There are thousands of blogs live on the internet—all with varying levels of quality.
At times, it may feel like overkill, but the fact of the matter is, as a business today, a blog is almost a necessity. A blog is how businesses communicate with customers, answer potential questions and the means through which businesses can keep popping up in Google searches.
It’s tempting to do the bare minimum, but doing so would be a great disservice. Your blog is a great opportunity to attract customers when done correctly. The problem is, if done poorly, it can also detract from your brand image.
In this post, we present the tips and trick for producing consistently great blog content that will win you, customers.
1. Keep your target audience in mind
If you suddenly realize that you have no idea about the possible interests and hobbies of the long-term customers, it is time to reorganize the priorities! The key to great content, above all, is catering it to your specific audience – aka your potential customers. It can be a challenging and time-consuming task to get past conjecture and really come to understand your audience, but if you neglect to do so, your lack of specificity and understanding will most certainly shine through in the content you create.
So get out there, talk to past and potential customers, get to understand their wants, needs and questions. Your blog content should cater to these.
If time and resources are short, you can create a loose profile of your customers, based on what you do know—what has your audience responded to in the past? Certain social posts? Maybe an ebook? Try to identify what has worked and what hasn’t and combine this with insights you might have from business data. From there, you can build a profile of your audience.
Test out if your profile is correct by seeing how your content performs. Optimize as you go along, based on learnings. Eventually, you should have a clear picture of the kinds of content your audience likes.
2. Communicate with the sales representatives
Let’s face it, in most companies, the sales reps have the best overview of what real-life customers ask about and are interested in. This is a logical place to start, then, when you’re deciding what content to produce.
If your just getting started with your blog. Try making a few posts that answer some of the most common questions sales representatives hear. This is a great way to unburden your sales team. Above this, though, if your sales reps are often hearing certain questions, it stands to reason that people are also researching these questions on the web. If your business is present and answering them, you will come off as knowledgable and helpful to customers, making them much more likely to give you their business.
3. Read the comments
Another important way to understand your audience and build better content is to understand what people are already saying about your products, company and the content you put out.
Consistent negative or positive comments can give you a good idea about topics worth writing about. For instance, if customers tend to have one complaint, you should certainly expect that others will stumble upon that complaint, so you should be sure to address it in the content you put out. Likewise, if there is a reassuring positive comment you see. Why not protome it and shine even more light on it with your blog content.
4. Do not forget about social media.
Social media is important to keep in mind for a few reasons. For one, you can see what your audience likes on SoMe, in order to inform both your content and SoMe strategy. When you put content out, see how it performs. This is a tried and true way to test out whether your content resonates with your target audience. If a post performs poorly, try and optimize and learn what went wrong. Eventually, you’ll nail down the content recipe that works best for your readers.
Further, SoMe will be how you get your content out to the right audience. Sponsor a post and choose the audience to make sure that your potential audience is seeing content that will matter to them. Create lookalike audiences, to target people similar to your customers, whom you’ve not yet reached.
From idea to customer
Having great ideas is a great first step, but now it’s time to make sure they land. Here are some helpful tips for writing:
- Start with a content calendar: Before you start writing, it’s important to have a concrete plan. Each piece of content you create should be 100% intentional and sharply cover the topic you’ve set out to cover. A good way to ensure this is to have a content calendar, where you plan out the different topics you’ll be writing about in advance. This will also make the process go a lot faster each time.
- Create an introduction and subheader: Readers today have short attention spans. Think about it, did you dive straight into the post, or did you take a second to read the subheader and intro before deciding it was worth your time? While it may seem like icing on the cake, nailing your intro and subheader is essential if you want to get your readers to dive into your work.
- Start with the summary. This is not always a necessary step, but particularly if you’re writing a longer or more comprehensive piece, it’s a good idea to start with a short summary or table of contents, where you give readers an idea of what they’ll learn from your piece. Very often this strategy is used when crafting pillar pages.
- Be personal. Everyone feels more attached to a narrative that has a personal touch. Make your relatable by including anecdotes or examples. By creating a connection, you make your customer far more willing to spend time or money on you and your business in the future. Do not confront them in a rude or brutal manner because that doesn’t work for long-term users. Instead, show the clients that you are willing to share and reveal confidential information. Watch followers arrive as you customize the blog according to the audience and make the posts relevant.
- Make your point. Do not rely on complex sentences and long phrases to prove your point. State an opinion and move on to the next paragraph before the readers are bored and the attention lost. This is where the classic adage, ‘kill your darlings’ comes into play. While it may feel like the more you write, the more helpful or persuasive your content, but this is actually not the case. When you weigh your content down with too many words, very often readers aren’t sure where to focus or what to take away. Set out with an objective and make sure that the points you make get you there. This is not to say that long-form doesn’t have a place. It certainly does, but you shouldn’t ramble for the sake of it.
- Avoid too much slang. If your content is filled with slang or colloquialisms, your reader is not likely to take you seriously. Even if you are going for a casual tone of voice, to appeal to a certain audience, it doesn’t mean you need to stoop to that level. You can achieve a relatable and casual tone of voice, without resorting to tactics that will undermine your credibility.
- Likewise, avoid jargon. Just as you should avoid slang, you should also steer clear of industry jargon. While you may hear people in your industry rattling off certain buzzwords, this does NOT mean your reader or customers will relate to them. If you’re unsure, do a quick keyword search or check it out on google. When in doubt, keep your language simple.
- Support your arguments. If you can make bold claims in your content, that’s great, but be sure you can back it up. Without a source, bold statements are your first-class ticket to being untrustworthy!
- Find a creative approach. We all know that there are some classic article formats and headline styles that work. For instance the how-to, the Q&A or the ever-popular listicle. Definitely make sure you have some of these, they work! But also try and think out of the box. When you do, test it out and see how it holds up against classic formats, who knows, you may uncover a winning style. Even if you decide to stick to the classics, there’s always a way to infuse creativity into your particular piece.
Want more insights?
Join us at Native Advertising DAYS 2019 for industry insights from 500+ practitioners. Don’t wait, get your ticket today to save BIG!