It may seem like a stretch… like building a bridge over a river and leading readers across. Dare I attempt a pun … like, how do you lead them Over the River Buy? (Please don’t groan while I’m trying to entertain you…)
What’s the most important thing to remember when you’re writing for your business blog? I’m not sure I can answer that in a simple sentence, but let me try. I always say that providing solutions to problems is important, but then there’s…:
- Write useful, relevant posts that exceed reader’s expectations
- Educate readers, but try to entertain them while doing it
- Engage readers, get them to think, stimulate new ways of looking at something
- Enrich people’s lives, save them time, energy or money
- Share resources that can help readers
- Unravel the mysteries, make something complicated easy to understand
- Provide a road map with directions on how to do something, including memory short-cuts
- Build trust with readers so they ask for products and services
It can be overwhelming to come up with 3-5 blog posts a week that deliver high value to a wide variety of readers, for sure. Keep in mind your readers have choices on the Web, a whole lotta choices. If you’re not offering an excess of free information, you’re not paving the way for prospects to become clients.
Before you ask them to buy, ask them to engage with you. They can subscribe to your blog, leave a comment, vote on a poll or take a survey, answer a question… connect with you on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. There are a lot of ways to build trust and community.
Sharing client success stories is another way to build that bridge over the River on over to the Shores of Conversion. Think about a recent client you helped. How can you showcase their work and the results they experienced? This is strong social proof that will help others to see how you can help them.
Giving generously of your expertise on your blog is what is called the reciprocity trigger. When you’re generous, people feel a sense of obligation, a need to respond in kind. You’re setting up a climate for responsiveness from readers. Of course, this only works when you are sincere and genuine.
Reciprocity and social proof are two strong triggers that set the stage for reader conversion. Of the two, I’d say that social proof is certainly a leading psychological influence as to why people buy online.
For more information about this, I have 3 suggestions:
- Read some of my related posts about triggers: Content or Marketing, or Both? and Friendly Persuasion, How Blogs Work as a Content Marketing Tool.
- Subscribe to the Content Marketing Institute, for more “how-to” content market tips
- If you’re new to business blogging, become a member of Start Blogging Today, a really good blog training program run by a group of very smart people. (I’m an affiliate.)