The most common mistake blog posts make is a simple one: they’re written for leads. They’re written for an audience of brand-spankin’-new potential customers who barely know the brand. They do essentially nothing to retain.
Every savvy marketer knows that Hubspot kicks booty and takes names, but where I think they’ve always shined is in their blogging efforts. Their posts are well written and chock-full of value, but most importantly, they make an assumption:
They assume they’re talking to a trusted, long-time friend.
Obviously, they’re too savvy to come out and say this—it’s so subtle you might not even realize it. But every blog post they write feels like they’re continuing a conversation with you, like they’ve known you forever. From a retention standpoint, this is extremely effective.
Your customers need to feel special if they’re going to stick around. You can do super-dippity-duper nice stuff like celebrate their birthday, but to understand why this subtle technique is so effective, you have to back off from the overt, lets-do-this-obviously-special-thing-to-make-our-customers-feel-so-awesome marketing trick, and think about how your customers got to know you in the first place.
Where Did Your Customers Meet You? There’s a Good Chance it Was on Your Blog
First dates are a blast. When they’re awful, you’ll never forget them, like the time I took a girl out and she forgot where she lived or how to get back home. (Spoiler alert: There was no date numero dos.)
When they’re amazing, you’ll never forget them—I still remember my first date with my wife. What was your average customer’s first date with you? Odds are it wasn’t through your email list. I bet, for many of them, it was through a free piece of content.
Where Was That Content, You Ask?
Most likely it was on your blog. When they got on the blog, what did they see? Maybe it was some top-of-the-funnel stuff, something introductory that got them interested. Or maybe it was something a little more special. When I first found HubSpot, I felt like I’d stumbled onto a conversation between friends that had been going on for ages. But then something magical happened:
I realized I was one of the friends. The articles spoke to me as though I’d been in the conversation all along. As though they already knew me. I found this fascinating. Instead of that generic feeling that so many blogs have, HubSpot spoke directly to me. I felt as though I’d just walked into the weekend office party of a super-chic marketing agency; that the CEO had raced up, grabbed me around the shoulder, leaned in, and whispered, “I’m so glad you’re here. Let me introduce you to George and Jessica so we can discuss a project that’s been waiting just for you.”
I don’t know the CEO, I don’t know the project, but wow, do I feel welcome! I can’t wait to see what he wants to show me. I feel like I’m a part of something that’s got momentum and vitality. It’s not like, “Hello and welcome and I suggest we start a journey, bloop beep boop, I am robot marketer.”
It’s more like, “You’re finally here! I’ve got so much to tell you! Let’s go!” It’s as if the adventure has been ongoing, but they’ve been waiting for you, the awesome hero, to show up and really kick things off.
It’s the attitude that makes it all happen.
Blog Like Only One Person Is Watching
I think most marketers struggle with blog posts because they make them too impersonal.
They spend all this time filling the blog post with value, but then act like they’re writing to 10 million people at once. You know the feeling. You read a blog post that might as well start with: “Hello and welcome to my one hundred million followers. I am so glad each and every one of you has tuned in.” It’s impersonal, and leaves the reader feeling like they haven’t been there all along.
You remember that blog post I wrote a while back, the one about email marketing? Of course you do, but I’ll link to it just in case…
It’s about that simple.
Write to one person. Make them feel special. Your customers will remember this feeling for a long time. And after they’ve been customers for a while, that same mode of writing is going to continue to make them feel special. Leads are going to find your blog posts enticing. Existing customers are going to feel special. And your business is going to thrive.
So make those blog post beautifully personal, then check out Sam Hurley’s 3 No-Nonsense Ways to Grow Your Business (Faster) in 2019.
And good luck out there, marketer.