People are only interested in your business to the extent it helps them solve the problem they went to Google to solve.
It’s a matter of mindset. The question isn’t “What do you want to say to prospects?” The question is “What do prospects want to hear?” Said more precisely:
- What are they searching for when it comes to your topic?
- What questions are they asking?
- What do they want to know?
Long gone are the days of interruption marketing—back when the approach was spray and pray. Companies figured if they just pushed enough feature-laden pitches at you, something would stick, something would alter your buying behavior the next time you were at the market. So, ads were everywhere, interrupting you as you watched your favorite television show or read your favorite magazine or drove down the street. Companies needed to place their advertisements right in front of you, block your advance. Interrupt you. Get in your way.
The problem is… people simply stopped paying attention.
Millennials (that vital under forty-five market) sneer at advertising.
They see advertising as braggadocios and manipulative.
One result: Over the past five years, television viewing by people under forty has dropped 30 percent, while ad-free, subscription services like Netflix has skyrocketed. Thanks to the internet, people can find anything they want. Ads just get in the way. Think about it. When you look for a video on YouTube to answer some question you have, do you sit through the opening ad—or do you click-through to the video as soon as you’re able?
As consumers block, ignore and pay to avoid advertisements, small businesses must scramble to find a new way to reach prospects.
The key is not to interrupt but to get to found—to solve a problem. The internet is a ridiculously large place. It’s hard to get found. And, on the internet, success is all about being found.
That’s where a blog comes in. A blog is the cornerstone of content marketing. Instead of pushing messages out at unreceptive audiences—messages about how great your business is or what your products/services are—content marketing offers valuable information that people are searching for.
Content marketing is when a business provides information to its prospects that helps them solve their problems. The business offers interesting, relevant and useful information—content—that informs/inspires readers (potential customers) to develop trust in your brand. What you’re reading right now is content marketing.
People aren’t interested in your sales messages. Most people aren’t even interested in your business, except to the extent that it solves a question or need they have—scratches an inch.
When readers sense you just care about your company and its bottom line, they switch you off. No one likes to be sold to any more.
A blog allows you to provide this useful information—useful in that it solves people’s questions. Think of it this way. You’re building a relationship with your readers by helping and inspiring them. Once readers respect you as an authority, they start contacting you to buy your products or inquire about your services.
A blog is not where you sell. It’s where you inform and inspire. A blog has little, if any, information about your business or its products/services. Instead is addresses the needs of readers.
The purpose of a blog is to build trust in your business as an authoritative source on your topic—trust in you.
So how could it work?
Let’s say you’re a plumber. You don’t blog about your products and services. That’s the old interruption advertising mindset. Instead, you position yourself as an authority of the broader topic of maintenance and DIY with posts such as:
- How to replace the splash guard on a garbage disposal
- Are your pipes ready for winter?
- What is water hammer and how do you fix it?
- Baths or showers: which is better?
- When do you need to hire a plumber?