There are many advantages to having a company blog, but the two most important things that your blog helps to establish is:
- Traffic to your website (which hopefully converts into sales)
- Your reputation as an expert and thought-leader in your field
The intention with any good business blog is to offer value and content that is going to be informative and interesting to your target audience.
This means that your blog needs to first and foremost be perceived by your audience as extremely valuable and helpful to supporting their needs. This is truly the first step and if your company blog is not yet here, it may be best to not proceed any further. If your company’s blog post is regarded as being highly valuable by your readers however, you may have a great opportunity to sneak in a sales pitch about one of your products or services.
Contrary to popular blogging practices, when crafted tactfully, your blog can be used to gently and suggestively promote your products and services.
While you never want your blogs to simply be about all the cool things your company does or all the products you have for sale, there is some merit in sharing some of the services and products your company provides.
The trick with doing this successfully is to absolutely avoid the 3 No’s which are-
- NO to being salesy
- NO to being pushy
- NO to being obvious
For example- “Here at Johnny’s Carpet Cleaning we provide the best services for clean, sparkling carpets. We are also cheaper than the competition and will even move your furniture for you. Call us now for clean, hygienic carpets”.
This is a classic NO example as it reads as salesy, pushy and is extremely, blatantly obvious as to what it is pitching.
While this may be good copy for an ad, it is not good copy for your blog. With a sentence like this, you will drive away your readers and cause them to loose interest and trust in your brand.
Even if you do notice some success with these types of salesy sentences to begin with, in the long run it is likely to damage your reputation and render your blog useless.
Blogging is very different from advertising, and your company’s sole intention should never be to use blogging as a direct marketing tool, however there are some delicate ways you can have your cake and eat it too.
After all, if you never experiment with pushing the boundaries you will never know what you truly can achieve or what opportunities are waiting for you. Once you have established a solid blog following and have earned the trust of your readers there may be a small window of opportunity to directly promote your products and services.
Here is how to go about it in a clever and tactful way-
How to Use Your Blog to Promote Your Products and Services in 10 Simple Steps
Step 1: Ask Yourself- Is the product or service I am promoting on my blog useful?
If your brand made it or owns it, chances are you are going to think its useful, but go a little deeper. Your products and services may cater to a specific audience but chances are there is an even more specific market that is interested in your blog.
For the simplest example, lets say majority of your blog readers are women but you create products and services for both genders. This may indicate that you will have better results pushing one of your more female friendly products on your blog instead.
Ensure whatever product you choose to promote offers direct and clear cut value to your readers and not just your overall demographic. This is going to help your promotion to be more successful and better accepted by your readers.
Step 2: What Am I Promoting and Why?
After you have selected the best product to promote to your readers it is important to establish why you are promoting it. This is going to help you not only formulate a solid blog post but it is also going to help you set the intention of what you are trying to achieve.
Speaking of intention, mentioning a product or service in your blog posts doesn’t always have to be about getting a sale. It can be about simply educating your customers or learning what your customer’s reaction is to the product or service.
Formulate your intention and then assess the product you have chosen by asking yourself- why?
This is important as it is going to help form the layout or shell of your blog post and direct the way in which your content flows. For example, lets say you want to promote your latest water bottle. Why? Hydration has become a popular topic on your blog and you believe that it will help your readers to stay hydrated.
Notice how the “why” is focused around your readers? The why simply can’t be- because I need more sales. If that is the case, it may be better to test out an ad or sales page instead of going after your blog.
In order to determine the best product to choose, take a moment to browse through your reader comments or questions. You may find a common theme in what they are asking, or you may discover a product or service that could be most helpful.
Popular or trending topics on your blog may also provide a clue as to what products or services can be seamlessly promoted.
Step 3: Let the Benefits Become the Pitch
The benefits of your products or services should be the theme of your blog post and not the product or services themselves. This helps to gently suggest your products or services to your readers rather than pushing it or forcing it on them. It also helps to ensure that your blog post is offering greater value than just a sales pitch. How you pitch your product will also depend on what your intention is and whether you are trying to earn sales or just educate your readers about your products or services.
In order to formulate the pitch or the heart of your promotion, it is important to focus on the benefits that your product or service is going to offer and then use that as your foundation.