Debbie Ekins

Debbie Ekins

Should I start a business blog (and what should I write about?)

Blogging!

That’s what #instafamous people do right? They talk about their lifestyle, their exercise routine, and what they ate that week.

It’s not for traditional, “serious” businesses like yours is it?

If you think like this then you are not alone.

In fact, I was once like you.

I initially started a business blog, when I was working as a Sales & Marketing Manager for Eagle Leisure. The company that was re-developing our website said that we should start a blog. My initial reaction was:

“We don’t have anything to blog about” 🤷

Which was crazy!

Because Eagle Leisure built swimming pools. We literally had one of the best content marketing examples in the world in the form of River Pools and Spas.

Anyway, our web developers said it didn’t really matter. Even if we didn’t have a lot to talk about we should start a blog. It’s what everyone was doing (the outcome was great, but this advice wasn’t the best – we’ll get to that later)

First things first, i’ll look at why blogging for your business is a good idea. And how blogging about the right things can increase leads and sales (we’ll get to what the right things are later)

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How does content marketing increase leads and sales?

There are a few reasons that content marketing works for all types of businesses.

But first let’s look at why content marketing is so effective.

Think of it this way – a few years ago if you were looking to buy something you would go into a store and speak to a sales assistant. And they would give you all the information you needed to make a purchase decision.

But now, things have changed.

What’s the first thing you do when you are thinking of buying something.

Let me guess…Google?

Nowadays we have all the information we need to make a decision at our fingertips. We can search for the answers to our questions and make a decision before ever getting in touch with a company.

In fact, it’s estimated that at least 70% of a purchase decision is made BEFORE ever getting in touch with a company.

What does this mean for businesses?

NOT creating content does not stop this buying process from happening. It just stops you from showing up in the search. It excludes you from the conversation. It means that you will not be considered in the buying decision.

If you don't create content you won't show up in search. It excludes you from the conversation. It means that you will NOT be considered in the buying decision. Click To Tweet

This is how creating content can lead to an increase in leads and sales. Content marketing:

  1. Will increase your website organic ‘search’ traffic
  2. Helps build trust and authority with your audience
  3. Is an asset (not a short-term tactic)
  4. Can help you overcome buyer objections and shorten the sales process

#1 Increase your website organic ‘search’ traffic (and turn them into customers)

We’ve already established that the first thing you will do if you want to buy something is Google it. Think about it, you’ve got loads of questions. And you want to know the answer to them before you buy.

So surely your potential customers are the same….

It makes sense that if you answer the questions your potential customers have, you will get more organic website traffic (ie. you won’t have to pay for advertising).

If your website is designed for conversions, this traffic can turn into leads, which will hopefully turn into more customers for you.

Which, is really the point of creating good content in the first place 🤷 

#2 Build trust and authority with your audience

Do you trust the people who give you the answers to your questions?

Or the ones who actively avoid them?

Yes…that was a rhetorical question.

You website gives you all the opportunity in the world to communicate with your potential customers, and by doing this consistently and answering the questions that they need to know you will build trust and credibility.

It’s a great way to show off your experience and expertise (without actually telling everyone how great you are).

#3 You own the content on your website

This, for me, is a big one.

Social media is great. It’s a great way to engage and communicate with your customers and potential customers. Social…it’s in the name.

But what would you do if tomorrow Facebook, YouTube or Instagram shut down.

Not likely!

But it could happen. And if this is the only way you communicate with your customers (or find new ones) then what will you do?

Generally speaking, people need more than a social media post to buy from you. They need multiple touch points. They need to be on your website, read a few articles, maybe even download a free guide before they commit to contacting you or buying from you. 

So while social media is a great way to distribute your content, the end game should be getting them onto your website.

Why, because you own the content on there. Creating relevant, searchable content means you’ll still be around in the social media apocalypse if it happens to hit. And your content becomes an asset. Social media posts disappear (almost instantly in some cases). Whereas you can continue to make sales from content on your website for as long as it’s on your website.

#4 You can deal with your customer’s objections and shorten the sales process

Take a minute to think about what questions and objections your customers have?

Are they always the same?

One of the main reasons people search online before buying a product or service is to deal with any uncertainties or objections they may have surrounding the purchase.

Blogging for your business is a great way to tackle these potential problems head-on. Don’t dance around it. Face it head on.

Not only does this build trust (see above), but it allows you to shorten your sales process as the problems have already been overcome before the potential customer gets in touch with you.

This is particularly useful for high-value products or services which generally have quite a long sales cycle. 

What should your business blog about?

You’ll remember I mentioned that the company that built the website for Eagle Leisure said it didn’t matter what we wrote about.

Well, spoiler alert. It does. It really, really does. At least it does if you want to get in on that organic traffic action that I mentioned earlier.

So, you might have already picked up on this, but I’ve mentioned questions a lot.

Questions are at the core of a customer buying decision. They allow them to find out everything they need to know pre-purchase.

Think about it…

How often do you type a question into Google?

Something like…

“Should I buy”….

Or

“What is the best”…

So we need to find a way to integrate these questions into our blog strategy. And Marcus Sheridan has identified five different categories of questions that potential customers ask – regardless of industry.

He calls these the The Big 5.

They are five categories that will help to drive leads and business growth if

  1. Cost and pricing
  2. Problems
  3. Best of Class
  4. Comparisons/Vs
  5. Reviews

By categorising your content into these overarching themes you will cover a large portion of the questions that your potential customers need to know the answer to.

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In conclusion

I’d argue that blogging is a legitimate business building strategy in any industry. In fact, if you are thinking: “no one does this in our industry” then great. I bet you are in an amazing position to rank highly, and really drive traffic and leads to your business with content. Arguably better than people that have loads of examples in their industry.

But, it’s not good enough to talk about your latest news and awards. You need to answer customers’ questions. Talk about the things that really matter to them, that they need to know the answer to. And you’ll gain organic traffic, build trust, improve the sales process, and ultimately increase leads and sales.

If you are interested in help with your business blogging then head on over to my services page and get in touch if it sounds up your street.

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