Blog Smart: 6 Ideas To Move Beyond The Sales Pitch

In my last blog post I talked about the importance of blogging. But what should you put on the page? Obviously you’re going to want to talk about your business and offerings, but in order to keep readers coming back you’ll want to blog about a variety of relevant topics. Below I share several ideas to help keep readers engaged, and content flowing.

Whether you’re starting a blog, or want to blog more often here are 6 ideas to help you keep it vibrant:

  1. Ditch the sales copy, or at least use it sparingly – Just like you wouldn’t subscribe to a magazine that had only ads and no articles, most people will be able to quickly spot if your blog posts are nothing more than an ad for your products. However, there are still easy ways to discuss items you sell, without resorting to bland copy:
    • Employee Review – Have an employee eagerly anticipating the arrival of a new product? Or one who really takes the time to look at products to have a better pitch to the customer? Let them post a review! You’ll get away from the marketing copy with the words of a real user.
    • Artist Inspiration – From fashion design to fine art to food a good question to ask is “What was the inspiration behind this?” This information is a fun tidbit for customers, while still allowing you to talk about the newest works.
  2. Inspire – It’s one thing to see something in a store, but another to see how it deserves a place in the home. Answer this question with blog posts. Display new décor items in a photo right before the seasons change so that customers can get excited about redecorating. Take photos of models or employees wearing the latest fashions or jewelry, combining different pieces for a fresh look. Think about how some objects could be repurposed to get clients to think differently about everyday things.
  3. Be a guru – Customers have questions, and chances are that you have answers. Whether you can spot seasonal trends in questions, and answer proactively, or have recently had a number of clients asking similar things you can be a source of information.
  4. Humanize – Do you have a great team? Talk about them! What are their interests and what strengths do they bring to the company? Your employees will love the acknowledgement, and your customers will enjoy getting to know a little more about the people there.
  5. Don’t hide your involvement – What causes or charities does your business support? Are you participating in fundraisers or did you make a donation? Let customers know when you’re holding events to raise money for your cause, tell them why you are passionate about it. If nothing else, you may encourage generosity in somebody else.
  6. You’re not an island unto yourself – Look at your product. What do you sell, and what else might your customers be interested in nearby? If you’re an art gallery that attracts out of town visitors discuss the museums in the area that customers might enjoy. A boutique who specializes in handcrafted beauty products might recommend a spa for relaxation, and a restaurant might recommend a tour of a local winery.

There are endless ways to move beyond mere sales copy. How do you engage your blog readers? Do you do something else? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Would You Like More Potential Customers?

B2C companies that blog generate 88% more leads per month than those who do not and B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those who do not – Hubspot

If you’re not blogging then you’re missing an important opportunity to connect with customers and expand your business. In fact, increased lead generation is only one of a multitude of benefits to maintaining a regular business blog. As the number of posts and followers grow, so does your traffic. You are also helping your search engine optimization efforts as Google, Bing and Yahoo all love fresh content, and plenty of relevant content to help in searches.

In addition to merely blogging, the frequency of your posts can also dramatically impact your business. According to HubSpot, 56% of blog users who posted once a month acquired a new customer. However that number skyrocketed to 92% when there were multiple posts per day.

Blog readership is also on the rise. More than 50% of the people who use the internet on a daily basis read at least one blog per month, and a large percentage of those read blogs more than once per day. In fact, of those who read blog most read between 5 and 10 blogs on a regular basis.

Just as important as the statistics is that blogging provides a valuable opportunity for you to connect with customers. Your blog is accessible 24 hours a day with information, answers to questions and more. It expands on the information available from your web copy, and comments allow for a measure of interaction.

In my next post I’ll help you break into blogging by providing ideas to keep your blog vibrant.

A blog isn’t just part of a website, it’s a powerful resource for both you and your customers. 

How Do I Increase My Sales – Today?

The Mindset for Success Requires A Loud Mouth

I have a girlfriend who has a gallery. Galleries can be tough businesses because, in Santa Fe, their sales are seasonal. Additionally, their target market – those who have the disposable income to buy art- is a minority of the people. Just yesterday on the news I heard that the average cashier in the US earns about $20,000 a year. My research online yields an average income of $50,000 for couples in the US – so, most art lovers aren’t necessarily financially potential art patrons.

Still, my girlfriend is successful with her gallery. That’s because she has a loud marketing mouth.

 

What Is An ESP & How Does It Help My Biz?

An ESP – or email service provider– is one of your biz’ best friends.

“66% of US online consumers, ages 15 and up made a purchase as a result of email marketing messages” – Express Pigeon

Today I met a local small biz owner. In talking, I shared the ability I saw for her to leverage her biz by incorporating email marketing. She is in a unique position to put people she has met and who have purchased from her on her email list, which means her email list would be solid gold. Your best customers, or those most likely to purchase, are your past customers, so adding an email list to her marketing would certainly double her income, if not triple it. When past customers see her email and are reminded of her offering, they will likely purchase directly from her email, especially since she sells nice, affordable jewelry, once or twice during the year.

This biz owner relies on personal connections and meeting potential clients face-to-face, although she does market on Facebook. Instead of emailing customers, she calls. Nothing wrong with that, but why not do both?

See, the loud mouth marketer is smart. They realize, like my girlfriend with the gallery, there are multiple pathways to creating a reputation, to communicating with potential clients and to making a sale. In other words, they use multiple streams of marketing together to create a cohesive message that can reach as many people as possible.

As such, I told the local biz owner that an ESP would allow her to create lists and manage what emails she sends to whom, given that people who purchase would receive a different email than those who have not yet purchase, and a third list would go to everyone to announce a new item or a special offering.

Leverage Your Biz

If you aren’t already being as loud as possible, take advantage of the fact that most mobile users reach for the phones first thing in the morning; they read their emails and purchase.

We all want to be marketed to by the biz’s that we are interested in. Be sure to make your biz’s fans happy by sending great content, offerings and communications to them via email.

Are You Talking To Me? 3 Keys to Getting Your Message Across

The core function of a blog is to bring information to the reader. Whether you focus on fine art, movie reviews or scientific discovery, you have an audience you want to reach. But are you reaching them on their level? Whether visitors seem to have interest, but you have no real following on your blog, or your analytics suggest that people are visiting and quickly leaving again these three keys will help. Continue reading

Visual Cues: 3 Best Practices For Images

Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and even Twitter; what do they have in common to this blog post? All are either purely image based or becoming increasingly reliant on photos and other visual posts. Posts with images on Facebook get more engagement overall, and according to a Hubspot study, even links attached to photos get more clicks. With a new timeline design, photos now appear inline, a photo posted to Twitter receives up to four times the engagement of a text-only post.

So, what should I look for in my images?

Continue reading