Assuming that you already have a website, you’re going to need content to put on that website. The next logical small business marketing step would be to start writing blog articles that pertain to your industry.
Then, you can use them to build links that will boost your rankings in the search engines and promote them on social media. Thus, you’ll be able to draw targeted traffic that will follow you and subsequently buy from you.
This is when you’ll realize, if you already haven’t, that there’s a difference between having a product or service…and selling one.
Stop Trying to Sell Your Product or Service
When you write blog articles for your website and small business marketing plan, you shouldn’t write them to sell your product or service, no.
I know. I know. You’re probably thinking, “Well, isn’t that the point?”
No, it’s not.
“Then why waste time writing the articles if they’re not meant to sell my product or service?”
You could write articles that are basically advertorials, but the majority of your audience is going to be turned off by this.
Trust me, I once tried the same strategy and winded up burning through nearly $2,000 in pay-per-click ads that earned literally 0 sales. That was a major, embarrassing, and expensive failure that I beseech you not to repeat.
Heed my wisdom.
The point of the articles is not to make a sale. The point of the article is to win the trust and interest of your target audience and get them to generate conversation about what you’ve written…so that you make a sale.
There’s a difference.
Choose Content Related To Your Product or Service
You should write articles about concepts relevant to your product or service, but not directly about it.
This will help you to expand your audience, because people will be able to relate to the topics in your articles and find them useful. It will also increase their chances of following you on your social media account(s) if they like the material.
Only after they’ve converted into your followers and have engaged with you for some time, you can tell them about your product or service. This eases the resistance they may have in buying from you.
Let’s look at how this works in practice.
Small Business Marketing Example
John Doe has recently quit his job and opened his own accountancy firm. He has a small client base that he has developed over time. However, John is planning to expand his clientele and gain more passive income so that he has more time to spend with his family.
John wants to impove his small business marketing strategy, but he doesn’t know how. If he writes blog articles about himself and what he can offer, few people outside of his immediate social circle and client base are going to care. Only a small number of people know that his business even exists.
Therefore, if he doesn’t write about his services, but instead pumps out 24 different general articles about accountancy, taxes, the importance of managing personal finances, etc.
…all of a sudden, now he has an audience.
There are potentially hundreds of thousands (even millions) of people who care and would like to learn about these topics. By making either his entire blog or a section of it dedicated to these topics, John can then join relevant social media groups and share his articles around.
At the end of every article, he can entice his audience into following him on social media in order to stay up to date on more editorials on these issues. After reading several of his articles, his audience begins to trust him.
…then one day, John makes a single Facebook post to his following about a book he’s written or online accountancy consulting that he offers.
Bam, instant sales.
Warm Selling Vs. Cold Selling
That’s a strategy called warm selling, which always yields a higher percentage rate of return than cold selling The latter is just basically walking right up to people who don’t know you and trying to sell them something.
Warm selling is the method of making money by first building trust in those of whom you’d wish to sell to. Cold selling is when there is no prior trust or liking established.
Think about it.
I said earlier in this article that John’s nearest friends and prior clients would be willing to buy from him or contact him, correct? But only a few other people outside of his immediate social circle?
Analyze the connection between John and his nearest friends, juxtaposed with John and new unbiased potential buyers.
What’s the difference?
…John’s friends and prior clients know him, like him, and trust him.
How can John create the nearest psychological effect in the people who don’t know him, and get them to want to buy his product or service like his closest friends or prior clients would?
…through providing content that unites him with the desired target audience on topics that the following he wants is interested in. Hence, the need for article marketing.
Why Article Marketing Is Important
In conclusion, article writing is vital to a deliberate small business marketing plan for selling products and services for several reasons. It:
- familiarizes people who are unfamiliar with you,
- builds trust in your name/brand name establishing a connection that gets them used to you, and
- unites you with them on issues worth talking about (which generates buzz).
If you put your calls-to-action at the end of each article, enticing people to follow you on social media if they’d like more of your content, then, primarily, the people who actually read will know how to follow you.
The people who actually read your articles are the ones who will actually buy your product or service. Thus, your following will be very targeted.
This dramatically increases your chances of making sales when you finally let the word out to your audience that you’re releasing a product or service relevant to their needs and interests.
And check this out, I have so much faith in my own advice…that I’m using it on you…right now.
You see what I did there?
Mike Norton is an American award-winning marketing strategist with a BA in Internet marketing from Full Sail University.
He’s also a writer, entrepreneur, and a physicist studying part-time at the University of York who is a veteran of the United States military and the 7-time winner of the USS Dwight Eisenhower award for essays about world peace and respect.
As a mostly self-educated vagabond, he gains inspiration from a myriad of experiences wrought from the adventures of his nomadic lifestyle. He prolifically writes and journals where ever he goes in the world, from one country to the next.