Did you know that, according to a Hubspot survey, 92% of companies that publish blog posts multiple times per day have acquired a customer through their blog?
If you’ve never used your blog to drive sales before, you might find that statistic a bit unbelievable. But it’s true, and you can become a business that acquires customers using a blog too!
It’s not even as difficult as you might think. In fact, driving sales with your blog has a lot to do with providing value to your target audience.
But let’s dive in to the specifics of using a blog to sell more now. Here are 4 ways to make it happen:
1. Create the highest quality content possible
Don’t make the mistake of creating content just for the sake of creating content. Instead, focus on delivering high-quality content to your audience every time you publish a blog post.
You can do this by:
- Including lots of screenshots, statistics, and/or data – The more data-driven and actionable a blog post is, the better.
- Targeting a niche audience – Don’t be afraid to target a narrow niche when blogging. Yes, you’ll drive some people away, but those people don’t matter because they aren’t your target audience.
- Including lots of content, if possible – Recent research from Bufferapp shows that high-ranking blog posts have an average of 1149 words per post. So, try to create lengthy, in-depth blog posts if you can. Just make sure you never sacrifice quality or add fluff to do so.
You’ll also want to center your blogging strategy around answering the questions your target audience is asking. That doesn’t mean that every post needs to be written in a Q-and-A style – it just means that you should come up with topics based on what your audience wants to know.
2. Use your blog to build your brand
If you blog the right way, you can build a powerful brand, which will help you stand out from your competitors and win over more customers.
Here are a few tips for building a strong brand with your blog:
- Pick a strong tagline – Your tagline should immediately let people who visit your blog know who your content is for and how it can help them.
- Stay consistent from a design perspective – Use your brand colors and fonts throughout your blog, and use similarly styled blog post images to help make your brand easily recognizable.
- Write in a strong, memorable voice – Don’t be afraid to showcase your real personality on your blog – building a stronger community of your ideal clients is a lot easier if you’re genuine and relatable
Also, make sure you respond to all of the comments people leave on your blog posts. It’ll show that you truly care about connecting with them, and they’ll feel more loyal to your brand as a result.
3. Use opt-in freebies
Opt-in freebies are pieces of downloadable content you create to give away for free on your company blog. To download the freebie, your customer must enter their email address. So, if your freebies are enticing, you can use them to capture leads like crazy.
One blog that does this effectively is The Nectar Collective. The creator of TNC, Melyssa Griffin, sells courses for bloggers and entrepreneurs, so she writes about blogging and marketing strategies.
Visit her site, look through several of her blog posts, and you’ll notice that many of them include opt-in freebies. Notice how this one even advertises the freebie right in the title (free workbook):
At the end of the post, Melyssa has a clickable image that allows readers to quickly get the workbook. It looks like this:
When the reader clicks on the free download image, a box pops up so they can enter their email address and gain access to the content.
Once they enter their info, they get an email that includes a link to the content. And, of course, TNC gets a new email subscriber!
If you want to use this strategy to grow an engaged email list full of people who are likely to buy from you at some point, here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Write blog posts that are actionable, helpful, and relevant. Your customers aren’t going to download your opt-in freebie if your blog doesn’t interest them in the first place, so post lots of high-quality content to draw them in.
- Create opt-in freebies that allow readers to take action on the information that was covered in the blog post, if possible. For example, if you write a blog post about how to create a style guide, you might offer a free style guide template as the opt-in freebie. Or, if you post a recipe on your blog, you might offer a printable ingredient list as the opt-in freebie.
- Create an image for your opt-in freebie and place it in the post multiple times. If you’re not a graphic designer, you can create your images in Canva (a free, drag-and-drop design website). Just make sure you include details about what the opt-in freebie is, and try to include a picture of it too (you can do this easily by taking a screenshot of the freebie).
- Provide value in your freebie – Your goal should be to WOW your audience with every freebie you create. You want them to like your free content so much that they become interested in your paid content.
For best results, start out by creating opt-in freebies for your most popular blog posts. Then, you can start creating freebies for your new posts.
Tip: You can use Leadpages to create a custom pop-up box for your opt-in freebie like the one in the example above.
4. Promote your blog posts where your audience hangs out
The problem with trying to promote your posts absolutely everywhere is that it’s often time-consuming and doesn’t always deliver a return on your investment.
So instead of wasting your time promoting your posts on sites that are largely irrelevant to your target audience, figure out where your audience hangs out and focus on promoting your posts there.
For example, if you have a B2B business and your target audience is middle-aged executives, you’ll probably want to spend more time promoting on LinkedIn than on Snapchat. That’s because LinkedIn is a popular social network for middle-aged executives, while Snapchat is mostly good for marketing to millennials.
Now, you’ll probably want to have a presence on the major social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) regardless of who your audience is. But put most of your effort into the social media sites that your audience uses the most.
Here are some other places you might consider promoting your blog posts:
Reddit – Look up the subreddit that includes your target audience members (for example, if you sell software services to property management companies, you’d pick the Property Management subreddit)
The trick to making Reddit work is to avoid posting your blog posts directly and, instead, just post lots of helpful info there. When people ask questions, give them in-depth answers. Then, if you have a blog post that might help them, you may offer that within your answer as an additional resource.
But your main focus when marketing on Reddit should always be providing value by answering your target audience’s questions. If you just post your own blog posts all the time, you’ll appear too sales-y and self-serving, which means you’ll probably receive negative responses that could hurt your brand.
BizSugar – If your target audience includes small businesses, consider creating a BizSugar account. Once you’ve done that, you can submit and share your small business content there. If enough people like the blog posts you share, you might even end up on BizSugar’s Top 10 list, which they send out to all of their email subscribers! As you can imagine, this can be a powerful way to drive traffic to your website.
Medium – Medium is a free network where anyone can share content they’ve written. You can either publish unique posts there or re-publish blog posts that are already live on your company website. If you go with the re-publishing option, just make sure you make some slight changes so Google doesn’t penalize you for duplicate content.
Don’t limit yourself to these options – do your own research to find out where your target audience hangs out online. You may be able to find a niche forum, Facebook group, or other place that’s full of your potential customers.
Wherever you decide to start sharing, make sure you aren’t being too promotional. For example, if you join a Facebook group, you shouldn’t just post links to your latest blog posts. Instead, you should help as many people as you can by answering questions (the same way you would on Reddit, as previously mentioned).
As long as you have a link to your website/blog in your Facebook profile, you can bet that you’ll get traffic just because people will show interest in someone who is genuinely helpful.
Have you tried any of these methods to drive sales using your company blog? Which method worked the best? Share in the comments section!