7 Business Blogging Tips To Help You Rank Higher

7 Business Blogging Tips To Help You Rank Higher

7 Business Blogging Tips To Help You Rank Higher

So you started a business blog. You’ve got a lot to say, but more importantly, someone like me told you that if you start blogging, you’ll start drawing in more of the right leads. 

I stand by that statement 100%. 

But, if you started a blog and aren’t seeing the traffic or the leads yet, there’s probably a reason. It’s important to get the foundation and strategy behind business blogging right, so you put out content that delivers the results you want.

Here are 7 business blogging tips designed to help boost your blog in search engine rankings. If you stick to all 7 of these tips, and blog regularly, you should start to see more of the right leads flowing in. If you don’t? Let us know — we’d be happy to take a look and offer some pointers. 

New call-to-action

01. Don’t Talk About Yourself

Let me be very clear here. Your blog should not be a highlight reel of your company’s greatest accomplishments. That’s just bragging, and it’s not going to do you any favors. 

Your company’s blog should be useful to potential readers, and that doesn’t mean talking about how amazing your products, services, customer service, or company is. 

If all you’re doing is talking about you, you’re not solving your customers’ problems. That means you’re not going to see traffic or leads. 

The goal of business blogging is to provide your ideal buyers and visitors with the information they need to eventually make an educated purchasing decision. 

Which brings me to my next point:

02. Do Answer Your Customer’s Questions

As I said just seconds ago ^ business blogging works when you publish content that answers your customer or ideal buyer’s questions. 

Believe it or not, when they’re looking for a product, they want to hear a lot more than flat, promotional, old-school marketing messaging. 

Think about the last time you purchased something significant. 

I’m willing to bet that at the very least, you read the product reviews before you made the purchase. 

Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re trying to eat healthier but as a busy professional, you just don’t have time to think about shopping, finding recipes, and more. You’ve heard about services like HelloFresh and BlueApron, and want to try one out. 

Now, if you’re new to delivered meal services, you’re probably going to do a little research first. You might wonder: 

  • What meal service is the cheapest?
  • What meal service is the healthiest?
  • What meal service is the fastest?
  • What meal service is the most customizable?
  • What meal service has the best reviews?

You’ll browse around the web for a bit, looking for content that answers these questions, until you narrow it down to one or two options that sound best. Then, you’ll read the reviews for each, and search queries like: 

  • HelloFresh vs. Blue Apron
  • Sun Basket vs. HelloFresh
  • Daily Harvest vs. HungryRoot

Finally, you’ll use all of that information you’ve gathered to make a purchasing decision. 

And that, my friends, is how content marketing works. 

The way your customers search for your product or service is no different than how we just decided on the best meal service for us. 

When you write your business blog, you’re writing to get in front of those customers each time they ask one of those questions.

But I’m a manufacturer. My customers aren’t asking those questions. 

Wrong. 

Even if you’re a manufacturer of something you don’t think is exciting — let’s say air compressors — business blogging will work the same as the little exercise we just did with HelloFresh. 

Someone buying an air compressor wants to know: 

  • What are the best air compressors on the market?
  • What air compressors are the most cost-effective?
  • How much service will each type of air compressor need?
  • Is there someone in my area who can service my air compressor?

Answer those questions with a well-developed blog, and you’re looking at a high SERP ranking that pulls in more of the leads you’re looking for. 

Still not sold on business blogging for manufacturers or B2Bs? Check it out in action with this case study:

New call-to-action

03. Do Pick Keywords You Care About

If you want your business blog to rank higher, keywords are something you should care about. 

The higher you rank, the more eyeballs on your site. And the more eyeballs on your site, the greater your potential to draw in and convert qualified leads. 

But, how to pick keywords you care about?

As a general rule of thumb, when you’re writing your business blog, you’re looking for keywords with high search volume and low competition. 

These keywords are the low hanging fruit. Lots of people are looking for that information, but not many companies are supplying it. 

Tools like Ubersuggest, WMS Everywhere, and Google Keyword Planner can help you find em. 

But there are so many keywords. Which ones are best?

True. Virtually anything can be a keyword. The challenge is choosing high volume keywords that are relevant to your company. 

I’ll use an extreme (fake) example to illustrate. Let’s say you sell air compressors, but you notice the long-tail key phrase, “how to peel an orange” has amazing search volume and almost no competition.

peeling oranges serp

While you could probably write a blog about how to peel oranges that might rank, that keyword is not useful to you in any way. 

Remember that you want to rank higher, but you want to rank higher for the right keywords. 

You’re driving garbage traffic to your website that will never convert. 

Instead, choose keywords that are relevant to your business, your industry, your products, and your services. 

04. Do Read Competing Blogs

Once you’ve chosen a keyword you like, go ahead and type it right into your favorite search engine. 

Who is ranking at the top?

What does their content look like? 

What do they do well? What key points are they missing? Have they optimized their blog as best possible?

To write blogs that rank highly, you have to beat out whoever is already ranking first. You need to know what they’re doing, so you can do it better. 

Reading top-performing blogs also helps confirm search intent

Reading competing blogs is also a great way to verify search intent on a keyword you’ve chosen. When you type your keyword into a search engine, make sure that the results reflect the information you were planning to include in your blog. 

I’ll use a recent example. I wrote a blog about “the breakup email“. 

business-blogging-examples
the breakup email example

Just looking at that keyword — with no context — you might think it’s about writing an email that breaks up with a romantic partner. 

Actually, the search intent associated with that keyword is related to a sales breakup email — the last email you send a prospect after they’ve gone cold. 

But, I wouldn’t have known that was the search intent until I searched it myself. 

Matching a query’s search intent is another key to ranking highly on search engines. If your blog doesn’t match the search intent associated with the keyword you’re writing to, your blog isn’t going to do well, and even if it did, wouldn’t pull in the qualified traffic you’re looking for. 

That’s why it’s so important to read competing blogs before you start writing. 

05. Don’t Write for Length

Now that you’ve settled on a keyword and cyberstalked your competitors to see how you can beat them, it’s time for the actual writing portion of your business blogging strategy. 

Blog length is a contentious subject in the SEO world. 

I don’t care if you think your blogs should all be 500 words or 2,000, Google and SEO webmasters everywhere have confirmed — word count is not that big of a deal. 

If you’ve told your content writers that your business blogs should always reach a certain word count, you’re missing the point.

From Google’s John Mueller himself, helpful and in-depth content is the real goal. 

John Mueller-Google-Tweets

That doesn’t mean make your blogs longer. That means make them better. 

If you’re answering a simple question like, “what is a search engine”, you don’t need 1500 words to do it. 

If you’re offering a “Complete Guide to Marketing Your Construction Company”, you’ll probably need considerably more than 500 words to deliver on the promise your title is selling. 

Great business blogging is about writing on one topic, thoroughly. 

Instead of writing your business blog according to a certain word count, try a different tactic. 

How to write comprehensive business blogs without getting hung up on word count

  • Choose your topic — “How to Carve a Pumpkin”
  • Make a list of all of the questions someone might ask when they’re getting ready to carve a pumpkin and the steps that go into the process:
    • What pumpkin is best to carve?
    • How do I prep the pumpkin for carving?
    • How to scoop out the pumpkin
    • Choosing a design for your pumpkin
    • Carving your pumpkin’s design
    • How to make your carved pumpkin last
pumpkin-business-blogging-example
business-blogging-carved-pumpking
  • Cut out any steps that might not be relevant to the question you’ve set out to answer.
  • While those might be related to your original question, they’re not exactly relevant to the problem you’re trying to solve — don’t make your job harder than it has to be!
    • Now that you’ve decided what’s relevant and what’s not, each of those questions and steps you kept become H2s and H3s in your blog. 
    • You’re done writing when you’ve finished writing each of those sections — not when you hit a certain word count. 

