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Content marketing series: How blogs can turn prospects into paying customers

What was once considered a personal online diary of rants, reviews and anecdotes in the 90s and early 2000s has now become an essential marketing element for businesses and brands.

With a bit of planning, regular articles or blog posts on your website can provide a platform to educate your customers about your products or services, gently lead them down your sales funnel and, ultimately, purchase from you. Once you’re underway, you’ll find your site performing better in search and social media, attracting new customers as well.

In this four-part article series, we cover some of the amazing ways blogs can provide value to your business.

Why should you create content?

Before we dive into the series, let’s address a common question we often get asked by our clients: ‘why does my business need a blog?’

Blogs form an integral part of any content marketing strategy and provide value in a number of ways:

Rank better in search results:

  • Blogs pair well with keyword research, allowing you to accurately target specific keywords with each post
  • Well-written and interesting blogs act as excellent link-building assets, which search engines see as important for website rankings

Generate powerful indirect selling tools:

  • A well-established blog acts as a resource for your customers, helping to educate them about your products or industry and directing them down the sales funnel
  • When combined with social advertising or content aggregation blogs almost always outperform direct advertising for click-through rates and engagement
  • Blog posts act as sales and customer support. Teams dealing directly with your customers can identify common pain points or questions which can then be adapted into articles to help answer common questions.

Reach new audiences with great pieces of content for social media:

  • Blogs with unique content are appealing on social media and are easily shareable, helping you raise your brand awareness through the networks of your customers
  • Articles are a ‘native advertisement’. Put simply, they sell your products or service in a subtle way
  • Blog posts help build brand authority, allowing customers to associate your brand as the go-to for your product or industry.

Excellent support for customer retention management:

  • Articles remind your customers that you exist and give them a reason to come to your site when they’re not currently looking to buy. This is especially important if you deal with infrequent purchases, where you don’t want to spam your database with sales messages
  • Blog content is also very flexible and is usable across search, social media, email and print newsletters, allowing you to reach customers across multiple mediums.

Answer your customer’s questions

Customers always have questions about your service and product offering.  Questions can range from your processes, to technical details about your product, comparisons, industry news and guides. This presents a fantastic opportunity for your business to address these questions through a blog post or series of blog posts.

Customers who are conducting this top-level research are typically in the early stages of the buying cycle, which means they are more impressionable. If these customers find the answers to their questions through one of your articles, they will automatically build affinity with your brand because you were their first touch point.

Researching before making a purchase

Nurture their journey

Capturing customers early in the buying cycle can give you more touchpoints than your competitors. As customers research product information or industry news using your blog, they become more educated and informed and move further through their buying cycle. By being involved in the process so early, your brand has a good chance to become a prominent option in their consideration set.

For example, let’s imagine you own an online store that sells quality suits (we will refer to this example throughout this article series). The customer is looking to buy a suit but has no idea what kind they’d like, and may organically land on your site and read a blog post titled “The advantages and disadvantages of suit fabrics”.  From there, they may become more intrigued about suits and read another one of your blog posts about what canvassed suits are. As they become more educated about suiting, they slowly begin to form an idea about the ideal suit they would like, bringing them closer to purchase.

Providing information in the form of interesting and well-written blog posts allows you to delicately steer customers along the buying process until they get to the point where they are ready to purchase. Because they’ve received their information from your site, they will be more inclined to look at your products first because it’s convenient and because you have built up some authority on the topic of suiting.

 


Stay tuned: Next month, in part two of this series, we will look into how a blog can help boost your website rankings in search through accurate keyword targeting.

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