Blogging is one of the most easily accessible and easily generated sources of content in Inbound Marketing.
It's free. It's efficient.
Most people regularly research their options when it comes to purchases.
Think about it - when was the last time you looked up a product on the internet or bought something in a store without exploring your options?
It is almost like it has become a habit for most people.
Let's say your last purchase was cheese.
You thought about what kinds of cheese you wanted, what you were going to use it for, and the different companies that make the best cheese.
This thought process is considered "The Buyer's Journey."
Now, why is it important to know this?
Through your research process, you discovered content.
This content helped you decide what you specifically wanted to purchase.
Most often, content is in the form of a blog.
Before we dive into the "how" and "why" of blogging, let's look at a few key definitions.
Inbound Marketing: Buyer-focused marketing directed at supplying content, and letting the buyers come to it (usually via the internet) rather than going to the buyers.
In today's web-heavy world, this method allows a more efficient way to market to clients and build business.
The Buyer's Journey: The three-step process in which a buyer will identify a problem, research/evaluate, and choose a product or service.
This is all focused on the actual problem the buyer has, and where they are in addressing it. As a business owner, you want to speak to these problems.
Leads: People who trade their information for something you are offering on your site.
For example, someone may give you their email address in exchange for an eBook you feature on your site.
Mean Mugging Mugs: My fictitious online coffee mug shop that sells subscriptions to get a cool, new coffee mug every month, and to which I will refer to quite a bit.
Now, let's dissect the individual stages of The Buyer's Journey and why blogging is essential to each of them.
The Awareness stage of the buyer's journey is the point in which the buyer identifies the problem he or she may have.
In this stage, the buyer realizes, "hey, I broke all of my coffee mugs when I moved apartments last weekend, and I need more."
Now that the problem is clear, the buyer will then start researching how to find the coolest coffee mugs around.
This is where your blogging comes into play.
Blogging during this time guarantees that your company, Mean Mugging, has relevant content that can offer a solution to the buyer's problem!
Having content that speaks to a prospective customer's issues while also getting your name out there is what will increase your traffic and result in more qualified leads.
Blogging at this stage should focus on providing answers to the buyer's problem, but not selling your services as the answer.
Directly address the issue they are having. Your blog could talk about different types of mugs or different mug materials for instance.
Don't worry...showing off your great product will come further along the buyer's journey.
Consideration is the point after the buyer has identified their problem, but hasn't exactly decided on what they will buy to solve it.
The prospective buyer typically goes to major search engines in order to find the remedy for their issue.
They're researching cool mug designs or unique shops for getting different types of mugs.
Unfortunately, there are a ton of people online showing how cool their mugs are.
As the buyer navigates through this stage you want to produce content that both edges them towards your business, but also provides options to solve their problem.
Publish blogs, eBooks, or podcasts around topics like "Ways to solve your coffee mug shortage" or "What to do when you don't have coffee mugs".
You could then hyper-link a blog that you have written on Mean Mugging's mug subscription into the blog, eBook, or show notes of your podcast.
This lets the buyer review the options available for their problem, while also peppering in some interest in your company's solutions.
Finally, this takes us to the last stage, Decision.
Here, the buyer will make their decision on what they want to fix their problem.
It's time to impress them.
Work what your momma gave ya!
Which in this instance, is business savvy and efficient coffee knowledge.
This means publish blogs and content aimed at showing these buyers how your product perfectly solves their needs, while also effectively educating them on their problem.
Think: "Never Need Another Coffee Mug Again With Mean Mugging Mugs" or "Only Nerds Don't Buy Mean Mugging Mugs" or whatever equally modest blog title you'd like.
You offer them content on how exactly your company will solve their problem while increasing your leads.
Really "wow" your customers with your content in this stage and provide options that direct them to your product with calls-to-action or forms.
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