B2C Blogging: Connecting with Customers Through Storytelling
Most content marketers today understand how important blogs are. Here’s how to start telling better stories and deliver value to your customers.
Blogs continue to be one of the most effective content outlets for online audiences. HubSpot has even found that them to be one of three primary forms of media marketers integrate into content strategies.
Committing to a blog helps you prioritize SEO, create a more engaging website, and tell important stories for meaningful connections with your audiences. Customers today want to feel positive emotions before they support a brand, and a blog post is a great place to show empathy and utilize storytelling.
So, where do you start? Here is your guide to B2C blogging in today’s hyper-digital market.
From basic SEO to E-A-T
- Basic SEO tactics include keywords, meta tags, image alt text, links, and more.
- Google also looks for E-A-T: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
The short description here is that Google will prioritize your content when you focus on SEO in your blog posts. You have to do it right and understand how their algorithm works to maximize these efforts, though. The basic elements you’ll need include:
- Keywords and key phrases
- Meta tags (meta title, meta description)
- Links to other credible blog posts
- Strong anchor text
- Image alt text
- Simple URLs
- Mobile optimization
One important factor is E-A-T: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Google scans online content to make sure whoever’s writing it is credible, an authority in the field, and has a trustworthy website, then ranks that piece in search results. Let’s walk through how to improve your E-A-T:
- Google likes details and subject-matter expertise, so make sure what you’re writing is relevant and in-depth.
- Show that you’re an authority on this topic. Write with confidence and include citations from reputable internal and external sources.
- Make sure your website has a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate.
Your target audience will be more likely to see your work when you please Google, so remember that SEO is always important for B2C blogging. E-A-T should be a good reminder that you need to spend time writing valuable, influential content.
Nail user intent
- Get to the “why” behind a user’s search.
- Tailor content to what drove a customer to turn to Google.
Another important strategy is shaping your content around user intent. This means you’re going beyond simple keywords and digging into why a customer is searching for something. You need to be prioritizing what people want and need over getting more traffic. You may think this sounds crazy, but your bounce rate will increase if you don’t deliver content that matches the intent of users.
Content should be tailored to the right type of user intent, of which there are three:
- Transactional – These customers are looking to make a purchase, so they may search something like “buy a backpack.”
- Navigational – Users are searching for a website or organization they already know exists, likely by name.
- Informational – A customer wants more information or an answer to a question, not necessarily to buy something. “How to change a tire,” would be informational, for example.
So, why does this all matter? When writing a blog post, you should always know which category your target audience falls into. You’ll probably be aiming for informational with your blog, and then including a strong CTA at the end where readers can learn more about your products or services.
Let the “why” behind a search inform your content, instead of just throwing in keywords without thinking about it. You’ll create better work with this in mind.
Where storytelling fits into marketing
- Incorporate storytelling tactics by showing empathy, including examples, talking to customers directly, and having a beginning, middle, and end.
You may think that marketing and storytelling are two very different things, but customers are looking to be engaged with online content. That happens when you connect with them on an emotional level.
Buying decisions are driven by emotions, and people want to connect with your brand in some way before converting. People remember stories 22 times more than mere facts, for example. They become excited when something is at stake.
Stories invoke emotions and associations. Nailing the user intent mentioned above helps you show customers that you’re on their level. You’re hitting a pain point and letting them know that you care about their concerns or intentions. Incorporate storytelling in your blogs by:
- Showing empathy – Connect by revealing you have something in common with your readers.
- Include examples in your content – Scenarios help people envision how your theories work in the real world.
- Talk directly to your customers – Use second person (“you”) in your blogs so people feel you’re truly communicating with them.
Remember, a good story has a beginning, middle, and end. Start with a pain point, address key conflicts and climaxes, and end with actionable information.
Deliver something of value
- Write a compelling headline.
- Follow through on your promise.
- Show your expertise.
- Only post well-written content.
- Tie it together with a CTA.
Some businesses start a blog and churn out content with little regard to its relevance or quality. But, in the quantity-quality competition, quality always wins with your B2C blog.
To succeed with both SEO and storytelling, you have to create meaningful, valuable blog content. That means topics are intentional, and that you should always know why you’re writing a blog post. Each one should be connected to user intent, and you also need to know how your blog post’s CTA relates to that intent.
Here are a few tips to make your content as valuable as possible:
- Create a compelling headline – Draw people in with a question, how-to, or list so they know what your article is about.
- Follow through on your promise – Make sure you write about what your headline hints at.
- Include the value at the beginning – Don’t make readers work for it. Let them know right away what they’ll learn to help they decide to keep reading.
- Show your expertise – Make sure it’s clear how your business is connected to the industry or topic you’re writing about.
- Only post well-written content – Take the time to make sure there aren’t any errors and that your copy is structured to cater to an online audience.
- Tie it together with a CTA – The best blogs have relevant CTAs so customers can learn more or find the right service from you, but this always needs to be connected to the post at hand.
The quality of your blog matters. Focus on connecting with your audience and impressing them with valuable content.
Create a user persona
- Find out how your target audience behaves online.
- Send out surveys and look at what competitors are doing.
- You always need a clear picture of who you’re speaking to.
Another way to deliver value with your content is to clearly define your audience. Combining user intent with your brand’s target demographics helps you figure out exactly what your customers want. Creating a user persona takes research and brainstorming, though. You need to know how your audience behaves online. Ask:
- What kinds of content do they respond to?
- What platforms do they hang out on?
- What kinds of purchases do they make online?
- What are your competitors doing?
You can gather information by sending out surveys to website visitors or current customers. Track analytics on your blog so you know which topics people spend more time reading or commenting on.
Knowing your audience is an important part of creating valuable content that performs. It helps you address their concerns and make better connections. Define exactly who you’re talking to so you always know your posts are relevant to them.
Round out marketing with a blog
- Blogs are important for successful marketing campaigns.
- Integrate blogs with social, email, and other outlets.
- Include visuals that can be shared, like infographics.
- Repurpose content when you can.
B2C blogging should be a key component within your overall inbound marketing strategy. Blogs have been found to be more influential than social media, and 89% of content marketers include a blog in their strategies.
You cannot just throw a blog up and call it good, though. You need to make sure it’s working together with your other campaigns. You should include a relevant blog post link when you send out an email newsletter, for example. Also, put it a link or memo on your social media channels every time you publish a new blog post.
Don’t forget to include visuals in your blog posts, too. Create graphs, charts, infographics, or images that you can share online and that your audiences will want to share. People remember 65% of visual content they encounter. A simple infographic that summarizes your post can be very effective online.
You can also repurpose your blog content to create other content, like a YouTube video or podcast. Give a webinar where you cover the topic in greater depth. Always think of ways you can build links back to your blog and website, too, like reaching out to influencers or guest posting on other popular blogs.
Where to find the right content
It’s clear that blogging is an important component in your content marketing strategy, but you may not have the time or resources to dedicate to creating valuable posts for your customers. Turn to ContentBacon when you need a little help. Our inbound marketing services are backed by writers, editors, and marketers who are ready to match your brand voice with engaging content. We focus on value, and we always deliver quality.
ContentBacon helps you tell your story with blog posts that integrate SEO best practices and cater to what your audience and Google are looking for. Contact our team to learn about our content subscription services.
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