    Clearly, not all topics will be as long as the “how to carve a pumpkin” example. Some might be considerably shorter, and some might be much longer. 

    The point is that whatever you write, your blog posts should be comprehensive, and cover the topic you’re focusing on with complete, helpful content. 

    06. Don’t Get Too Hung Up on the Details

    Oke doke — you’ve written the blog. Now just publish it! 

    One of the biggest problems we come across as an agency is companies that get tunnel vision when it comes to publishing “perfect” blogs. They go back and forth for months on one piece of content, and nothing ever gets published. 

    Yes, you want your blog to sound like your company. Yes, you want to put out quality information that is helpful to your readers. 

    But no single blog is going to accomplish every single marketing goal you have. 

    A blog is just that — a blog. It’s an informal piece of content designed to help your ideal customer make an informed purchasing decision. 

    It’s never going to be the end-all-be-all marketing content that educates your reader, sells them on your brand, and converts them into a sale. It’s one tool in a complete arsenal of marketing tactics. Business blogging is designed to increase brand awareness and lead generation. 

    That’s it. 

    All of your other marketing and sales tactics should pick up the slack from there. Let your blogs do what they’re designed to do — draw in more visitors with helpful content.

    Too many companies put so much weight into the importance of every single word in a blog post that they spend hours editing and rewriting a blog that will never see daylight. That’s just a waste of time. 

    Set a reasonable goal for each blog. Hint: it should be about education or lead generation. 

    If the blog you’ve written achieves that goal, that’s it, you’re done. 

    Post it, and move onto the next blog and the next goal. 

    While you do, the first blog you’ve posted can generate leads and interest. 

    Okay, rant over. All I want you to know is that posting good content is more important than not posting excellent content. Get blogs out there. You can always edit and optimize them later if you need to. 

    07. Put a CTA On It!

    Business blogging gets eyeballs on your site. 

    You have to have a plan for those eyeballs once they make it to your site. 

    CTAs, or calls-to-action, are key. 

    Once you have a new visitor on your site, if they’re qualified, you want them to keep reading your content and progressing through their buyer’s journey with the content you’ve developed for them. 

    The best way to do this is to get their contact information. When a visitor is reading your blog, you know they’re interested in what you have to say. Including calls-to-action that are relevant to what they’re reading is the best way to convert that visitor into a lead, and keep delivering them quality content that pulls them through their buyer’s journey. 

    Every blog you write should have at least one CTA or conversion opportunity. 

    Take a look at our blog structure. 

    HubSpot-Business-Blogging-Example-CTAs

    If you’re on a desktop, every time you read one of our blogs, you’re hit with a “Let’s Talk” conversion opportunity at the top of the blog. 

    In this image, you can see I’ve also got a relevant CTA at the bottom of the first section. Since this blog was about HubSpot, it made sense to offer up one of our case studies about work we’d done with a client on HubSpot. 

    business-blogging-cta-example

    As you scroll down the page, you also get a pop-up asking you if you want FREE marketing tips delivered directly to your inbox. Who doesn’t?

    And finally, at the bottom of the blog, the reader is hit with one more CTA relevant to HubSpot. 

    All of these CTAs are relevant to the reader, and they’re fairly unobtrusive, too. 

    It’s a suggestion — “Hey! If you want to learn more about this, we’ve got plenty of info.”

    But without a CTA, your readers don’t have much incentive or much opportunity to stick with your content. 

    Yes, most people want to optimize their business blogging strategy to rank higher. But a high ranking blog doesn’t do you much good if it’s not converting your visitors into leads. 

    If you’ve followed and implemented steps 1-6, you’re going to see more qualified traffic headed to your site. Step #7 helps ensure you’re able to capture those leads and continue nurturing them until they’re ready to make a purchase. 

    Business blogging is one of the most surefire ways to help your site rank higher, draw in more of the right, qualified leads, and boost your company’s authority in your industry. But, you gotta do it right. 

    There’s a lot that goes into the content strategy and production of any business blog. The best way to cut through the noise is to remember that blogs are for people. Search engines and content creators alike are always looking to put the very best, most informational content into the hands of readers. If you can do that, above all else, you’ll start to see your business blog creep up in the SERPs

    Struggling to gain traction with your business blog? Can’t figure out the right keywords, or just can’t seem to rank? We’re here to help! Our team of strategists and SEO experts would be happy to take a look at your content strategy and offer a few suggestions for improvement. Get in touch. 

    And if you’re still not sold on content marketing, I’d encourage you to take a look at this case study: 

    New call-to-action
    New call-to-action

    Conversational Marketing: What It Is and Why You Need It

    Conversational Marketing: What It Is and Why You Need It

    Conversational Marketing: What It Is and Why You Need It

    Lately, it seems like all anyone’s talking about in the inbound marketing world is conversational marketing. If you’re new to conversational marketing or are thinking about doing more with chatbots, live chat, or SMS marketing at your company, this blog is going to cover what you need to know to get started.

    From what conversational marketing is, to why you should care about it, we’re going to cover it all. Plus, if you stick around, I’ll even give you two easy ways to get started with conversational marketing right now

    Let’s jump in:

    What is Conversational Marketing?

    Conversational marketing is a marketing strategy that prioritizes one-to-one interactions between a company and a lead. The kicker is that conversational marketing should always happen on the lead’s schedule. It’s a way of connecting with your leads and prospects in the most frictionless way possible — on their schedule and in the medium that is most comfortable for them.  

    If you think of chatbots when you think of conversational marketing, you’re right. But conversational marketing is also a whole lot more than just chatbots. 

    New call-to-action

    What Apps, Platforms, and Features are Considered Conversational Marketing Tools?

    Any marketing tool or messaging platform that allows you to connect with a lead or customer one-on-one is conversational marketing. The proof is in the name — conversation. That means that yes, chatbots are certainly one form of conversational marketing, but they’re not the only tool. Other forms of conversational marketing might include: 

    • SMS marketing — directly connecting with leads and clients via text. 
    • Social media messaging — another way to connect directly with leads and prospects.
    • Slack channels — allowing promoters and visitors to share their questions, concerns, and positive interactions together in one spot.

    Conversational marketing is a broad term. It encompasses any type of marketing that is a direct one-on-one conversation between you and a client or lead. For this article, we’re going to focus on pretty obvious examples of conversational marketing, like live chat, chatbots, and SMS messaging, but it’s good to know that the term can encompass much more. 

    3 Reasons to Care About Conversational Marketing

    Now that we know what conversational marketing is and what it looks like, why would you use it? Do you actually need conversational marketing?

    Well, let’s think of it this way —  do you want more leads?

     

    Do you want to shorten your sales cycle?

     

    Yup. Thought so. 

    While conversational marketing shouldn’t take the place of your other marketing strategies — your content marketing, social media marketing, or email marketing — it’s an amazing supplemental tool that enables you to speak directly with your leads and solve their pain points at exactly the right time for them. Let’s take a look at three reasons you should care about conversational marketing. 

    01. Connect with your customers on their schedule

    We know that the most effective marketing is marketing that delivers the right message, to the right person, at the right time. 

    Conversational marketing is a tool that puts you directly in front of your leads and prospects whenever they’re most engaged, whether that’s at 7 am over their first cup of coffee, or 10 pm when they’re clicking around while watching TV. 

    We’re so glad you asked. We’re proud to say that our company has grown more than 60% year over year for the past few years. And we did it using our own marketing strategies. Since we know how to make growth happen, and we’ve done it, both for our clients and for ourselves, we think it’s time to take that info on the road.

