Having a company blog is one of the key ways to indirectly promote your business online, but what about using your blog to directly promote your products and services?
While it may not be “blogging best practice” to promote your products and services directly on your blog, we are going to show you how it can be done in a tactful and clever way.
There are many advantages to having a company blog, but the two most important things that your blog helps to establish is:
- Traffic to your website (which hopefully converts into sales)
- Your reputation as an expert and thought-leader in your field.
This means that your blog needs to first and foremost be perceived by your audience as extremely valuable and helpful to supporting their needs. This is truly the first step and if your company blog is not yet here, it may be best to not proceed any further.
While you never want your blogs to simply be about all the cool things your company does or all the products you have for sale, there is some merit in sharing some of the services and products your company provides.
The trick with doing this successfully is to absolutely avoid the 3 No’s which are-
NO to being salesy
NO to being pushy
NO to being obvious
Blogging is very different from advertising, and your company’s sole intention should never be to use blogging as a direct marketing tool.
Establishing a solid blog following and earning the trust of your readers there may be a small window of opportunity to directly promote your products and services.
Here is how to go about it in a clever and tactful way-
Ask Yourself- Is the product or service I am promoting on my blog useful?
If your brand made it or owns it, chances are you are going to think it’s useful, but go a little deeper. Your products and services may cater to a specific audience but chances are there is an even more specific market that is interested in your blog.
Ensure whatever product you choose to promote offers direct and clear cut value to your readers and not just your overall demographic. This is going to help your promotion to be more successful and better accepted by your readers.
What Am I Promoting and Why?
After you have selected the best product to promote to your readers it is important to establish why you are promoting it. This is going to help you not only formulate a solid blog post but it is also going to help you set the intention of what you are trying to achieve.
Speaking of intention, mentioning a product or service in your blog posts doesn’t always have to be about getting a sale. It can be about simply educating your customers or learning what your customer’s reaction is to the product or service.
Formulate your intention and then assess the product you have chosen by asking yourself- why?
In order to determine the best product to choose, take a moment to browse through your reader comments or questions. You may find a common theme in what they are asking, or you may discover a product or service that could be most helpful.
Popular or trending topics on your blog may also provide a clue as to what products or services can be seamlessly promoted.
Let the Benefits Become the Pitch
The benefits of your products or services should be the theme of your blog post and not the product or services themselves.
This helps to gently suggest your products or services to your readers rather than pushing it or forcing it on them. It also helps to ensure that your blog post is offering greater value than just a sales pitch.
In order to formulate the pitch or the heart of your promotion, it is important to focus on the benefits that your product or service is going to offer and then use that as your foundation.
Here is a 4 step guide to help you with this process –
- Select Your Product or Service (eg. water bottle)
- List the Top 3 Benefits (eg. staying hydrated, beautiful design, BPA free)
- Pick a Benefit to Write Your Content About (eg. Why It’s So Important Your Water Bottle is BPA free)
- Integrate pitching your product as a solution (eg. we offer BPA free water bottles…)
Offer More Than One Solution
It is important to offer more than just your product or service as a solution to the “problem” or “hurdle” raised in your blog post.
When you only provide your product or service as the solution it can cause your readers to become skeptical and can make them feel hesitant in trusting you or taking action.
Offering more than one solution is therefore recommended to avoid your blog post coming across as pushy or salesy.
Set Up Tracking for Analytics
Once your blog post is written you will want to be sure you can track your audience and how many people click and follow through with purchasing your product or service.
This will help you to determine the effectiveness of your post and whether promoting through your blog is helping or hindering your business.
To do this you can set up a conversion pixel on your post or use a special shortened URL that can be tracked and monitored to see how many people are clicking over to the checkout page.
Promoting the Post
Stay away from using headlines to promote your post such as- “Check out all the great things our product or service can do for you.” Instead, focus on promoting the benefits without even mentioning your product or service.
Remember, the art with this is to be tactful and to stay away from obvious promotion.
Sticking with the drink bottle example, your headline for your blog promotion can simply be- “Why BPA is dangerous for your health…” or “Why your water bottle may be bad for your health.”
Again, this headline or promotion sticks to dealing with the benefits. This will also make your blog post promotion seem far less salesy which may help to earn you more clicks and conversions.
Measure Your Blog’s Performance
After publishing and promoting your blog post you have to track the results and see how your blog post is converting into sales, and whether it is having any adverse effects on your readership.
Through analysing you can determine what is working and what may need to be changed or tweaked.
It may also be interesting to compare the performance of promoting in your blog posts with promoting on other mediums or channels.
If you have been tactful enough and truly provide content of value on a regular basis, you may find that your blog promotions earn you a nice handful of sales. Just be sure that you don’t abuse your blog promotion skills however, as readers can very quickly become desensitised.
Your company’s blog is one of the most valuable marketing tools you have. It’s valuable because it is not centered around making sales and instead is centered around offering your readers and potential customers value. This helps your brand to appear worthy and credible and conveys a powerful message- that you care about your customers.
If you abuse your blog, it can have the reverse effects and can make readers see your brand as pushy, unworthy or not to be trusted. It can also cause your readership to go elsewhere, which over time can negatively impact on your conversion rates and sales.
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