The Power of the Blog (Part 2)

Blog Superhero Kid

In Part 1 we talked about the benefits you can get from having a blog. But blogs aren’t effective just because you have one. Like your website, it’s only going to be effective if you have the right pieces in place.

Relevance to Your Target Audience

Writing 101 says you should know who you’re talking to before you start. You should have a customer profile in mind, or at least a target audience. The more granular you can get, the better.

Once you know WHO you’re addressing, consider WHY this group of people would want to read your blog.

If you think the answer is “to get regular updates about what’s new at my company,” that is the wrong answer. It is rare that audiences are so in love with a brand that they crave regular updates about your company, products, or services.

Instead, consider how to marry your products or services to topics that would interest your audience. (If you have trouble guessing what your audience cares about, we are very good at asking the right questions to find that out. Give us a shout.)

Realistic and Measurable Goals

Having a goal for your blog helps define whether your website is successful, and gives you something to keep you focused as you write. Blogs can contribute to a variety of goals: increased SEO, increased number of leads, decreased number of calls to customer service, and increased referral traffic.

At the post level, you can get more granular with your goals. Think: creating product awareness, alleviating a pain point in the sales process, and answer the top question asked by a customer. And so on. At the post level, you can also segment your blogs to achieve multiple goals or to reach fragmented audiences.

Once you have a goal or two for your blog, decide how to measure your success. Have a KPI (key performance indicator) and a call to action that matches your goals.

Use Keywords

Put your content to work! Your blog can help Google find your site and build your authority on topics related to your products and services. Understand which keywords you need your blog to rank for, and then start writing about categories that match those words. Sounds simple, right? We’re modifying the complexity a bit since this is getting long – and our target audience only reads so far – but Moz is an amazing resource on this topic.

Vary Your Types

Books, movies, comic books: they all exist because people want to consume different kinds of content different ways. Your blog should operate on the same concept. Your target audience wants content delivered in different ways depending on mood, when and where they read, devices they use to access your blog, and more.

Types to consider:
• Promotional or PR pieces
• Long-form content (e-books, Guides)
• Webinar round-ups
• How-To articles
• Case studies
• Listicles
• Infographics
• Behind-the-scenes posts
• Industry trend overviews

I get it: you have a writing style. If you find you struggle writing for different styles, try looking for other strategic writers. Fortunately, we have several talented writers at Scheffey so no one of us is burdened with coming up with all the topics or writing styles.

Storytelling Tools

We live in the greatest attention-deficit culture of all time. We can’t have a conversation with a captive audience no matter how great the article, commercial, or website. How do you combat that?

Part of the battle is using smart techniques like making your article skimmable.

Use Headers

Use short sentences.

Occasionally, use a long sentence to make a point; but, try not to have such long sentences that readers forget the beginning of the sentence before they make it to the end.

One of the hallmarks of storytelling, however, is tapping into your target audience’s emotions. Your audience is distracted: forging an emotional tie – even briefly – helps keep them reading your articles. Emotions can be joy, relief, stress, frustration, or whatever helps you relate best to your target audience. Use empathy and understanding to prove you understand your audience’s perspective before you talk about your solutions or services.

Take Your Time

Like any marketing effort, blogs take time and effort. When you value what your blog can contribute to your sales funnel, and you put the right elements into it, you can achieve measurable results.

If your blog starts to feel like just “one more thing” you have to do in your marketing mix, let us help. We take the time to get to know your organization, your brand, your messaging style, and your goals in order to craft blog articles that will work hard for your company. Let’s start a conversation.