The problem that every business faces is that technology moves fast. With more technology, customers and prospects grow in technical savyiness, and buying and selling takes a new course. As you continue to strive for those indispensable relationships that motivate prospects and customers to take action and/or buy your business blog could be your best salesman.
Business blogs are great because if you have a lean department with leaner budgets, using your blog as the core pillar of your online marketing strategy is a relatively simple, low-cost content activity that can have significant SEO and lead-generation benefits if done right.
If you’re seeking to turn your business blog into a sharp, component and relevant salesman, you must provide 4 key components:
- the right content
- in the right format
- in the right place
- at the right time.
For many business owners and their employees, this can be a pretty big order. A business blogs strategic purpose is to build the brand (attract prospects), support sales (increase sales) and expand reach (support customers.) The challenge for many businesses is that they haven’t done the necessary planning to make this happen.
Here’s how to do the necessary planning that will turn your business blog into your best salesman:
- “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.”― Zig Ziglar You should already have a marketing plan (click here if not) that has specific goals that need to be addressed. Set business blogging goals that are defined and aimed to speak directly to those.
- Start poking and gathering. Understand your customers including the economics, influencers, buyers, competition dynamics, customers demand and market changes. Gather information from your customers and also from employees who interact with the outside world. Also, set-up a listening post on Hootsuite so you can monitor what’s being said on social media channels. That conversation is happening whether you like it or not.
- Fill different needs during the sales process. Develop the information potential customers actively poke for when they’re in purchase mode. As a small to midsize business, this means that the information must be marketing communication that doesn’t look, sound or feel promotional in any way. Focus your efforts on these four types of content: Rating and Reviews, Educational, Question Answering, Product or Service Information.
- Know the rule of traction. According to Hubspot findings, you need to post 2-3 times a week to get the same level of traction as blogging multiple times a week. Additionally, you need a minimum of 50 blog posts before your blog gains traction.
- “Be the best answer.” Start understanding and answering your prospects and customers questions on their path from awareness to purchase to advocacy. Your blog must contain the best answer in the world on your products or services and industry. This answer could meet customer needs in the form of photographs, short videos, instructions and recipes or patterns.
- Develop a distribution strategy. Hitting publish doesn’t cause the prospects and customers you seek to come to your front door. You must aid content awareness and visibility. Content is fire, and distribution is gasoline. Focus on posting your content in relevant LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups and Google+ communities.
- Include tailored calls-to-action. This can help get some traction with monitoring your results. Even if it’s just a call to comment or connect on LinkedIn, blog posts should end with something that moves readers to a next step. Do not, however, ask people to buy something at the end of a post. Hard sells in blog posts will lose your readers’ trust. Incorporate a call-to-action where appropriate. Don’t just assume that customers will know what you want them to do. Tell them!
The key to small to midsize businesses making their blog into their best salesman is to leverage its power as a SEO, social media and content marketing tool to create and distribute the information customers actively seek without the sales jargon.
Question: What do you think? What step would you add to help create a better salesman?