might drive, say, 50 visits. That's great, but it'll trickle off over time to say, 10 visits month-over-month -- which can seem depressing after that initial traffic influx. That's why you don't look at individual blog post performance in a silo. If you look at the gains your blog posts make over time as you publish post after post after post, those visits will stack on top of each other as they rank in search. Now you have a diverse portfolio that's driving consistent returns month after month -- with no extra work on your part.”
That’s why being consistent matters.
As I said at the beginning of this post, blogging is not easy.
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 by most standards is considered BORING!
Make the decision to blog today, investigate, teach and tell not only a good story (but their story), avoid being salesy and remain consistent and you will keep them coming back for more. If you feel you can't manage all that work, think of using blogging services as an alternative option.
David, a HubSpot Certified Inbound Marketer is the Chief Content Creator for InTouch Marketing and its clients.