Educational Content on Your Blog Leads to More Business
It can be overwhelming at times to brainstorm new topics to be featured on your company’s blog, especially new content that doesn’t already exist on your website. You want fresh pieces that drive new traffic to the site and convert sales leads into regular customers. Educational blog content can be a very effective tool to accomplish these goals, as it can show up in search engine results, provide valuable information about topics your target demographic wants to know, and stay relevant longer than other types of blog content.
Educational blog content aims to provide valuable information about a topic to the reader. It doesn’t provide time-sensitive information about a sale or an upcoming event. It isn’t written for the sole purpose of SEO. Instead, educational content serves as a reference guide that answers questions and provides a step-by-step overview on how to do something. Or, it teaches readers more about a topic, often using independent third-party resources and citations to back up any claims.
Educational blog content is often linked to by other articles because of the objective and high-quality information that it provides. Other blogs will feature educational blog posts as a resource for their own posts. This rarely happens with other types of blog content.
In recent decades, consumers have become resistant to sales tactics. They find ways to avoid TV commercials by streaming TV shows or using on-demand video services. They share anti-MLM memes on Facebook and question the integrity of paid advertisements. This kind of feedback can make it seem impossible to develop effective advertising strategies that actually reach and resonate with their intended audience.
The Internet and postmodern sentimentality make it difficult for conventional sales strategies to work. For instance, there was a time in American history when door-to-door sales was a viable career option. With increased knowledge of possible residential crimes, no soliciting signs, Ring doorbells, and the need to do research on products we buy, this is no longer a viable option. It would take too many doors to reach a single sale. People generally do not want to be sold to directly.
An educational blog post doesn’t overtly sell anything to readers. It provides information that readers want to know. It can help to convince readers to buy something, but indirectly, without a strong or aggressive sales pitch.
People want to buy products and services from the best companies and brands that deliver expert, high-quality experiences customers can rely on. Having educational blog content
can help to position you and your company as experts in your industry. If you create a rich blog with a lot of educational content, your expertise becomes obvious.
For instance, when it comes to outdoor adventure equipment, few brands can compete with REI in terms of expertise and name recognition. REI has a significant amount of educational blog content on its website, in addition to videos, informative product catalogs, and other forms of media. If you are interested in weeklong hikes or learning how to snowboard, you can find plenty of educational blog articles about these topics on REI’s website. So, when you purchase a snowboard, you’ll be more comfortable buying it from REI because you trust the company and believe in its expertise, which includes the products it carries.
In most cases, high-quality educational blog content is evergreen, which means that it will continue to be relevant, accurate, and effective for a long time. By comparison, a blog post about your company’s staff member of the month isn’t evergreen. The staff member could leave for another job, or details that were included about their life could change.
Educational blog content has the benefit of staying accurate for longer periods of time. For example, a blog post about how a vacuum cleaner works or the types of germs commonly found in improperly sanitized office buildings will remain true no matter when someone reads it. This makes evergreen content longer lasting. Since you won’t need to update or remove it from your site so often, it’s basically low-maintenance content.
People use search engines to find out more about topics that interest them. By focusing blog posts on providing in-depth information about a topic, the blog content can be optimized to incorporate a more natural style of SEO. Whether you hire a professional copywriter to draft a blog post that revolves around a particular keyword or have members of your team write an article based on their expertise, educational blog content tends to be SEO friendly.
For instance, if you write a blog post for a career services firm about how to write a cover letter, people who search for “how to write a cover letter” could potentially find your blog post. The post will likely include other related search queries, such as when to write a cover letter and how to end a cover letter, since it is a more comprehensive guide. This can be helpful in creating natural SEO that stands the test of time over Google algorithm changes.
Just because you aren’t aggressively selling your company’s products or services in a blog post doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to mention them. It is best to position your services or products as a solution to problems that are presented in the blog post to encourage readers to buy. Make sure to include it where it is most appropriate and not just force it somewhere.
For instance, a career service firm can include an educational blog post about how to write a cover letter. The blog post could thoroughly explain the importance of having a good cover letter and the steps necessary to write an effective one. As one of the steps, the firm could let readers know that one of the best ways to ensure that a cover letter is up to par is to have it written professionally, by a firm just like theirs. Often, when people start to understand how much effort it takes to do something on their own, they consider paying someone else to do it.
In the sales process, you will most likely come across some common customer objections to your products or services. Perhaps new customers think your prices are too high or question the results of the product. Educational blog posts are ideal for overcoming customer objections before they can stop the sales process. For example, if customers tend to initially object to the price, your educational post should outline the value, quality of the materials, or any other price justifications that can really help customers understand why something of this quality costs a certain amount.
When a customer finds your company’s website online or needs a product like what your company offers, they likely have questions. You can answer many common questions in the form of educational blog posts. As customers search for answers to their questions, they can find your company’s website as a comprehensive resource in Google search results.
For instance, for niche topics such as building your own electric guitars, using cloth diapers, or joining the zero waste movement, there aren’t that many big corporate resources or digital publications to choose from. Answering common questions that visitors might have can help to eventually sell your products. Examples of such questions to answer include:
- How are electric guitars made?
- Is it cheaper to make your own guitar or to buy one?
- How many cloth diapers do I need to get started?
- How do you wash cloth diapers at home?
- What does zero waste mean?
- Who pioneered the zero waste movement?
Great, informative, and in-depth educational blog posts can be linked as references and sources on other blogs and digital publications. This can add valuable backlinks for your website that you didn’t have to pay for or try to actively pursue. People want to source their own articles so that it is credible. They are unlikely to link to a blog post that is purely sales copy.
Adding a lot of educational content to your website can make it more valuable. If you’re planning to sell the business down the line, having a large number of high-quality educational posts that go with the website during the sale can help to attract buyers and increase the value of the website. However, you don’t need to be seeking an active sale to benefit from having a more valuable website.
Educational content can help drive more traffic to your website and increase overall sales. It’s part of a strategy nearly every business in any industry can utilize to develop a better website. Whether you develop an entire blog around educational content or use it as one of the types of content you use on your website, it is an important aspect of any website’s content management strategy.
Melanie G. is a freelance writer and editor living in Tampa, Florida. She’s freelanced full-time since she left her writing job at Nielsen in 2012.