Admit it; colleagues value your leadership and expertise, and as a connoisseur of your craft you relish the idea of contributing to your company’s blog and being apart of a strategic blogging process. But crafting purposeful posts on a regular basis can seem like a monumental undertaking for a busy business owner.
These six steps will get you blogging for business, and set you on a path toward producing strategically targeted, high-converting blog posts that lead to increased profits and customer satisfaction.
1. Get Personal with Your Target Audience
Before you start writing, get clear on your strategic blogging intentions and objectives. What do you want people to come away with after reading your blog posts? How will your posts improve their lives AND support your business goals?
I’m sure you’ll agree that collecting the background information and demographic details necessary to develop accurate buyer persona’s is a powerful business practice. It forces business managers to select words that organically align with their brand’s identity. These are often keywords your target audience uses habitually, and will likely type into a search engine while looking for information relative to your industry.
Potential customers are always online searching for information about the types of products and services you offer. But what types of questions do they have? Who are they, and what’s important to them? Much of this information can be uncovered through social listening and will play a major part in your strategic blogging activities.
A clear understanding of exactly who your company’s target audience consists of will help you answer their questions, and speak directly to their motivations and concerns. It’s one of the best ways to develop a rich buyer persona awareness.
2. Communicate Value with Tailored Topics
Enticing topics that educate and inform while presenting practical solutions communicate value, and keep readers coming back for more.
Laced with the right keywords, your strategic blogging practices will sift through the many voices, noise and information on the internet and connect you with potential customers.
Using the same words, phrases and terminology that your buyer persona’s use on a day-to-day basis will put you and your target audience on the same page. Literally!
For example: Let’s say you’re a Social Media Manager that blogs about social media marketing, social media strategies and social media tools. Meanwhile your target audience is searching for online marketing, internet sales techniques, and digital marketing applications. You and your potential customers will be like two ships passing in the night.
Though it’s designed for advertisers, Google’s Keyword Planner will help you identify the best keywords for your business and your strategic blogging calenders.
There’s tons of software services and tools that include keyword research and social listening options. The use of one or many will help you compile a collection of keywords that align with exactly what your sales leads are searching for online.
This is the foundation of a great keyword strategy, and will equipped you crank out a laundry list of topics that communicate value to potential customers.
3. Attract Sales Leads with Persuasive Headlines
Once you’ve generated plenty of topics, it’s time to mould those topics into headlines that attract sales leads like moths to a flame. Simple, direct and to the point, the titles of your blog posts must reach out and grab potential clients by the cerebral cortex, let them know exactly how they’ll be enriched, and compel them to click.
Use persuasive words that elude to a spewing of expert guidance intended to level the playing field. A strategically titled headline will accurately reflect the content, and leverage keywords to attract your target audience.
Like a beacon, a headline heavily contributes to your strategic blogging success and online visibility, and will significantly impact your entire digital marketing strategy.
4. Engage Readers with Visually Enticing Formats
Humans are visual creatures by nature, and are likely to skim through online content before delving in.
Well-structured and effectively formatted blog posts are visually engaging, and lead to more satisfied readers and increased conversion rates. Ultimately, your posts should be formatted to suite the content, and presented in a manner that enhances the delivery of your message.
The perfect format will serve up your message like a good meal on a platter, and make it easy for readers to digest. Pyramid-styles, numbered or bulleted list, and how-to or breakdown approaches are some of the most commonly used formats among bloggers. Play-up your format’s visual appeal with added spacing. Accentuate lists and highlight headings with varied fonts and text sizes.
Most people are visual learners, and the willingness to read is increased by 80% where colour visuals are present. Heck, a strategically placed video will increase your conversion rate by 86%! Illustrating your posts with graphs, charts, screenshots, infographics, photos and videos will ensure key points and big ideas resonate with readers.
5. Convert Readers to Customers with CTAs
Strategically targeted and effectively formatted blog posts must also support your business goals. The use of a CTA, or call-to-action, is a powerful copywriting tactic, and an integral part of a content marketing strategy.
After attracting and engaging your target audience your message should directs readers toward an actionable next step in the process of becoming your new client or customer.
I generally take a step back and reflect on the business objectives that I’ve outlined for my posts to hone in on the perfect sequence of CTAs. A great CTA will convert satisfied readers to quality sales leads.
Concluding your posts by confirming the information you’ve delivered is the perfect platform upon which to hoist your CTA. Prompt satisfied readers to buy, join, share, visit, subscribe or click by making an offer of continued satisfaction with immediate benefits.
Many business bloggers use contrasting CTA buttons that stand out and appear click-worthy to readers. Michael Lykke Aagaard conducts insightfully extensive conversion research, and clearly illustrates the impact of an appealing CTA button.
6. Prepare to Publish with Pro-Style Editing
The ability to self-edit is characteristic of an excellent writer. Different from proofreading, effective editing will help your blog posts deliver on their intended purposes.
Evaluate the components of your posts individually with edit-conscious questions like:
- Has my headline and introduction effectively teamed up to propel readers into the meat of my message?
- Does my message carry a conversational tone with laymen language and clear terminology?
- Is the texture of my message reflective of my company’s brand?
- Have I validated my message with industry data and statistics?
- Is my post free of confusing jargon, errors, typos and bad grammar?
- Does my CTA command attention and support my content marketing strategy?
Your posts should be well-written with clear transitions for an entertaining and informative flow.
Strategic Blogging Mastery
With these tips, you can confidently contribute to your company’s strategic blogging success and share your expertise with customers, employees and even potential business partners.
Strategic business blogging is part of an entire content marketing strategy. In 2013, 77% of B2Bs incorporated a blog into their content marketing mix. And blogging B2Bs generate 67% more sales leads.
A well-cultivated business blog will double your website traffic and boost credibility, while addressing the needs of existing customers. It’s essential to maintaining a competitive edge.
But don’t stop there. Socialise!
An active social media presence and a strategic blogging strategy will give your brand voice, attract quality leads, and reach more of your target audience.