Tag: blog

Your B2B Blog – Knowing the WHY

Determine the Why – Clarifying Your Goals

As earlier shown, it’s clear that there are many benefits of including a blog in your B2B marketing arsenal.

Let’s assume for now that you’ve developed an overall marketing plan that includes regular articles for the purpose of keeping your website current, providing useful information, and being search engine friendly. You may have additional reasons as well. Before writing, it’s important to ask yourself why this specific blog is relevant and what purpose it serves. 

target with bullseye

Before you begin to write an article, you must answer the first question: Why?

What is the purpose of this article? 

Is it to inform?
  • A blog is a great way to announce a new product or service. Tell the story of how the new product came to be and how you vision it helping your prospects.
  • You can introduce a new member of the staff. Provide a photo and bio of the new addition and how they were added to your team to better serve your clients.
  • Let your customers know about upcoming events, such as trade shows, conferences, speakers, or workshops. Provide a link to the sign up page.
Is it to teach or demonstrate?
  • Your blog can act as a resource for customers to learn. They can watch videos of your equipment in action, or see a demonstration of techniques on how to best use your products or services.
  • Blogs are a great way to share your knowledge about your industry with articles about insider secrets and trends. From, “How to identify well made garments” to “What’s new in beekeeper technology” — you’ll stand out as an expert.
Is it to sell?
  • While generally a blog is not used as a sales letter, it can do the work of selling. This should only be done occasionally, not as a regular practice. You can lose your prospect’s trust if not done carefully.
  • When announcing a new product, offer a special one time discount.
  • If there’s a significant event, such as a move, along with the announcement you can offer a blow out sale.
  • Story sells. Telling your story and creating a desire, your customer will want to buy without you getting “sales-y” on them.
Is it for another purpose?
  • Your sales team can probably shed some light on the most frequently asked questions, and that’s a good place to start.
  • Blogging can give a voice to your company that would otherwise be unknown. You can be hip and trendy, funny and entertaining, nerdy and technical, smart and sassy, authoritative, or any persona that fits with your company culture and goals.

What is the desired outcome of this article?

  • Determine if the goal of this article is to motivate the reader to do something, or simply to answer questions they may have, providing some comfort to them.
  • If there is a desired action, determine what that action is, and make sure you ask for it. Never leave your audience guessing at what you want them to do next.
  • A call to action can be anything from — “Buy now” — “See more” — “Share your experience below” — with a visible button to click on. (If you encourage comments, be sure to designate someone to respond. More on that in a later post.)

Hopefully this has provided some inspiration to get things moving forward on developing a blog for your B2B website. As always, I’m here to help when you need me.  

 

Cindy White is a freelance copywriter specializing in helping businesses reach their target markets for increased sales and improved client relations through compelling, well-crafted copy. Initial consultations are always free of charge. 

What’s Become of the Company Blog?

Preparing Client-Attracting B2B Blog Posts

Savvy marketers know the importance of implementing a B2B blog as part of their marketing strategy, but not every company is equipped to make it happen.

If you’re finding the idea of starting or staying consistent with your company blog overwhelming, you’re not alone.

blog spelled out with blocks

Do any of these sound familiar? 

•Too time-consuming to organize a blog.

•No clue how to do it.

•Don’t know where to start.

•Not sure what to write about.

•Too hard to keep up with it.

•No one on staff that can write well.

•Don’t see what’s the big deal about a blog.

As I said, you’re not alone. Your inbox and to-do list are busting at the seams as it is — am I right?

Research shows that although a high percentage of businesses have a blog, countless blogs are sitting dormant from neglect.

Today we’re going to cover the most basic questions:

What is a blog and why do I need one?

Blogging, once simply a form of online journaling, has evolved to become an integral part of doing business in this online world. Business-to-Business companies are now adding blogs to their arsenal of marketing tools, and for good reason.

