By Phoebe Chongchua
If you have a blog and are wondering how to build your audience, the answer is a word that many businesses have forgotten. Relationships.
The most important thing in life and business is relationships. The old mantra, that people buy from those “they know, like, and trust” is also highly relevant for those writing blogs.
Listen to the podcast or read below for the key take outs.
“We are relationship-based people,” says Lynn Serafinn.
“Somehow in the last century we’ve become kind of separated from that.”
That separation has caused our marketing to take a turn for the worse. Lynn says it became “hunter-based” as though we were preying on our next victim.
“We were told that marketing had to be very aggressive, that it was a hunter mentality,” explains Lynn.
But Lynn says that entrepreneurs and millennials are bucking this old-style marketing.
“It doesn’t work for them emotionally.”
Instead, content marketing and brand journalism via blogs and videos are reaching audiences and deepening relationship connections between brands and consumers.
Telling your brand story with blogging is about using the social aspects of marketing in an ethical way.
For instance, old-school marketing often used terms like “capturing leads” and “targeting customers”.
“The nature of hunter marketing is that once you’ve hunted a victim, you’ve got to go out and hunt another,” explains Lynn.
But in the new paradigm of marketing, “you’re creating a self-sustaining system,” says Lynn.
“It’s about growing, cultivating - so that things nurture themselves. It’s very similar to farming where things are self-seeding,” explains Lynn.
“The key is to create that self-sustaining system where it becomes effortless after some time and blogging, I have found, is one of the cornerstones of that because it allows you to cultivate that relationship, nurture that relationship, speak from yourself but also speak with your audience.”
To make that connection and build your relationships with blogging, you have to focus on what your readers want to know rather than what you know.
“The biggest challenge is putting yourself in your readers’ shoes,” says Lynn.
Here are Lynn’s top tips for telling your brand story with blogging.
Find the connection to people and tell stories that matter to them in your blog to reach your audience. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes.
Cultivate close relationships
Cultivating relationships will make people want to read what you’re blogging about. They’ll share your content and refer others to it and to your company.
Ask: So What?
Before you write your next blog post or create your next video ask yourself, “So what?”
Lynn says people need to understand these questions: Why this article or video? Why should I care about it? How will it make my life/business better?
Use a Teaser
Lynn uses teasers in her blogs to help the reader understand what the article is about and why they should care about the post. These teasers are placed at the top of the article. This will also make sure that the article has an interesting summary that shows up in search engines.
“A teaser is a one or two sentence summary (160 characters) of what this article is about,” says Lynn.
Have a Call-To-Action
Make your call-to-action more like a conversation, not an advertisement. Invite the readers to learn more by sharing how you can help them put into action what you’ve shared in your blog post or article.
“If you keep delivering quality content on a regular basis that is of interest to specific types of people… you will grow your audience,” says Lynn.
Find out more about Lynn Serafinn
Lynn Serafinn, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketing strategist, social media expert and speaker. She is author of international bestsellers “The 7 Graces of Marketing” and “Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically”. Lynn is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine. Her latest book, "The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide To Successful Blogging" comes out in January 2016.