Content Strategy

Say No To Sales Pitches On Company Blogs!

I recently stumbled across the Kentico Software Digital Experience Survey from last year. Although a relatively small US study it has given me some great ammunition when clients try to plug their products or services in a blog post. I’ve always thought that sales pitches should have no place in a business blog, especially if they offer nothing else but a plug. But this survey has also made me reconsider my own blogging, and the inclusion of any mention of my services.

Sales Pitches On Blogs Reduce Credibility To 29%

In the past I often have concluded a blog post with a small plug, “if you want help with your blogging, get in touch”, however the Kentico survey revealed that “even signing off an otherwise objective blog post or newsletter with a product pitch will bring the content’s credibility level down by 29%”.

The good news for content marketing is that 74% of those surveyed trust educational content from a company in the form of a blog post or newsletter if it is sales pitch free.

So there you have it – no more sales pitches. Instead it’s all about delivering good quality content and adding value. Yes, that favourite buzzword of content creators “value”. Your readers will make the link between your content and your services, after all why would you be blogging about a subject, or sharing tips and advice if it is not directly related to your offering? Your blog becomes a vehicle for engaging your target audience, building relationships, becoming a trusted source of information or a friendly “face” in an otherwise branded online world. Those visitors will return for more, become brand advocates by sharing your content and thus driving more traffic to your site.

Here are a few ideas for what you could be blogging about instead:

  • Discuss subjects and issues for which your product or service provides a solution: share tips and advice without blatantly promoting your offering!
  • Help those readers who haven’t followed your good advice: for example if you are an accountants you might share tips on completing self-assessment tax returns, but you could also share advice for when things go wrong such as missing a deadline or losing important information.
  • News, trends and developments: build your authority and reputation as a trusted source by keeping your followers up-to-date with what’s happening in your industry or associated fields.

Freedom From Sales Pitches!

This is hugely liberating! Instead of having to drop a clanging CTA in the form of a plug into an otherwise engaging, informative or entertaining blog post, our CTAs can be much more in tune with what blogging is all about. Sharing, engaging, helping and building relationships. Yippee! So, instead signing off a blog post with a “can we help?” type CTA, how about one of these?

  • Invite readers to comment or share the post: use the opportunity of interacting with visitors who leave a comment to start building relationships with them, nurture these relationships. Alternatively ask readers to share your post and spread its reach virally.
  • Suggest further reading: use your blog posts to push visitors discreetly into your sales funnel by pointing them in the direction of more blog posts that address their interests.
  • Consider what else is displayed on your blog page: instead of including a sales pitch maybe a widget in your sidebar directing visitors to more specific product or service related information would be appropriate? Visitors understand they are on a company website, they just don’t like sales tactics in blog content.

If you have found this post useful, please do share on your social networks or email to your connections! If you have any questions about blogging for business, company blogs etc., leave a message below.

photo credit: deathtothestockphoto.com

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