No one likes to be sold to, and no one wants to read a sales pitch in your blog posts. So how do you use your blog to promote your business, products, and services without includes salesy messages in your posts?
The answer is very carefully and strategically.
But what does that mean?
Blogging is a powerful marketing tool because it allows you to use indirect marketing to increase brand awareness, word-of-mouth marketing, brand engagement, and brand trust.
By publishing useful, meaningful information that is relevant to your target audience, you can generate publicity and build stronger relationships between your brand and consumers.
Think of it this way. Every blog post provides an opportunity for you to prove your expertise.
The result? People trust you because they understand you know what you’re talking about. Trust leads to sales.
However, your blog isn’t just an indirect marketing tool. You can promote your business in your blog posts. The key is to be useful, helpful, meaningful, and relevant.
Follow the Three Es of Business Blogging
When you write business blog posts, you should always consider why you’re writing before your fingers hit the keyboard. The three main purposes of business blog posts are to:
Blog posts that educate people are informational. They might teach something, answer questions, solve problems, or simply enlighten readers.
Posts that engage readers enable them to feel more connected to your brand.
On the other hand, posts that entertain evoke emotions that create unconscious positive perceptions of your brand.
Bottom-line, you should write posts that educate, engage, and entertain your target audience on your business blog.
Write Product-Adjacent Blog Posts
As you come up with blog post topics, look for opportunities to write product-adjacent content. This type of content is related to your products or services in some way and gives you a natural opportunity to mention and gently promote them in your blog posts.
For example, if you own an accounting business and tax season is coming, it would make sense to write a blog post about deductions people often miss on their tax returns.
It also makes sense to include a sentence or two in the post about how an experienced accountant can help people find all of the deductions they’re entitled to in order to maximize their tax refunds (or minimize their balance due amounts).
This is the perfect place to mention that the accounting firm can help and include a contact link, phone number, and so on.
Product-adjacent blog posts give you a seamless way to promote your business without being salesy because the promotional message fits naturally into the content. It doesn’t distract from the post.
It enhances the post and the audience’s experience with your blog, business, and brand.
5 Ways to Promote Your Business in Your Blog Posts without Sounding Salesy
Bringing it all together, the trick to promoting your products or services in your business blog posts without boring or annoying people with sales pitches is to focus on educating, engaging, and/or entertaining your audience with useful, meaningful, helpful, and relevant content.
Here are five ways to do it successfully:
1. Informational Posts
In informational posts, your goal is to educate your audience about a topic that matters to them and is relevant to your business and brand.
As you can see in the image below, the Zenpost blog is filled with useful, educational posts that provide information readers need to be successful.
Using the accounting firm example from above, an educational post for the firm’s blog could be about an easy process to follow to save business expense receipts.
At the end of the post, a promotional message could tell readers to bring all of those receipts to the firm and their expert accountants will take care of everything.
2. Problem-Solution Posts
Problem-solution posts are helpful. Think about the problems your products or services solve and write blog posts that provide the solutions to your target audience.
Using the accounting firm example from above, a problem-solution post could talk about what to do if the IRS audits your tax return. This is a natural post for the accounting firm to discuss how it can help the taxpayer navigate through an audit.
3. Question-Answer Posts
People have questions related to your business that you can answer. Not sure what those questions are? Use Google to find out.
Start typing questions into Google’s search box and see what auto-fills. That’s what people are searching for.
You can also use Google’s keyword tool to find common search phrases related to your business, products, or services and reverse engineer blog post topics.
For example, let’s say the accounting firm types the words “what tax” into the Google search box.
The results I got when I typed these words into Google are shown in the image below. There are 10 possible topics that can be turned into question-answer blog posts for the firm.
4. Tutorial Posts
Tutorial posts provide step-by-step instructions to accomplish a task. Of course, the task you write about should be related to your business, and the post you write needs to help your audience reach their goals.
Tutorial posts are often very visual with images or videos, but visuals aren’t a requirement. For the accounting firm, a tutorial about how to accomplish a specific task in a common accounting software, like Quickbooks, could be great for a small business audience.
5. Customer Story Posts
Customer stories are engaging and often entertaining. You can talk to your customers, ask them for permission to share their stories about using your products or services. Write blog posts that tell stories your readers can connect with emotionally.
Another option is to ask your customers to write their own stories (or record them on video), so you can publish them on your blog.
User-generated content (UGC) is very powerful and saves you time since your customers do the content creation for you.
Avoid simply asking for testimonials or reviews (although you can definitely publish those on your website). For your blog, ask your customers to share problems or challenges and describe how the accounting firm helped them, but do so in an educational way.
The example accounting firm could ask customers to share stories about how they dealt with a confusing tax law or accounting problem.
The post or video can end with a description of how the accounting firm helped them, but it shouldn’t be entirely about the firm.
Key Takeaways about Promoting Your Business in Your Blog Posts
Avoid promoting your business in every blog post that you publish. Instead, use the tips provided above and focus on publishing high-quality content first. Secondarily, you can look for ways to naturally talk about your products and services within your content.
Audience first and promotion second – that’s the secret to promoting your business in your blog posts without being salesy.