Part 1: Blogs: Should You Start A Blog?
Jun 26, 2018
You are searching for ways to leverage your existing resources and attract more high-quality leads that become new customers, clients and/or students – then you need to start a blog. Why?
Your audience may or may not know you exist. And of those that know you exist, they may or may not have an accurate and complete understanding of what unique value you can provide. With a blog, you are producing and providing them with a steady stream of information that they want and need.
Today, millennials are going online and finding answers to questions. If you’re not there, helping to provide them with the information they seek, chances are high that your competition is there filling that need. And that means that when these members of your target audience get to a point where they realize they need what you offer…your competition is better positioned to get their business.
When it all comes down to it, people prefer to buy from people they know and trust. Heck, in some instances they will even pay a little more because they feel that level of comfort is worth a premium. Right now, members of your target audience know little to nothing about your business. And many have lumped you into a category with the competition – and you all look the same. With a blog, you get to share your expertise as well as provide your staff, co-workers, and colleagues the opportunity to show your target audience what your business is like from a human perspective.
You’re in the business of “getting the right information to the right person at the right time”, and your blog allows you to take an issue that popped up in the morning and put out relevant information to your audience within an hour. A law firm can offer insight on the latest Supreme Court ruling to their audience on the same day the ruling is announced. An accounting firm can address the new tax laws just passed. The local college can issue insight into changes in healthcare and how it impacts nurses thanks to the program chair of their own nursing program. Now, without the blog, how do you showcase your expertise in such a timely manner? How do you provide that extra value that differentiates you from the rest when your audience wants and needs it most?
HOW YOU MAKE THIS HAPPEN.
Your first step, as always, is to get to know your audience. Who are they? What are their wants and needs? What questions do they have? What do they value? What can’t they find elsewhere? You’re going to be creating segments or personas because you are going to want to provide them with relevant information through your blog. And since we all know that within our target audiences there are different groups with different wants, needs, motivations, concerns…you need to identify these segments or personas so that you can create the write blog posts. The second step is to gather together your team – and this is more than just the marketing team or the copywriter, it’s going to include the very people that make your business successful. You want the subject matter experts. The people on your team that know all there is to know about your audience’s topics of interest. Why? Well, here’s a short list:
- They currently work with your audience (prospects and customers/clients/students), so they know what your audience is interested in and concerned about.
- They have the correct answers and insights to those questions and concerns.
- They are going to be the source of information you need to capture in your blog and promote so that your audience can easily find it.
In some instances, they might be able to create the content – write the blog post or some type of written, audio or video content that is published in your blog and promoted through paid, earned, owned and social media. In other instances, your writer or content creators will interview, record, film the subject matter expert – but in either scenario, they are the source of knowledge that you will be sharing through your blog with your audience. And remember to keep the focus on the reader, the target audience because the more effective you are at showing them how they benefit from your unique expertise…
YOUR LIFE WITH A BLOG
This does take work. It also requires some expertise that might not currently be on your team. But as you begin to provide more timely, relevant insights into the areas your audience cares about, you show them you have unique expertise that is valuable. They know who you are. They have a better understanding of what you can do for them. And they become much more likely to turn to you first when they have a need to buy what you offer.
Pat McGraw helps organizations of all types (public and private, for-profit and non-profit) across a broad array of industries (education, technology, retail/e-commerce, services) develop more effective and efficient ways to attract and retain profitable customers. As head of DWS' Higher Education Services, Pat is responsible for helping colleges and universities achieve their adult enrollment goals with innovative program/service, pricing, and promotional strategies.Pat is a writer, public speaker, and college instructor focused on marketing strategy and tactics.