The very nature of blogging is to be a storyteller. But professional bloggers are also business people who have a tremendous value to brands.
How do Bloggers Bridge the Gap Between Storytelling and Sales?
Often bloggers are asked to create “advertorial” style content by brands interested in reaching new readers. While bloggers deeply relate to the desire to manage brand messaging, it is important for bloggers to advocate and educate their brand partners about how blogging is different than traditional media.
Bloggers are Peers, Confidants, and Mentors
Bloggers have a much closer relationship to their readers and are accepted as peers, confidants, and mentors. We quite literally live in the living rooms, kitchens, and car lines with those who visit our blogs. If they are looking to be informed, inspired, or entertained, bloggers have given our readers a window into our experiences and become their trusted friends.
To relinquish the conversational tone of our blogs in favor of a tightly controlled brand sales message hurts both the blogger’s long term relationship with the reader and the brand’s goals.
It undermines the value the blogger provides to the brand.
Simply, instead of being a friend who recommends a great product, sponsored posts become the commercial that interrupts the reader’s favorite program.
How Do Bloggers Bridge the Gap Between Storytelling and Sales?
Good bloggers know not to start with the punchline. It is the story that draws the reader in and connects them to the blogger. Focus your writing energy on creating a connection with the reader.
Don’t give it all away in the title, subject line, or even the very beginning of the blog post.
Resist the urge to copy and paste brand messaging into the storyline. Readers follow bloggers for their individual perspective because they find something about them relatable.
Make sure your sales copy is written simply enough that it is accessible to everyone. No matter how many advanced degrees your reader may have, most blog readers are on mobile devices.
Suggesting they are… mobile. Whether that means they are physically moving around or just mentally in the space that allows them to multitask, engaging but simple and clear are the way to go.
Have a Clear Call to Action
Often the call to action in a blog post is either vague or there are 10 of them!
Neither is a good option. Draw the reader in with an engaging, clear story, then ask for the sale. Tell them what you want them to do, don’t make the reader guess!
An example, my husband was recently searching for a piece of video equipment. He found an excellent article about the product he wanted – he was convinced! But to buy the product, he had to cut and paste the product’s name and details from the article and paste them into Google to find a place to buy it.
There was no clear call to action.
Create an excellent article about something your audience wants – then follow it up by solving your reader’s problem. That means giving them a way to buy from the post. Not sending them to search for a solution elsewhere.
Be the Blogger that Brands Compete to Work With!
To do that, you must become comfortable talking about how selling through a blog is different than more traditional mediums.
And you must get very comfortable writing and publishing engaging, clear sales copy with a clear call to action.