Google has shifted their focus on how blog posts (often called content marketing) affect search results, which means it’s never been more important to create and maintain a blog for your SME or NGO’s website. But once the audience has found your blog, how is it going to benefit your sales or impact in your target issue.
I’m going to give you 3 simple tips that will conquer the TL:DR (Too Long Didn’t Read) syndrome and actually drive results (not merely attention) from your blog posts.
- Call to action: have a point to what you are blogging. What do you want the audience to do when they’ve read your content?
- Tell the truth: nothing lifts the quality of your blog like the truth.
- Engage: Have a conversation with your audience, not a marketing rant.
The purpose of a blog for any SME (Small to Medium Enterprise) or NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) is to create a response. It’s either sales or social change. Your SME/NGO has a mission, and merely informing your audience of that mission is not enough. You have to create change or create sales, or all your marketing efforts are for nothing.
Imagine your sales team telling the boss ‘we didn’t sell anything, but people sure do know we exist!’ I’ve actually heard that from marketing managers, but in truth, that’s just as lame. The point of marketing is to drive sales. That should be measurable. You might not close the deal, but you served it to the sales mechanism on a silver platter.
Perhaps you work for a charity or aid organization. Imagine telling your supporters ‘nothing has changed, but people know we have a solution for them.’ Epic fail. You exist to create change, not inform people of their options. That’s what governments are for – informing people. That’s why you are non-governmental; you are there to create change. Governments don’t have the courage (or even often the mandate) to do that well.
If you are going to all the trouble of writing a blog, and faithfully maintaining it, you need results. Awareness of your product or solution is part of the sales process, and the further down that line, the more your blog can move your audience, the more useful your efforts will be.
So, it’s vitally important that you not only get your audience’s attention (and keep it) you need to create action. You need to create sales. Either they buy your product, or they buy your ideals, nothing matters until your audience reacts and takes the action you prescribe.
Now we all remember that 20 something guy who was always trying to close on every girl he met. He’s now 40 and still striking out. We don’t like being ‘closed’ on. It’s why we won’t talk to the ‘help’ (sales tools) at stores and dealerships until we absolutely have too.
How about some ‘busy body’ from ‘some charity’ coming and telling us how to live? Nope. Not going to happen. “A fool convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”
Enter ‘content marketing’ – we give the audience enough information to change their own opinions. If it’s ‘our own idea’ we will actually believe it. Seriously. Give your audience the information they need to change their own mind or make a purchase decision. You do that and you won’t get as much ‘buyer’s remorse’ – meaning fewer returns/canceled contracts and more change/follow through.
But once you give them the information, then tell them what to do with it.
A study was done comparing the sales results from changing a sign for a burger shop. The original sign had words to the effect of ‘best burgers in town!’
The sign was changed to ‘best burgers in town – turn left in 2 blocks and come on in.’ Sales picked up dramatically.
You can seed calls to action thought the content of your blog post. Try something simple like “if you would like to know more about this feature then click here to read about it” or “Do you think you would like to talk to our staff? Click here” or “call us now on 555 1234” etc.
I actually believe you should write your call to action on a piece of paper, then stick it to the side of your monitor as you write. It’s what you should be constantly leading you audience to – give them a chance to act, and believe it or not, the audience will thank you.
None of us like having our time wasted. And if your audience feels that way at any point, you’re just antagonizing them to go on and on without any clear point or purpose. Let them know if this is right for them as quickly as possible. You can’t land every fish. You don’t want to land every fish. You want your ideal customers coming in response, not time wasters.
Make it easy for the right person to ‘come on in.’