A blog is a powerful lead generation tool, as it increases followers and draws new prospects to your website through social media sharing and search engine searches. Blogs with a lot of activity make Google happy (This may or may not be the technical term).

Blogs also keep your website fresh with new content and are valuable for lead nurturing as well. Both prospective and existing customers will return to your website time and again to seek information and find answers.

A blog post is an article that gives your audience something of value. It can be used to showcase or demonstrate products, advertise events, answer frequently asked questions (FAQ), bring ideas to light, and more. Done well, it can set you apart as a thought leader in your industry.

Staying on Top

Savvy customers do their homework. They’re coming to your website before calling you or coming into your business. Your blog can showcase your expertise, and allow Google to send prospects to your website with their questions, instead of to your competitor’s.

One reason many companies fail to get their blog launched is a shortage of good writers. Whether you intend to write the articles yourself or hand the assignment off to a professional copywriter, you will first need to answer some important questions.

Asking the Right Questions

Why? – Before writing your article, you need to clarify the purpose and intended outcome.

Who? – Identify your target audience and their needs.

What? – Determine the topic and choose the content to be included.

How? – Create a system for writing that maintains a consistent style and voice.

Where and When? – Establish a plan for publishing your blog posts through the appropriate channels.

I’ll cover these questions is detail in upcoming blogs.

Getting Help

Very few business professionals have time to write their company blog while running a business. Hiring a freelance content writer is the most common, cost saving, and effective way to achieve your goals. If you have questions about outsourcing your B2B blog, contact me for more information.

Cindy White is a freelance copywriter specializing in helping businesses reach their target markets for increased sales and improved client relations through compelling, well-crafted copy. Initial consultations are always free of charge. 

The 6 Secret “Wants” of a Small Business Owner

How to give your client what they want, not just what they need

Every year my young children would write out their Christmas lists with joyful anticipation. They listed all the things they could think of that they wanted.

You know what they didn’t include on their lists? Socks and underwear. They didn’t write down food, towels, sheets, school supplies, or toothbrush. Even though they needed those things, and I was going to buy them, they only listed what they wanted.

Now, what kind of parent would I be if I only gave them what they needed, and not what they wanted? There’s nothing like the joy of seeing your child’s face light up when they unwrap that toy they so badly wanted. Wouldn’t it be great if we could get that kind of reaction from our customers?

The truth is, anyone can give them what they need. Need implies the very basic requirement. Like a toothbrush.

But I’m going to assume that you’re building your business on providing more than the basics. If you strive for excellence, this list will interest you.

#1 – Fast Delivery                          

“I WANT IT, AND I WANT IT NOW”


Whether you sell parts, supplies, or a service, when your customer wants it, they want it now. Lead time isn’t a luxury afforded to the small business owner. I’m not implying that small business owners are disorganized, rather it’s a fast paced “need-it-now” world.

And let’s face it, sometimes things go wrong. Ok, all the time things go wrong. Employees break things, orders get screwed up, and things slip through the cracks. If you can deliver fast, you’ll be a hero.

Also, keep in mind that you are selling to someone trying to make their customer happy. It’s stressful to be the middleman, so they love it when their supplier comes through in a pinch.

Do your best to get your client what they need as fast as possible, but always communicate honestly and avoid over promising. They may be giving their customer promises based on your promises.

#2 – Patient Understanding            hands holding a hand

“BE NICE TO ME, I’VE HAD A HARD DAY”                                 

Let’s face it, life is hard. Most of us have to leave our problems at the door and do our job for 8 hours until we can go home. For the small business owner, however, it’s not that easy. Many put in extraordinarily long hours to get it all done.

The independent business owner wears many hats. They are solely responsible for every aspect of their operation, from staffing to inventory, to facilities, to accounting, to customer service, and more.

