By Kath Walters
Blogging is a balancing act.
Our goal is to win the trust of potential customers and to retain the loyalty of existing customers. Our purpose, in creating and sharing content, is a commercial one – to grow our customer base and revenues.
The difficulty is judging how much information to provide about our products and services in our blog posts.
We know the common questions our clients ask on the buying journey from talking with our prospects.
Writing blog posts about these, however, can often lead to a “Dorothy Dixer” – those rehearsed or planted questions that backbenchers ask their own ministers in Parliament so the Government Minister can brag about their achievements.
Yawn! That’s not the way to engage our audience, and we instinctively know it.
So, how do we “sell” ourselves to clients in this modern iteration of marketing?
The answer is to establish a set of guiding principles, and stick to them.
Here is a list of the ones that work best:
Make a clear decision to separate the content you share in your blog posts from the marketing content you publish on your website.
Your website is the right place for you to clearly state the features, benefits and unique advantages of your products or services.
You are then free to make your blog posts reader-focused. Write detailed personas (profiles or descriptions) of your audiences – no more than three – and focus tightly on their world.
Write in a tone of voice that is appropriate to them, on topics that matter to them. Write about what is going on in their world, the problems they face, their aspirations, their triumphs, and the innovators in their world. Make the point of your story clear and ensure every post has clear benefits for them if they read it.
Think of your blog posts as a customer service, and they will be more effective as a marketing tool.
The purpose of each post is to add value to your clients and prospects, to brighten their day, to help them be more efficient, to give them an advantage, to inspire them and advance their career.
To do this, we provide all the information they need to make decisions, and that means balanced, unbiased information. How do you feel if you are told by a salesman that you are paying the lowest market price for your new fridge, only to find a cheaper one online?
That is the power that all clients have today. Explain how to make decisions rather than what decisions to make.
Content marketing – posting blogs and other content – takes confidence.
Your blog represents your brand without you having to join the dots -- when it’s written with the right intention and separated from your marketing content.
Your regular posts show you are reliable. Your reader-focused content shows you understand your customers. Your “sell-free” content shows you respect your reader's’ intelligence as a decision maker.
There’s no place for self-absorption in our blog posts
Blogging is a way of building a community of interest in your company and its products and services. From that community, prospects and raving fans emerge, when we separate our marketing material, are clear about our intention and have confidence in the intelligence of our market.
And you’ll have more fun writing blog posts, too.