    When automated chatbots can answer commonly asked questions or provide more information on a topic the lead is already searching, conversational marketing is a way to nurture leads 24/7. 

    02. You gain insight into your customer’s wants and needs

    Yes, conversational marketing is an exceptional tool for nurturing leads. It can help cut downtime in the sales cycle and supports your sales team even when they’re off the clock. 

    But, conversational marketing is also a great tool for your marketing strategy. 

    Conversational marketing tactics, from chatbots to SMS messaging tell you quite a lot about who your customers are, and what they want from you. 

    There’s a wealth of data to be gained from any conversational marketing campaign, including: 

    • Where your customers are. SMS marketing means you have your customer’s phone numbers. For companies that serve large regions, this can tell you in what areas you’re seeing the most engagement. 
    • When your customers are most engaged. By implementing conversational marketing, you can see when the best time is to engage with your customers. Maybe you get the most chatbot submissions late at night. Or you get a lot of Facebook Messenger inquiries around noon. That’s useful information you can use to better tailor your email marketing delivery times, and even when your sales team makes outreach calls. 
    • What your customers want to know. When your customers are asking their questions in chatbots and through messaging apps, you have documentation of the questions they’re asking most often. You can use this data to inform a more successful content strategy. 
    • Common problems or pain points your customers are experiencing. Conversational marketing can help you identify the areas where leads or prospects are running into problems with your product or service, or what problems they’re looking to solve. 

    03. Build relationships with reliable positive interactions

    There’s a classic marketing statistic that says it takes anywhere from 6-10 touches with your company for a lead to make a purchasing decision. 

    In each of those 6-10 touches with a lead, they need to have a positive experience. Every time they encounter your company, from your messaging to your marketing and sales interactions, your email marketing, and even your content marketing, the message you deliver should provide a positive experience and some sort of value for the lead. 

    Conversational marketing is an exceptional way to build customer relationships by delivering reliable, value-added positive interactions. Basically, you need to make those leads like you.

    And you do that by delivering the information they want or that is helpful to them.

    If you’re implementing conversational marketing in a way that is enhancing your customer’s experience with your company — rather than being disruptive — you’re helping move that lead towards a sale.

    Conversational marketing is inherently nurturing if you’re doing it right.

    You are connecting with each customer on a one-to-one level which is very much a relationship-building interaction. When you’re solving each lead’s specific and personal pain points with great content and helpful service, you’re building those positive relationships that will not just lead to a sale, but that can also convert that customer into a promoter for your brand. 

    2 Easy Ways to Implement Conversational Marketing Right Now

    So we’ve talked a little bit about what conversational marketing is, and why it’s useful. If you’re interested in implementing conversational marketing, but aren’t sure where to start, here are two easy ways you can get started now. 

    A Welcome Chatbot

    Live chat can feel a little intimidating if you’re just starting your conversational marketing campaign. Take it down a notch by just building a “welcome” or “sign up for our newsletter” chatbot that can go anywhere on your site. 

    First, choose a chatbot you like. No surprise, we like HubSpot’s chatbot options. You can also implement Facebook Messenger for free on your site, and there are a host of free options available online. 

    Next, build out a little bit of content. 

    Welcome Message

    Make it clear that your users are talking to a bot.

    (There’s a misconception that people don’t like talking to bots. The truth is that people don’t like talking to bots that are trying to pretend they’re people. Just be honest.)

    “Hi, I’m Evenbot! Welcome to the Evenbound Website.” 

    EB Chatbot Page Real Estate
    EB Chat Icon
    EB Chatbot Welcome

    Create an Action

    If this is a welcome bot or a newsletter bot, that’s pretty simple.

    “Would you like kick-ass marketing tips delivered right to your inbox once a month?”

    Then hit them with Yes and No button options.

    If They Click No

    Your response should pleasantly end the conversation.

    “Sounds good! I’m here for you if you run into any questions. Just type “Hey” to start a new conversation.”

    EB Chatbot no
    EB Chatbot Yes

    If They Click Yes

    Now is your time for a soft conversion.

    “Great! I just need to know where to send your monthly marketing tips. What’s a good email address for you?”

    Tada! Chatbot created and visitor converted. 

    Put this chatbot on a few of your highly-trafficked pages — your homepage, your blog, or your services page — and see how it performs. 

    As you get more comfortable with your chatbot, you might consider implementing more personalized chatbots, or even a live chat. 

    SMS Marketing

    SMS marketing sounds scary, but it’s actually pretty simple. If you look at SMS marketing as a way to provide better service to your customers, you’re already starting on the right foot.

    For example, let’s say someone makes a purchase. When you collect their phone number as they make the purchase, ask if they’d like text updates on the status of their order. 

    When they opt-in, they’ll get texts about their order, like when it’s shipped, what the tracking number is, and when their order is out for delivery. That’s an awesome value-add that many people would love to have. 

    Then, down the road a few months, you can send them a text with an exclusive promotional order for a complementary product or service. 

    SMS Marketing Opt-In Example

    This is a great example of SMS marketing done well. After I opted in to get text messages with this swimsuit company, see what they sent. 

    A free shipping promo, and a promise that they’d only send texts with big news or deals. That’s a level of interruption most consumers can handle.

    SMS Marketing Promo Example

    Allowing clients to schedule meetings or appointments by text is another great way to remove some of the friction in your customer’s sales cycle. 

    SMS Marketing Appointments

    SMS Marketing Appointment Booking Example

    This is another cool one. I needed new skates. The local pro shop had a quick click-to-text feature on their site. I sent a message about what I was looking for, and the manager got right back to me. 

    Rather than having to stop in when the shop was busy or closed, I set up a time to come in and visit that was convenient for me. I’m happy and they got a new customer. 

    The best ways to implement SMS marketing are ways that make your lead’s life easier. If they don’t want to talk on the phone, or if they don’t like searching for your message in a messy inbox, a text message gets them the information they need in a very accessible way. 

    Just make sure you’re not using text marketing to blow up a customer’s phone or to engage in disruptive marketing. If you’re constantly sending promotions or trying to make the hard sale through an SMS message, you won’t see results. 

    Use SMS marketing as a complement to your sales team’s efforts, and put the responsibility on the customer to decide that SMS is the better method of communication for them. 

    Whether you decide to build out your first chatbot or start encouraging leads to book their appointments by text message, conversational marketing is a powerful tool in any company’s marketing and sales toolbox. If you’re not sure how to implement things like chatbots or instant messenger features, Evenbound would be happy to help

    New call-to-action
    New call-to-action

    What is the Purpose of Business Blogging?

    What is the Purpose of Business Blogging?

    What is the Purpose of Business Blogging?

    Evenbound-Dec-2019-123
    I write blogs for businesses every day. It’s like, my job, man. 

    But I can’t even begin to count the number of times people have asked me what the purpose of business blogging is. 

    Inbound marketing has been around for years now, but it’s still a question for many people: why do we do it? What is the purpose of business blogging? 

    Someone asked me about it the other day, and I thought, “Oh sure, let me just point them to the NUMBER of blogs I’ve written about business blogging.”

    Only to find that well, I haven’t written any blogs about this. I’ve talked about blogging in the context of lead generation, website design, inbound marketing, lead nurturing, and so much more. But I’ve never actually written about why business blogging is so important in its own right, and why it’s a service we provide to nearly every single one of our clients. 
    My bad, guys. Big hole in the content there. But I’m here to make it right. 

    Let’s talk about what business blogging is, why we do it, and why for heaven’s sake I just need you to believe me when I say it’s worth it.

    What is Business Blogging?

