In the modern world of online and social media, having an up-to-date and relevant website has never been more important. By far the majority of product and business research is now done via the internet, and your website is the primary means by which you can be discovered online.
But of almost equal importance to being found by potential clients is the need to have content on your website that has an impact on those that find it. This was discussed in the post “How Does Your Website Reflect on Your Business? And Does It Matter?” In that article, one of the steps to making sure your website doesn’t turn away business was to have information (or ‘content’) on the site that ‘inspired a serious online researcher to consider you for your expertise and the solutions you provide.’
So should you consider developing a series of relevant business advice articles for your website?
Here are six reasons why it’s a good idea:
- They demonstrate your knowledge of your industry
At the outset, it’s important to note that a good advice article contains at least 80% of unbiased advice, with whatever promotion you do of your business preferably found in the conclusion. The idea is to establish that you know what you are talking about when it comes to the products you sell or the services you provide.
Two key questions many online researchers will have in their mind when viewing your website will be ‘are you good at what you do?’ and ‘why should I listen to you?’, and by practically demonstrating your expertise through sound, understandable advice, you can answer them. Additionally, expressing a genuine desire for your clients to succeed in their endeavours is also beneficial. While business decisions are primarily made pragmatically, most business owners would still prefer to work with a person or organisation that they feel has their interests in mind.
- Your research helps you to better understand the needs of your target audience
There is a saying that “people don’t buy products, they buy solutions to problems”, and that is very much a consideration with B2B marketing. When you reflect an understanding of the challenges that your target audience faces in running their businesses, and that this has an impact on why, what and how you offer the products and services you do, you provide tangible reasons for the reader to consider doing business with you.
If you primarily work with other businesses in your city or region, this can also extend to demonstrating an understanding of the needs and characteristics that might be specific to the area. Are their practical or environmental factors that impact on business decisions? Is the area economically depressed? By establishing this regional relevance you provide another reason for businesses to contact you and ‘buy local’.
- They present good reasons to take up what you offer
While I definitely wouldn’t recommend that business advice articles become nothing but a ‘sales pitch’, they do give you the opportunity to provide logical reasons for why your products and services are worthy of consideration. Depending on your industry, there could be an abundance of conflicting information available about what is a good idea and what isn’t, so your advice article becomes a means for you to state your case.
If possible utilise real success stories to validate your point of view. Referral marketing has become incredibly important in recent years, and when you can tangibly demonstrate the practical benefits that come from following the advice you are giving in the article, this adds substantial weight to your argument.
- They assist organic search engine optimisation
From a purely practical point of view, a website blog has a positive impact on search engine rankings. Google has stated that its ‘web crawlers’ visit websites that are updated regularly and that content ranks well when it includes relevant keywords that you would want to be found by. So posting business advice articles on a regular basis (eg. once a month) is well worth the effort in this regard.
- Well-written articles can be picked up by industry news websites
Another potentially positive outcome from your article creation is that they can be shared by third-party sources. When a reputable site picks up and credits you for one of your articles, this can further demonstrate your industry expertise and relevance. Your advice is considered valuable and, by extension, your business is promoted.
- They also provide content for your social media marketing activities
Another extended benefit that comes from regularly preparing business advice articles is that they can provide subjects and content that can be the basis of other marketing. For instance, small B2B organisations do get value from having a regular, active involvement in social media. (See: 5 Reasons Small Businesses Need a Social Media Presence) And you can often find ways to share your information through the social platforms that work best for your business, increasing your audience and the reach of your advice.
Rest assured, the irony of writing an advice article about the benefits of writing advice articles hasn’t escaped me!
But hopefully you can see why this can be a beneficial part of your marketing program that helps potential clients consider working with you, improves the quality and ‘searchability’ of your website and provides you with ideas and content for your broader promotional efforts.
How do you decide what to write about? Are there any guidelines that can help shape how you prepare your business advice articles? We’ll consider these questions in a future post.