How can blogging help you sell?


Do you want to know how blogging can help you sell?

Are you sceptical if it will work in your business niche/sector/industry?

Are you trying to figure out if you should start a blog?

Then read on…..

While on holiday in Thailand I saw this article pop up in my Flipboard.

7 Dynamic Ways Businesses can Blog for SEO, Brand-Building, and Thought Leadership

Link to article > > http://www.thesaleslion.com/blog-seo-branding-thought-leadership/
I read the post, saw the video embedded below and couldn’t wait to watch it. Unfortunately the local broadband was not quite up to streaming 45 minutes of video content, so I had to watch it at home. After crashing out for a few hours when I got home, this video was the perfect thing to keep my jet lagged brain busy while I could not sleep.

Trouble viewing embedded video? Click on this link – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bXer2u9F2w

From the title you would not think the article and presentation would help you sell.  However it contains some hard proof that his blog posts have resulted in sales. Marcus goes on to say that one blog article has resulted in $1.2m dollars in sales for his company.

NOTE: A blog is just a way of formatting new information on your website in a reverse chronological order

How does a blog post turn into a sale?

Blog sales funnel

The above diagram show how the blogging process, brings new people to your website which eventually ends up as a sale.

Stage 1 – Answer customer questions on your company blog

You write the answer to every question your customers have ever asked you, as honestly as possible. More details on things to write about later in the post.

Stage 2 – People visit your site

People go to Google and ask a question about the product they are looking to buy or the problem they have. Chances are you have been asked the same question before. As a result, you should write the answer to that question on your blog so the potential new customer finds your answer when searching on Google.  The chances are that none of your competitors have written the answer to that question, so they will land on your website because you will be top of the first page in Google.

Stage 3 – Fill out form

Once a potential customer has landed on your site, hopefully it is well designed and easy to use. They will spend some time browsing other information which answers all of the questions they have on the products/services you sell. Hopefully the information you provide on your website is so comprehensive and informative they want to take things further and give you their contact details.

Stage 4 – Become a lead

Once they give you their contact details, they can enter the sales process. Depending on the type of product you sell and the length of the sales process, this may involve a number of different things such as:

  • Adding them to your newsletter to keep them “warm” until they are ready to buy 
  • Sending them further information to help them on their buying journey
  • A sales person contacting them to see how they can help and to qualify the lead

If you have a product which customers can order through your website you may skip this and move straight to stage 5.

Stage 5 – Sale

Once the lead has been contacted by the sales person then a high percentage of the well qualified leads will be converted to sales. Hey presto BLOG = SALES.

What to write about?

There are different areas you should talk about to maximise the number of people who find your website. They all encourage an honest, open, transparent approach to your business. You want to have the goal of helping the potential customer buy so that they make the right buying decision. You need to have the confidence to stand up and say why they shouldn’t buy from you, as much as why they should. You are not right for every customer so do your best to explain why. If someone shouldn’t buy from you now and you are honest about why, it might mean they are more likely to buy from you in the future.

Cost/price

This is one of the least talked about things on a company website. Most companies are scared to talk about how much their products cost until they have had a sales meeting with the customer. One of the first things a customer wants to know is how much something costs. You should help them understand roughly how much your product or service will cost them.

Example article: http://www.riverpoolsandspas.com/cost/

Problems

All products have problems. When you are in a competitive sales position, your competitors may give conflicting information to what you have said. This is to help them differentiate their product or service from yours. You will say your product is great and your competitor will highlight all the problems with your product. If you are honest, open and transparent about the problems with your product,  you can set the record straight by educating the customer. If there is a problem with your product, tell your customer so they can make an informed decision.  If there is a common problem which has an easy solution – tell your customers.

Example article: http://www.riverpoolsandspas.com/blog/bid/22712/Top-5-Fiberglass-Pool-Problems-and-Solutions

Comparisons

When a customer is looking to buy product A or product B, what do you think they will be asking Google? They will more than likely type in “Product A vs. product B”. If you have an honest comparison then you can help a customer to make the right buying decision.  You need to have the goal of helping a customer buy the right product, even if it is not yours.

Example article: http://www.riverpoolsandspas.com/fiberglass-pool-information/fiberglass-vs-concrete-vs-vinyl-liner-pools/

Best

All companies have competition to some degree. If you are confident with the reasons why your customers should buy from you, you should have no reason not to talk about the good things your competitors do and why they might be a good company to do business with. The example below is hoping to catch people searching for “Who are the best <INSERT PRODUCT> company in <INSERT LOCATION>”. You need to write an article which does NOT feature your own company. Your aim is to help customers find the right company to buy from. If you recommend the best alternatives to your company, your customers can save time by researching only the best companies. Hopefully this research will help them realise why they should buy from you.

It also gives you the chance of coming up in Google when your prospects are searching for words/phrases associated with your competitors.

Example article: http://www.riverpoolsandspas.com/blog/local/bid/80632/Who-Are-The-Best-Pool-Builders-in-Richmond-Virginia-Reviews-Ratings

Awards

One of the ways to come up higher in Google search results is to get other people to link their website to yours. If you write about some of the products you sell and give company/product awards, then you will start to see people linked back to your site. This will help Google rank your website as a better search result than your competitors. You should not just give awards to products you sell, you should give awards to products you do not sell and to companies you compete with.

Example article: http://www.riverpoolsandspas.com/blog/bid/31713/Small-Inground-Fiberglass-Pool-Design-Awards-for-2010

Breaking News

When something happens in your industry you should be the first person to write about it. This means that when people go to Google to find out about what is going on in your industry you will hopefully be the first site to provide that content

Example article: http://www.riverpoolsandspas.com/blog/bid/49047/Blue-Hawaiian-Pools-Purchased-by-Latham-International-Viking-Pools

Thought Leadership

When things are not right in your industry – you should speak up. The example below is when the reseller/installer of swimming pools was unhappy with the warranties that came with the products he sold. The article does not single out an individual supplier but addresses a problem the industry faces.

Example article: http://www.riverpoolsandspas.com/blog/bid/42443/The-Most-Egregious-Fiberglass-Pool-Warranty-I-ve-ever-Seen

Summary

Your sole objective should be to educate your customers to make the right buying decision. Being dishonest with your customers may get short term benefits which will result in sales. If you are 100% honest and you tell people when your product is not right for them, in the long run you will be better off. The customers you turned away will trust you. They will be more likely to buy from you when your products do match their requirements and they will be more likely to recommend you to others.

Feedback

Have you used your blog to generate sales? Do you think these techniques will help you sell more?

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One comment on “How can blogging help you sell?

  1. Pingback: How to get more REAL followers on Twitter | Understanding Social Business with Chris Heffer

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