    Business blogging is the process of blogging for your business. It’s an inbound marketing tactic that works to get your website more visibility. Just like social media, email marketing, and even digital ads, business blogging is another tactic used to get your company in front of the eyes of qualified leads. 

    What is the Purpose of Business Blogging?

    The purpose of business blogging is to get you and your company in front of the right leads. In the words of our fearless leader here at Evenbound:
    “Content publishing is the lifeblood of SEO. Regular content updates (written around your target keywords) build topical relevance and authority. If you’re not writing blogs and your competition is, you’re gonna get smoked in SERPs.”

    John Heritage  President, Evenbound

    So you want to get found on the internet? 

    You want to show up first when someone googles something you do or a product you provide?

    You want to beat the competition?

    Well then, business blogging is the tool for you.

    3 Key Benefits of Business Blogging

    Okay, so business blogging helps you get in front of the competition. But how? 

    Don’t worry, I wasn’t just going to tell you something and not back it up. 

    Like I said earlier, business blogging is a key marketing tactic. It does more than just help you rank well. When you do business blogging right, it can help you convert more leads through every stage of the buyer’s journey.

    If you’re familiar with the inbound marketing flywheel, business blogging is one of those tactics you can use to optimize every point on that flywheel, helping you draw in more traffic, nurture those new leads, close on new prospects, and continue to delight your promoters and existing customers. 

    Here’s a look at three of the key benefits of business blogging.

    Drives Qualified Organic Traffic

    First and foremost, business blogging helps you get eyeballs on your website. How else are people going to find you? Let’s think here:
    No one is going to type in your website URL and go directly to your site. It doesn’t happen. When have you actually typed in “www.evenbound.com/blog” to see what’s new on our blog? Imma say never. I don’t even do that, and I live on our blog. 
    Paid ads are expensive. Sure, you can get in front of the right people using paid advertising. We encourage it. But, it shouldn’t be your only tactic to drive traffic. Mostly because it’s expensive. You should be using marketing strategies tactically. That means only spend where you’re going to see big returns. For everything else, business blogging is your golden ticket to more, better traffic. 
    Buying email lists is illegal. Just don’t do it. Aside from being illegal, cold-emailing random people doesn’t return great results. Again, we’re talking about tactical solutions. You can spend a whole lot on an email list that might return a few leads.
    The key to business blogging that drives qualified traffic is keyword research. 
    Since this isn’t a blog about keyword research, I’m not going to go all the way into it, but I will leave you with a few keyword research resources here and here.

    Essentially, it should be your goal to write blogs that:

    • Are relevant to your business
    • Solve a common problem or pain point your target buyer faces
    • Are centered around a keyword or phrase with high search volume and low competition

    That’s the sweet spot for a blog that will rank well, and that will pull in the leads you actually want. Once you do your keyword research, the real challenge is putting out quality content that’s in-depth, and that answers those questions your target buyers are asking. 

    But, if you can do all of this, and regularly, you’ll start drawing in serious qualified traffic. The more you blog, and the more consistently, the better results you’ll see. 
    That said, I know how hard it is to stick to a regular schedule. If you can work to put out a quality blog even once every two weeks, you should start to see your organic traffic start to rise. 

    Business Blogging Builds Authority and Topical Relevance

    Okay, stick with me. Authority and topical relevance are both big industry terms, and if your eyes are starting to glaze over, I get it. 
    One of the key ways Google ranks websites is according to their authority. 
    You build authority in a few ways, but content publishing and link building are the two biggies. (Here’s some info on link building and authority. Here’s some info from MOZ on link building and relevance. And here’s some info on link building itself.)
    Content publishing, aka business blogging, is the other key factor that search engines use to determine your authority. And the more authority you have on a given topic, the higher you’re likely to rank. 
    Let’s think of it this way:

    You’re cooking a steak, and you want tips on the best way to do it. Which YouTube video do you choose? 

     

    • One published by Chef Gordon Ramsay
    • One published by your friend from high school
    If you’re like me, you’re probably going to refer to the Gordon Ramsay video. 

    Why?

    He has authority on the subject. 

    As a well-known chef with a body of work on things like grilling and cooking steaks, he’s built authority on the topic. 

    That brings me right to topical relevance, which is similar to authority. 

    The more quality content you have on a topic, the more topical relevance you have. 

    Sticking with our Gordon Ramsay reference, let’s say the topic is cooking steak. 

    If you have a blog on each of these topics:

    • How to Grill Steak
    • Step-By-Step Guide to Prepping Your Steak
    • How Long Should Your Steak Rest Before Serving?
    • How to Pan-Fry Steak
    • Which Cut of Steak is Best?

    Then you have serious topical relevance. 

    Google will always rank the website with the most topical relevance highest on its results pages. That’s why business blogging is so important. 

    Though you can’t build authority or topical relevance overnight, steady, consistent posting of strategic content centered around one topic is one of the best ways to get there.

    When you have more authority and topical relevance than your competition, you’re going to be the one clients look to first for answers to their questions. 
    And that spells serious business growth for you. 

    Your Business Blog is a Lead Generation Machine That’s Always On

    Okay. So far we’ve learned that business blogging can help you pull in qualified traffic and beat your competition in rankings (drawing in even more traffic). Business blogging still has one exceptional benefit left. 
    Your business blog is a lead generation machine that’s always on. 
    If you develop it right and optimize it with lead capturing tools like calls-to-action and content offers, your business blog can capture leads every single day of the week, at any hour.
    Once you publish a blog, it goes out into the world. You might (read: absolutely definitely should) promote that blog on your social media and through your email marketing campaigns. But after the newness wears off, that blog is still working for you (given that you’ve written a quality blog). 
    The key to this benefit is making sure that you have content on your blog that addresses every stage of the buyer’s journey
    When someone starts their journey, and queries your topic on Google, they’re met with your blog. They come on over for answers to whatever question they typed into Google. But, if you’ve got content for every stage of the buyer’s journey, and you make it easy for that new visitor to find, you’re not just generating leads, you’re also nurturing them. 
    An optimized blog can nurture a new lead all the way through their buyer's journey, providing them with the right information, at the right time. Click To Tweet If that lead keeps coming back for information on your site when they’re finally ready to buy, guess who they’re going to call?
    Yep, you. 
    You’ve not only built authority on search engines, but you’ve built trust with the leads who read your business blog. By delivering them quality content that answers their questions, consistently, you’ve earned their trust and now you’re their first point of contact when they get ready to make a decision. 
    And I think the best part of all of this is that you didn’t have to lift a finger. 
    Since you’ve developed a solid business blog where all of this content already exists, your blog is the one doing the work 24/7, anytime a day. 

    Business Blogging Gets You the Online Visibility You Need

    If I had to sum up the purpose of business blogging in one sentence, I’d say it gets you the online visibility you need. 
    Let’s be real. If you’re not on the internet these days, it’s going to be tough to get any kind of lead that’s not a referral. And even the ones that are referrals. If you’re not on the internet, you don’t exist. 
    Blogging is one of those tactics that’s easier said than done. Trust me, I get it. If you’re having trouble coming up with topics, sticking to a consistent schedule, or converting leads from your blog, the Evenbound team is here to help. We’d be happy to set up a quick consultation to help you figure out what you’re doing right, and where you might be able to improve. 
    If you’re still skeptical about the benefits of business blogging, may I direct your attention to the case study below? This is a great example of how consistent blogging with helped one of our clients make first page of Google and continue growing their business, even four years into our partnership. 
    New call-to-action
    New call-to-action

    Inbound Marketing vs. Content Marketing

    Inbound Marketing vs. Content Marketing

    Inbound Marketing vs. Content Marketing

    If you’re in the marketing world at all, you know that these two terms are the heavyweight champs of modern marketing. But how do they fit together? There’s a lot of confusion out there about inbound marketing vs. content marketing. Are they the same thing? And if they’re different, how?

