post

Marketing – Building Content to Reach Customers with your Blog

Last week I encouraged you to build a blog around your business and build your expertise, gaining credibility and loyalty, and increasing your business’ exposure in your industry. Building on that article, I would like to discuss how to go about building content to reach customers with your blog. This is a more practical blog focusing on some specific strategies and areas you need to clue in on when you begin creating content, including what content to write about, how to build content to bring all of the parts together to a cohesive whole, and bringing in different communication mediums to communicate your content to a wider audience. Before I jump in, I would like to give credit to the general source of ideas that I have built upon for this post. Jack Spirko over at Five Minutes with Jack has a variety of great podcasts on building an online business, which I have adapted to form my own strategy for The Sum of Business Blog and the strategies I present to you here.

What Content should you Write About?

The simplest and most effective answer to this question is in what you already know and work with every day – answers to the questions you get every day from your customers. The reason that people come to your business, especially if you are a service business, is to get answers to their questions and help with their situation. If you sell product, you might get more questions than the service-based businesses get, only with a different goal. Customers looking for product are always asking “What is the best product for me?” or “How does product A compare to product B?” or “My situation is this, what product do I need?” You can set your blog articles up in this format as well – start off with a question you have received from a customer and write up your answer. If you have a product-based business, consider a product review a week. This will not only be interesting to your customers, but will also highlight your products and bring additional sales on those items if packaged with strategic sales.

An example I shared with a friend who would like to start a landscaping business but hasn’t begun his business was this: I encouraged him to take some landscaping and small engine repair courses at a local community college along with finding some good landscaping books. I then encouraged him to take the work he has already done in this field and write about it. Write about how to build a garden bed or how to grade a slope. Take what he learned in his courses and find questions and circumstances he has encountered when discussing jobs with customers. I told him to take pictures of jobs in progress and build them into content. At the very least he would build his landscaping portfolio, and more likely, he would be teaching people about what kind of landscaping work they need and become the business they turn to for their landscaping work.

Beyond this, teach people how to do the work themselves. This is my strategy on this web site – to teach people how to manage their basic business and accounting work. All of the basic services I provide I am teaching on this site for people to learn and do themselves or even to train their own in-house bookkeeper. Some have questioned what I am doing here and that I would be losing business, but my perspective is that I would only be losing business I wouldn’t have a chance to connect with any other way, so what am I really losing? Not only this, but I get to give back to others – a key philosophy I am building my business around. Finally, through this strategy, I am helping people with their business, and a small portion of you who are reading this now may be in need of some accounting help in the future, and hopefully I have become a trusted resource when that time comes. Since my business model is online-based, I can support any business anywhere in the world with accounting services.

Building the Parts into the Whole

So you have some ideas about what you can write about and have maybe started on some great content, but do you have a strategy to bring it all together for your visitors? The main issue I have with blogs is that you put a bunch of great content out on the site, but you only see the newest articles and posts and lose the whole of what you are building on the site for the parts you have put up in the last few weeks. You can build up some excellent content, but if you don’t build it in such a way that you bring your visitors back through that content, you are throwing away your time, content, and potential customers. Here is a list of some ways you can avoid these shortfalls and continually present the whole theme of your website.

  • Articles for New Visitors Page – Have a page on your site that is dedicated to introducing new visitors to your site. Include a review of the content on your site, how to navigate the site, and a list of the top articles that they should read. This will keep your best content right up front, and will also help new visitors navigate the older content on your site.
  • Categories and Tags – Make sure you take advantage of the categories and tags on WordPress. Use the Tag Cloud Plugin, and set up a tab in your menu for the various categories you use. This will help your visitors find articles specific to what they are looking for, even if they are older.
  • Revisit general categories or tags every now and again in summary articles that bring older content together with how it applies today.
  • Update an old article with current information. Repost this to your site or find another site to submit as a guest post.
  • Install the the Old Post Spinner plugin on WordPress to repost older content to the top of your WordPress site. Another option is the Tweet Old Post plugin that will allow you to select older posts to tweet on whatever schedule you want to set up.
  • Plan out your content in advance to build courses and/or e-books.
  • Courses and Tutorials – Dedicate a portion of your website to courses for your visitors. Once you build enough content up, link it all together into different courses where you take your visitors through 5-10 of your articles accompanied by a video or podcast.

Communication Mediums to Reach your Customers

The final piece of the puzzle that ties building content in with building the whole site over disparate parts is the use of a variety of communication mediums to reach your customers. Here are some options I would encourage you to consider:

  • Social Networking Pages – set up a Facebook page, Twitter account, LinkedIn Business Profile, and Pinterest page for your business and use Buffer or another tool to connect the content from your web site to these pages.
  • Build a contact page on your web site with information on all of the ways people can connect with you.
  • Add video to your site to link your articles together  and promote your content (see above with the courses/tutorials), and connect those videos to a YouTube account for your blog.
  • Mix up the content with podcasts that cover the same courses/tutorials and connect this content to iTunes.
  • After you have built up enough content, consider putting it all together into some ebooks. Make the first ebook a light version of about 50 pages where you put generalized content from your site, lots of pictures and diagrams, and a lot of links to your posts and content. Then take the light version and expand it out into the full version and write a solid ebook as a manual to a part of your industry or a thorough book about the most popular parts of your site. Continue to link to your site and content in this book, but sell this book through a site like Clickbank.

So those are a lot of ideas that take some considerable time and effort to implement, but they are also very effective ways to get the word out about your site and increase your reach to potential customers for your business.

Wrapping up…

All of the above ideas are in one way or another a part of my plan for my own website during the coming year. I am sharing with you a strategy that I have observed others do successfully and am implementing myself. The best thing about this kind of work is that it is an investment in the future of your business and will provide you continuing returns with marketing your business to current and future customers.

I hope this helps you plan out your own strategy with your web site and blog and how you connect with your customers. If you have any questions or thoughts, please let me know! I would love to hear from you in the comments section, on Twitter, Facebook, or give me a call on Skype!

Keep Reaching!

Mark

 

 

Speak Your Mind

*

HTML tags are not allowed.

  • RSS
  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • YouTube