By now you are aware of the positive impact blogging can have on your company’s website.  According to the marketing giants at Hubspot, businesses with a blog presence attract 55% more customers to their website than those lacking a blog.

However, with 40% of US-based businesses using blogs in their marketing strategies there are an endless array of catchy titles and headlines bombarding us constantly, be it via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or our Gmail “Promotions” tab.

When creating content for a company blog, it is tempting to focus on standing out amidst this barrage of content, aiming to achieve a high number of clicks and page views for every post-but clicks don’t pay the bills. Customers do.

This is why it is important to focus on attracting your target customers to your blog, not just an endless stream of clicks and views. We explore how to set your blog apart and attract more customers with educational and insightful content, below.

Step 1: Know your business

The first step in ensuring you are blogging for your customers is to make sure that you have your business objectives clearly defined. To help figure this out, ask yourself some of these questions:

  • What services do you offer to potential clients?
  • What are your most popular products or services?
  • What differentiates you from your competitors?

Knowing this information will help you figure out the type of buyers that you want to target with your content.

Step 2: Define your target customer

There are lots of terms for this concept floating around. Call it a target customer, buyer persona, key market or whatever you like, but this is the first step in making sure that your blog content is focused on attracting customers and not just clicks.

All of these concepts vary slightly, but knowing your target audience and taking it a step further with clearly fleshed-out buyer personas will help you to streamline your content and narrow your audience demographics-ensuring you are focusing your efforts on qualified leads that you can convert to customers.

Step 3: Figure out your target customer’s pain points

Fast Company points out that most consumer spending falls into one of two categories: combatting pain or pursuing pleasure.

Of these two motivations, they conclude potential customers are more likely to spend on solutions to pain, therefore, “from an entrepreneur’s perspective this means that it’s often better to be in a ‘pain business’ than a ‘pleasure business.’ There is simply more staying power in pain-solving businesses.”

Knowing this, it is critical to focus your content on what your specific target buyer’s pain points are and the solutions that your company can provide. To figure out what these pain points may be, you can speak with current clients, conduct research on target industries and look to competitors.

Once you know these pain points you can focus on figuring out how your company offers one-of-a-kind solutions, and can begin to develop killer content to reach out to your target customers.

“Most consumer spending falls into one of two categories: combatting pain or pursuing pleasure.”

Step 4: Create educational content for customers (and don’t try to sell your company)

This final step is all about making it happen! You now know what your business has to offer, what your target audience is and what they need from you. This gives you all of the information that you need to create content that attracts potential customers and not just interested readers.

You already know the importance of delivering engaging, high-quality content to your readers. Be sure to incorporate these, previously discussed, pointers into all of your blog and website content-focusing on educating the customer and bringing value to their professional life. This can be through relevant industry news, controversial industry topics and, above all, offering solutions to their common industry pain points.

Yes, your blog should be used to promote your company, but it can be a major mistake to focus too much on “selling” your business instead of on providing valuable and educational content for your readers. Bplans suggests following the 80/20 rule: focusing 80% of your content on crafting educational and relevant content and 20% of your efforts on directly promoting your business services.

Now for a quick review

Let’s review what we’ve learned. As difficult as it can be, your company needs to shift its focus from attracting clicks and page views to drawing in paying customers. Window shoppers don’t bring your business a penny, so you need to create content that appeals to your target audience, not necessarily the content that will get the most attention or buzz.

By clearly defining your business, figuring out your target audience and analyzing how you can provide solutions to your customers, you will be able to create meaningful and educational content that will convert qualified leads to bona fide customers.