Customer HandshakeA few weeks ago, Neil Patel put up a great blog post over on his Quick Sprout blog titled ‘How To Convert Blog Readers Into Customers‘.

As the title suggests, it gives some fantastic points on how you can take the people who are reading your blog’s content and develop them into paying customers of your products or services.

Touching on a number of different methods and techniques, we want to focus on just one of them today – the use of Calls To Actions.

A blog can be used for sales, but the content shouldn’t be sales copy

As we’ve talked about previously, a business blog can be used for almost any purpose you’d like.  Customer engagement is the most obvious, with a notable impact here on brand awareness and reputation, but there really is no reason why you can’t utilise the platform for any other business purpose you need.

However, one thing that has to be noted is that just because you choose to use your business blog as a sales resource, for example,  it doesn’t mean that you need to fill it with sales copy.  The content does need to take a different approach to that for SEO or marketing, but it needs to be understood that it’s the blog in its entirety that’s going to help with the sales focus – and this is exactly where a Call To Action will come into play.

Your blog’s content is used to attract people.  It’s there to engage with them and get them interested in a certain topic.  You need to provide information that’s going to be of use to them and make them want to find out more.  Once you have this type of content on your business blog, you’ve got a resource full of useful and detailed information that people keep returning to time and time again.

The reason they return is because the content is genuinely engaging with them and they’re getting use from it.  It’s not pushing for a sale or asking them to do something.  And this is exactly the way the content needs to remain.

But through the careful implementation of a Call To Action, however, you don’t risk jeopardising the trust and confidence the reader has in you, but you give them the option to find out more or carry something out in a way that’s going to be of benefit to your organisation.

It’s all about subtlety

Think about it like this.  You’ve got a website that sells cars and the blog is packed full of information about all of the different manufacturers you sell, the benefits of driving certain cars, how to get the most out of a specific model, etc.

Through the blog, you’re drawing your exact target audience in – people who are interested in the cars you’re selling.

Now you could write the occasional blog post that’s particularly sales-focused and some people may convert.  However, most will realise it’s out of the norm for you and ignore it.

A better option would be to put a button in the sidebar that is attractive; one that’s going to easily catch people’s attention.  Keeping it there no matter where the reader goes on the blog, you’re subtly asking the reader to click on the Call To Action, but you’re not forcing them to do it and the customer doesn’t feel like it’s being constantly put in front of them – it’s out of the way and if they wanted to, they could ignore it and just read the content.

But when the Call To Action is inviting and linked to the content, not many people are going to be able to resist at least finding out what happens when they click on the button.

For example, if you’ve just wrote 20 blog posts all about caring for a Ford Mondeo and your Call To Action was ‘Enter your e-mail address to find the cheapest deal on Ford Mondeo insurance – FACT!’, it’s so suited to the readers that it’s highly likely at least a good percentage are going to click on it.

It’s effective, it’s subtle and most importantly, it puts the decision in the reader’s hands.  When a person feels like they’re making the decision, they feel much more comfortable to do something.

Converting your blog’s readers into customers isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be headache-inducing either – and with the right knowledge, experience and information to hand, your blog should be able to be developed into a resource that increases your customer base considerably.

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