Question: We are a newer company and our management team really wants us to use our blog to show customers how to use our products and introduce new features etc. The problem is we don’t have a great base of customers yet, can you help us explain how to use a blog to build an audience as opposed to just being a tutorial?
After working with many smaller companies that are seeking to build their online presence, find comfort in the fact that your challenge is similar to so many other businesses in the same spot.
The desire to immediately start using your blog as more of a “How To” for your products as well as a marketing hub for new features and benefits is quite common. Further, I don’t think there is anything really wrong with the approach so long as it is part of the strategy and not the entire strategy.
As your business is growing, it is tremendous to have a part of your website dedicated to providing continuing education on improving service, user experience and awareness of your products and services.
What I don’t recommend, however, is making this the entire scope of the content marketing efforts on your blog and here is why:
If your content is designed only with the current customer in mind, then you are limiting your audience far too greatly. The continued content efforts won’t help attract new customers and prospects which is a big part of why most companies use content.
My immediate reaction for companies that want to use content in a “education for current customer” style, is to make that one category of the blog so current customers can use the site as a way to learn tips and tricks and ways to improve the value of their purchase.
I would recommend also creating a category and driving content that helps your potential customers and brand advocates understand “Why” your business exists. This is higher level, but is terrific for generating new interest. In these posts the content should discuss the importance of products and services like yours, but not necessarily talk about your products and services at all.
One of the things I always suggest is blogging to answer questions that your ideal customer may have about the problems your company can solve. Help them feel comfortable that your company is versed in your business and that you can really help your customers solve problems that will make them better businesses and drive better bottom lines.
In short, your blog can be an educator for current and future customers at the same time. This is merely up to the brand to realize the value in doing both and then creating the content to back it up.
It is possible for your blog to be both a tutorial and an audience builder. Are you working on educating your current customers and building an engaged community of potential future customers and advocates?
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