This method of sharing content will help your company drive sales through creating trust and building a brand name. However, in a more direct way, it can drive sales through helping to initiate personal communication between your company and potential customers. The number of ways this can be done is only limited by your creativity.
For a few ideas to help get started, readers should be encouraged to get in touch with the author of the blog posts. As mentioned in the “Distribution Platforms” section, contact information for authors should be provided so readers can ask questions and provide feedback. More direct ways to make communication more personal is provide high quality informational products from whitepapers, to exclusive video content to an e-mail newsletter and distribute it to those who give an e-mail address. Through opting-in to receive this content, you can effectively send future messages to evaluate the customer need and offer a solution.
Permission marketing plays a major role in the effectiveness of this campaign. We need to not only meet the legal standards to send e-mails (which are easily satisfied by having readers opt-in to receive e-mail updates) but ensure that our messages are targeted and initially non promotional to gauge the interest of the lead. This technique, having the reader opt-in to receive the premium content, and then sending personalized messages to gauge the lead’s level of interest is a good way to initiate contact, make a good first impression, and improve response rates and conversions.
You can also use the blog as a way to funnel visitors into its “High Value” pages such as its contact form and sales pages. For example, through encouraging users to contact the author of the post via e-mail for additional conversation, readers can be funneled to the website’s contact form. Your services and sales pages can also be linked to as examples in posts which relate to the subject. However, this must be done subtly so that it appears the link is in place as an additional resource and example for the reader, not a marketing tool used to try and accelerate the sales process.
Free content has emerged as the leading way companies are nurturing leads. The ease of publishing and content distribution has allowed firms a new way to share what they know and build interest from potential clients. If your company is not creating and distributing free quality content, you are falling behind. Starting a blog and creating an e-mail newsletter are two of the most affordable ways to market your products and services, yet the impact they can have is enormous. They are a great way to get the contact information of leads and initiate conversation without appearing too pushy or focused on making the sale.