Many businesses don’t do a great job when it comes to educating their prospects on the true benefits of their products and services. Sure, they have a website, but they don’t take advantage of the opportunity to differentiate themselves by maintaining an active blog with valuable information for their target audience.
In a competitive industry (and which one isn’t nowadays?), demonstrating your expertise in the areas of interest to your prospects goes a long way towards building trust. Consistently writing, optimizing, publishing, and sharing original content on your blog can consistently keep them engaged. It shows that you’re interested in being helpful and sharing your knowledge to solve their problems and meet their needs.
In short, your business becomes a trusted resource. Your website will be viewed as a hub for educational content, and your blog will be the driving force behind it. In fact, creating valuable information for your blog will be the single most effective way to build awareness for your business, demonstrate thought leadership, attract more prospects to your website, and generate more leads.
If you haven’t already added a blog to your website, now’s the time. Remember that dedication, consistency, and quality are key to achieving success with your blog. If you don’t plan on frequently updating it with original content—at least once a week—you may want to reconsider blogging as part of your content marketing strategy. An ignored blog or a blog with poorly written articles will do your business more harm than good.
Here are five tips to help you start creating valuable educational articles:
1. Stay Informed
Keep track of industry trends to get ideas for article topics, and follow influential blogs to stay up-to-date on top of industry news. Leverage your expertise to add your own perspective and contribute to the conversation. Put a new spin on an old topic. Be controversial. Ruffle some feathers. It’s a good way to get people talking about and interacting with your business.
2. Perform Keyword Research
Use a keyword tool to discover the terms your target audience is searching to find information related to your business. Look at the amount of monthly searches for keywords, and remember to compare their competition so you choose keyword phrases that are frequently searched but aren’t so competitive that you can’t rank for them.
3. Write High-Quality Articles
Both your target audience and the search engines want to see that you’ve created a substantial piece of content. But most visitors do not—and will not—want to read a 3,000 word treatise on the benefits of your products and services. Instead, write more concise 500-600 word articles that educate your target audience on the specific topics they want to learn about. It’s been said a gazillion times, but it always rings true: quality over quantity.
4. Don’t Be Self-Promotional
Nothing turns-off prospects faster than an article that blatantly promotes your company’s products and services. Remember that the point of content marketing is to educate and share valuable information, not sell directly. You want your blog to be the go-to resource in your niche, not a place where you toot your own horn. That’s what press releases are for.
5. Use Social Media Wisely
Share your great content on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and other social media sites where your prospects and customers hang out. Include relevant keywords in your posts, and encourage your network to share your content as well. The visibility of your articles can spread very quickly to increase the visibility of your business and boost website traffic.
These are just a few of the many best practices for writing, optimizing, and publishing articles on your blog. Now you’re ready to start creating and sharing content to turn your business into a trusted resource, build awareness as a thought leader, and generate more qualified leads.