I have heard many people give this advice to others; “write a blog, get out there, fill it with keywords, and be more visible.” I’m sure that advice was offered with the best of intentions, but that kind of thinking has led to an onslaught of empty business blogs seemingly targeted to search engine bots instead of a human target audience. Let’s kill those old blogs off, starting now.
Am I really suggesting that you stop writing your blog? Of course not, but I am suggesting you take look at the “way” you’re writing it. If your blog follows the aforementioned advice, it’s time for an upgrade. In fact, you may have noticed that I don’t even use the word “blog” for these pieces – they are articles. In my opinion, the term “blog” is not only an old and over-used term, it cheapens the content.
Your published content is the voice of your business. That voice should be effectively communicating to the right target audience. It should be resonating with them, moving them, and motivating them towards a desired action. In other words, it’s a means to strengthen your brand and build your business. When it comes to keywords – I have said jokingly that “poorly crafted content benefits from obscurity.” Not only is it a missed opportunity when search engines deliver ineffective messaging, it can also damage your brand. We need to do better.
Good business messaging, in any form, needs to pique the target audience’s interest and hold their attention. A well-crafted content piece makes a connection and a bond with your audience. It should leave them with the impression that your business understands their needs, has a deep depth of knowledge, has the experience and resources to meet those needs, represents quantifiable value, and is trustworthy. Trust, in my opinion, is the most important part. Trust provides a confidence and assurance that is very powerful – but often-times difficult to explain or quantify. In fact, once trust is established, the need to quantify or convince further is often negated. Trust is not easy to establish, but is quite easy to destroy. One sure-fire way to destroy it is to convince your target audience that your needs, or the sale, is more important than their needs.
it’s important to remember that good business communications respects the voice of its target audience. Technology companies sometimes make the mistake of focusing too much on technology itself, rather than the application of that technology. Creative companies can make a similar mistake . . . focusing more on creativity than the benefits of a well-targeted piece. We need to ask ourselves a few questions; what problems can we solve for our prospective clients? What issues resonate with them? What terminology are they they using in their business and industry? The more we understand about our target audience, the better chance we have of connecting with them.
Creating effective business content is a refined skill. If you don’t have dedicated staff trained in that field, get a professional to help you. When it comes to your business image, nothing is more important. I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have and help you transform your messaging strategy and content.
So, no more publishing for publishing’s sake. No more writing for bots. No more empty words. The blog is dead . . . long live the article and an improved approach to business content!