No matter what your industry is, if you have a business blog, your end goal is likely to increase your sales. Does that mean the blog posts you publish should sell your product? No. I’ll explain.
The stereotype of the used car salesman illustrates a buyer experience that offers the customer nothing of value. Someone who is browsing cars and isn’t ready to buy doesn’t want to feel pushed through their buying process. It’s only when a person decides they are ready to buy that they will want to engage with a salesperson. It’s the same with blog content – the information in a blog post has to match where the buyer is in his or her journey toward making a purchase.
What’s business blogging good for if it’s not for making sales?
Blogging is good for attracting visitors to your website with the offer of valuable content that people want to share. Once your website has visitors, a call-to-action integrated into your blog posts and website will convert some of those prospects into leads that your sales team can contact. But, blogging is a tool used primarily in the first phase of inbound marketing: attraction.
What makes an attractive blog post?
An attractive blog post provides value to your potential customers. Most people will find value in your content if it informs, educates, entertains or inspires them. A great blog post can do all of these things, but if your post doesn’t do at least one of them, your visitors will move on quickly and never become leads.
How do I get my blog posts to inform, educate, entertain and inspire?
Here are some practical examples of how you can provide value with your blog content.
Inform – To give your visitors the value of awareness you can blog about industry news or research, or you can provide analysis of current trends or topics in your field. Employee profiles and company culture posts can be a great way to let potential customers know about your company on a personal level, which helps build trust. And, you can blog about your products or services. Wait! Isn’t that sales? Nope. Some blog posts should be about your products and services as long as the intent of the content is to inform rather than sell.
Educate – How-to articles, FAQs and examples of your products and services are all ways to educate visitors in a more in-depth way than simply informing them or making them aware of something they didn’t know before.
Entertain – While content that is focused solely on entertaining, like memes and funny cat videos, aren’t always a great fit for a business blog, the use of a little humor, captivating video or engaging audio can be.
Inspire – If you really want to motivate someone to act, pull at their heart strings. Emotions are involved at every stage of a person’s journey toward making a purchase. Personal stories, anecdotes and heart-felt testimonials are a few ways you can incorporate inspiration into your business blog. When it comes to inspiring, it’s storytelling that’s in the driver’s seat.
Focus on building trust, instead of selling
Since blog posts are used primarily in the attraction phase of inbound marketing, it only makes sense that the content should be about providing something of value to entice visitors, not selling your product. Making a sale is a lengthy process – one that requires you to build trust at every stage. Help your prospects trust in your brand by meeting them where they are in the buyer’s journey and providing valuable blog content that informs, educates, entertains and inspires.
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