Question: It is our understanding that a Blog is supposed to be conversational, but is it okay for us to “Sell” our products and services in our blog?
This is a great question and the answer can be interpreted a few ways. In the old days the idea of selling would be to directly ask your target customer or client to purchase something or take a specific action that leads to a sale.
In the world of content marketing and blogging this trend has shifted a little bit. The idea here is that if someone is on your blog or reading your content they have an interest in the subject matter. In B2B, this is usually a great indicator that there may be interest in buying something at some point in the future.
Therefore, the act of selling through content is assumed.
Having said that, my take on “Selling” within your blog content is that any specific efforts to sell should be very subtle. Let your content do the talking. If you become a trusted source for information on a topic that someone is interested in, wouldn’t that make you a quality vendor when the person is ready to buy?
In my experience, the best approach to converting readers into customers is focusing on using content to drive trust and relationships first. Then you can use soft sell techniques to drive potential customers to move through the sales process with you.
For instance, using “Action” boxes to get clients to sign up for newsletters or offering low or no cost initial consultations are a great way to get a client to take a few minutes to get closer to your company. Those type of selling actions are usually a good approach so long as they don’t overtake the content itself. (Pop-ups are a good example of “Overtaking”)
Something to Consider when it comes to Selling on your Blog
When I talk to clients about building their content I always try to have them think about using their blog to build a relationship with the reader. To the point where the reader, upon finally meeting you or others within your company say “You are just like I imagined.”
While I know this sounds a bit idealistic, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ended up working with a client who said almost those exact words to me. But what really happened was through their regular (or less regular) reading of my blog they began to build a relationship where they felt they knew me. And if you are interested in shortening the sales cycle, this my friends, works.
So what is the most effective use of “Selling” through Blog Content that you have seen? Share your thoughts below.
Check out this short video for more on how to approach Sales in your B2B Content Marketing and Blogging.