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Using Your Blog as a Sales Tool

Are you ready to take your company website to the next level? Starting a blog is a great way to turn a static website into a dynamic marketing presence, add fresh content and increase search engine traffic. Another benefit? Your blog can easily become a sales tool, providing valuable information and marketing without spending money on an advertising campaign. Here are some great ways to turn your blog into a sales tool for your company.

Display your products

In the past, websites were used as an online brochure, posting photos of products with a small bit of information without any additional engagement. With the blog aspect of today's websites, you can turn your stagnant website into an interactive storefront. Write individual posts on your best products with videos, photos and detailed descriptions. Having your products available not only gives your customers a glimpse of what you have to offer, but can help your products appear in searches (with proper SEO, of course.)

Write educational posts

Make your blog a resource for your customers by writing educational posts about products, services, guidelines or other inside industry information. Some examples are tutorials, tips or how-tos that customers will find useful.  The key to the post is to leave out super-sales-y pitches and keep product placement to a minimum, leaving educational content to shine. Educational posts can also set your business up as an expert in your industry field, increase brand recognition and help customers develop a trust in your brand and your products.

Use testimonials from customers

Customers love to hear testimonials of new products from other users before they buy (although they sometimes read them with some skepticism.)Testimonials help customers who are on the fence about purchasing gain trust in the product or service. Use your blog to solicit testimonials from happy customers, allowing them to write their thoughts in their own words. If possible, use a photo of your customer so a potential customer will know the post came from a real customer - or even better, create a video blog with testimonials for even more confidence.

Respond to customers questions

Create a blog "mailbag" and ask your customers for questions and comments about your business, product or service. Periodically, take the best questions and respond with a Q&A blog. If you're part of a larger organization, ask a CEO or high level executive to answer the questions. Knowing that executives are involved, invested and listening to what customers have to say can go a long way in turning page views into sales.

 

Show how you're different

There are hundreds of thousands of businesses in the United States, many selling similar products or services, and all competing for the same general pool of customers. Your blog is a great way to highlight the ways your company is different and how you stand out in the crowd. Post about recent awards, community outreach projects, employee recognition, money saving measures, or "green" initiatives. Research ways your products are superior - better materials, lower cost or environmentally friendly production methods - and write a post on each. Be careful not to slam your competitors, which can have the opposite effect on sales.

Invite guest posts from industry leaders

Invite other members of your business' industry to write guest posts on strategic topics. Think about your sales goals, new products or business leads you'd like to pursue and choose industry leaders to meet those business needs. These types of blog posts can provide a sense of goodwill within your industry, make your blog a resource for customers and give your blog a fresh voice. Guest posting is also a great way to introduce your product or company to an entirely new audience - guest posters in your industry will likely share the post with their own networks.

Ask for feedback

Engaging customers is a great way to build sales. Customers who feel like they are invested in your company in some way are more likely to buy your product. Ask questions at the end of your blog posts to encourage readers to comment and converse. One goal is to create a thriving community of likeminded customers who are eager to share their knowledge of your product with your others, become brand ambassadors for your company.

 

Matthew Ellis writes for Acquirent, a company that provides sales outsourcing services.  For other great tips, please visit their in-depth sales blog.