How to Use Your Blog to Sell

5 Ways to Convert Your Traffic to Sales

Many companies spend lots of resources and effort to create a blog that supports their business, particularly the sales process. Yet many corporate bloggers complain that while their blogs contain relevant information and attract visitors, they can’t track how their blog has influenced sales. Social media has raised customers’ expectations about the information they need before they purchase. If your blog content is relevant to prospects’ and customers’ needs before and after purchase and your products deliver on their promise, you can convert your blog into a sales machine.

3 Cs of using your blog to sell

For a blog to help sell your product and services, you need to consider the three Cs.

  1. Content. Provide useful, educational and entertaining content. Present information based on your product offering and customers’ problems or needs.
  2. Context. While your end goal is to sell, consider the context of your blog posts. Here, you’re a tour guide through your firm’s extended offering – not an auctioneer. Your job is to show readers how to use your firm’s products.
  3. Commerce. Once you’ve given your readers useful information in a meaningful setting, they may be interested in actually plunking down their credit card. Unfortunately, here’s where many business blogs stop. Blog editors, familiar with their company’s e-commerce site and how to find specific products, can assume readers innately know how to find the product or have the motivation to track it down. Don’t get me wrong. Some very small percentage of prospects will to go extreme efforts to find the product. Unfortunately, the rest will just leave or worse go to your competitor.

5 Ways to convert your traffic to sales

To make your blog an effective sales machine, integrate your product into your content in a way that doesn’t scream BUY, BUY, BUY. Here are five steps to provide relevant information and eye-candy to lure readers in and help convert blog posts to sales receipts.

  1. Provide useful, relevant information. Show prospects how to use or wear your product, give them instructions or how-tos, and/or entertain them.
  2. Include a variety of different forms of content. photographs and videos are particularly important because readers tend to be visual and want to see your product in action.
  3. Take readers directly to the product. Don’t assume customers know which item you’re talking about in your post. Provide a link directly to the product page so they can buy if they want. If it’s relevant give readers more than one way to get to the product.
  4. Keep the scent going. Maintain the information trail through the use of branding signs and text so readers know they’re on the right track.
  5. Make it easy to buy by eliminating stumbling blocks to purchase. For example, integrate a purchase form into your instructions so prospects think about how many and which color product to purchase – not whether they should or shouldn’t buy the product. Also, don’t forget a call-to-action and a unique promotional code.

Here is an example of how a Lion Brand post integrated these steps to support sales.

Step 1: Engage readers with how to post on employees’ spring knitting. It’s a long post that highlights several employees. Takes the concept of show and tell literally.

Patti Lyons of Lion Brand Studio

Step 2: Includes photographs of people that attract attention. Further the knitting shows real people using the product and even adapting patterns for their yarns. This is pure heaven for knitters. (Note: The links are highlighted with red outlining.)

Project description with links for instructions and yarn.

Step 3: Takes customers to sales page. In this post, readers can find out about two different yarns.

Step 4: Keeps scent from blog post to product page going with the same name of the pattern. It’s got Lion Brand Yarn’s logo and a photograph of the finished product.

Step 5: Makes purchase a snap (or should I say a click).  By scrolling down the pattern page, a prospect finds the different colors that the yarn comes in. This helps to get her thinking about which one(s) she wants. Scroll a bit more and the materials needed for the Circle Vest are already selected in the proper quantities so that all the buyer needs to do is add to cart. (Note: Most knitters make items in the same color as the pattern. Even better, Lion Brand adds a sweetner to close the deal. “Buy now and save 15%.) Yarn details for circle vest.

Notice: Lion Brand has made the yarn selection the hook for most knitters after the photograph of the finished garment followed by the completed order form.  The last thing they add is the free pattern that visitors can download whether they buy from Lion Brand or not.

Further, this blog post included other links to related product. Here’s the product page for Recycled Yarn. It’s the yarn that the employee is using and allows the reader to buy it directly.

Product information linked from blog

Blogs are a great tool for driving traffic to your website and converting it to sales if you lead your prospects to your product pages and make it easy to put the product in their shopping cart and buy.

Do you have any other suggestions to add to help other readers convert their traffic into sales?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Here are a couple of related articles that you may find of use:

Photo credit: VividImageInc via Flickr

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