People don’t read business blogs for sales pitches. They read them to be educated.
A blog is one of the best opportunities to share your subject matter expertise and indirectly promote your business. But, if there’s no, “What’s in it for me?” from the reader’s perspective, you’ve missed the mark of how a B2B blog should work. If your posts read like commercials, guess what? People will tune out. This is a common mistake that even some of the smartest people make. But, it’s not wasted energy; it’s simply misplaced. Save the direct selling and promoting for another time.
It’s about Them. But, there’s Still Room for You.
The best bloggers remove their ego from their writing and make it about their audiences. If you find that your posts use “we” a lot, find ways to re-spin your message and change the “we”s into “you”s. Remind yourself to focus on the “why”s and stop getting trapped in the “what”s.
Try writing posts that provide answers to common questions and address pain points. Share what you know that others will find helpful. By doing so, your prospects are more likely to come into the sales process trusting what you have to say because you’ve already helped them.
Empathy is a powerful skill for content creators. Understanding the concerns and objectives of your audience enables you to write content that helps them achieve their goals or overcome their fears. Remember, in most cases, you are not your target audience. If you blog with empathy, you’ll have a hard time creating content that falls flat.
But, let’s also not forget what makes you unique. One of the greatest things you can do when marketing online is to showcase your personality. Most of the time it is the personal character of the business or staff that convinces a prospect to buy from them. If you can capture the spirit of your business’ personality in your blog, you go a long way toward distinguishing yourself from your competitors and building your brand.
Best Practices and Commitment to Your Blog
The best business bloggers are always willing to improve their skills and learn new best practices. There are many out there who don’t like to do revisions, don’t understand formatting and subtitles, and don’t take the time to ensure that their writing actually offers something of value to the reader. By demonstrating the humility that you cannot possibly know everything, both you and your audience will be better for it.
Great writers pull from their own experiences and apply them to real-world scenarios and current events. Your audience is probably well-read, so you should be, too. Stay connected with the outside world and get into the habit of reading what others have to say. Not only does it inspire more posts, it provides a context in which you can respond in your own way.
Don’t just dabble in blogging, either. Nothing looks worse than going to a company’s blog to discover that the most recent post is six months old. That shows a lack of commitment to your blog and, thereby, your audience. Yes, we’re all busy and don’t always have the time to create new content. So, empower a group of contributors who offer different perspectives, create a schedule and stick to it! And, don’t EVER launch a new blog without at least a few posts in-hand as a backlog.
A multitude of blogging advice and best practices can easily be found online. (In full disclosure, I can’t say that I always follow them myself.) While your specific market might require a nuanced approach, you’ll find that many of the fundamentals remain the same.
The good news is that, the more you blog, the easier it gets.
While it’s important that you not let your sales team dictate your promotional strategy, their influence cannot be underestimated. After all, they’re the ones out in the trenches day after day with their collective fingers on the market pulse more than anyone within the confines of the home office.
Delivering effective creative communications is not just about cool pictures and clever headlines. A strategic relationship is critical to the success of any creative effort. And that requires a relationship of proximity.
Sure, when you go to the local fast food joint, you know that what you see on the menu isn’t really what you’re getting. Perhaps, we’ve become accustomed to being misled to the point where it’s no longer misleading.