Ahh, the power of advertising and marketing.
We live in a world where we can’t go anywhere without being hit by a barrage of sales messages.
We sit down to watch a film, only to find that after a few minutes the television adverts come on, prompting us to buy things, try things, suggesting that we aren’t whole or complete as people unless we part with our cash for the latest products.
We open a paper, and every other paragraph seems to be a call to action for us to reach for the credit card.
Car adverts, house adverts, holiday adverts, food, commodities, clothes – everywhere we turn we are entreated to buy, buy, buy.
Obviously, the internet is the cornerstone of modern advertising.
It is a hotbed of flashing adverts, telling us we are the hundredth visitor to a site, or that we could win something spectacular simply for signing up to a new service. The recent popularity of sites such as Groupon and KGB Discounts shows us that we are firmly in a consumer society, and trying to avoid the constant onslaught of advertising would be the equivalent of trying to go in to a supermarket and having a stress-free hour – it’s not possible.
So, what do we do about this trend?
Do we try and buck it, or do we go with the flow and join in the throng of advertising messages?
Is it right to imagine that people are so tired of being sold to, that if we try and attempt it on our blogs, we’ll lose our readership?
The bad news is, even though our blogs are the ideal platform for selling to our customers, that’s not why people read them.
People don’t visit a blog with the express intention of being asked to make a purchase of a product or service, even while it’s universally acknowledged that most organisations have a blog because they want to sell, ultimately.
People go in and visit your blog for a wide number of reasons.
They want to find specific information about something which they are interested in, or need to learn about. They are looking for experts who can provide them with information about things they are seeking out. They want to open up a two-way communication and dialogue about something which has taken their interest, and they want to read up about products or services, an industry or field of business which appeals to them – either as a consumer or a fellow service provider.
Because that is the primary motivation for visiting your site, it’s important that you deliver this first, and think about selling later.
Subtle sales are about making sure your products or services are visible, accessible and easy to buy, without using pushy techniques to encourage purchasing.
Write from the honest intention of supporting your readers.
If you provide a valuable, useful, interesting and engaging blog, people will trust you, come back and visit, and bear you in mind as a preferred service provider.
Waste your time publishing pushy, invasive and uninteresting sales pitches as blog posts, and you’ll lose your readership more quickly than you could ever have imagined.
Writing articles based upon meeting the needs of your customers is the best possible way to sell on your blog.
You won’t persuade someone to buy from you because you promote your services in every blog post – rather, you’ll gain credibility as a blogger if you write to help others first and foremost, and the sales?
They follow on naturally, afterwards!
What’s your view? Do numerous banners and adverts put you off or make you buy?
Please share your views in the comments below.