One of the most difficult things to get right when running a company blog is how to write for your audience. This is pertinent in both B2B and B2C blogging and there are a lot of things to think about:
1) Know your audience: Get to know your audience, interact with them, survey them and build a picture of who they are and what they want from you at each stage of their journey to becoming your customer and beyond.
2) Give them something: Your audience have given their time to come and read your blog, so it’s important that you reciprocate by giving them something back. Whether it’s a solution to their problem or an interesting snippet that they can discuss or share with friends or colleagues you want them to go away thinking “that was good use of my time”
3) Length: There is no hard and fast rule, some experts will tell you that you should never write less than 2000 words, some will tell you to keep it under 500. In my opinion, it depends heavily on your audience and what they want. There are a myriad of tools available that help give you an insight into audience behaviour on your site and even adding a simple “was this post too long?” yes/no question at the end of each post will give you insight. Anyone that gets to the bottom is likely to click and if the visitor numbers are significantly higher than the number of clicks, you have your answer!
4) Language: There are a couple of mistakes that come up time and time again when it comes to language. Consumer brands have a tendency to try a bit too hard to be “street” and end up sounding like your dad trying a bit too hard to be cool when he’s talking to your friends - a cringeworthy turn off for me! At the other end of the scale, knowledge businesses tend to assume everyone is just as clever as they are and pack their posts with meaningless jargon and technical detail that make them hard to read and difficult to understand.
5) Simplicity: Often the best ideas are the simplest ones, the best teachers are those who can condense a complex idea into a simple statement and no-one will complain that you made something too simple to understand. If you are writing about something complex that you are an expert in – think of yourself as an interpreter and try to write in a way that makes it accessible to those that don’t have years of experience in your field!
6) Relevance: Is what you are posting relevant to your audience? Will it help them or teach them something? If all you are after is a huge volume of page views, give up blogging and post a video of a dog being surprised by a balloon bursting – if you want an engaged audience of future customers, keep it relevant.
7) Summarise: This can be a good way to get round the length issue. If you do write a longer post (as I do on occasion – sorry!) summarise the key points, give people a couple of key takeaways that are useful to them, even if they haven’t read your entire post. You might even consider putting your summary at the beginning to entice people to read more?
And on that note…
- Know your audience
- Give them something they didn’t have before
- Keep it simple
- Keep it relevant
- Know your audience