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How to blog - a content strategy for your biz


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This presentation provides insight into writing a company blog and developing a content marketing strategy for your business. Using tried and tested inbound marketing practices it will help you attract customers by blogging.

Published in: Marketing
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How to blog - a content strategy for your biz

  1. 1. HOW TO BLOG 1. What does a company blog do? 2. Who are you blogging for? 3. Basic customer avatars 4. Customer avatar worksheet 5. How inbound marketing works 6. Using your blog to…Attract 7. Using your blog to…Convert 8. Using your blog to...Close 9. Using your blog to...Delight 10. Developing a content strategy for your business 11. Lead gens – the next logical step
  2. 2. WHAT DOES A COMPANY BLOG DO? • Customers / buyers don’t want to be sold to, they want to be educated. • On average B2B buyers are 57% through the sales cycle before they make direct contact with a sales rep. • They spend their time searching online for products or services, reading reviews, getting recommendations, and comparing different companies. • In B2B sales they’ll often search with the ‘problem’ they have, not the solution. They don’t necessarily know what the solution is. • In B2C sales customers will often search with lifestyle desires – convenience, speed, luxury, affordability, • Blogging helps to attract new visitors to your website and convert those visitors into leads
  3. 3. WHO ARE YOU BLOGGING FOR? • Before you start blogging you need to know who you’re blogging for. • Why are you blogging anyway? • To attract and convert customers, to recruit employees, to get recognition in your industry? • Before you start blogging you need to understand what your audience wants from you. • What are they interested in? • What problems, challenges, desires and aspirations do they have? • What can you write about that speaks to them and is aligned with your products or services? • First step create customer avatars for each audience.
  4. 4. BASIC CUSTOMER AVATARS What are they? Customer avatars / buyer personas are fictional, generalised representations of your ideal customers. They help you understand your customers (and prospects) better, and make it easier for you to tailor content to the specific needs, behaviours, and concerns of different groups. Depending on your business, you could have as few as one or two personas, or as many as 10 or 20.
  5. 5. CUSTOMER AVATAR WORKSHEET – WHO? Section One Who? Persona Name [give them a name that identifies this group of clients / prospects] Sector [what industry / sector do they work in?] Background [Job title] [Career path – where have they come from, where are they going?] [Family – this info can help us personalise content] Demographics [Gender] [Age] [Income] [Location]
  6. 6. CUSTOMER AVATAR WORKSHEET – WHAT? Section Two What? Goals [Company goals, i.e. to reduce costs] [Professional goals i.e. to build personal reputation] Challenges [What challenges do they have that relate to your company’s services or products?] [What challenges does their company or organisation have?] What can you do? [How can you help the persona achieve their goals?] [How can you help the persona overcome challenges?]
  7. 7. CUSTOMER AVATAR WORKSHEET – WHY? Section Three Why? Common objections [What reasons might this persona give for not working with your company?] Common motivators [What reasons does this persona give for working with your company, or a competitors?]
  8. 8. CUSTOMER AVATAR WORKSHEET – HOW? Section Four How? Conversion messages [What things does your company say that the persona engages with? I.e. think about existing clients and what they say they like about your company, your people, and your product / services?]
  10. 10. USING YOUR BLOG TO…ATTRACT Informative blog content attracts ‘strangers’ in the following ways: • Search engine results – strangers search for information using keywords and your blog post appears in the results • Strangers click on links from social media updates to your blog post • 3rd party websites link to your blog post from their content Therefore it is important to create content that ranks for what your audience searches for, and also high quality, informative content people want to share and read.
  11. 11. USING YOUR BLOG TO…CONVERT Informative blog content converts website visitors in the following ways: • Your content provides answers to their questions • Your content provides inspiration • Your content demonstrates your expertise and builds trust • Your content reflects personality and company culture • Your content points visitors to more useful information – the next logical step (guides, downloads, whitepapers) It is important to ensure your blog posts are informative, personable and not a sales pitch. Visitors don’t want to be sold to, they want content that helps them make decisions for themselves.
