When the social media revolution really began to rev its engines, one of the main focuses for social media evangelists was blogging for your business. As a result, a lot of the blog posts that got traction around 2008 and 2009 were about blogging, including how to generate ideas, how to promote your posts and more.
As companies began to undertake their own blogs, they saw that some of the most successful blogs were based on “how-to” tips on blogging, so that is what they began to do as well.
For a long time, this approach to blogging worked well for everyone. For a time. I think that time might be coming to an end though.
Write for your customers, not yourself and not for traffic
The biggest temptation when a blog begins, whether it’s for an individual or for a company, is to write so that you can get traffic, comments and shares. Including “hot” keywords in headlines and writing about topics that are already garnering a lot of views is an easy way to get from point A to point B.
In your case, however, do your customers really want to hear about “content marketing” or social media ROI? If you are a CMO, which we know many of you are, your job is write content that will be of interest to YOUR customers.
In my particular case, our agency’s clients tend to be B2B manufacturers. Our contacts don’t have time or the inclination to read about blogging. In fact, they have very little time to read, period.
If they are going to take the time to read content it is going to be something that is going to help them solve a day-to-day problem. They might want to hear about the latest developments in lean manufacturing or the global economy. They might want to know what the forecast for American manufacturing is for the rest of the year.
Writing this kind of content is not going to get you to the AdAge Power 150 list of bloggers. You are not likely to climb up the social media hierarchy writing about things that are outside the spectrum of whatever is hot in social media at that particular moment. That can seem a little discouraging at first.
However, you can be assured that you are writing the kind of content that your existing and potential customers will find helpful. That can be worth a lot more in the long run than a few comments and some retweets.
Getting content in front of the right people
A lot of social media gurus will tell you that you want to get your blog posts and other content in front of as many people as possible. Social media serendipity dictates that a net cast broadly is more likely to catch the right fish, even if there are also a few fish in there you don’t need.
If your company is hoping that your blog will convert to sales, relying on serendipity is not the best way to go. How can you make sure the right people are getting your targeted content, then? Here are some ideas:
• Put a link to your newest blog post in your email signature
• Update your LinkedIn company page with your latest blog posts – there is a high likelihood a prospect will check you out there
• Make sure your customer service department is kept updated on what is going into your blog. They may be able to direct callers or social media questioners to your blog for reference.
• When appropriate, highlight a customer who has won an award or who has been recognized in their community or industry. People are more likely to visit a blog when they know there’s a chance they might be mentioned.
As a CMO, your job is to clarify for your customers and prospects how your company can help make their lives easier. Writing a blog post about blogging may be helpful on occasion, but very probably there are more pressing issues that your customers are dealing with that you could speak to with intelligence and experience.
You may not get the same rush that an explosion of comments and shares can get you, but you may find that your sales and your customer loyalty increases. Isn’t that worth more in the long run?