business blogging, lead genearation, SEO, business blogging

The Advantages and Elements of an Effective Business Blog: Inbound Marketing

Does Your Business Need a Blog?

Need? No.

Find enormous benefit from? Yes, if you do it right.

The benefits of a business blog can be significant.

Advantages of a Business Blog

A few of them are:

  1. Informs prospects and customers (perhaps education is a better word).
  2. Initiates relationships with future customers.
  3. Helps establish your authority within your industry.
  4. Creates a level of brand awareness.
  5. Helps you set the tone for conversations about your business.
  6. Improves your search engine ranking (and done right this is drastic).
  7. Converts website visitors into leads and prospects.
  8. Allows you to communicate directly with the world where your message is direct and unfiltered.

Elements of a Business Blog

From a technology perspective, it doesn’t take much. A WordPress website and you’re good to go.

However there are marketing and operational elements that are important to successful business blogs.

Marketing Elements of a Business Blog

From a marketing perspective, your business blog needs the following:

You Need to Know Your Story

I know this sounds simple, but most businesses, and most employees of businesses don’t know their story.

I teach there are two aspects to your story.

  1. What serious problem do you solve in a simple way? I accept this is not an easy question to answer, but until you ask you won’t even try to answer. Ponder this for a while and see what ideas come.
  2. What famous and ancient well known story can you co-opt as your own. The value of this is enormous as we all know these stories.

What is Meant by Co-opting a Story

We tell the same stories over and over again. We just change all the details, but the themes of the story remain constant. For example, the Iliad had a bit where the Greek’s presented the city of Troy with a large wooden horse, which was of course their undoing.

Over the last 3,200 years, this theme of being cleverly deceived shows up again and again and again.

This is perhaps best illustrated by example. For Inbound Marketing University, my story is David vs Goliath. With the “weapon” of low cost Inbound Marketing, I help small businesses compete effectively against big business.

I have a friend who is moving her businesses from pay for service health care to health education. Her story is the western migration into the American west in the 19th century. She’s the guide who helps the wagon train reach their destination.

Understand that when you co-opt an ancient story, you don’t use the details of the original story, but you keep the theme and the main plot structure. This is effective because we all recognize these stories even when we don’t recognize these stories (I hope that made sense).

You Need to Know What You Sell

By this I mean at a higher level. I do teach Inbound Marketing training, but what I really teach is online promotion and lead generation.

If I focus my blog posts and videos on Inbound Marketing, I’ll only interest people who know what Inbound Marketing is.

You Need to Know Who You Sell To

No business sells to “everyone”. No business sells to “all [fill in the blank]”. The more specific you can get with this the more you target the people whom you really want.

I’ll use myself as an example again.

I sell to small business owners who have tried SEO services that didn’t deliver results. Fortunately for me there are a lot of such people out there.

You Need to Know How They Decide to Buy

What motivates your clients to commit to you and through what process did they pick you? Let’s say you’re a roofer and yes they need a new roof. But they can get a new roof from any number of roofers. Why you?

If you’re not sure, ask your customers. Not just ask why they picked you, ask HOW they picked you.

Back to the roofing example, did they research different roofing materials? Did they then decide on one? Was their prime consideration the cost of the job? Your reputation for quality? Your ability to schedule the job soon?

Ask and find out.

The Operational Elements of a Business Blog

This blog post is already too long, so I’m continuing that in the next post.

Operational Elements of a Successful Business Blog: Inbound Marketing

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