Blogging will continue to be important for online marketing this year and you are probably as excited as me to get started with your blog posts. But before you immerse yourself in it, here is a very important question to ask: Does your blog content help you understand the people who interact with it?
The tools are widely available now, so there is no reason you cannot know what your audiences are interested in and what the engagement with specific content you put out means to them. You need to design your blog content (yes, we are talking about content, not layout) so that it tells you as much about your audience as you need to know in order to make better decisions about what you offer and also to help you make the necessary adjustments to the user experience and customer journey.
As you prepare your blog content, here are some things you ought to keep in mind.
Content Is a Two-Way Street
I know I have harped often about giving your readers what they want and what they need. But what's in it for you? Your blog posts should provide mutual benefit to your audience and to you. Of course you must deliver to your audience information that matters to them. But at the same you must also be able to find answers to your questions based on how people engage with your content.
Set up your content to give you these answers via Google Analytics and other data collection tools. The insights you draw from the data will astound you.
Conquer the World, One Reader at a Time
Here's the thing; we're emerging from the age of mass media and we have gotten so used to the one-way, one-size-fits-all, throw-spaghetti-at-the-wall approach to marketing communication that we have not figured out our way around the new targeted and personalized communication modes available with today's communication channels. We're stuck with the one-to-many communication paradigm, at least for the time being. We need to learn how to harness one-to-one business communication.
At the moment we do not yet have sufficient tools available to be able to effectively accomplish this, and that is part of the problem. But this is the direction marketing is headed and we should see this trend emerge and take root soon enough.
Communication Is a Journey
You really don't write a blog post to sell. You write to send off your reader along to continue on his journey with a useful little tidbit to help him find his way. Your blog content should help build the reader's anticipation for the next step in the journey and propel him forward to the next stop, whatever and wherever that may be, on the road to the desired destination - the purchase!