Is that the sound of crickets on your company blog?
Are you having trouble bringing new visitors to your website?
It could be that you’re committing the #1 sin in content marketing. You’re making it all about you when your prospects want it to be all about them.
The #1 Sin in Content Marketing
I’m sure you’ve been to websites before where the blog is filled with news about new products, new hires, and, if you’re lucky, tradeshows the business attended. It’s understandable; the concept of business blogging doesn’t come easily to everyone.
Your brain immediately starts to question blogging for business:
- What should we blog about?
- Will anyone actually read this?
- Do we have anything interesting to say?
The key to business blogging success is to NOT commit that #1 sin.
Make your articles about your prospects, not about your company. People don’t search the Internet looking for press releases and blatant sales pitches.
People search the Internet to find answers to their questions and solutions to their problems.
Seems pretty simple, right?
Then why do so many business get this wrong?
Let me repeat – People search the Internet to find answers to their questions and solutions to their problems.
But businesses are scared to give prospects answers and solutions. Companies think if they give it away on the blog, why would anyone become a customer?
Businesses become scared to take a stand for fear of alienating someone.
So they end up doing nothing…
…and they get crickets.
Don’t let this happen to your business blog.
You can give answers and you should.
As a matter of fact, we would argue it is essential to start doing so.
To get started you should concentrate on….drumroll, please….
The 6 Irresistible Business Blog Topics that Attract Leads Like a Magnet
1. Prospect Questions
Your potential customers have lots of questions. Some of them they’ll ask you directly. Others they’ll ask their friends and colleagues. And other questions will drive them straight to the Internet.
Why aren’t you the one answering those questions?
It’s the fastest and easiest way for you to produce content for your website.
Before blogging software was ubiquitous, updating your website was a major project, so savvy webmasters came up with a way of addressing visitor questions. It’s called the FAQ page and it’s one of the biggest mistakes you can make on your site.
Those Frequently Asked Questions are fertile ground for content ideas. Please don’t answer them in two sentences and throw all the answers up on one page. That would be a waste of a gigantic opportunity.
First, brainstorm every question a prospect or customer has ever asked you. Write out the answers as individual blog posts on your site – each with its own Title and SEO information. Don’t hold back; give thorough and comprehensive answers.
Example: Will your chandeliers look good in my dining room?
Most of the time you’ll see a cheesy, standard one-paragraph answer like “Of course our chandeliers look great in your dining room but even if they don’t you can send them back at no charge…..blah, blah, blah.”
How does that compare to this blog post:
No comparison, right?
Start seeing the possibilities!
2. Provide Solutions For Your Prospects
This topic, along with topic #5, is the hardest one to get our clients to write about. Companies are really scared to give away the secret sauce.
But here is the real secret – there is no secret sauce!
The Internet has totally leveled the playing field in regard to information – everyone has access to the full breadth of human knowledge in their pocket. This fact has radically transformed industries that relied on informational asymmetry.
For example, car dealerships.
Just 15 years ago, when you went to a car dealership you planned on test driving a few models. You needed to ask questions about how the models compared to each other. You wanted to see what was available in all of the different trim packages. And you wanted to make sure you were getting the best deal.
The problem was that the dealer had all that information and you didn’t. This tipped the balance of power in the dealer’s direction.
Today, you know all of that information before you even CONTACT a dealership, never mind actually going into one.
The informational playing field has been leveled.
Do you think this has changed the way cars are sold? You know it has!
Dealers now share as much information as possible about their cars, trim levels, others consumers’ experiences, performance, etc. in an effort to get you to their website where they hope to convert you into a lead.
It’s not bad what they’re doing. The consumer wins because the dealers need to provide them with as much info as possible and provide the best buying experience.
So what does this have to do with you?
Be the dealer.
Stay on top of your market by producing content that provides real solutions for your prospects.
3. Generate Leads by Solving Problems
People love to research a good problem. Even when they are researching solutions, they will often phrase their search in the form of a problem. To see what I mean try this exercise:
- Go to Google
- Start typing in the words “problems with”
- Include your business after “problems with”
Google Suggest will give you some excellent insight into the problems people are researching in your market. Let’s take cloud computing as an example. When I do the steps above here is what I get:
problems with cloud computing
problems with cloud security
problems with cloud storage
problems with cloud computing 2014
If you’re a cloud provider, you’ve just confirmed some of the biggest problems your potential clients have with your product. Why not write a blog post to address their concerns and suggest potential solutions – solutions that you sell!
Example Blog Post Title: The 3 Biggest Problems with Cloud Security (and how to solve them)
4. Compare Yourself to Your Competitors
Like a lot of the advice you’ll find on this blog, this seems counter-intuitive at first. Really…I should talk about my competitors on my site? I finally got a prospect to come here…why should I let my competitors into the conversation?
The truth is…you need to use your competitors in order to get prospects to your site in the first place.
It’s a fact of life. You are being vetted against your competition.
People research you and then click right over to them. If fact, they might even type something like this into Google:
Your Company vs. Competitor Company
And THAT is where the opportunity lies!
If you write an article addressing that very question, the prospect is going to come to your website, not your competitor’s.
Make sure the article is transparent and honest. Don’t make it a sales pitch, make it a true comparison – you’re better than your competitors anyway, right?
Then show your prospects why!
Example: Search Intacct vs. Quickbooks (they are both accounting software)
The #1 Result in Google: The Best Choice if You’re Outgrowing Quickbooks
5. Everybody Wants to Know Price
The topic of pricing is, BY FAR, the topic we get the most resistance on.
Companies – especially B2B companies – act like pricing is some secret weapon and they can’t reveal it for all the world to see.
We understand that some of your solutions are custom built and that it’s hard to give a price before you know the specifics of any given situation.
We get it. We’re in the same situation.
But don’t throw the baby our with the bathwater…you can still start a conversation around price on your website.
This “problem” is a massive opportunity in disguise.
Explain to your prospects how pricing is typically determined in your market. Use it as a chance to do some “price anchoring” for your products and services. Show your prospects the value you provide because that is the real question they are asking.
Use the price question to qualify your website visitors. We understand that your high ticket services may be too expensive for some potential customers. Why not explain your pricing so you’re no longer bombarded with “can you send me pricing” requests?
Here’s a pricing question for you. How much does it cost you, in time, to write up proposals when all the prospect really wanted to know was your pricing?
Don’t be scared to talk about price. And yes, we did take our own medicine:
6. Write Reviews for SEO
Did you know that 88% of all statistics are made up right there on the spot? (Bonus points if you get that reference!)
So here is a stat I believe (and just made up):
100% of all web searchers eventually search for reviews when making a buying decision.
Social proof and testimonials are powerful marketing tools because prospects feel an innate desire to know that other people have bought and enjoyed your products or services.
They want to join the crowd of smart people.
But it’s not easy writing reviews that will be perceived as objective about yourself or your products. You’re going to have to get creative.
If you’re an appliance store, clothing store, or some other retailer, it’s easy for you to review the products you carry.
But if you’re a B2B service provider or manufacturer, reviewing yourself isn’t going to work. Here are some ideas:
- Review the 3rd party products you sell
- Review products your prospects are interested in even if you don’t sell them
- Review tools your prospects use, especially online tools that are constantly being updated
- Use customer reviews of your own products or services
- Review your competitors
Lead Generation For Fun & Profit
Any one of these six irresistible business blog topics can start attracting leads to your website.
Because these are the topics people are looking for online. We know because the data tells us.
It is a tremendously powerful tool to get access to our “collective consciousness” by examining search phrases.
If you know these are things people want to learn about, why not provide them with what they are looking for?
That’s just good business.