What is a blog?
When was the last time you were looking for an answer to a problem? How quickly did you want to solve it? Where did you go? Chances are, if you’re 65 years or younger you asked Google. If you’re over the age of 65, you most probably asked your son or daughter (who then asked Google 😉).
We live in a time of instantaneous answers at our fingertips and whilst it can be argued its made a lot of us more impatient, there is a positive for any business looking to grow; your customers are looking for solutions to their problems all the time!
Why do I need a blog?
A blog can be used at various stages of a potential customers decision-making. Looking back at the AIDA model, we identified 4 stages customers move through when making a purchasing decision:
At this point the customer knows nothing about the product or service you offer. You’re simply trying to make them aware that you offer the product or service.
Once aware of your product or service, your job is to pique the customers’ interest in your product or service through various messaging and marketing channels.
If you’ve successfully moved your potential customer from the awareness stage, through to this point, increasing their interest along the way, you have the opportunity to increase their desire for your offering. At this point you’re close to a sale or obtaining a lead.
It’s important to note at this stage, although the number of options they’re considering has decreased you’re very rarely the only option. It’s important to give your potential customer one last reason to desire your product/ service and not your competitors.
If you’ve enticed the customer enough, they will take action and purchase your product/ service or convert as a lead.
Your blog can be used at each of these stages to move them further through their decision-making process.
What benefits will my business see from a regularly updated blog?
Understanding where your potential customer is in their decision-making, when searching online using the AIDA model will allow you to provide hyper targeted answers to their questions, building trust in your brand and product/ service.
The more they trust you and the more you become a useful source to solve their problems, the more likely you will be able to encourage them to purchase from you.
How do I create a blog?
As with any other marketing campaign, the key to selling more is understanding your potential customers better than your competition. Market research will help us understand our potential customers:
- Gender (if appropriate)
- Likes and dislikes
- Hobbies and interests
- Emotional selling points
Using this information, a toy store finds out their customers:
1. Are mums and dads between the ages of 31 and 49 purchasing toys for their children.
2. Although they like to see their children have fun in any shape of form, they are much more interested in the educational toys on offer in-store.
3. Their hobbies and interests revolve around seeing their children happy, whether it be attending soft play centres, the cinema or taking them out to eat.
4. Clearly they feel very invested in their children’s development.
Using this research, the toy store can begin to set out their blog marketing strategy, considering each stage of the AIDA model and where parents may sit:
During the awareness stage, blogs can be used to capture potential customers attention. Using the research conducted above, you’ll have an understanding of the problems they’re looking to solve. This will allow you to position yourself as one of the potential companies that can solve their problem.
We know that parents will buy their children toys for recreation but are much more interested in toys for education, as they’re keen to see their children develop quicker than others. Therefore, you may choose to write up some information on ‘The top 5 education toys to improve your child’s maths’. Such a piece will be of high interest to the audience and can showcase the educational toys they offer and provide a window to the recreational toys on offer too.
It’s essential you consult your keyword research conducted during your research, at this stage. By researching what your potential customers are looking online and providing the solutions to their problems in real life, which you’ve consulted with them about, you’ll be able to encourage them further around your site, improving their intent (the amount of actions they take when on your site, to show their interest) and therefore your sites ranking on Google.
During the interest stage, the toy store’s customers will now have an awareness of the retailer and most likely the product they’re interested in purchasing, from their child. It’s essential to increase their interest further at this stage as you’ll be one of many options the customer is considering purchasing from.
Using the adult’s interest in making their children happy, whilst rewarding their development, the toy store could further engage their audience through creating a blog around ‘5 Top Toys to Reward Your Child With’. Ultimately, parents are having to balance their kids, partner, work, friends and numerous other commitments. They don’t have time to look for the latest, trendy toys to surprise their child. What they do have time to do at the end of the school term, is look online for such information to reward their child for their school performance. Including the most popular toys kids are talking about in this blog, will provide a parent another reason to purchase from the toy retailer.
Already you can see, we’ve provided 2 types of blogs to capture our audience’s attention. One at the point they don’t even know about the toy store and one at the point they’re interested in purchasing a toy.
By creating a series of blogs around customer queries, the blog itself will being to rank more significantly amongst toy search queries, providing a window for potential customers to see answers to their problems at different stages of the AIDA model.
At this point of the decision-making process the customer is highly engaged and looking around the toy stores website for potential products to purchase. They may not have settled on the toy the kid provided or may have to make up their own mind, as the child didn’t indicate what they want. It’s at this point where a website can really support a customer’s purchasing decision through showcasing their blog as a resource to help.
They regularly produce blogs around topics including:
- How to educate your child and reward them appropriately.
- Top 5 toys this Autumn.
- New releases for the Nintendo Switch this month.
- Soft play centres to visit locally.
Through producing this content, they can really engage with their audience and become a resource for them, building trust. If you don’t continue to capture your audience’s attention at this stage of the decision-making lifecycle you risk them leaving your site without purchasing and not returning.
If successful blogs that resonate with your audience have been created, you’ll most likely be the last of a few stores remaining that potential customers are looking to purchase from. It’s imperative at this point the customer believes they are getting a great deal.
This is a good opportunity for the toy store to showcase their reward scheme on offer, to customers who consistently purchase from them. The blog and product pages are great places to display this; it should be highly visible to potential customers across the site. Everybody likes to believe they’re getting rewarded for purchasing, so don’t fall into the trap of thinking you don’t need to and lose out to a competitor who does reward.
If you’ve successfully communicated with your customers at all of the stages above, enough awareness and interest will have been built up for the consumer to purchase your product.
At this point the toy store will have another customer, who they can communicate with in the future. It’s important to collect customer data through the loyalty scheme, so the store can continue to communicate through email and other marketing channels.
If you would like to discuss how to begin creating a blog your audience will love, get in touch for a free of charge discussion, here.
What else do I need to know?
Optimising your blogs using keyword research, will allow your audience to find you more effectively at different stages of their decision-making process using Google Search. To increase the effectiveness of your website and blogs, other marketing channels can be utilised to pull previous visitors back to your website.
Using social media remarketing you can serve different blog posts to audience members that have already spent time on your site. What’s more, you can then segment your audience in to different groups, to remarket to potential customers that have already viewed multiple pages of your site, showing a strong interest.
Social media remarketing can use a range of different imagery, links and even video content to increase the chance of conversion. If you have an offer on, why not showcase this to potential members of your audience that are close to buying and just need one final push over the line.
“Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.”