When creating a marketing plan for any business, everyone knows you must decide on a content strategy. In today’s digital world, your distribution channel might be blogging, recorded video, live video or podcasting. For me the choice was easy – I’m a journalism and English double major and I’ve love the written word since I was a small child.
However I’ve heard the question “is Blogging Dead?” After all with people uploading millions of minutes of video footage to Facebook and Youtube daily, does anyone actually still read blogs? If they do, how can you write content that will stand out in all the noise? Here are my best tips for making your blog content relevant in a digital world.
Blog What You Love
Nearly every entrepreneur will tell you that he loves his business. It’s rare to start a business without some sort of passion for that business to begin with. As an insurance agent though, I can tell you that i never once said as a little kid that I wanted to grow up to be an insurance agent. Instead, what I love about this career is the chance for education – to impart my knowledge to make life easier for someone else.
With that in mind choosing topics is easy. You simply think to yourself – what can I write about that will bring value to someone else? Will it solve a problem for them? Will it dissolve their anxiety about something? Can I tell them something that will make their day, week, month easier? Communicating something that brings relief to someone else is a powerful thing. This strategy has never once failed me, and it makes your content stand out. Your reader can hear how much you care.
Create a Hero Story
If you are a business owner and blogger like I am, the best content ideas can come directly from your staff. I attend their weekly meetings and ask them for examples from that week. Where did they solve a problem for someone? How was their knowledge useful to a client? Essentially what wins did they have that week that I can turn into a story to show our readers the value we bring as an agency.
If you are a solo outfit – like I was in the beginning - then you are dealing with your clients yourself. Ask yourself these same questions and then turn those answers into a story that will save someone else from incurring the same problem. Be sure in writing your content that you make your client the hero. For example, if your client Jane called you with a problem, and together you did a conference call to solve the situation, make Jane the hero for reaching out to you. Every client loves to be part of a happy ending both in person and in print.
Find the Silver Lining
Something else you can do to stand out is to spin the positive on whatever you are writing. It’s all too easy to write a post that warns people of problems they might encounter. I’d encourage you to write from the perspective of the solution and not the problem. Here at Boomer Benefits, we help our clients learn about Medicare. They have two supplemental options, including Medicare Supplements and Medicare Advantage plans. The latter is a cheaper option, but it’s often fraught with problems. It would be so easy for me to tell every horror story my Medicare Advantage clients run into.
However in doing that, I could easily frighten clients who are still in the decision making process. Instead I’ve learned to highlight a few good points about Medicare Advantage plans instead of trashing them, but my examples also demonstrate how people who go that route will really need the help of an agent. It then becomes easy to say that we really recommend Medigap plans, but if a person truly wants Medicare Advantage, then the best place they can be is with us - my team are experts at problem resolution. See how easy it is to spotlight the good while also planting the seed that many problems can be avoided by following the old adage “you get what you pay for.”
When crafting a blog post of this sort, where you are comparing product lines, you can slip in keywords that relate to questions your prospects are searching on Google. This helps you stand out in the rankings and compete with the video results. If I’m reading, and I’m faced with a 20 minute or a 5-minute read on a blog post, I’ll choose the blog post every time.
Relate on a Personal Level
One of the greatest things about blog posts instead of website pages is that you can write in the first person. This enables you to connect with your reader on an emotional level. What’s happened in your week that you can share on that level? For me, it might be a policy approval on a client we weren’t sure could pass the underwriting. Perhaps one of my service team resolved a hospital billing issue for a client on a tight budget.
Ask yourself what you can share that YOU were excited about. Enthusiasm carries. After your piece is written, you can then build in the technical aspects that will help your content to be found. If nothing else, you can build a campaign from it here in Missinglettr so you can share it on your social media with your own readers, who will appreciate the personal touch you bring.
It’s all too easy in today’s world to feel overwhelmed with video and wonder what you could possibly write that would matter in all the billions of words out there on the internet. Remember that your reader likely found your page because they were seeking answers to something that YOU can answer. You are the only person who can tell that story with your voice. Reach for the positive and blog about what you love. You’ll find the words will come out easily and connect the way they were intended.