First and foremost, blogs – even company blogs – should provide useful and engaging content. Why? Because if you make your blog solely about selling your company and your products, you won’t find many readers willing to tune in, and there’s no point in maintaining a blog that no one is reading.
So how can you use your blog as a sales tool but still get people interested in what you have to say? Here are a few tips.
Showcase your expertise
Want to prove to people that you have the know-how to take on their account? A blog is a great way to show that you truly know your stuff. Some businesses make the mistake of shying away from sharing their knowledge, believing that if they provide it for free they will lose out on new accounts. But if you establish yourself as the go-to expert in your field, you may find that instead of seeking out clients, the clients come to you!
Educate potential clients
Do you often see people in need of your services, but they just don’t know it yet? Your blog is a good opportunity to tell people why your particular skill set or product can help them solve a problem. But here’s the thing: don’t sell your company; sell your field of expertise. For instance, if you run a graphic design firm, you can write a blog about how professional graphic design can help a business grow rather than explaining why your particular company is the one to do the job.
Share case studies
This is a great way to showcase what you do well while also providing valuable information. Explain from start to finish how you solved a problem that a client faced. Of course, it’s always important to get permission from the particular client before doing this. In some case, it may be better to use general terms such as “hair salon” rather than using the name of the specific salon you helped.
Link to your products
If you find a way to seamlessly include a mention of a product you sell, make it easy for people to purchase. When writing a blog specifically about a product you offer, be sure that you are providing more information than is currently available on your store website. Simply including a product description probably won’t make for engaging content, but sharing innovative ways that people can use the product might.
Engage in a conversation
Blogs are part of an overall social marketing strategy. The keyword there is social. Don’t make it a one-way conversation. You want to ensure that you are responding to comments, but if you find certain questions are recurring or might make for an interesting topic, take one and dedicate a whole blog to answering it.
Promote your social networks
Use your blog as a way to grow your following on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or wherever else you have a profile. With most content management systems, it’s easy to automatically embed “share” buttons on every post.
Give rewards and run specials
If done sparingly, informing people when you are running a sale can make a good blog entry. Why? Because hopefully by doing some or all of the things above you have developed an interest in your product or service, and letting people know that there is current a deal to be had can be a newsworthy topic.
Before you hit “publish” on any blog post, ask yourself: is the information included here useful or entertaining? If not, go back to the drawing board and find a way to include the same marketing message in a more engaging way.