If you’re a small business owner, you already know two things: 1). You need to grow your business using marketing, and 2). You have little to no budget to do it.
If you’re reading this you probably know about Content Marketing, and how it can help your business grow with a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising such as TV or radio.
However, for the sake of those who don’t Content Marketing is creating relevant content (text, audio, and video) consistently, which your customers consider valuable, in order to build trust with them that inevitable leads to a desired outcome (typically the sale).
In 2008 River Pools used it to save their company from bankruptcy, and has become the most profitable pool company in the US with just a blog.
Maybe you know the value of blogging, may have even attempted to do it. The problem is you can’t seem to make it work for you.
To help you increase the effectiveness of your blogging efforts here’s six things you should consider when writing your blog posts.
1. Focus on your customers’ pain points. This is important because you want content that is relevant to your customers. That can only happen if you talk about things that are of importance to them. Use sales meetings and customer feedback to identify gaps or challenges they have that you can solve, and write about that
2. Write a compelling headline. By compelling I mean start with a headline that immediately grabs their attention. You can either focus on highlighting the pain point in the headline, or a worded solution. For example, I titled this article based on two challenges I know small business owners have which is getting customers’ attention and generating leads with a limited budget
3. Start with a story. Why a story? You want to draw them in with content that resonates with them and makes your post memorable. Using stories will help them make the connection between their problem and your product/service as the solution. This is where Case Studies you have from previous work with similar clients come in handy. Rather than simply throwing it up on your website, create a story starting with the challenge your client had before your solution, how they found you, their process through using you as a solution, and the positive results your solution got for them
4. Focus on simplicity. This is especially imperative if you’re in the IT/Tech industry where terms such as DevOps, SCRUM, and System Integration may go over the heads of the average reader. Think of it as writing for a six-year-old that will constantly ask ‘why’ for everything they don’t understand. Don’t assume that because it’s clear and makes sense to you that it will make sense to your readers.
5. Structure your blog post so that it flows. What I mean is understand the start, middle, and end of your post so readers follow. What will you use to draw them in and get their attention, then introduce the challenge they are experiencing, finally end by subtly suggesting you as the solution
6. Conclude and call-to-action. End your post by summarizing the entire post. This includes restating the pain point (keep bringing it to their awareness), the suggested solution, and finally (and most importantly) a call-to-action on what they should do next. That is “Click to find out how XYZ company can help you with [restate pain point]”.
As a small business owner it’s difficult to compete with bigger competitors in your market with bigger budgets and resources. Content Marketing, and specifically in this case blogging, is one way that levels the playing field for you, and allows you to execute much more effective marketing, with a very limited budget.
Finally, allow me to say again, the most effective blog posts are the ones that focus on your customers’ needs and pain points, not primarily on your product or service.
Original article published here