- 1 What is this type of blog like? What do companies and other businesses use it for?
- 2 Starting a blog in Kenya for your business
- 3 How can business owners and entrepreneurs in Kenya use a blog like this to increase sales – and how does one go about creating the content to market their products and services?
- 4 As you start your company blog, remember that your customers and prospects will be interested in answers that address the following
- 5 How many articles, per week, should business owners and entrepreneurs publish on their blogs?
- 6 Tools, services, apps, WordPress plugins and autoresponder software to use to get leads from your business blog
- 7 In Conclusion
Continuing with the how to start a blog in Kenya series, today we look at how you can create a blog – which your company can use for sales – to get leads, to warm them up – and then to sell them your products and services.
Many companies have used this type of marketing (inbound marketing) where they create content that pulls in the type of buyer they have in mind – from search engines, social networks and other sources.
What is this type of blog like? What do companies and other businesses use it for?
Brands use this type of blog to teach through their content. To give prospects information that helps them make better buying decisions.
The prospects who consume their content likely see them as experts in their niche, field, sector or industry. The prospects then engage with them more by:
- reading more of their articles (watching their videos or content made available in other formats),
- reading the answers provided in the comments section – answers to the questions other prospects and buyers posed.
The blogs work as sort of a sales person or customer care agent that never sleeps – and is accessible to anyone with an internet connection 24 / 7.
So, even while you are away from work, with your family, prospects can come to your blog, check your content, read, watch or listen to as much of it as they want, and when ready to buy, send you their order and payment.
The ones sitting on the fence can subscribe, via email and phone number, for more information not included in your blog – such as detailed PDF guides, free online course, test samples, free trials of your product, autoresponder series, pamphlets, audio or even a video series that will show them why you are the best solution to the problem they want to solve.
The exclusive information they get as subscribers is meant to show them that you are the best person to help them bring about the kind of transformation they want.
When they have gone through the content you provide, the next step is to make the decision to buy.
Some will buy from you.
Some will buy from competitors.
The good thing is that at the end of it all your blog will have helped someone make the right buying decision, regardless of whether they buy from you or not.
Some of these people who don’t buy from your right away, are likely to become loyal customers in the future.
You also have the permission to contact them to get their feedback on a myriad of things. For example:
- if they found the kind of information they were looking for while consuming your content
- what other alternatives they are considering and why
- if they are likely to buy from you or not – and why
- what you can do to make the buying process right – just the way they want
- their story – and what inspired or pushed them to search for the information, product, service you are offering
- any after sales services or expectations they have in mind – that you are offering – or being offered by another person
Starting a blog in Kenya for your business
If you start a blog like this, it becomes a lead-generating platform that you own and run without spending much money on advertising (radio, television, magazines or print newspapers).
Your blog becomes a place where new people looking to buy what you are offering find you (you don’t go out there to look for or to get customers). They come to you. You engage them…and when they are ready, they buy.
Your blog also becomes a place you sell more to your existing customers – selling upgrades, spare parts, accessories, or even the same products or services, if they want to buy more than one.
Your blog can also act as a place your existing customers refer others so that they too can benefit from doing business with your company.
This is how this type of blogging works.
How can business owners and entrepreneurs in Kenya use a blog like this to increase sales – and how does one go about creating the content to market their products and services?
By putting a priority in educating and offering detailed answers to questions Kenyan consumers buying in your niche have.
First of all, you’ll have to know who your ideal buyer is.
Then gather all the questions they ask.
How do you do this?
Talk to them.
Listen to the things they tell you in person, over the phone, via email, via livechat, on Twitter direct messages and replies, in the comments left on your WhatsApp account or Facebook page comments.
Check the reviews they leave on your products and service pages or those of similar products sold by your competitors.
Check the kind of comments, questions and answers they leave in forums concerning your niche, industry and products.
Once you have a list of questions, start writing detailed answers in response to all of them.
If you want more ideas for articles, do keyword research using:
- Google Keyword Planner, as shown in the step-by-step example in Niabusiness.com premium blogging ebook,
- or a tool like UberSuggest.io
You can package your answers in the form of articles, published on your blog.
Later on you can embrace other content formats if you want to: audio podcasts, infographics, PDF lead magnets, graphics to use on Pinterest and images to use on Instagram…
The content you publish (and promote) on your blog will serve as a net drawing in readers searching for similar information on search engines.
The goal here is to produce and publish quality information that results in higher rankings in search and more clicks from the search engines to your blog.
That is the aim.
It is the reason why you should do your best to publish lots of articles, each addressing the doubts and questions your prospects and buyers have.
Over time, your rankings in search will increase.
More and more people will click through to your blog. Find you, and their questions answered.
And some of them will buy from you.
All this will happen without you spending any money on advertising, just your time – a few hours a week – writing and publishing articles consistently – for at least a year or two.
If you don’t want to start publishing more articles right away, create a FAQ page containing all the frequently asked questions – and then write short answers in response to each one of them.
