With 600 million blogs on the internet, competition is fierce in the world of blogging. Sheree Mutton, Managing Director of Reeton Media, reveals to Kochie's Business Builders how to stand out and forge authentic relationships with your customers or clients so they keep coming back for more.
When done well, blogging can be one of the most effective marketing strategies. In fact, more than half of content marketers say blog content is their top inbound marketing priority (HubSpot) and research shows that businesses that blog generate 67 per cent more leads than companies that don’t (DemandMetric). But let’s leave metrics aside for the moment. After all, numbers don’t always translate into authentic relationships for your business.
Why blogging matters
In the past decade, blogging has emerged as an important touchpoint in building relationships with customers and clients – something many start-ups, small businesses and even established companies struggle with. It is these deep relationships that drive trust, credibility and ultimately loyalty.
The key to building strong client or customer relationships – regardless of the industry in which the business operates – is to engage them.
One way to do this is through a high-quality content. It helps customers or clients feel connected to the business or brand, strengthening the relationship.
Powerful blogs not only make us think, they evoke emotion. They make us feel something and they inspire us to take action.
Try these 4 tips for better engagement
Feature meaningful material
Blogs need to be educational, informative, engaging, entertaining and most importantly, they must be valuable to your target audience. They shouldn’t be promotional – save that for advertising. Focus not on what you want to say, but what the audience wants to hear. All blogs should speak to your audience’s needs. Ask yourself: what are they hoping to read about? For example, real estate agencies can develop content around property market trends, while an online fashion store might provide styling tips around seasonal looks. If your blogs are aimed at giving your audience something ‘extra’, then they will keep coming back for more.
Building relationships through blogging takes time and customers value consistency so press ‘publish’ regularly on blog posts. This will give your audience a reason to keep returning to your website over and over again. Many businesses find that blogging is easy to start but difficult to keep the momentum going. To combat this, organise your blog’s content calendar in advance (ideally three to six months) and decide on a realistic publishing schedule. Ensure you keep updating your blog with fresh content at least once a fortnight. The key is to make blogging a priority and allocate a set amount of time each week to it.
Use the right tone
Getting the tone right is an important step to copywriting and blogs are no different. Think of your copy as the authentic voice of the business in the digital world. Blogs can help establish your business as an industry resource and give an opportunity for employees to share their voice. Will your readers expect a serious or light tone? Do they prefer conversational or formal? Most businesses write blogs in a conversational tone, preferring to serve as the ‘informed friend’. If this suits your business, it’s wise to minimise jargon, but still place emphasis on establishing your business as the authority in the marketplace, without talking down to customers or clients. Stay true to your brand/business values and don’t be scared to inject personality. After all, blogs are a way to form human connection.
Ask for engagement and respond to your audience
It’s important to invite people to comment on your blog, but don’t ever disregard comments. Be polite and respond to all comments – whether positive or negative – in a timely manner. Those that have taken the time to make a comment on your post are seeking interaction. The comments can also provide you with valuable feedback for future posts and content. Your audience will also be more inclined to return to your blog if they know that you pay attention and respond to comments.
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