A brand’s blog is one way to win the hearts, minds, and trust of customers. Luckily for you, this is not the year 2003—you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. There’s plenty of hard data out there to help you gather the right tools and methods so you can be on your way to winning over customers.
Blogging is positioned as a way to win trust with customers. That is true—but it also has its other privileges. Blogging gives you digital tools to help you see and measure with great precision what prompts your customers to respond. We haven’t had that before in the history of the written word, or in marketing.
We’ll share what we know so you can start sharing what you know.
Be generous with industry expertise.
Before you generate your list of blog topic ideas, understand the reality of buying and selling in the digital world: 81 percent of customers do research before they buy. Granted, not all the research is online, but they’re checking an average of 10.4 sources.
Sixty percent check a brand or manufacturer website, and 62 percent use a search engine. Even if they’re at the store, 82 percent of mobile phone users will whip out their phones to do some research. What’s one source of information? Blogs.
People are reading them, to the tune of 82.2 million Americans in 2017, which reflects 30 percent of all internet users and 24 percent of the population, according to data from eMarketer.
If you aren’t blogging, your competition will happily fill the space for you. That would be a shame because you have the answers and expertise that people are looking for. Share it.
Give them the feels.
If sharing is the behavior you want to drive, the content has to move something inside. One study’s deep dive into viral content uncovered the role of emotion in sharing.
Articles that stirred awe were 30 percent more likely to be shared, whereas anger-inducing content is 34 percent more likely to be shared. Another recent study found similar results—emotion-arousing content goes viral.
We’re not suggesting that you anger your customers. What we are saying though, is that playing it safe doesn’t always make for engaging content. If your customers have a problem that you can solve, why not stir up a little outrage against the source?
Or, take it in a positive direction and kick up the “wow” factor. Leverage your expertise into topics that make people say, “I didn’t know that!” or “Hey, this information solves my problem!” or “That’s beautiful!”
Build trust early with the headline.
There are entire blogs devoted to writing the right headline the right way. In fact, headline writing is what some people do for a living. The best ones are deceptively simple. It has just a few words to inform, tickle, and entice.
The headline is the gateway, and it’s an opportunity you can’t afford to miss. If it doesn’t promise something the reader is looking for, the blog will miss out on the clicks.
Here’s one timeless tip. Hands down, the most shared headlines have numbered tips. Why? They give readers an idea of what they’re getting into, and how much they’re getting. Being specific builds trust.
That’s because it makes a promise to readers: The information is organized, easy to find, and digestible. Considering our 8-second attention span, it’s smart to convey organized, easy, and digestible before they read the first word of your article.
Bring precision to your CTA.
As with the earlier example, a call to action (CTA) with a specific, punchy message is going to see more, well, action. Too often, the CTA is too general. What, exactly, is going to happen when you click on “learn more” or “try it today”?
No one wants to jump in that rabbit hole. That sounds like a portal to pop-up land.
A personalized call to action can increase your conversion rate by a whopping 42 percent. Give people something specific so they know exactly what’s going to happen once they click.
How about “Download now – it’s free”? The call to action can offer something in return for their trouble: “Sign up for our email list and get a $10 coupon for your first purchase.” Or it can create a sense of urgency: “Register in the next 48 hours.”
Use data to measure your writing.
Writing tips are everywhere. Still, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions; what resonates with one brand’s customers could make yours close the window and move on.
This is because different brands convey different personalities and evoke different expectations. It’s time to dig in and get to the heart of that.
The best way to know is through a series of side-by-side tests called A/B testing. All you do is push the same blog out into the world but with, say, two different headlines. Which performs better?
Then, A/B test the order of your tips and your call to action. When tracking the results, don’t be distracted by traffic and impressions. Always keep your eye on conversions. A back-of-napkin calculation of 25 case studies shows A/B testing increases conversions by 48 percent. Raise your results early and often with A/B testing, and everyone will see your blog make serious traction.
Bottom line, you’re not going to make it very far if you simply hang your shingle and wait for customers to call, email, or stop in. If you aren’t taking part in the digital conversation, you’re going to miss out on valuable leads. With the help of these proven writing tips, your business blog will mature and develop into a valuable resource that wins over customers.
Taboola is the world’s leading content discovery platform, serving 360B recommendations to over 1B unique visitors each month on the web’s most innovative publisher sites. To learn more about how Taboola can help you, contact us or start your campaign today.