Business blogs are amazing indirect marketing tools, but they also provide a medium for businesses to communicate specific marketing messages and generate both leads and sales.Â While it’s absolutely true that your business blog content should not be overly self-promotional, it is acceptable to publish some self-promotional content in an effort to boost leads and sales as long as that self-promotional content adds value to the user experience on your business blog.
Following are five easy ways to get sales from a business blog without annoying your audience:
1. Offer exclusive discounts, coupons and sales.
Reward the people who visit your blog and spend time reading and sharing your content by offering them exclusive discounts, coupons and sales.Â You can do this either by simply publishing discounts, etc. within blog posts or by emailing them directly to visitors who sign up to receive them (be sure to include a way to opt-out of future emails).Â You can also create a private page of your business blog that is password protected where special discounts, etc. are published and provide that password and access to “members only”.Â Not only does this method guarantee that people will visit your blog again, but you’ll also be able to collect email addresses for future offers while adding value to the user experience on your blog all at the same time.
2. Offer exclusive tips, tutorials, and how-to guides.
It’s okay to talk about your products and services on your blog, but wouldn’t it be far more interesting and helpful for your audience if you demonstrated how to use your products (via video), offered “secret” usage tips, and explained how to properly use, care for, or trouble shoot your products?Â Just saying your product is great leaves a lot to be desired, but demonstrating why it’s great and how to use it to get the best experience with it is far more interesting.Â By making it clear how to use your products, people are more likely to purchase them or tell friends about them.Â Be sure to include links to purchase your products (possibly with a discount for people who view or share your tutorials, etc.).
3. Offer exclusive products.
Write an ebook, hold a webinar, or offer special reports that are helpful and interesting to your target audience to add value to the time they spend on your business blog.Â You can either offer products for free as an indirect marketing tool or you can offer them for a fee to generate additional income.
4. Link to your online catalog.
Anytime you talk about one of your products on your business blog, you should link to that product in your online catalog or another page where it is easy for people to make a purchase or get additional information via just one click.
5. Publish customer reviews and testimonials.
Few things are more powerful in terms of moving consumers to action than customer reviews and testimonials simply because research tells us that consumers trust other consumers more than they trust marketing messages.Â With that in mind, ask your customers to offer reviews of your products or interview them to learn more about their opinions related to your products and how those products positively affect their lives.Â You can even link this marketing effort to a discount initiative (give a discount on a future purchase to interview participants) or referral program.
The key to business blogging success and direct sales is to think out-of-the-box.Â Don’t over-promote.Â Instead, pick and choose to promote your best offers that consumers are most likely to find valuable, and then subtly talk about them on your blog.
How have you used your business blog to generate sales or leads?Â Leave a comment and share your story!