Blogs are the cornerstone of a good digital marketing strategy. They’re the #1 way to raise your visibility online. Every time you publish helpful, informative content, you have the opportunity to show up more prominently in online searches related to your business. These, in turn, help new customers find you.
The ultimate business website is one that continuously attracts the right attention while leading people through your customer funnel. Since it’s always at work, it’s a strategic force multiplier for your entire operation. And the content marketing you do through your website is key to that value.
But that raises a big question.
How the heck do you write a good business blog?
There are plenty of articles on almost any topic that matters to your business. If you’re the local orthodontist writing article seven-million-and-two about the benefits of braces, you might wonder if doing so could ever possibly matter.
But it does – for all kinds of reasons.
First of all, when you write a blog post aimed at your local Central Florida audience, you don’t end up in competition with everyone in North America. On the contrary, thanks to the “near me effect” built into Google, you’ll be talking directly to people within about 30 miles of your service area.
That makes a big difference. It means virtually everyone who sees your blog may become a customer.
But the challenge remains: How do you appeal to them and get them to actually take action?
Let’s take a closer look at what a business blog needs to be a success.
1. You Need the Right Audience
The work of making a business blog effective starts before you write a single word. Every piece of digital marketing content is written for someone, and the task begins by knowing exactly who that someone is.
Although you may have one kind of ideal customer in mind, there might be many different use cases for your products and services. The purpose of any one blog post is to answer a question or help solve a problem, so you need to choose a question or problem that matches the needs of one specific audience.
If you already have formal buyer personas, you’re a huge step ahead of the game. You can use your personas as a springboard to go right to the next step: Providing value that makes a real difference.
If not, get together your key stakeholders from marketing, sales, and product development. You need a clear picture in mind of who your customers are, what their pressing problems are, and what they value about your solutions.
2. You Need the Right Value
If the point of any one blog is to answer a question or solve a problem, your next step is to choose that question or problem. For example, readers of this particular blog have the problem of not knowing how to make their posts worthwhile. This requires both a little context and some specific tips.
Naturally, most questions are complex enough that a book could be written on them. A business blog doesn’t serve that purpose. Most blogs give a general overview with some actionable tips. Visitors who want to know more can get it from your other content, like e-books and video storytelling.
No matter what the problem or question, though, a blog should:
- Clearly state what it’s going to be about in the title
- Live up to the promise that the title puts into words
If you do this, even very short content can be worthwhile to your readers.
3. You Need the Right Objectives
Every blog post needs a purpose in your digital marketing strategy. But no matter how well-written or informative a post is, it probably won’t motivate newcomers to do business with you all on its own. It succeeds or fails by whether or not it deepens the relationship.
Instead of aiming to win the sale by the end of your blog, make sure it’s equipped with a CTA that helps move readers through your funnel. The next step could be joining your social media community or even signing up for your email list. This opens the door to future collaboration.
4. You Need the Right Keywords
Last but not least, you need keywords – words or phrases that reflect searches your would-be customers are making. Keywords are usually too vague to be effective blog topics without some imagination, but you should use relevant keywords throughout the text to garner more search engine traffic.