We promised to write about blogs, and it turns out this will be part of a number of posts on the subject. There are some controversial points to cover.
The biggest benefit from a Blog is credibility
When it comes to spending your money on something, the two most important decisions are
- What you buy
- Who you buy it from
The clarity is great isn’t it?
We do need to be sure we’re doing the right things.
Who am I dealing with?
Web marketers spend a lot of time helping people with the product decision, but it is less comfortable when dealing with the question of ‘why buy from us’.
Showing off isn’t natural. It’s very difficult to say ‘hey, we’re the greatest’.
In fact, what can you possibly say that would make that point? Testimonials may be a good start, but then, everyone has those. And because someone always loves you, we always reserve judgement for our own experience
So, that’s it then. A big part of the reason to blog is to give some insight into what it might be like to talk and deal with us, to show, not tell. It is one of the only ways to do it naturally.
With that being the case, a blog has to deliver on our values – or we’d be shooting ourselves in the foot. The pressure is on!
How to deliver
Blogs aren’t (just) about the ‘product’, in fact, that’s just a quick way to show ‘self interest’, which isn’t a good quality when working out who to trust with our business.
Visitors know what blogs are supposed to be for, this is a two way thing, they know where the product pages are.
We picked out the ‘likeable expert’ phrase from someone on the web (Copyblogger, I think). It works for us because people may well buy from you if you’re either likeable, or an expert. Showing both would be perfect.
BY the way. Did you see what we did, we attributed credit where it was due, I must remember to thank them properly some time soon. Perhaps a link… Gosh, what nice people *(this is a bit too obvious isn’t it?)
Showing expertise is self explicable
But to explain anyway
- Help people understand the risks in whatever buying decision you specialise in
- Describe what to look out for and how to avoid pitfalls
- Demonstrate some insight, opinion on some controversial point. Show off inadvertently.
- Cover off some unspoken objection, it’s insightful
Expertise is a no brainer, but being likeable is a little more difficult. To understand and apply, I mean. You can make the joke though.
So what does ‘likeable’ mean?
I don’t know, and possibly, I can’t say. But I have some elements that might help
- When it comes to customer service, we like people who act is if they care about something
- Blogging itself demonstrates good behaviour, we get points for trying when we care enough to write
- We get to try and help people, keep them out of trouble, and it’s there, in black and white
- Anticipating a need is extremely good. Thoughtful.
- Humour can be a bit circular, as we tend to laugh with people we already like. Not too stuffy is good?
Now hold on a minute. Is this really a good idea?
Like it or not, the world is becoming driven by personality. Politics, celebrity and even sport is ‘more interesting’ for it, for everyone else I mean, not us of course. Formality is taking a back seat, ties and suits (and sometimes shoes) are seen less often, and a conversational style just means that things are easier to understand. Is it really so bad?
The point is
I don’t think we trust ‘professional’, any longer. We associate it with banks, with less able politicians, and with people who don’t want us to know what they’re thinking. I don’t think we need the opposite, but we do need to show we are approachable, likeable and easy to talk to.
We should probably think about the role of the blog too
Blog as part of the website structure
If you’re interested in blogs, you might find out how we structure websites to meet the needs of different stages of the buying process