There is a good chance that your business blog will be bad.
Lots of companies totally miss the mark in their blogging style. I’m here to tell you now that what many of them are doing is wrong.
Oftentimes, organizations see their blog as a place for occasional ads and other kind content like Meet the newest members of our team! or Summary of the annual fundraising.
We need to reimagine what a blog should be.
Now, I’m not saying these topics aren’t important – I’m saying that Not likely to resonate with your target audience. In other words, this content will not make it easier for your customers to buy from you.
To actually impact your revenue goals, your blog should only accomplish one thing: Educate your customers about what you’re selling and why they should buy it.
This does not mean that your blog should be filled with ads for your offers. Ads are biased, and only offer one solution to a customer’s problem.
No, your blog should contain factual and honest content that helps your customers make the right buying decision for them. (More on this in a minute!)
However, when your blog is viewed as an educational resource, you quickly run into another problem. How do you organize all this content in an intuitive and easy-to-navigate way for your site visitors?
At IMPACT, we help our clients create ‘learning centers’ on their websites to solve this very problem.
In this article, I’ll cover the basics you need to know about learning centers:
- Why useful content is the best way to connect with customers.
- How the Learning Center helps your visitors find the information they need to become customers.
- How do you add a learning center to your website.
Let’s dive in.
Why useful content is the best way to connect with customers
Emily Mermel It is a strategic planner for websites in IMPACT. They work with businesses of all kinds who come to us looking to increase their traffic and gain more potential customers.
It tells customers that Their website should be their best salesperson A service that never sleeps and always has the answers your customers are looking for.
“Your best salesperson knows why buyers should choose one material over another, or the difference between your product or service and the competition,” she says. Your website content should do the same.
To do this, your website should have educational content that is easy to sort and navigate, whether it be articles, videos, podcasts, buyer guides, e-books, or something else.
“Educational content increases the cost of your website, so it really works for you, and converts site visitors into potential customers,” Emily says.
How does this look in practice?
Let’s say a visitor came to your website via organic search. The article they reached might be one that provides general information about your industry.
But where will they go next? Is it easy to find relevant articles and connect them in an easy way? Suppose they encounter a term they are not familiar with. Can they click to find out more information?
And then, once they interact with several pieces of content, Are they being asked to take action?
To truly serve your visitors and help them become customers, you need educational content and an organizational structure.
Content in action: a real-world example
Let’s look at an example.
You are an established repair company with a healthy library of helpful and unbiased content.
A visitor comes to your website after searching on Google “Why are there cracks in my organization?”
They have come to your article titled “How does a shingle foundation get damaged or cracked? 3 common causes.”
Congratulations, you’ve just made an important educational resource for someone in need! But what next? This visitor can be a great potential customer to pass on to your sales team, but only if they keep finding what they’re looking for.
You have to make it easy for them to consume more information independently, at their own pace. This means allowing them to sort and filter the content.
Imagine if they could then read “Determining the Costs of Foundation Repair: The Top 5 Factors Affecting Prices” or “15 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Foundation Repair Contractor.”
Along the way, they begin to see your work not only as an educational resource. They know that you can help them solve their problems. After reading this content, they may be ready to connect with you and talk to your team.
Let’s take a closer look at what happened here. Three important things to note:
- The visitor was able to find what he was looking for – on his own and on demand.
- Help visitors start to trust the company.
- Each piece of content provided several paths forward, including a CTA so that they could arrive when they were ready.
This is internal marketing At its best: providing educational materials that help a visitor become a customer.
The key is to answer their questions with useful content (something we call they ask, you answer), and to organize that content in a way that feels natural and intuitive.
To do inbound marketing well, you have to do both.
The education center helps convert visitors into customers
Simply, a Learning Center It is the hub for all the most important content on your website. It’s where your site visitors or customers go to find answers to their specific problems, or to find information about something they’re interested in learning more about.
According to Emily, “Your learning center should include live content, educational videos, and downloadable content, and it should be filterable by topic, audience, and content type.”
This is where the distinction between blogging and educational content becomes very important.
“The content in the learning center should be about educating the user through the buyer’s journey,” Emily says.
“This differs from most business blogs in that it is not intended to provide articles for employees of the month or articles about happy holidays.”
Your Learning Center contains only educational content that can help users solve problems.
Customers buy from companies they trust
Marcus Sheridan, author They ask, you answerHe puts it very succinctly:Trust is the real currency of business. “
Several years ago, when Marcus was managing sales for his company’s fiberglass swimming pools, he began writing transparent content that addresses basic questions asked by his clients. Instead of going for a hard sell, prefer honesty and candor.
Marcus believed in the fiberglass pools he was selling, but he knew these materials didn’t make sense for every customer. There were downsides such as size limitations and customization options that made the pools more suitable for specific clients.
Instead of telling everyone why fiberglass swimming pools are the best, he wrote honest comparisons to other materials and methods, listing the pros and cons so customers can make the best decision for them.
If Marcus sold his fiberglass swimming pools to unsuitable prospects, they would become unhappy customers, and his business would suffer in the long run.
Instead, he focused on building trust – and he saw unbiased content as the most effective way to do it.
“If people don’t trust you, they won’t feel that you have their best interest in mind or that you will actually keep your promises. They won’t trust you to solve their problems,” Marcus says.
“Simply put, if people don’t trust you, they won’t want to buy from you.”
Trust building content is fair, transparent and unbiased.
Add a Learning Center to your website
The web team at IMPACT can design and build a learning hub for your existing site without stopping traffic during the build phase.
We can offer this service for any company website built on WordPress or HubSpot.
Your new learning center
Unlike website redesign projects that can last for months and months and cost tens of thousands of dollars, The Learning Center can be completed in a matter of weeks and costs $5,000.
- As a first step, we are working together to identify the right filters. This sounds easy, but it actually requires some careful consideration. Having too few filters or having too many filters comes with its own problems. You also want to make sure that you speak the language of your customers.
- Next, we build the actual learning center, tagging and sorting your content accordingly.
- Finally, we make sure your team knows how to keep it up to date. After all, your learning center should be a living thing, not a museum dedicated to all the content you’ve already produced. As your team produces new content, you’ll need to know how to tag and sort it. We want you to be able to use it and update it without having to contact us for assistance.
How do you know your learning center is working
A working learning center should support all of the internal marketing metrics you are interested in. Useful content can reduce bounce rates and increase users’ time on your site, two things that are associated with improving organic search traffic. A thoughtful site architecture will increase conversion rates and reduce bounce rates.
In short, a learning center – full of educational content – should increase your traffic, bring in more leads, and engage more buyers in the sales process.
At the same time, you’ll be able to get more insights into each step of the customer journey.
User data will help you track, test and evaluate the effectiveness of your content and learning hub.
Using tracking data from Google Analytics or HubSpot, you can see exactly how visitors get to and navigate your site.
With heat mapping tools like Lucky Orange or Hotjar, you can learn how to read the content and calls to action that get the most attention.
If you want to improve on certain numbers, you have the data to do so, whether that’s changing your conversion copy, CTA placement, or content strategy.
Remember: an educated customer is a good customer
The more a customer knows about your products, company, and buying process, the better.
If they are the right leads, they will enter into the selling process with fewer questions and a clearer idea of exactly what they are looking for.
If they are unsuitable leads, they are more likely to not go into the sale at all, saving you time that you will spend on deals that are not going anywhere.
Learning Center reimagines your website with buyers in mind. When you provide these site visitors with all the information they need to become customers, you help bring qualified leads into your sales process.
To learn how IMPACT can help build a learning hub for your website, Book a time to speak to one of our advisors To learn more about this process.