Blogging is an extremely useful tool that can help your business expand its online reach, build brand loyalty, generate leads, and increase website conversion.
If, though, you feel that your blogging is bogging you down, re-tweak your approach by following this simple formula:
(DEFINE+LISTEN+ADDRESS) X (SIMPLE+ CONCISE+RELEVENT) = BLOGGING SUCCESS
Or in word form: Clearly define and listen to your target audience, provide solutions that address their pain points, needs and wants, and keep your message simple, concise and relevant.
Define Your Target Audience
It is difficult to effectively communicate to an audience you haven’t clearly defined. Before you write another blog, make sure you have a clear understanding of your company’s target audience, or buyer personas. Here are some basic questions to think about when developing your buyer personas:
Demographic Profile – Age, gender, income level, education level, marital status, children, etc. This will give you a three-dimensional picture of your buyer.
Employment Information – What industry do they work in? What is their role in the company? What is their seniority level?
Information Consumption – Where does your buyer turn to for information? Friends, family, online search, social networks, books, newspapers?
Listen to Your Audience
Interview 20-30 potential clients (NOT Current clients). What motivates them/ interests them? Make sure to ask open-ended questions to glean more detailed information.
Anticipated Experience- what features and benefits is the buyer looking for? What type of experience is he/she expecting when buying your product/service?
How will your product/service resolve a problem or address a pain point? Again, ask open-ended questions to learn more about their behavioral characteristics.
Know what you’re up against. Why would the buyer not purchase your product? To the extent that you can expose buyer objections, you can tailor blog posts to resolve their concerns.
Address Their Needs and Wants
Values/Goals – The flip side of pain points, what does your buyer really value? What will get them excited to work with your brand? What are they trying to accomplish with this relationship?
Once you know your audience and understand their pain points, it’s important to communicate how your products and services can solve their problems. Blogging provides brands an ideal platform and context to do this on a consistent basis. Take advantage of it.
Keep it Simple, Stupid (KISS)
Once you know your audience and understand their pain points, it’s important to clearly communicate how your products and services can solve their problems. Clarity of message is the cornerstone of effective blogging. A simple structure and a clear proposition make for the most compelling posts.
Keep it Concise
Make your point(s) clearly, and then for goodness sake, get out. People are way too busy to read a 2,000 word novella on any topic; 400-600 word posts tend to be most effective. Make sure your content is lean and mean; if there isn’t a compelling reason to include certain information, remove it. When in doubt, cut it out.
It’s safe to assume that your readers are looking for useful insight they can easily digest. There is still a place for the longer thought-leadership post (when used sparingly). Having said that, try to recall your high school reading list and write like Hemingway, not Fitzgerald.
Keep it Relevant
Perhaps most importantly, make sure each blog post is in some way relevant to your target audience. Remember, the most effective posts tend to resolve, inform or entertain.
Make sure you are constantly tying in your product/service to each blog topic. If you can’t do this, perhaps you should shelf that topic for later on when you are rich and famous. Remember why you are blogging: to demonstrate that your brand can provide value to your prospective clients. Everything else is just noise.
Nobody said blogging would be easy. However, follow this basic formula and you will set yourself on a path to greater blogging success.