19 Apr 2020 Strategies

Why blogging and writing is the best content format during the coronavirus outbreak

Writing on a laptop

Let’s be honest, there are many reasons why you should just close the laptop lid and double down on spending time with the family or friends (same household, obviously). Perhaps writing anything, let alone a blog post, isn’t top of your priority list right now. If you do have some time, though, writing can be a cathartic way to get ideas out of your head and used for something worthwhile. It can also help keep your business in touch with your audience when they may have more time to digest your thinking.

If your customers aren’t buying right now, they will when this global crisis is over. Who are they going to turn to when they want something? Probably Google, unless you’ve managed to stay front of mind.

Writing, whether that’s in the form of a blog post on your website, an article on LinkedIn, or a submission to a magazine, is an excellent way of keeping your brand in someone’s thoughts.

People are reading more

Whether it’s due to a general downturn in the economy and more time to spare, or because work is a little slower, freeing up more time, people are spending more time reading.

Book sales have surged and, apparently, the book club is about to come into the mainstream.

All writing needs and deserves an audience. Your website is no different.

Need some stats to convince you?

Since redesigning our website just over a year ago, we’ve doubled-down on writing for our hub of information, the Learning Lounge.

We know that people search for answers before reaching out to a business. We also know that, where our services are concerned, people are looking to see if we know what we’re talking about. It takes a few touch points before our potential clients get in touch with us, and ask if we can do for them, what we do for ourselves.

Thus, getting people to use our website has become an imperative part of our customer’s journey. The same will be of your customers.

Our clients are looking for answers in an increasing number. Here is a screenshot from our Google Analytics showing the weekly traffic to our site since the start of 2020:

LikeMind Media website blog traffic

I’m sure it doesn’t need an explanation; you can see how our traffic has increased. That means more people are seeing the LikeMind Media brand name, more people are reading our knowledge (most traffic visits the Learning Lounge before browsing our services).

How does this relate to coronavirus?

Look at the trajectory of traffic since the UK went into lockdown at the end of March. There’s a steady increase. Some of this may be to do with the topics we’ve written since that time, that offer advice on how to market in these times. Most of the traffic has been generated by people looking for help on specific topics like Instagram (53%).

Writing as part of the sales funnel

If you’re like me, you’ll buy from a 15-second Instagram story ad, but not everyone is that impulsive. To be fair, I’m not; I usually see the same ad repeatedly before buying.

Writing helps shepherd a potential customer along your customer journey or sales funnel by providing more information than a social media post can.

We see many content formats guiding a user along a journey. They nearly always end in a written piece of content. In coronavirus times, when it’s more difficult to meet in person, that explanation becomes an even more important part of that journey to the end decision.

Go deeper with meaning and explanation

With a piece of writing, you have the chance to go deeper into any description, thought process or explanation. Again, thinking about current timing, let’s assume that someone who isn’t able to buy now, has more time and is using it to plan their resurgence.

They have the time to think about what it is you’re suggesting.

Side note: giving the reader an outlet for questions and discussion, possibly via social media (you must promote your content) or by email, invites them to a conversation that may lead to a relationship, or a sale, that works for you.

Show your passion

When the time comes to choose their provider, the chances are that you’re in a beauty parade of many that provide similar to you. How do you stand out? What’s different about you and why should they choose you?

Here’s your chance to show why you do what you do.

I’m not a huge fan of the word ‘passionate’ to describe anything that isn’t based on romance. For me, it’s a cliché. It reeks of Eau de LinkedIn.

Besides, you’re simply telling people how to feel something. That’s for them to decide, not you.

Through your choice of topic, and the arguments made within your piece, you can demonstrate that passion without needing to reference it.

Honestly, people want to work with those that care about what they do – you just need to show, not tell.

Show how it matters to your audience

This is about putting them first. How does what you are talking about matter to them? After all, it’s them you have to convince, not you.

My friend, Ann Handley, says in her must-read book, Everybody Writes, that listing features and benefits isn’t enough.

‘Tell me – better yet, show me – why they matter to me’

Ann Handley, Everybody Writes

But I hate writing

I know lots of people who say they hate writing. When I ask them why, they usually say something like ‘I don’t have the time’ or ‘My English isn’t very good’.

They’re incredibly articulate when they talk to me and give me their reasons. They’ve decided that writing for business needs to be to academic standard, or for submission to The Guardian.

In reality, and particularly at the moment, a human voice, similar to how you speak, cuts through.

Simply write how you speak. Maybe remove the ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’, but just get your message across as you would to someone’s face.

There are tools to help. I use Otter.ai when I’m crafting a talk. I let my thoughts flow and review the transciption later.

Above all, be yourself when you speak or write. The audience will know it’s you, and that will make your words more believable. You want your audience to connect with you and for them to know that you’re on their side.

JFDI

Another objection I hear is more of a procrastination. People want perfect. Perfect doesn’t really exist. Although there are a plethora of books and websites guiding you on how to craft your writing, the best advice I can give you right now is to start. With something.

The moment is now, you will find your tone of voice and style. Read this other post to help.

Then just put metaphorical pen to paper and show your audience your expertise.

Ready to get going?

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