  12. 12. USING YOUR BLOG TO…CLOSE Your blog content can convert visitors into leads and then into customers. Here’s how: • Your blog post points visitors to lead generation content (or tools) that allows you to capture contact details • Blog content can be written specifically for leads to help them with the decision making process • Blog posts can be written for key stakeholders (revisit your customer avatars to find out more about them) • Content can be shared with leads through email nurture campaigns or sales portals As customers are generally over half way through the sales cycle before they contact you directly, give them content for each stage of the cycle.
  13. 13. USING YOUR BLOG TO…DELIGHT Once you’ve converted leads into customers you now want to retain those customers and also encourage them to promote your company. Here’s how your blog can help: • Continue to talk to your customers about their needs and provide content that reassures them that they made a good decision • Build trust and strong customer relationships by adding value • Give customers reasons to buy from you again • Provide content that customers will want to share with their contacts It’s easier to sell to existing customers than convert new ones, and also easier to sell to people who have had your company recommended to them.
  14. 14. DEVELOPING A CONTENT STRATEGY FOR YOUR BUSINESS Look at your customer avatars and then jot down some ideas of blog titles / subjects that will engage them at each stage of the inbound journey: • ATTRACT – what keywords and phrases would you customer avatar use to find content aligned with your product? For example, ‘How tos’, explainer style content, trends in your industry etc. • CONVERT – what other solutions might your customer avatar also be considering? Think about blog titles that address these too? For example, ‘X versus Y’, ‘Do you need a x or y or even a z?’ • CLOSE – what information does your customer avatar need to make a decision? Write content that addresses friction points and also demonstrates additional value. For example, ‘How to get the most out of your x,y,z’ ‘what should you expect from a xxx’ etc. • DELIGHT – what content does your customer avatar need to be successful once they’ve bought your product or services? What content will they want to share with others. For example, ‘Looking after your x,y,z’, ‘How to get more ROI from x,y,z’, industry trends, news and developments.
  15. 15. EXAMPLE – B2B SERVICE PROVIDER This example is for an IT support provider: • ATTRACT – How to attract and retain in-house IT support staff, How to reduce IT support costs, What do IT service providers do? • CONVERT – Should you outsource IT support or keep it in house?, Is an offshore IT provider a good idea? • CLOSE – What should you expect from a 4* service desk? How to successfully onboard an IT outsource provider, How quickly will you see ROI from outsourcing IT? What SLA do you need? • DELIGHT – How outsourcing is helping UK companies grow, What do you need to know about the latest cyber security threats?, Further ways to drive efficiencies from your IT support
  16. 16. EXAMPLE – B2C SERVICE PROVIDER Here’s an example for an acupuncturist, the customer avatar is for someone with lower back pain: • ATTRACT – Why does my back hurt? What causes lower back pain? How to treat back pain • CONVERT – What alternative therapies work for back pain? 5 ways to treat lower back pain, Back pain – what can your GP do? • CLOSE – Is acupuncture effective long term? How does acupuncture work? Acupuncture and lower back pain – research and evidence • DELIGHT – How acupuncture transformed my life! (case study), The benefits of acupuncture for mums with bad backs, 5 ways to stop lower back pain from returning
  17. 17. EXAMPLE – B2C PRODUCT / RETAIL Here’s an example for a craft business, the customer avatar is for someone with who wants a unique gift: • ATTRACT – 5 handcrafted gift ideas for [Christmas, birthdays, etc.], Unique presents that last forever, Why [insert gift] make great presents • CONVERT – 10 reasons you should support local crafters, Why handcrafted gifts are better, Why everyone needs a [insert gift] in their life! • CLOSE – How to look after your unique gift, How long will my [insert gift] last?, Handmade [insert gift] are the hottest trend this Christmas • DELIGHT – How to make your [insert gift] last longer, 5 inventive ways to wrap a present, Great ways to recycle your [handmade children’s clothing]
  18. 18. LEAD GENS – THE NEXT LOGICAL STEP Visitors may visit your blog at different stages of the sales cycle, they may not be at the 57% tipping point. You need to find ways to keep your business at the forefront of their search for a product or service, and find opportunities to convert them into leads. What is the next logical step for a visitor having read your blog content? • Keep in touch with a newsletter? • Connect on social media? • Read more content on your website? • ***Download further information and resources?*** • Contact you directly? • Place an online order?
  19. 19. HOW TO BLOG Any Questions?