    We’re going to break it all down for you in this marketing terminology matchup of inbound marketing vs. content marketing.

    Inbound Marketing vs. Content Marketing

    Most marketers generally confer — content marketing is a subset of inbound marketing. I like to think of it this way:

    • Inbound marketing is a big umbrella. A whole bunch of marketing tactics make up the umbrella’s individual components. SEO, social media marketing, pay-per-click advertising, and so many more tactics make up everything from the waterproof fabric to each little rib that forms the shape of the umbrella. 
    • If inbound marketing is an umbrella, content marketing is the pole and handle that holds the umbrella up. Content marketing forms the base and the foundation for a quality inbound marketing strategy.

    So to answer the questions posed in the intro: yes, content marketing and inbound marketing are different things. 

    Inbound marketing refers to the overarching marketing strategy that draws in qualified leads. Content marketing is a form of inbound marketing, but one of the most important inbound marketing tactics that lays the framework for the larger inbound marketing strategy as a whole.

    Got it? Not quite? 

    No worries. We’re going to keep on rolling with some more information to make that distinction a little clearer for you. Let’s take a closer look at what inbound marketing is, what content marketing is, and how they work together to deliver you the leads you want when you want them.

    What is Inbound Marketing?

    Inbound marketing is a marketing method that focuses on drawing in qualified leads and potential customers, rather than blasting information about your company to the general public. 

    Inbound marketing is specific and tactical. 

    The methodology requires that you know who you’re selling to, who you want to sell to, and that you market to those specific buyers in a way that is helpful to them. 

    Inbound marketing was born out of the modern consumer’s desire to discover solutions to their own problems. Today’s consumer despises telemarketers, spam emails, and other poorly targeted advertising techniques that don’t feel personal, relevant, or helpful.

    Inbound marketing recognizes this consumer pain point, and works to find a solution.

    Inbound marketing is successful when a consumer seeks a solution to a problem, navigates to a resource that answers their questions, and self-selects the product or service that ultimately resolves their pain point. 

    For the consumer, this is a seamless transition. 

    They search their problem, find the ideal solution, and make a purchasing decision. The trick of inbound marketing is offering up relevant content and improving your company’s visibility so that consumer gets their seamless transition from you. And this is where content marketing comes in. 

    What is Content Marketing?

    Inbound marketing is built on content marketing. Though inbound marketing is made up of a variety of marketing tactics, like search engine optimization, email marketing, workflows, and so much more, content marketing is certainly the heavy lifter. 

    Think about it:

    • What would you promote in your email marketing campaigns if you didn’t have content written? 

    • Where would you direct conversions from pay-per-click ads if not to a page of content? 

    • How would you optimize your website for search engines without content?

    Content marketing forms the backbone and the foundation of any inbound marketing strategy. It’s everything from the optimized content on your website to your weekly blog posts to your monthly email newsletters to that new vlog you’ve been trying out.

    Content marketing is what creates value for your potential leads, and its what draws those qualified leads into your sales funnel. 

    If you want a more specific outline of the different types of content marketing and how to implement them, I suggest you check out our content marketing page. If you’re already familiar with content marketing, let’s move on to how inbound marketing and content marketing work together: 

    How These Strategies Work Together to Bring You Qualified Leads

    As we mentioned earlier, inbound marketing functions on the premise that today’s consumer ignores disruptive, non-personal messages. Inbound marketing instead encourages consumers to self-qualify, and search for and find the information and the solutions that best fit their own problems and pain points. Content marketing is a major component of that inbound marketing methodology, especially in a consumer’s early stages of the buyer’s journey. 

    While your sales team might already have a great, inbound-focused method of converting leads into sales, content marketing is one of those key tools that brings those leads to your marketing and sales teams in the first place. 

    I like to think of content marketing as the fuel that feeds your inbound marketing funnel or flywheel. 

    Without content going out regularly, answering your ideal customer’s questions, solving their pain points, and nurturing them further down the buyer’s journey, your sales team might not get the chance to exercise their awesome, inbound-focused sales process in the first place.

    While content marketing is also used extensively in the later stages of the buyer’s journey, it’s most commonly thought of as a way to draw in the right, qualified leads, so your marketing and sales team can apply the rest of your inbound marketing strategy to nurture and close those leads. 

    Inbound Marketing + Content Marketing = A Successful Growth Strategy

    In the end, it’s best to think about inbound marketing and content marketing together, rather than inbound marketing vs. content marketing. Both tactics are useful methods to draw in and close qualified leads, and they work best when used in conjunction. 

    Content marketing forms the foundation of your inbound marketing strategy, drawing in the right leads with helpful, personalized content. Then, your inbound marketing strategy can do the rest of the work — taking the leads your content marketing strategy generated and converting them into customers and future promoters for your brand. 

    Still have questions? We’ve got answers. Check out our inbound marketing and content marketing pages for more specifics on both strategies, and always feel free to give us a call or drop a line — we’d love to chat. And if you’re just not sure what an inbound marketing strategy can do for you in real life, check out the case study below. 

    New call-to-action
    New call-to-action

    7 Content Marketing Strategies to Take Your Company to the Next Level

    7 Content Marketing Strategies to Take Your Company to the Next Level

    7 Content Marketing Strategies to Take Your Company to the Next Level

    Content marketing tends to get a bad rap. First of all, it’s hard. It takes a lot of effort, and no matter what type of content marketing strategies you’re invested in, you need a writer to make it happen. 

    As a content strategist and writer myself, I could be a little biased in my love for content marketing, but study after study has shown that content marketing is one of the most effective inbound marketing methods to take your company to the next level when it comes to digital presence, lead generation, and most importantly to you — ROI. 

    Once you have a good content marketing strategy in place, it can provide some of the highest returns, with very little investment on your part. With all of those awesome benefits in mind, then how do you get started with content marketing? 

    Are there some strategies that are better, more proven, or easier than others?

    We say yes. 

    While nearly all forms of content marketing are effective, there are a select few that are proven to drive serious results, especially when implemented and executed properly. We’re here to talk about those seven. Use the menu below to jump to the strategy you’re most interested in, or read all the way through for everything you’ve ever needed to know to set your company apart from the competition with intuitive content marketing strategies. 

    7 Content Marketing Strategies to Take Your Company to the Next Level

    #1 Blogging Strategy

    Blogging feels like a given, but we’re going to talk about it anyway because it’s that important. If you want to up your company’s digital presence — that is, rank ahead of key competition, be the first in search results, and more — you need to blog, and you need to blog with intention. 

    Start by developing a true blogging strategy. Do keyword research and figure out which search terms are:

    • Relevant to your business
    • Highly searched
    • Easy to rank for (that is, they have low competition for organic search results)
    • Interesting and useful to your ideal buyer personas

    Then, develop a blogging schedule and strategy around those keywords. When you’re developing a blogging strategy to stick to, keep these best practices in mind:

    • Blog regularly (on a monthly or weekly schedule)
    • Write blogs that satisfy a buyer persona’s pain point or question
    • Ensure that your content creation structure makes sense. This is important for SEO and ranking purposes. See this blog on topic clusters for more information there. 
    • Write blogs that are long enough to satisfy readers and search engines alike. We recommend at least 1,000 words.

    If you blog regularly, on topics that are relevant and useful to your ideal buyer personas, you’ll start to see results. And if you’re honest, and your information is actually helpful to those ideal buyer personas, you’ll keep rising up through the SERPs for those keywords that matter most to you, and your ideal buyers. 

