Connecting with customers is more than advertising or marketing. Connection is about communicating. The era of monodirectional advertising is and has been over for some time. People looking at your products and services want to go deeper than your latest Facebook post or Instagram photo. They might not want a conversation, but they want that connection and a better understanding, and a blog is a way to bring it to them. You want to inform, to educate, and, most of all, to get their trust, the kind that generates word-of-mouth advertising that no ad budget can buy. Here’s a few simple guidelines that will help you master the business blog.
Write for them, not for you. Yes, you are the one writing the blog, but you need to write for your audience. A business blog is professional yet accessible, and speaks to the client in their own language. For instance, a bankruptcy lawyer’s blog wouldn’t be full of legalese, but would speak to people contemplating bankruptcy in clear and plain terms. A business blog makes the technical more accessible.
Plan your posts and post on a schedule. When your clients know that you’re posting on Mondays and Thursdays, they come to look at your new content on those days. You can set up a posting schedule, and then write content ahead of time so that there’s no late posts or skipped entries.
Make your content valuable and sharable. You can always promote new products and services and toot your own horn, but solving problems, highlighting your key people and favorite customers, positioning yourself as an expert, and answering questions matters more to your audience. Above all, make it easy to share your content by providing links on social media and email.
Interact professionally. Here there be trolls. There are elements of the internet who only want to get a rise out of someone, while others are just never happy. Above all, you have to retain professional detachment, even when your overriding instinct is to reach through that TCP-IP connection and punch them right in the nose. Instead, invite them to discuss the problem privately, or if you have something that does need correcting, apologize immediately in public. Then, fix it.
It’s a new world out there, and it’s a world where yellow pages and newspapers are falling by the wayside in terms of advertising. As of Pew Research’s last study, nearly 70 percent of Americans own a smartphone, about the same percentage own a laptop or desktop, and almost half of all Americans own a tablet of some type. We take the internet everywhere we go, as long as we can get a signal. Furthermore, of worldwide respondents to an Ipsos poll, 74 percent visit search engines once per week or more on a regular basis (… only once per week?) and 64 percent use social media at least that often. By creating and optimizing a blog for customers and search engines alike, you significantly improve your chances of being found – and liked – on the internet.
The tip “Write for them, not for you.” is a great one. This author-reader connection is what really matters.