Has it happened to you? You had what seemed like the perfect idea for a blog post, did your research, polished your copy, went live and hardly anyone read the post? Even worse, when you asked your clients, colleagues and strategic partners if they read the post, the few folks that said ‘yes’ added ‘ it wasn’t of interest’? Sometimes, great content goes unnoticed. Not because it wasn’t creative, compelling or credible, but because it wasn’t what your target audience was looking for.
The next time you get ready to craft a blog post, heed these five tips for generating content that passes the ‘who cares’ test:
1. Ask yourself, why does this topic matter to my current and prospective clients?
Let’s say you are a widget manufacturer and just received the latest issue of Widget Digest, your industry’s leading trade publication. While reading the issue, you come across a snazzy new tool that will make the manufacturing process significantly easier for you and your staff. Hurray! Your first instinct is to put a post on your blog about the new technology and discuss how it improves the manufacturing process. Not so fast.
It’s great that the tool will make your job easier, but what about your clients? Will an easier production process allow you to fill orders more quickly? Does an easier production process equal a lower product cost? Remember, great blog posts answer one key question – ‘what’s in it for the reader?’
2. Consider, how can this blog post help solve a problem that often impacts my clients?
Complementary to answering ‘what’s in it for the reader’ is positioning blog content as a solution to problems and challenges your readers may face. For example, an IT company may benefit from posting ‘Top 5 Steps to Take When Your Computer Won’t Turn On.’ Not only does this post address a challenge that faces the IT company’s clients, it may reduce the volume of service calls they receive for problems clients may be able to fix themselves. It also builds credibility for the IT company because they are giving away free expertise that directly benefits their clients.
3. Ask your readers what they want
Social media is a living, breathing testament to the fact that people like their opinions to be heard. So why not ask your Facebook fans, Twitter followers and email marketing subscribers what they would like to read about on your blog? Something as simple as a 3-5 question electronic survey can yield a wealth of insights into the types of blog posts your current and prospective clients want to read.
4. Pick your words wisely
What are the buzzwords that make prospects and clients excited about working with your company? What words motivate these audiences to take action? What are the key words in their industries that you can incorporate into blog posts to demonstrate your understanding of their business? Remember, there is a big difference between ‘increasing efficiency’ and ‘saving time.’ Know what motivates your target audiences, and blog readers, to take action – be it reading the whole blog post or contacting your company to learn more about a new product or service.
5. Be timely
Perhaps the industries your company serves were significantly impacted by the newly released FY 2014-2015 budget. Now is the time to blog about. Not six months from now. Given the hectic pace at which business moves, it is not uncommon for ‘now’ to become ‘next week’ or even ‘next month.’ With blogging, this is particularly challenging as waiting even a couple of days gives the thousands of other bloggers out there an opportunity to scoop your news.
Craft blog posts that speak to what is currently on your target audiences’ minds – be it new legislation, planning for the 2014 calendar year, launching a new fundraising campaign or hurricane-proofing their operations. Timely blog posts demonstrate the company’s understanding of its clients’ needs and significantly enhance expert positioning. Further, it can lead to prime opportunities to make a sale.
Consistently creating timely, relevant and engaging blog posts that resonate with target audiences can be a challenge. The next time you start to craft a post, ask yourself how you can best package the content to benefit your target audiences while demonstrating thought leadership and industry expertise.