The way people conduct research and make purchase decisions has changed drastically in the last couple of years. These changes started in 2007 with the release of the first iPhone.
During this time, I remember when people were super excited about the release of the first iPhone that they were camping out in front of the Apple store two or three days before the release. It was like they were waiting in line for tickets to see a rock concert, but Apple had a loyal fan base, and even with the initial release of the first iPhone, they had a massive following.
The launch of the first iPhone set off a chain of events where mobile adoption went through the roof. At the same time, mobile broadband, and cellular network speed improved drastically.
Due to this transition, a lot more people were using search engines, and this is when search engines, social media, and cloud computing went mainstream.
Buyer preferences changed rapidly, and people no longer wanted to be interrupted by obnoxious, self-serving commercials or harassed by self-serving salespeople. Buyer’s started saying, “I want to get things on my own terms. So, I am going to look at my iPhone, and I am going to search for answers. I am going to ask questions to Siri.” Then Google was introduced to Android users, and other search functions became popular such as Bing, Alexa, and Cortana.
Since people are asking questions all day long, the question for you is when your ideal future customers are asking questions through search and social about what you do, do you want your company to be found, or do you want them to find your competitors?
Do you want your company to be perceived as a vendor who is the cheapest and fastest? Or do you want to be perceived as an industry expert? Because mastering what you do within your industry gains leverage.
Becoming a Trusted Advisor
A blog is an important tool to be able to become a trusted advisor. To start, think about all of the questions that you have ever been asked; In any context, such as:
- At a sales meeting
- At an industry conference
- At a networking event
- Over the phone
- By email
- On social media
How many of those questions have been answered on your website?
If no questions have been answered, this is where blogging comes into play. Go through this exercise across your entire company, not solely across the executive team but all different departments, including:
- Customer support
Everyone should get asked different questions because they interact with different kinds of stakeholders. By doing this, you will realize that there is a crazy amount of institutional knowledge locked up between the walls of your company.
The knowledge within your company is a best-kept secret. When it is packaged correctly into a blog, it becomes one of your best competitive weapons, and that is a tremendous asset for attracting the right future clients, dealers, employees, or channel partners.
We blog to answer questions people ask Siri, Google, Bing, Alexa, Cortana, etc. Questions are continuously being asked through search engines, about all different topics that are extremely relevant to the kinds of ideal buyers that you want to attract. So, a blog is a place to put answers to your ideal buyers’ questions.
However, blogging is changing. What used to be considered competitive and high-value five to ten years ago is not the same today. There is a lot of competition for those ten slots on the first page of search engine results.
If you are looking to buy your way in there is also a lot of competition for the paid slots; this is why we must have helpful educational content.
Two-Pronged Emotional Reaction
When somebody lands on your blog, they have to have a two-pronged emotional reaction. Reaction number one is, “Wow, this stuff is amazing, I can’t believe how helpful this stuff is, I have been looking for something like this for hours, days, even weeks!”
This reaction is really important because it prevents them from leaving your site, and sending a signal to the search engines that your website content is not very good.
Reaction number two is, “What else do they have to say, and who are they?” The second reaction keeps them on your site, so they notice the call-to-actions (CTAs) for:
- An eBook
- A planning guide
- A downloadable checklist
- A special report
- An event
- A webinar
The CTAs take them to a landing page that is gated with a form. Allowing them to give you some information, tell you who they are in a B2B context, and basically exchange their business card for what is on the other side of the landing page.
The exchange of information allows you to begin a relationship with that potential client. So, blogs are a really important part of attracting the right people, in the right places, at the right time, and in the right context to be seen as a subject matter expert.
Though blogging is not solely about traffic generation; blogs can be repurposed in a variety of ways to create premium content for lead generation purposes.
Blogs can be used to attract visitors on organic search results, and are what people most naturally want to share on social media. People naturally share blogs because they are not self-serving. Blogs consist of helpful educational content, which makes the publisher look very smart for sharing it with their network.
Additionally, blogs can be helpful for accelerating leads into sales opportunities when they are shared by email to very selective people in segmented lists.
The Bottom Line
Blogs are important building blocks to assist your company in being seen as thought leaders. Blogging helps gain the leverage that earns you a seat at the table early on in the buyer’s journey as a trusted advisor.
If you are serious about your company having differentiated growth, scalable, and predictable revenue, I cannot overemphasize how important it is to have a blog that is loaded with educational resources and positions your company in the right way.
Does your company attract website visitors through educational content? Let us know in the comments below.
Learn about more blogging tips that will help you attract qualified buyers, enroll now in our free 7-day eCourse: Go-to-Market Strategy 101 for B2B SaaS Startups and Scaleups.