Personally, I’m not good at first impressions. When meeting new people, it’s apparently my nature to transform into a giant ball of awkwardness. If I were a company, my brand, my first impression, wouldn’t sell.
A lot of businesses can come off this way on their websites and social media. Not necessarily awkward, but lacking something human in the voice of their brand — missing that something that inspired them to start their business in the first place. It’s the company’s enthusiasm for what they do that customers often can’t see at first glance.
Think of blogging like a perfect first impression. It’s a marketing tool that provides an accessible platform for companies to outline their strengths and skills directly to the customer without sounding like a lifeless brochure.
Prioritising the company’s voice over and above branding is so important in inbound marketing. Simply providing a company with a new website design is about as effective as putting an awkward person in a nice outfit and expecting them to become a social butterfly. The company must first change how it speaks to its customers, before dressing up its brand. This will make a real difference to their business. People buy from people, especially when they can see their passion for what they do.
What’s more, customers buy from people who are likeable. To be likeable and make the first impression perfect, the voice should be positive. Too many company blogs are concerned with the “don’ts” of business and it’s not helpful or useful to focus solely on what is being done wrong. Blogs are about outlining the potential, not the limitations of your business.
To make your first impression (your blog) valuable, you must also be trust-worthy. In April 2016, 12,000 customers in 14 different verticals were asked if businesses were trustworthy, and only 25% of the people asked said yes.
In another survey, blogs were listed as the 5th most trusted online service. So we can see that through blogging, trust between customers and businesses can be built. Other surveys also show that customers are responding positively to companies putting out custom content, as it’s revealing a more accessible side to companies. With this in mind, blogging can be a platform on which your relationship with clients and partners can be first built, then strengthened.
Blogging can be a platform on which your relationship with clients and partners can be first built, then strengthened.
How To Inspire Trust
- Blog about customer-orientated topics: examples of when the customer was put first, and expressing how important the needs of the customer are to your company.
- Make sure anything you claim about your industry is correct, and well researched. You want to establish yourself as an authority in that industry, which will only help to sell your product.
- While writing, you should focus on your audience, delivering fresh insights in your field and anticipating any questions your customers may have. The aim is to reassure the customer that you are a part of the 25% that can be trusted with their business.
- Bear in mind that it’s not only your product they’re buying, but your company ethos. If what makes you unique is your customer service then this is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate the good relationships you have with current customers. You can invite readers to comment on your blog posts, so there is a space for you to answer customer questions directly.
That’s what is so brilliant about business blogging: it is an accessible channel of communication between you and your customer. To make sure you’re blogging well, be well-researched and demonstrate how integral customer experience is to your business. It’s worth the time to make a better first impression on your readers and future clients.
Fellow bloggers: how do you draw readers in and keep them? Do you have any more ideas on what makes a good blog? Leave a comment below.