Buyers have doubled the amount of information they use before deciding to purchase products, according to Google's Zero Moment of Truth study. Companies that provide good information to buyers are the ones that are closing the sale. They are using videos, eBooks, webinars and blog articles to draw visitors into their marketing funnels and help them make their way through to a purchase decision. So how can you use your blog to sync with your prospect's buying process and help them with their purchasing decision?
Who is your ideal prospect?
The first step in developing your blogging strategy is to define your ideal prospect. Once you define your ideal prospect, you can target the subjects and voice of your blog to resonate with them. Ask yourself questions like:
- What industry does my ideal prospect work in?
- What are their job titles?
- What problems do they face that are preventing them from achieving their goals?
- Where do they turn when they research information to solve business problems?
- What are their typical demographics? Age? Gender? Education?
A good way to start defining your ideal prospect is to evaluate your current customer base to look for commonalities. Target the tone of your blog to your ideal prospect. Write in their "language" - use their vernacular and style in your blog articles. For example, if you're ideal customer is a no-nonsense CEO, avoid flowery prose and get quickly to the point.
What questions does your ideal prospect have?
Once you know who your ideal prospect is, the next step is to figure out the questions they have that relate to what you're selling. Keep in mind that you're not selling, you're answering questions. According to Gleanster, 90% of visitors aren't ready to buy when they first come to your website. If they're not ready to buy, don't selll them! If you're selling with your blog, you won't get many return visitors.
So what are the questions that your customers are asking? Ask your customer-facing employees. Talk to call center reps, account managers and others to find the common threads customers have about the problem your product or service solves. Write 500-700 word articles answering customer questions. Again, don't sell, just answer questions.
Use your blog to start your lead nurturing process
So you're probably wondering how you can use your blog to grow if you're not selling with it. Think of your blog as a means of filling the top of your lead nurturing funnel. Here is a graphic depiction of the inbound lead generation process.
Your blog should serve as a starting point for inbound lead generation. Use a call-to-action within your blog to offer readers a chance to download an eBook or a video that gives them more educational information. In exchange for the download, the visitor gives you an email address. You can then use email marketing to nurture the lead by providing them with the right information at the right time as they move through their buying process.
Use inbound marketing to promote your blog
Now that you're publishing blog articles that educate your prospects and draw them into your marketing funnel, it's time to expand your reach by promoting them. Here are some tips for promoting your blog.
- Make sure to use keyword phrases in your blog titles and articles that reflect what customers use to search for you on Google. This will help your content get found when people make relevant Google searches.
- Promote your blog articles on the social media networks your ideal prospects use. This not only increases the reach of your blog, but social media shares send signals to search engine that you're producing good content. Reach out to vendors, customers and industry influencers to promote your blog on their social media channels. Make it easy for them - include sharing buttons on your blog.
- Use email marketing to promote your blog. Send an email that promotes your blog and offers recipients an opportunity to subscribe.
Buyers are increasingly looking for information to help them make purchasing decisions. A well-written business blog that answers the questions your ideal prospect has is an excellent way to draw potential buyers into your marketing process. Make sure to have lead conversion opportunities on all of your blog articles; blogging is often the first step in a lead nurturing process. Use your blog to sync with your prospect's buying process and generate new customers for your business.