In the broadest sense, your blog is a lead attractor. It’s meant to earn a prospect’s trust through acknowledging their pain points, and further build the relationship by providing information that educates and moves them closer to resolving issues.
The “resolving issues” portion is usually what hamstrings most business bloggers because it is an invitation to sell their product or service as a solution. It’s a pretty natural instinct, and the ultimate goal. But remember, your blog visitors are usually at the earliest stage of a buying journey and a full-scale sales pitch is the last thing prospects want or need. In fact, an “infomercial” disguised as a blog will likely repel leads instead of attract them.
It takes some diligence to ensure posts don’t transition from topical (“Here’s some info that may help!”) to promotional (“Look! We have these solutions! Buy from us!”), but any company truly interested in attracting leads is willing to invest in creating content that informs and educates, with no expectation that a lead will make a purchase commitment in the moment—or maybe ever.
Framed in this context, could your blog use a little tune-up in order to consistently serve up leads? Use these tips to avoid the “sales-y” content:
Cut the Hyperbole
There are certain words that simply sound sales-y and make people suspicious of being pitched. I’m not talking industry jargon here (although that’s kind of a turnoff, too). It’s those phrases that are often go-tos in the salesperson’s repertoire: “promotion,” “discount,” “feature,” or too-good-to-be-true adjectives that read like empty promises: “incredible,” “once in a lifetime,” “fantastic,” “wonderful,” or “cutting edge.” If your blog is riddled with sales-speak, guess what? It’s promotional, not topical.
Your “Leads” are People
Since we often speak of leads as numbers, it’s easy to dehumanize them. Reminding yourself that people exist behind those statistics and focusing on serving them with valuable, educational content will not only keep your blog’s purpose on track, it brings a higher level of authenticity to your posts that visitors respond to consistently.
Be the Approachable Expert
Your blog visitors are seeking answers, and they gravitate toward expert opinions. Freely answer questions and provide insights about common challenges, your industry or other relevant topics that aren’t your products and services. Sharing your knowledge in ways that don’t presume or force a purchase instills lead confidence, encourages return visits and is a small but powerful step in building a relationship.
Trust the Process
A recent New Century Media study reports that publishing content that aligns with a prospect’s place in the buyer’s journey (sometimes termed a “soft sell”) brings encouraging results: 30% more customers are willing to make a purchase; 97% will tell their friends; and, 95% will likely be repeat customers.
Is your blog “all about you”? If so, it’s time to stop settling for poorer-than-expected lead generation results, re-focus your content and transform your blog into a lead-attractor.
Posted by Vicki Woschnick An experienced writer and content planner, Vicki has a variety of client-side and agency experience in all of Weidert Group's service areas. She is highly adept at learning various industrial niches and producing effective content on behalf of clients. In Weidert Group's inbound marketing programs, Vicki plays a major role in crafting blog-form articles as well as downloadable advanced content offers.