    #2 Email Marketing Strategy

    If blogging is how you leverage content marketing to reach strangers, then email marketing is how you leverage content marketing to reach leads you already know. 

    Email marketing gives you a decided advantage when it comes to nurturing leads through to close: 

    • You already have the lead’s contact information
    • You have a general sense of what they’re looking for — which product or service they’re interested in
    • You likely know what company they work for
    • You know that they already have at least some interest in your company — they did give you their email address, after all. 

    Use this information to your benefit. Email marketing is about strategy. Given what you know about your contacts, what information will they need to keep moving towards closing a sale?

    And, considering that many email marketing tools allow you to automate workflows, you can use these features to set up email workflows and let the tools do the work for you. While you can’t quite forget about your workflows, you can check back on the analytics and optimize as you go. 

    Email marketing is one of the only tools that allows you to market directly to people who are already interested in the products or services you’re offering. If you’re looking to boost your digital presence and close more deals while you’re at it, a solid email marketing strategy is a must. 

    #3 Social Media Marketing Strategy

    If we’re talking about taking your company to the next level, we have to talk about social media. 

    There’s no better way to get the word out about your company, and build a brand and personality, than on social media. And remember that building your social media presence is about more than just getting likes and comments. The more followers you have, the wider reach the rest of your content will have. 

    Your social media marketing strategy should be just as calculated as your blogging strategy — it’s a common misconception that keywords don’t apply to the wild west of Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Twitter. 

    That’s not true, especially for a platform like Linkedin, where people are searching for companies and employees by the keywords you’re already trying to rank for. For a killer social media marketing strategy check out this post, and keep the following tips in mind: 

    • Follow a regular posting schedule
    • Curate content that’s specific to each platform. What resonates on Instagram isn’t what resonates or is appropriate for Linkedin.
    • Vary your topics. Don’t just talk about what’s happening in your office or promote your blog posts. Share great posts from other industry leaders, share fun content when appropriate, and make sure you’re curating an interesting feed for followers.
    • Incorporate your keywords where it’s relevant. Don’t spam your followers with unnecessary hashtags, but do be conscious about what terms you’re using in social media copy. 

    If your company is new to social media, we always suggest starting small. Pick one platform, like Linkedin or Facebook, and put all of your efforts into building a following there. When you feel comfortable managing one platform, and you feel like you have a handle on how to get and maintain followers, you can expand into additional platforms. 

    #4 Video Strategy

    Video is hands-down one of the best ways to engage visitors. 

    People love video content, search engines love video content, and you should love video content, too. 

    That said, we know that developing a video strategy can be a little scary. It’s a much more involved process than writing a blog post, and it takes more time and money than any other content marketing strategy out there.

    Remember that you don’t always have to produce professional-quality videos. While you might invest in professional help for videos that are going up on your website, a simple how-to video can be done on a smartphone, as long as your audio quality is good, and you have plenty of natural light. 

    It’s true that video is a lot of work. It’s usually one of the last content marketing strategies that companies tend to invest in, for that reason. But if you’re really looking to stand out online, video is a surefire way to do it. Don’t take my word for it, though. Here are a few stats that should convince you, if I haven’t already:

    Okay, so not only are most marketers already using video content, but one-third of all the internet activity online is spent watching video. Put that with the fact that video is highly shareable, and that most marketing professionals report it as having a very high ROI, and you really can’t go wrong. 

    We live in a visual culture. 

    People are watching videos constantly. 

    Most millennials would prefer to watch a two-minute explainer video that tells them about your services, rather than read about it. 

    Investing in a quality video strategy will boost your digital presence far beyond your competitors. Just make sure you’re transcribing all of your videos, so search engines can rank that valuable content for you, too. 

    #5 Content Offer Development

    One of the most tried-and-true content marketing strategies to exist in the digital world is content offer development. Plain and simple, content offers work. 

    When you take the time to put together a valuable resource that someone interested in your product or service genuinely wants or needs, it’s going to pay off. 

    Since we’re content marketing strategy fiends, we’ve tested, written, rewritten, and retested about a million content offers. I can tell you with confidence, nothing converts leads better than a quality content offer. 

    So what does this do to grow your company? 

    Well, if you have an awesome content offer, you can share it around social media and promote it on your email marketing strategy. It’s great for your company’s digital presence in that way. But, if we’re talking big picture, which we should be, content offers are what get you leads. 

    If someone is interested enough in what you have to say that they give up their email address, they’re a qualified lead. 

    And when your content offers are drawing in qualified leads, your company is going to see some growth. 

    But how do you develop content offers that work?

    Think about the questions you get the most often.

    What holds people up from making a purchasing decision? Do they have trouble deciding between your products? If so, create a product comparison guide. Are they on the fence about how much of a difference your service will make for their company? Create a content offer that talks about the specific benefits your service provides. 

    Develop content offers for specific stages of your buyer’s journey.

    You know who your buyer personas are. You know what they’re looking for. You should know the places that they tend to fall out of the buyer’s journey. Whether they get stuck comparing your product to a competitor, or they just can’t decide if your service is worth the money, develop content offers that speak to those specific stages of the buyer’s journey. 

    When you have at least one content offer for the awareness, consideration, and decision-making phase of the buyer’s journey, plus content that nurtures potential leads through some of your most common sticking points, you’ll start seeing more leads convert, in less time. 

    Only gate the content offers that matter most. 

    No matter how many content offers you’ve developed, make sure you’re only gating the ones that matter most. 

    The new, most effective trend in digital marketing is to leave most of your content offers open to the public. Instead, you can offer those content offers as downloadable PDFs. This works to help you weed out unqualified contacts. Readers who are really interested in what you have to say, and want to take your offer home with them to read again, are likely to download the PDF and give you their contact information.

    While you can still gate a few content offers — like checklists or product pricing guides — try to make your content as accessible to leads as possible, while still giving them the opportunity to give you their contact information. 

    #6 Targeted Landing Pages

    If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times — your home page is NOT a landing page. You’ve dedicated time and effort to a specific, relevant content development strategy that’s designed for multiple buyer personas — why would you send them all to the same bland, basic landing page?

    They don’t have the same goals for your company, they don’t have the same needs, and they’re not all at the same place in the buyer’s journey. Targeted landing pages are one of the most effective content marketing strategies you can implement to directly improve your company’s digital ROI. 

    Don’t take my word for it though. This company increased online ROI by 60%, just by optimizing their landing pages. 

    That’s so easy! Landing pages are some of the shortest, most simple pages of content. Just write a lot of them, and develop them with specific keywords in mind, and you’ll start to see some serious results. 

    Before we get off the landing page rant train, let’s just close with one more example. 

    different-colored-sweaters

    Say you’re scrolling through Instagram, and an ad comes up for a really awesome hoodie. It’s exactly what you’ve been looking for, and you’re ready to make the purchase. But when you click the ad, instead of being sent directly to that hoodie’s product page, you’re sent to the Amazon home page. 

    What a disappointment. 

    Are you going to search through Amazon’s massive website to find that specific hoodie and checkout while you’re on your 10-minute coffee break? Yeah. Didn’t think so.

    That’s all targeted landing pages are. Pages that offer your ideal buyers exactly the content they were looking for in the first place. Invest just a bit of time in landing pages that are targeted to specific buyer personas and specific content offers, and you’ll start to see results. 

    #7 Content Promotion Strategy

    Our final content marketing tip is to have a content promotion strategy. All of your other content marketing strategies — your blog, your social media, and even your email marketing — won’t mean much if you’re not working to get the word out. You should spend at least as much time promoting content as you do creating it. 

