Businesses know that maintaining an online relationship with customers involves providing helpful, timely information that customers can readily apply. Unfortunately, it can be a challenge sifting through the daily news to find what your readers want to know. Here are 10 ideas for blog posts that will get you started.
1. New ways to use old products — Facebook is filled with clever ways to use common household items in new ways. For example, I recently saw a blog listing 25 ways to use rubbing alcohol. Maybe your customers aren’t particularly interested in using rubbing alcohol to eliminate ring-around-the-collar, but I’m willing to bet they haven’t heard all the ways your product can be used. One of my clients sells observation systems (security cameras, etc.). Did you know that wireless cameras can be used to hunt deer? If that’s too violent for you, how about using an observation system to keep track of what your babysitter is doing while you are out via Internet? Whatever your product is I’m sure some of your customers can expand their use of it with a little creative thinking on your part.
2. Maintenance advice — Let’s face it, most of us skim through the owner’s manual of whatever new trinket we’ve purchased so quickly that we miss important details that can save us time and grief. A blog featuring key maintenance tips can touch base with customers after they have had a chance to use your product. Reminding them of service or storage procedures can be very timely. If you sell RVs, for example, you could do a blog on steps to winterize your RV in early November. Customers can then swallow helpful information about your products in bite-sized pieces rather than spending a weekend reading through the manual. Most of us have better ways to spend the weekend!
3. New features under developement — We all love being the first to hear about a new advance in technology. Whatever new features you are working on for the next version of your product will give customers something to anticipate, and tell their friends! Keep the buzz going by “leaking” new improvements debuting soon.
4. Announce new customers — Your customers will feel affirmed in their decision to purchase your product when they hear of other happy customers who have recently made the same decision. Reporting positive reviews can also be a way of saying “Thank You” to customers. Building community among your customers reinforces positive feelings, connects like-minded individuals and provides you with potential “focus groups” for new product development.
5. Industry developments — Is your competitor about to go under? Do you have an important convention coming up that will announce changes in your industry? These stories are of interest because they keep customers in-the-loop about changes that can effect their purchase decisions.
6. Case studies — Showing specifics of how one customer is succeeding because they are using your product is also a great way to give existing, or potentially new customers, ideas of how they could be more efficiently using your product. Customers love positive publicity and will jump at the chance to increase their notoriety by being featured in one of your blogs or newsletters. Everyone wins when you take the time to showcase success.
7. Problem > Solution — We all love a good mystery. Present a recent problem one of your customers faced, and how you helped them solve that problem by adapting your product to their specific need. Write your blog in a way that chronologically shows the process that went into problem resolution. Your customers are much more likely to go to you the next time they face a challenge in their business that your product might be able to fix.
8. Showcase humanitarian efforts — Are you supporting your local Little League? Are you donating to a recent disaster relief effort? Show your customers you care about more than just profit. Show them you are part of the community. Your business is more than just greedy capitalism at work. You give back in countless ways, so sing your own praises and be a good example to others in your industry. Your customers will be proud they helped, in some small way, by purchasing your product.
9. Employee news — Companies wrongly think that customers don’t really care what’s happening behind the scenes in your business. In fact, customers love it when you single out employees for recognition, especially if they’ve had a chance to interact with that employee. Giving credit where credit’s due connects you with your customers in a way they respect and admire.
10. Sales and special discounts — This is the typical news item featured in blogs or newsletters, as it should be. Your customers may be considering another purchase. Giving them a reason to make that move now rather than later is always timely, and saves the customer money as well. Season sales promotions, or “flash sales” that are only available for the next week, both prompt customers to take action on a purchase they had planned to make anyway. Your sale may keep them from a long, drawn out review of the competitions’ products, which can only be good for you!