Business owners often want to harness the power of blogging to attract attention and promote their brand. But of course, your main concern is how blogging can turn online readers into regular customers. In our first article in this series, we discussed the importance of understanding your audience and offering them solutions to their problems. In Part Two we will build on those ideas so that you can further develop your appeal.
Step Three: Watch the buying cycle, and get in early.
- Consumers realize they have a need for something.
- They research possible solutions to the problem (and most of that research happens online these days).
- They narrow down their options to the best ones.
- A final selection is made.
Keep this buying cycle in mind when you create blogs for your website. Ideally, you will intervene at the first step in the buying cycle, when potential customers first develop an interest in the products or services you offer. If you don’t intervene until later in the cycle, it’s much tougher to gain their attention, and you will be swimming upstream against a sea of competitors.
With that idea in mind, create blogs that answer basic questions your audience might have about your products or services. You might even create blogs with the intention of pointing out their needs before they even realize it for themselves.
Step Four: Keep it simple. Analyze the type of information your audience is seeking when they first realize a need and begin to conduct research. They usually aren’t familiar with your products or services, and they need a basic introduction to your topics.
That’s why we tend to avoid publishing blogs that offer overly complicated analysis of problems or services. Imagine the average high school student observing a 400-level college Calculus course. How much information would they really absorb? Would they feel fulfilled by the experience, or frustrated and bored? We don’t want to overwhelm an audience with too much information.
Blogs should be relatively short (300 to 400 words is usually a good rule) and simple. Answer questions in such a way that basic information is offered in a streamlined approach. Remember to appeal to skim readers by utilizing bold headings and bullet points, so that they can quickly access the information they value.
Step Five: Appeal to their emotions. Consumers begin the buying process from a logical standpoint, as they research their options and narrow their choices. But at some point in the game, emotions can become a powerful influence.
When people make the decision to buy, they usually do so when they feel good about a product or company. If you’ve worked hard to develop a rapport with your audience, they will feel that emotional connection with you.
Don’t be afraid to show your personal side in your blogs, share success stories, post pictures, or even tell a joke or two. Your audience is primarily interested in your products or services, but they would prefer to purchase those items from someone they know and like.
At this point in the process, you’re learning how to create engaging blogs that effectively answer your target audience’s questions. In our last article in the series, we’ll build upon these concepts so that you can attract more customers and increase your profits.