Do you wonder why a blog is important for business?

Or do you already know but wonder how you can use one effectively?

Then read on.

What is a blog?

A blog is a website, or part of a website, where you or several users record your opinions or post information regularly. It often contains images or videos as well as words and can be written for almost any purpose.

It is also a great marketing tool for businesses. By showing your expertise, informing, educating and entertaining, you’ll build positive relationships with your customers. They’ll trust you, come to you rather than the competition, engage with you and ultimately you’ll sell more.

But…

You must have a focus for your blog

If you don’t, people will not know what your purpose is, may get confused and decide not to bother with you.

Perhaps you have a specific project in mind or there may be some senior people in your organisation who like to write down their thoughts regularly for others to read. These are both good reasons to write a blog but you still need a clear focus.

In order to be focused, some good questions to ask are:

  • What do you want it to achieve?
  • Who is the audience?
  • How does the blog support any wider communications activity being carried out?
  • How will you promote it?
  • Where will the content come from?
  • What content will it feature?
  • How will you measure how effective the blog is?

Focus on benefits not features

When writing your content ask:

  • How will it benefit your buyer/user?
  • How will it fulfil a want, need or pain point of your consumer?

A benefit is anything your product or service does to make your readers lives easier. By highlighting benefits they will perceive your product/service as valuable and worthwhile especially if it fulfils one of their wants, needs or pain points. People normally buy based on feelings or emotions rather than facts…

Benefits make the sale, while features allow your reader to rationalise their decision to buy.

Which holiday would you choose? A or B?

  • A. This spring holiday includes hiking, gourmet food and fascinating cultural tours. 25% off this month.
  • B. Feel freedom and peace this spring as the fresh alpine air blows your worries away. With mountain hikes, gourmet food and fascinating cultural tours you’ll come home refreshed and energised. 25% off this month.

Know your audience

You must know who you are writing to for several reasons, firstly so you can determine what the benefits of your product/service are. But also, if you don’t, people will be confused, unsure what you are trying to say and will not be interested in your business any more.

And they must feel it’s written just for them. As if they were the only person you were talking to. As I said before, people normally buy based on emotion, not fact.

An example of a good blog post

To see ‘purpose, audience and benefits’ in action here is one of my blog posts – ‘Fabulous Fungi’ written for Country Bumpkin Yurts.

I was given this information:

  • Purpose: to engage followers and attract new customers, to further establish their nature loving brand, and to educate/inform people about nature
  • Target audience: mainly 25-45 years including lots of young families (mostly booked by women)
  • Benefits: Country Bumpkin Yurts provide time and space away from it all in the countryside. It’s the perfect place to unwind and reconnect with the people you love

And I decided to write the post for young families, educate them about fungi and show them these benefits:

  • Staying at Country Bumpkin Yurts will entertain and educate your children
  • You will have some quality family time
  • There’s chance for adults to relax too

Blogs are a great marketing tool

So, as well as being fun to write, blogs can be a great marketing tool. Just remember, if you’re going to use one effectively it should:

  • Be tailored towards the needs and wants of your target audience
  • Focus on the benefits of your product/service, not the features.

Note : This article was originally posted by Susan Hammond on LinkedIn

Author

Shenzhen Blog Editor