Once you start doing this, you’ll find yourself giving answers, to these questions, that can be published as standalone articles.
Publish your FAQ page (frequently answered questions) on your blog, and then every time you write an article related to a question you answered briefly in your FAQ page, link to the article from the FAQ page with something like ‘Learn more here’ (or by using an anchor with text that closely resembles the keywords you use for the title of your article).
If you have employees, bring them on board. Brainstorm together. Let them be involved in creating the content – answering more customer questions as they can.
Or hire a freelance writer to help you with the content creation bit. So, that you have consistent content trickling into your blog.
Slowly by slowly, these articles you publish every week will turn into a great resource for people coming to your blog.
And instead of spending time answering the questions over and over via phone, email or livechat, you’ll be able to point people to the relevant resources on your blog by giving them the link to where they can find the answers they seek…
As you start your company blog, remember that your customers and prospects will be interested in answers that address the following
- benefits of working with you
- benefits of paying for your product or service – and the kind of transformation or solution to be expected
- charges and costs involved in paying for your services or purchasing your products
- any guarantees you make
- the pros and cons of your products
- misconceptions concerning your company, niche, industry, product, service or how some things operate in your sector
- alternatives out there even those marketed by your fiercest competitors
- any upgrades or accessories that have to be bought together (or separately) with your product
- how to use your service or product – how-to guides, tutorials to help them with installation and setup
- any contracts that might arise out of the transactions between you two
How many articles, per week, should business owners and entrepreneurs publish on their blogs?
As much quality content as you can.
Given how time-consuming it is to write in-depth posts, you can follow the example of Marcus Sheridan in this post (read it if you haven’t) and publish at least three good articles every week, consistently for a year – at which point you can decide if you like business blogging – and its benefits – or not.
The more articles you publish, the more you’ll be increasing the entry points to your blog from search engines, messaging apps and social networks.
With more articles published, you’ll be ranking for different keywords on search engines – and increase the likelihood of people searching for what you offer to find you – and become your customers.
If you have a website but haven’t started blogging for your business, it is time to get started. You can create a blog section on the website you currently own.
Or create your blog in a subfolder or subdirectory on your existing domain name.
Or register a new domain altogether to be used by your company for blogging and collecting / getting leads.
Also learn from your analytics tool, once your blog starts getting traffic. Look at the keywords people use to find your blog. Look at your traffic sources, bounce rates and other metrics you can use to grow your blog further.
Use the feedback you get to create more posts.
Tools, services, apps, WordPress plugins and autoresponder software to use to get leads from your business blog
Use lead generation tools like Leadpages and WordPress email opt-in plugins like Optin Monster, Thrive Leads plugin (by Thrivethemes.com), Bloom plugin (by ElegantThemes.com) together with email autoresponder software like GetResponse, MailChimp, ConvertKit, Constant Contact, Mail Poet, Madmimi, Click Funnels and Aweber to gather emails and phone numbers of qualified leads and keep the communication between you and your customers and prospects going.
Add an online shop section to your blog
Also build your blog in a way that you can sell products and services directly on your site without directing prospects or customers elsewhere.
With WooCommerce you can collect payments via PayPal, cash on delivery or via M-PESA by using Safaricom and Kopo Kopo service Lipa na M-PESA.
Bulk SMS services your business can use to stay in touch with customers and prospects
To send text messages to the leads you collect use bulk SMS service like TumaSMS, SMS Leopard, Twilio or AnywhereSMS.
WordPress plugins to buy and use on your company blog – to generate leads for your business
Other WordPress plugins you can buy and use on your blog include: Thrive Content Builder, WP Review and Thrive Landing Pages, AffiliateWP, Currency Switcher for WooCommerce, Gravity Forms, LiveChat software or Zopim / Zendesk chat app, and these YITH WooCommerce plugin extensions.
To start a blog that can benefit your company, look at your business, the reason for its existence and who it serves.
Then start listing doubts and the questions these people have. These questions will be the basis for the posts you write.
Set up WordPress or let Niabusiness.com handle all this for you so you can just focus on writing, publishing, promoting your content, generating leads and selling your products and services to the right people. Learn more about this service here.
Once you reach the point where your blog is setup and you are publishing content, just be focused on publishing and promoting more content on your company blog.
Also read some of the interviews I’ve done with other blog owners to learn how they built their blogs from the ground up.
Pick ideas you want to use and get started now – to reap the benefits of business blogging down the road.
That’s the whole process:
- list down questions
- register a domain name and get hosting
- start publishing content – and offer your answers in various formats – text, video, audio, images
- promote the content
- collect leads – their names, emails, phone numbers among other things- using the tools and plugins listed above
- communicate with them
- make offers
- solicit feedback
- use the feedback you get to improve your blog and company
- and continue doing more of what works while still being open to other ethical tactics and strategies you can use to grow your company – and enrich the lives of your clients.
Have something you’d like to bring to my attention? Share it in the comments section below.