Missing Blogs Could Mean Missing Sales
When it comes to recommendations, you’ve probably heard the phrase; there’s
no better recommendation than word of mouth. While it’s great to discover
someone is using your business or service based on what a friend or colleague has
told them; what are your plans for reaching customers outside your town or
state? Or, at least, beyond your circle of friends or gym buddies.
How Did We Get Where We Are Now?
Like it or lump it, at some point in the last fifteen years, all of us, in some form or
fashion, either hopped onto, or were dragged onto, the ‘Web Bus.’ Some of us
scratched our heads but read Blogging for Dummies anyway, others started losing
hair and refused to quit smoking; others simply pressed their face against the
glass and licked the window.
If you licked the window, it’s okay. Probably about three quarters of the bus did.
But what has happened in the last decade has been nothing short of
extraordinary. Remember when sticking your face in a book meant something
other than uploading a photo? LinkedIn sounded like an upmarket version of
Lego, and SEO was, well…wait. What?
Exactly. You’re thinking about licking the window again, aren’t you?
You Might Want to think about This!
Consider this. In 2019, it is predicted there will be approximately 2.77 billion
social media users world wide. This is up from 2.46 billion in 2017. Not only are
consumers consuming products online via purchase options, but consumer habits
demonstrate the average person is searching for information prior to purchase.
So, here we are; and here’s the most exciting part. The journey is not over!
We’re still on that bus! But it’s okay. Take your face off the window. Quit licking
the glass. This journey now has a map. Online, of course.
So, to help get you started, we’re going to begin with the basics; how to get going
with your blog, and how giving away information can be the key to increased
traffic and higher sales. You don’t have to be a tech geek, the next great
American writer, or a one person PR firm either. Just a little bit of planning and
follow through is all that is needed to get going.
Here’s the great news: done correctly, you should end up poised to be seen as the
expert in your professional area.
So, Let’s get started!
Establish the Golden Rule
Treat others as you wish to be treated. The tenant of this Golden Rule principle is
widely known, and many likely agree with the principle behind it. But how many
of us truly grow our business from within this foundation?
It’s understandable. You have overheads, employee payroll to make. You have to
pay yourself! You have to focus on the sale! But it is important to realize more
consumers will visit your website for information first. This is just how it is.
Remember how back-in-the-day your parents might have dragged you in and out
of the same store five frustrating Saturdays in a row before finally making the
purchase? Well, same thing. Except now we leave our cars at home and the kids
are on the sofa with their smartphones.
Understanding and accepting this, can immediately set you apart from your
Take your mind off the sale
Give First. Nobody likes being sold to. But here’s the deal. People (read
consumers) are looking for connections. Without going all Sociology on you; in a
shifting and sometimes uncertain world where everything these days seems up
for grabs, people are literally searching for answers. For information. Everything
from XYZ Widget Company to Do I have the Solution for you?- self help webinars.
Understanding this leads us to the next thing…..
Your Online Voice
You’ve likely heard this before; content is king..content is king! But what do you
really understand about it? Before you run off because you suddenly
remembered to write that blog, take a moment to ask about the voice and the
tone of your entire online presence. This means everything from blogging in your
area of business or profession, to the content on your web pages. Everything
must form a cohesive whole; reflecting your brand behind your product.
Now, think about giving information. Creating an information rich website and
blog post. This is the part of your business you are giving away. Information. The
trade off? Developing your professional online presence as an expert within your
field or industry!
Download a blank calendar. Print it off. Grab a coffee, then sit down and take a
look at it. Welcome to content planning 101. Heard of an Editorial Calendar in
print publishing? Same principle. By knowing what you would like to publish in
advance, you are on your way to the act of following through with your content
planning. You can also see in advance how your business year might look,
including how you might tie in the odd promotion to your posts and so on.
No longer the domain of just mommy blogs or recipe blogger groups; over the last
five years or so, companies both large, small and solo have come to appreciate
the benefits of regular, informative blog posts from within their industry.
Emphasis again is on consumer information from within your industry. Keep
complaints about your supply chain or the damage you feel Amazon is inflicting on the high street to your beer buddies, or the ladies’ Paint-N-Sip night out. Your
blog is not there to leverage a moan fest.
Frequent blog postings are key. This is where your calendar comes in really
handy. Evergreen topics around key holidays always give opportunities to feature
special offers and so on. Think about it, there is literally a popular holiday just
about every month. So, those can be more sales focused. That will take up
roughly 20% of your blogging. The other 80% should be information rich, and
between 1,000 -1,500 words long in order for Google to begin discovering your
posts. This is the Give First principle, and with consistency, over time can build
trust and establish your expertise.
Remember, we’re planning for the long haul here.
Blog Postings in Action
Do you produce gourmet coffee? Blogs featuring the production of different
blends and the different areas where they are produced all make for interesting
reading. Use this to drive sales to your store with a Where are We this Month?
Geographical feature. Customers can place their correct answers into a
drawing…the winner announced on Facebook….free coffee for the winner….!
Ta-dah! No brainer. Everyone wins.
Okay, so we have brought social media into the discussion. Hard not to. More on
that in future blog postings. Nevertheless, it gives you an example of ways you
can really get creative; drive people to your site, your social media posts, and
ultimately your store. You are building loyalty in a fun way, and your blog The
Coffee Guy, or Gal establishes you as the go-to coffee person for really cool coffee
See how this can work? But you have to be consistent.
Ultimately, content may be King….but planning and consistency are the throne on
which he sits.
Now, get blogging!