    When it comes to content marketing, you can do all the work of building and developing an awesome content marketing strategy, but if you’re not drawing people into your website to read your content, you’re not going to see the benefits you were looking for. Here are a few ways to take your content promotion strategy to the next level:

    • Cross-Channel Promotion. Promote your blogs on social media channels. Add social media buttons to the bottom of your email newsletters. Share your email subscribe link on social media, at the bottom of blogs, etc. You’re creating content in a variety of channels, as this blog has shown. Make sure your followers know about all of the opportunities you’re offering them to read more amazing content. 
    • Search Engine Optimization. The better optimized your site and content are, the more likely you are to boost organic traffic coming to your site. And when you have more traffic, you have a greater potential for leads. Check out this blog for tips on ensuring your content is following SEO best practices. 
    • Paid Search Advertising. If you’re just getting your content marketing strategy up and running, paid search is a great way to draw in the traffic you need now, without waiting for your site to organically come up in SERPs. Make sure you’re only bidding on relevant keywords, and stick to a budget, but with a little help from paid search, you’ll start seeing the traffic you’ve been looking for. 
    • Boosted or Paid Social Media. Boosted social media posts and paid social media promotion is a great way to get your social media marketing strategy off the ground, too. Boosted posts help ensure your content is reaching all of your followers. Social media ad campaigns can help you expand your reach, by getting more likes, more followers, or just getting the word out about your company.

    Start with one or two of these content promotion tactics, and see how they work. Then, make sure you’re adding them to your content marketing strategy and schedule. When you’ve scheduled in time to focus on content promotion, you’re more likely to make it happen.

    Content marketing is tough. It takes a lot of work and it takes a good writer — or three. If you don’t have a writer on staff, or if you’re just not sure how to jump into more content marketing strategies, we can help. Get in touch with the Evenbound team for more information, or check out the case study below to see exactly how we’ve helped our clients stand out from the competition with killer content marketing strategies.

    New call-to-action
    New call-to-action

    Step-By-Step Guide to Defining Your Buyer Persona

    Step-By-Step Guide to Defining Your Buyer Persona

    Step-By-Step Guide to Defining Your Buyer Persona

    Buyer personas are a major component of any effective inbound marketing strategy. The truth is, you have to know who you’re marketing and selling to before you can make a sale. Today’s consumers only pay attention to marketing messages that are personalized, and highly relevant to their unique experiences. Buyer personas are a key way to address that consumer need, while streamlining your marketing and sales process so you’re only spending time on the leads most likely to convert. 

    We can say the word “buyer persona” as many times as we want, but they’re not going to do much for you if you don’t know how to create or define one. That’s why we’ve put together this Step-by-Step Guide to Defining your Buyer Persona. Here, you’ll learn what exactly a buyer persona is, and how to define your own buyer personas in a clear, manageable (we hope) step-by-step way. Let’s get started.

    Just looking for some hot tips? Use this menu to skip to the step you’re most interested in. 

    What is a Buyer Persona?

    Creating Your Buyer Personas in 5 Steps

    What Is A Buyer Persona?

    The first part of any great guide to defining your buyer persona should be a definition of what a buyer persona actually is. Buyer personas are an integral part of any quality marketing or sales plan. A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal client or target audience. With a clear picture of who you’re marketing to, it’s much easier to develop effective, targeted content that speaks to your ideal buyer’s goals and challenges. 

    Think of your buyer personas as a personal narrative. You’re developing a story for and context around the people who are most interested in your product or service. You want to know as much about them as possible, so you can provide personalized service, relevant content, and helpful sales information. Your buyer personas are the best place to organize all of that information into a story that will resonate with you, and with the rest of your team.

    Creating Your Buyer Personas in 5 Steps

    Defining your buyer personas might seem like a big, unwieldy task. But, if we break the process down into manageable steps, you can move through them one-by-one to develop thorough, thoughtful buyer personas that will genuinely improve the way you market and sell. And don’t feel like you have to create all of your buyer personas at once — taking it step-by-step is a great way to make sure you’ve got all of your bases covered, without feeling too overwhelmed. This guide to defining your buyer persona is set up so you can leave and come back whenever is most convenient for you. With that in mind, let’s get into Step 1.

    Step 1: Research Your Buyer Personas

    All great personas start with a  little bit of research. Even if you feel like you already have a pretty good grasp on who most of your clients are, it’s worth it to take a hard look, not just at who you’re already working with, but who you’d like to work with in the future. 

    via GIPHY

    Who is Buying From You?

    It’s always easiest to start with what you know. Begin your research by taking a look at your existing clients. Here are a few questions to get you started:

    • Who at their company contacted you first?
    • Were they the final decision maker?
    • What does their job look like?
      • Are they your company’s primary point of contact?
      • What are their roles at work?
      • Do they manage people or processes?
      • Do they have to answer to a boss or supervisor, or do they make most decisions?
    • What does their home life look like?
      • Do they have any hobbies?
      • How old are they?
      • Are they married or single? Kids or no kids?

    These questions will get you started, but there are a few other tactics you might consider when doing buyer persona research:

    Talk to Customer-Facing Employees

    Your account managers are going to have the best insight into the lives of your clients, since they’re the ones in direct contact with them. Talk to the customer-facing employees at your own company to get a better sense of the people your company is already working with.

    Talk to Your Clients

    If it’s feasible, it’s also a great idea to talk to some of your existing clients. Consider sending out a short survey to your main points of contact, asking them a little about themselves. You might have to send along a small incentive to get them to fill it out, but their answers will be worth their weight in gold. After all, the people who have already invested in your product or service are your ideal audience. 

    Who Would You Like to Buy From You?

    Once you’ve pulled together as much information as possible on your existing clients, think about who you’d like to sell to in the future. 

    Is there an ideal prospect that your marketing and sales team just can’t get to convert? Maybe your competition has had a lot of success in a certain segment of the market that you’d like to break into, too. 

    To narrow down who you’d like to buy from you, we suggest starting by taking a look at your competition. 

    Where is Your Competition Seeing Success?

    Are your competitors seeing a lot of success in a certain segment of the market you’d like to break into? Check out their website! 

    They’re probably developing content and sales offers that speak directly to that market. You can learn a lot about those ideal buyer personas you’re not quite hitting yet by seeing how your competition is successful.

    Where Do You Want Your Company to Grow?

    Another great way to identify buyer personas for clients you haven’t quite snagged yet is to think hard about where you want your company to grow. 

    For example, we often work with home builders, many of whom are working to break into higher markets. Even if they don’t yet have clients in that higher market, we still work to do as much research on those buyers as possible. We look at our clients’ competition to see what they’re doing to draw that market in, and we look at those buyers specifically to see what they’re most interested in, and what their greatest pain points are. 

    You can do the same thing for your company. Look at the clients you’d like to get in the future, and do the same research to see what they’re interested in, what their lives are like, and what challenges they face that your company can solve. 

    Check Out Your Own Analytics

    Our third and final suggestion for the research phase of defining your buyer personas is to look at your analytics. You’ll find no better, more concrete data on your ideal buyers than through the analytics on your own website, social media ads, and pay-per-click advertising campaigns. 

    Take a look at the reports from each, and pay specific attention to the demographics of the people clicking your ads. When you’re looking at your website analytics, see what pages your visitors view the most, and the longest. 

    Are there content offers that are downloaded more often than others? Who is downloading those offers? Answers to all of these questions provide you with useful information and data you need to compile relevant, effective buyer personas. 

    Step 2: Segment Your Buyer Personas

    I’ll be honest, the research step is the most time-consuming. Once you have that out of the way, feel free to step back and take a break. Leave that research alone, and let it marinate for a while. When you come back, you’ll have everything you need to actually start writing your buyer personas.

