When used in the right way, blogs can attract people to your website, build brand trust and influence them to buy.
In fact, you’re likely to get 3 times more leads from blogging and creating content than ads. When it comes to blogging, chances are you fall into one of these three camps, see if you recognise yourself: –
- Your company has blogging in the bag, your blogs generate huge amounts of business. You know and appreciate the effectiveness of blogging and are a big fan.
- You’ve heard about blogging and that it might be good for search engines but not quite sure how to go about it
- You’ve tried it, blogging hasn’t worked and wasn’t worth the time and effort it cost. It certainly didn’t generate business for you – the sceptic.
Whichever camp you fall into, understanding the purpose or desired end result of your blog is crucial to its success. The fact remains blogs generate business and attract audiences.
Ever feel like you’re just making blogs because you know you should?
If you don’t know why then take a step back and look at your marketing objectives. These are the reasons we’re online after all, but if you step into your customers shoes, you’ll see that actually as consumers we don’t really care what an organisation’s marketing objectives are!
Top Tip: As consumers we just want to find a solution to a problem and a business who knows the answer.
If you can see both of sides, you’ll discover what we like to call a ‘sweet spot’, something that many organisations miss out on.
One of the best ways to achieve your marketing objectives is to listen to your target audience and use this information to deliver the right audience to your site. This is where blogging comes in, along with video content and podcasts.
How to establish your blog objective
The See, Think, Do & Care framework from Google offers an opportunity in the way we can use online marketing and blog content.
If you target people who are ready to purchase or the ‘Do’ part of the framework, which actually only accounts for only 10% of your target audience, not only are you you’re missing out on 90% of your audience but you are targeting an audience that is going to be targeted heavily but your competitors too!
Most online searches start with some intent, such as asking a question like a ‘How to… and 9 out 10 times this leads to a blog post. Here’s lies the opportunity to create blogs which convert, when you include the right call to actions.
This bring us back to listening to your audience, here’s some simple ways you can get the information you need for your blog objectives.
- Listen to your Customer Service Team talk to customers and note the exact key phrases and language.
- Utilise data tools such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Trends.
- Read forums, product reviews or blog comments written by your target audience.
- When customers contact you, ask what drove them to get in touch.
This all leads to reaching more of that 90% of ‘intent’ traffic, when answering these questions in your blog posts and move users to say yes to something.
How to pick the right title
Getting your blog title right is worth spending time on, not only does it result in being found and ranked on the search engines, but it should entice users to click through to the blog.
Using all the above keyword research that you’ve done; you’ll have an array of potential blog titles.
Top Tip: Don’t just promise, make sure you deliver exactly what the title says in your content.
Writing to convert
If you understand the intent, you can reach the potential customers, who are not ready to purchase yet and chances they don’t even know what they want until you tell them!
This is why it’s important to use the consumers language and exact phrases noted in your research. Forget about the terms you may use as an organisation.
A handy formula is PAS…
P = Pain|
A = Agitate
S = Solution
You identify a point of pain, make it more emotional to agitate the situation just a little and then come to the rescue and show them a solution.
Top Tip: Make sure your content covers these in this order, rather than jumping straight to the solution.
Your content should be about educating, inspiring or entertaining the reader and make it user friendly. We often skim read, so whilst it may be a chunky blog for search engines, keep paragraphs short, use bullet points and above all remember you’re not selling.
Highly crafted blogs take time but are a real investment.
Measurement at its best
If you don’t mark where you are currently, you’ll never know what you’ve achieved so get a starting point. Google Analytics and Google Search Console are two of the best tools for measuring and will tell you everything you need to know and more.
Focus on what’s important to you, be that the number of sales or leads, conversion rate or cost per enquiry. Don’t forget to take into account the cost of the Marketing Department or Marketing Agency.
Top Tip: When you’ve got your KPIs, set up a Google Dashboard to save time.
Tracking performance – reporting for you and your boss
Keep reports simple, don’t fall for over reporting to management or your senior team. Let the figures talk for themselves, a high level report shows shows the outcomes of the work you’ve put in and a positive return on investment.