In today’s digital age, your blog is a great way to promote your brand – but can it really help you increase sales? Read on and find out for yourself.
Do you remember the days when the process of selling products involved a huge television advertising spend and the disbursement of sales reps to doors across the UK? This generic, and often ineffective, approach to selling goods has largely been eradicated in the digital age, as the collation and use of data has driven more strategic and targeted marketing campaigns in almost every single sector.
So the next time you open your door to a travelling salesman, he will either be competing in the latest instalment of The Apprentice or have travelled forward in time from the late 1990s. Either way, a more interesting consideration is how brands have replaced these archaic sales and marketing techniques in the modern age, and what secrets hold the key to a high conversion rate.
How Blogging Can Help Improve Your Sales
Interestingly, it is the practice of blogging that has emerged as a key sales tool in the digital age. Not only is a blog cost-effective to establish and maintain for smaller businesses, for example, but it also drives higher levels of engagement and is estimated to increase traffic by up to 55 per cent. This meld of benefits is sure to appeal to every single business owner, regardless of the size, scope, or nature of their venture.
Of course, leveraging increased traffic and similar benefits requires you to adopt a targeted approach and ensure that your blog produces content of the highest quality. Here are three ways in which this can be achieved.
1. Build a Community
Let's face facts: long-term sales success relies on loyal customers and repeat business. Without this, you are left with either a short-term cycle of success that simply cannot be repeated, regardless of how innovative your product is or the need that it fulfils.
If you are to establish brand loyalty and transform a consumer base into a community of followers, however, your blog is a powerful and influential weapon. Through regular and insightful publications, you can engage readers on a deeper level than pure consumerism, and drive an emotional connection between them and an overarching brand.
Ironically, if you are to do this effectively, you will need to avoid using the blog to directly sell goods. Instead, leverage the platform to offer additional value and insights, while sharing narratives about how your products are made and the people behind them. You could even ask loyal customers to contribute to your blog, introducing a human element to your brand that instantly appeals to buyers.
So, while the use of the word 'community' may have become something of a buzzword for marketers, it can actually be created and leveraged through a commercial blog.
2. Focus on the Technical Elements
While the first idea is an example of the theory behind commercial blogging, we must also consider the importance of execution. After all, even the best idea in the world is likely to fail if it is implemented poorly, and this is particularly relevant in the case of a blog.
The first consideration is the relevance of your content, which must reflect your market expertise and standing in a chosen industry. You may also have heard the phrase that 'content is king', and this relates to the strong emphasis that Google has placed on the quality of your website's landing pages. This also applies to your blog, so it is important to consider the technical elements that will shape the human and SEO value of the platform.
The length of your blog content is particularly important, with various studies having revealed a correlation between word count and the search engine ranking for specific pages. One of the most recent, which analysed an estimated one million Google search results, claimed that the average length of pages ranking on the first page was 1,890 words. In terms of your blog, this means that longer form content and detail-driven insights are likely to increase the online visibility of your brand.
With clearly defined themes, a structured word count and perfect spelling and grammar, you can craft a blog that performs well, both on search engines and in the eyes of consumers.
3. Inform Customers
We have already touched on the fact that a commercial blog should not be used as a direct sales tool but more as an educational resource that adds depth to your brand.
Make no mistake: an informative and insightful blog can add huge value to the daily lives of customers. The key is to offer both product-centric insight and information relating to wider, industry concerns as this will help to establish your blog as a trusted thought leader within its sector. The potential benefits of this are huge, particularly when it comes to building new relationships with targeted market segments.
In terms of delivering individual, product-driven insight, the Fashion Buzzer website offers a tremendous example. It features numerous blog pages that educate readers on how and when to wear specific garments while it also offers creative ideas that excite the human mind. While this information relates indirectly to the products that they sell, they are written in an active and objective prose that helps customers make their own informed decisions.
The second stage is harder to achieve as it requires your blog to include accurate and authoritative pieces that relate to wider industry trends and deliver insight outside of your product ranges. While you will be able to use your own knowledge and voice to impart some wisdom, it is also wise to invite industry experts to contribute to your blog and offer their own unique insight.
This also adds to the credibility of your brand while gradually establishing it as a platform that customers trust implicitly.
With these points in mind, you can hopefully establish your blog as an engaging and natural sales tool that leverages a large consumer base. So, no longer will you have to consider spending excessively on television campaigns or unleash unsuspecting salesmen on the general public!
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