Do people really read blogs?
If you’re starting out on content marketing or inbound marketing, you’re probably staring at a blank page wondering what to write about. A number of stark questions have probably gone through your mind. What should I blog about? Will people be interested? Do people really read blogs anyway?
No, they don’t
Few people read blogs just for the sake of it, especiallywhen it comes to B2B. Do you think that your customers and prospects have time to leisurely browse through your blog between coffees, before they think about maybe doing some work? No, they don’t – and it’s always worth bearing that in mind when planning and writing your content.
But they do look for help
They will read blogs when they need help. When they have a problem that is challenging them, they will be receptive to information and will even go looking for it. So getting found and having something useful to offer at that moment is the number one objective for inbound marketers.
Especially when they have a problem
We all look online for help. How do I fix my product/process/team? Where do I get the product/service/resource I need? Do people actually read blogs? Your customers and prospects search on Google for very specific things when they have a problem.
They look for reviews and opinions
Who hasn’t looked online for reviews before buying something? Customer reviews form one of the key elements of trust in ecommerce and why shouldn’t it be the same when engaging a supplier in business?
They’re interested in trends and insights
Professional people want to keep abreast of new ideas, what’s happening in their industry and what they should be planning in the future. The type of people who hold budget and influence purchasing decisions tend to be those who are driven and forward-looking.
They want to know what’s coming
It’s the B2B equivalent of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’. We want to know what the innovators and market leaders are doing and how they’re doing it.
And they don’t really want to read
Time, attention and focus are all in short supply. Really, your prospects and customers want easily digestible information. If it seems relevant then perhaps they’ll take the time to dig deeper and take in some detail. Visual content, well-structured information and sign posting are crucial.
But they will do, if it helps them
We can see in the analytics – people do read blogs. It’s unlikely they’ll casually open a browser, navigate to your site and settle down to read a few blogs. Instead, they arrive at them from Google or click-through from a discussion in social media. They spot something interesting in a forum or, if you’re really helpful, they subscribe to your updates.
Blogs will often be the first real contact your have with a prospect. If you can get people engaged with your blogs then you can really engage them with ‘key content’. If you can engage them enough to show some value then the next step is to build the engagement and show them your expertise. And help them some more.