He or she doesn’t know your business like they know their own. Expecting them to understand your “lingo” is unfair, so good communication is key to avoiding frustration. (see blog: 7 Ways to Avoid Frustrating Your Prospects)

So if an order comes in with something questionable, take the time to follow up and clarify. If a rare payment is one day late, consider a grace period. If they have to call you six times a day for support, kindly give support.

Anytime you can give some extra care, you’ll go a long way toward nurturing a relationship. Which brings me to the next point.

woman talking on phone#3 – A Relationship

“I WANT A  FRIEND”

Joe needs to order some widgets. They’re nothing special, but he’s not sure which type are best for his purpose. Joe has the choice of three vendors he can order from. Who does he choose? Joe chooses the vendor that he can call up, get a real person, ask his question, and not feel stupid.

He chooses the person, not the company.

The small business owner wants to have a “go-to guy” that’s going to take care of him. Whether you send out sales reps, or have a dedicated order specialist, making the effort to build rapport and trust between two actual people creates a sense of loyalty.

Small business owners are loyal, and this means your business will stay top of mind and top of the list for buying decisions.

#4 – Valuepiggy bank

“I WANT THE BEST I CAN AFFORD”

Small businesses run on tight budgets so AFFORDABILITY is crucial. Many small business owners find they have to offer discounts to be competitive with the big guys, leaving profit margins even smaller.

They want a good value. They need to get a little more for their money where they can. Offering quantity discounts, easy terms, and/or incentives will be very appreciated.

The other side of value is QUALITY. While looking for a bargain price, they still need reliable products and services. Anything of poor quality risks damaging their reputation when something goes wrong. And trust me, they will throw the blame all over you before they lose face with their customer.

#5 – Clear Informationfemale with magnifying glass to eye

“MAKE THIS EASY FOR ME”

Remember, they’re busy people. They don’t have time to sort through a hard to read catalog or confusing website. They’re very likely to become quite agitated by hard-to-follow instructions. Make your processes as user-friendly as possible. This person is hoping for a straight shot down the path of least resistance.

As I mentioned before, stay away from using language specific to your industry if that’s not common to theirs. Don’t assume everyone knows your business. They’re busy knowing theirs.

Transparency in pricing is another hot button. Your prospect wants a ballpark idea whether doing business with you is even an option before wasting their time and yours.

Your prospect wants to know what to do, what will happen next, and what to expect at all times. Giving clear instruction is key to a powerful email campaign, especially when it comes to a call to action.

Life comes with enough surprises, thank you very much. Be clear and concise in your communications.

#6 – Help!hand reaching forward

“TEACH ME WHAT I NEED TO KNOW”

They may not ask for it. They may not know how to ask for it. But most small business owners want help. It’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed.

Anything you can give your client that can increase product knowledge and develop best practices is a gift that will bring that Christmas morning joy.

Consider the following ways you can help your clients:

  • PRODUCT FACT SHEETS provide information valuable in aiding them to better understand and explain features and benefits to their own customers.
  • TESTIMONIALS not only give them added confidence in your company and product or service, it builds their arsenal of talking points for promoting it themselves.
  • BEST PRACTICES SHEETS assure your client is using your product or service correctly and most effectively, protecting everyone’s reputation.
  • HOW-TO VIDEOS are a great tool, providing a “show me” option for those who learn better through that modality.
  • BLOGS are your perfect outlet for providing information of all kinds to your prospects and clients. Blogs can include:
    • video demonstrationsblog spelled out with blocks
    • new technology advancements
    • product descriptions
    • Industry changes
    • trade secrets
    • and much more

This is where you can introduce new products and services, new staff members, new ideas. You have a wealth of information, so share it! 

With this insight into the secret desires of the small business owner, you can put effort into those areas that are going to make you shine with your clients.

If you have any questions or comments about meeting the wants of your small business client, share them in the reply box below. I’m here to help.

Cindy White is a freelance copywriter specializing in helping businesses reach their target markets for increased sales and improved client relations through compelling, well-crafted copy. Initial consultations are always free of charge. 

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)