    Organize Your Information

    Alright, now that you’re back refreshed and ready to continue work on those buyer personas, it’s time to organize all of the research you collected. You probably learned a lot about a variety of your clients. Start looking for similarities in the goals and challenges you’ve uncovered in your research. These similarities — in what clients and prospects are looking for from your company or your product — will help you group all of the many potential clients into distinct sets of buyer personas. 

    Decide How Many Buyer Personas You’ll Have

    Now that you’ve reviewed and organized your research, you can start to determine how many buyer personas you’ll actually define. It’s good to remember that you don’t have to cover everyone right now. 

    If you’re just starting the inbound marketing process and are new to buyer personas as a whole, it might make the most sense to create buyer personas just for the market segments you sell to the most. You can always add or change buyer personas as you learn more about your marketing strategy, and as you gather more data on your leads and prospects. 

    The way you segment your buyer personas is totally up to you and to your company. You know best who you’re in contact with most. But, if you’re not quite sure where to start, here are two very common ways to segment your buyer personas:

    Segment Buyer Personas By Industry

    Some companies work with clients in a variety of industries. In a situation where you sell a variety of products, each corresponding to a different industry, it might make sense to dedicate one buyer persona to each industry you serve. It’s good to remember that this is only worthwhile if clients in each industry have different goals or pain points. For example, let’s say you manufacture a product that’s useful for both the automotive and marine manufacturing industries. 

    If your clients in the marine industry have different goals than the clients in the automotive industry, it makes sense to have two buyer personas. 

    But, if your product helps both marine and automotive manufacturers in the same way — by helping them streamline processes, manufacture more efficiently, and develop a better product, then it probably won’t make as much sense to segment your buyer personas by industry. In that case, let’s look at the second way we often see clients segmenting their buyer personas.

    Buyer Personas By Job Title

    For many companies, their sales process remains the same regardless of the industry they’re working with. Here at Evenbound, we work primarily with manufacturers, home builders, and construction professionals. Even though clients in each of those industries are fundamentally different, they approach finding a marketing partner in the same way. So, we’ve segmented our buyer personas to align with the job titles our sales process touches

    This often works similarly for manufacturers. Let’s say you manufacture a product that is useful in a variety of industries, but that is most often used by a lead engineer at any company, regardless of industry. In this situation, it doesn’t make sense to have a buyer persona for each engineer in each industry, because they have the same goals and pain points. Instead, you can write one buyer persona, and then use that buyer persona as a guide when you write content that’s specific to each industry later on. 

    Step 3: Create a Name and a Story

    You’ve completed your research, and you’ve decided which buyer personas to start with. Pick one, and let’s get writing. Everyone writes differently, so do what works for you. I always find it’s easiest to paint a full picture of your buyer persona and then pull out the most important segments for the final persona you share with the rest of your team. Here’s what that process might look like:

    Who Is Your Buyer Persona?

    Start by giving your buyer persona a name. The point of defining buyer personas at all is to help you market and sell more personally. Giving your buyer personas names makes it personal. Once you’ve got a name in mind, start writing down everything you discovered in your research. 

    • How old is your persona?
    • What job titles might they hold? 
    • Where do they live?
    • What hobbies do they have, and what do they like to do outside of work?
    • What are their career goals? Are they looking to move up, or just hoping to cruise through to retirement?

    Answers to all of these questions, and any more that you can think of, help provide context for your buyer persona’s goals and motivations. The better you understand what they want, and why they want it, the better you’ll be able to interact with them in the future. 

    Give Yourself a Full Profile to Work With

    When it comes to buyer personas, more information is always better. Challenge yourself to a free-write. Set a timer for 15-20 minutes, and write down everything you know about this buyer persona. And don’t be afraid to get a little creative! 

    People connect with stories — the more real your buyer personas feel to your sales and marketing teams, the better they'll be able to tailor their efforts to support your clients in real-life. Click To Tweet

    So, get to writing, and see what you can do to make it fun. You can always take content out, but it’s good to let yourself get creative, and paint a full picture of this buyer persona. The more content you have at this step, the easier the next step will be. 

    Step 4: Focus on Roles, Goals, and Challenges

    Take a break for a second. You’ve just written a full, creative narrative about one of your company’s ideal buyers. Pat yourself on the back and grab a coffee — you’ve earned it. 

    via GIPHY

    Back from that coffee break? Awesome. We’re going to take a close look at the narrative you’ve just created, and pull out the most relevant parts for your sales and marketing teams going forwards. That info falls into three categories: roles, goals, and challenges. 

    Roles

    You have a full written picture of who your buyer persona is, what they do, and what they want. Take a look at that narrative, and pull out the information that’s related to their “roles”. This is going to be content that’s relevant to their job title and their role at work, certainly, but it can also speak to their role at home our outside of work. 

    Are they regular volunteers? A parent? Do they manage people at work? All of this information gives you context about what they’re really great at. 

    What’s more, it tells your marketing and sales teams what they do. When you know what a person does, and what roles they play in their life, you can create content that speaks to those specific roles. 

    Goals

    Understanding what your buyer personas want is the key to offering them the marketing content and sales service that will genuinely help them.

    Maybe your buyer persona is looking for ways to improve their business’s profitability. Maybe they have a goal to move up in the company and are looking to spearhead initiatives that exemplify their leadership qualities. Conversely, maybe your buyer persona is nearing retirement and wants to do their job well without making any waves until they can retire safely.

    Pull out all of the goals you identified in your buyer persona free-write, and organize them into a goals section. Understanding a buyer persona’s goals is key to offering them personalized, helpful service.

    When your team understands what a persona is trying to achieve, even if it’s not directly related to what your company offers, they’ll be able to better tailor their methods and strategies in a way that resonates with that persona. 

    Challenges

    The challenges section of a buyer persona is the most important. This is where you identify the pain points of each buyer persona. And when you understand your buyer’s pain points, you can work to solve them. 

    Take a look at that long narrative you wrote for your buyer persona. What is keeping them from reaching their goals? What parts of their job are difficult? Do they have trouble selling initiatives up to their boss? Are they worried about making big investments? Are they so busy that they don’t have a chance to even consider how their business could improve?

    Whatever their challenges, this is the place to call them out. 

    Take the time to get specific, too. The more challenges you can identify for each persona, the more opportunities you have to deliver solutions. And the more solutions you deliver, the more attractive and helpful your company is to those qualified leads. 

    Step 5: Use Your Buyer Personas to Craft Tailored Sales and Marketing Strategies

    When you know who your buyer personas are, and are familiar with their roles, goals, and challenges, you can develop sales and marketing strategies tailored to just those people who you know are excellent fits for your company. 

    You’ve gone to all the trouble to make these buyer personas, now is the time to use them!

    • Help familiarize your sales and marketing teams with each persona
    • Create ad campaigns that correspond to each persona’s favorite platform
    • Develop content that speaks to the specific pain points and challenges identified in your buyer personas. 
    • Take stock of your existing content — does it speak to one or more of your personas? If not, make some changes. 
    • Optimize your landing pages to speak to buyer personas, and in their language. 

    Buyer personas help give you inside knowledge into the ways your most qualified prospects function. From their favorite social media platforms to the way they talk to their career goals, you know a lot about these personas, and you can use that information to your benefit, and to theirs. 

    Work to create content that those personas want to read, and develop sales and marketing strategies that put your buyer personas’ goals and challenges at front and center. 

    When you’re writing, marketing, and selling with real people — your most qualified leads — in mind, you’re going to start to see some serious growth.

    New call-to-action
    New call-to-action