Competition for customers' time, attention, and dollars is fierce, especially on the Internet. If you wait to engage with them until they are already looking for a specific product or service, another provider may have already started building a sales relationship with them. Engaging with individual customers long before they're ready to make a purchase, however, can be prohibitively expensive. So lay the groundwork to capture leads' and customers' attention with a business blog. Here's how:
Freely give information that puts off an immediate purchase.
This can seem a bit counterintuitive. As much as you may want to help your target market and improve their lives, you don't want to do so at the expense of your own business. But it's important to establish your credibility, especially in a sea of competing offers and direct sales tactics. If a potential customer is in the middle of a crisis and needs answers immediately, they won't appreciate partial answers or a product offer. They will leave your site and find what they need somewhere else. So launch a business blog with posts that contain answers that are both technical and available elsewhere on the Internet. Even maintenance tips, repair procedures, and steps to protect their Internet connection or install their own router should be freely given answers. Why should you lose the chance of immediate money?
You probably wouldn't have made a sale. A frantic lead would click back to the Google results and keep searching. They will also remember your company as unhelpful. Those are the negative consequences of not giving good answers. The positive results of doing so include:
- being seen as a useful resource for follow-up questions.
- creating a neutral or positive impression.
- getting favorited or bookmarked in the leads' browser. That means they will probably be back.
- more results and a stronger presence on popular search engines. The more legitimate traffic your website has (and there are lots of different ways browsers measure that) is essential for climbing the ranks and consistently getting a place on the first results page.
Offer sales advice without plugging your own products.
In this part of a buyer's journey, they're considering buying a product or service. They might not be fully committed, but they are no longer just looking for ways to make do with what they have. At this stage, potential customers know they don't have enough information to make a purchase and are looking to educate themselves on core attributes and features. So give them impartial content that helps them learn more and feel comfortable making a purchase in the first place.
While it's important to be honest and not end every paragraph with a call to buy, you can build up expectations that your company can satisfy. If your home repair company offers parts at cost or day-off appointments, set the expectation that any company worth hiring does it. If you sell custom computers, give pro-con lists of hardware and operating systems that include what's available in your store.
Directly talk about the benefits.
Once your potential customer feels confident about wading through competing offers and sales pitches, they are going to start searching for specific products and service elements. You need content that sells what your company has to offer. Make posts about specific conveniences, returns on investment for business to business services, and unique features that only you offer. Create Blog posts with specific tutorials for advanced features and functions. This is the stage at which you can directly talk to customers about why your products are the best and are easy to use. Having a solid infrastructure of FAQ, user tips, and clear tutorials is a selling point itself.
Your business Blog should be a tool potential buyers can use every step of the way. Even if they don't make an immediate purchase, they may continue to see you as a resource and buy something later. Even better, it's a form of passive marketing. Every article needs to be written and posted on your platforms only once to stay effective for years. If you aren't sure where to start, our blog has suggestions for effective blogging and inbound marketing.