Business is based on relationships, and generally the relationship comes before the business. As a result, you have to find a way to identify those with whom a commercially sustainable relationship is possible, then offer them sufficient value for them to buy from you.
Broadly there are four common ways to go about this:
Meet them in person
Meet them over the phone
Beat them over the head with advertising (primarily a consumer strategy rather than B2B)
Meet them via some sort of social media.
However, a fifth option is emerging rapidly:
Engage them via some sort of attractive e-content, that encourages them to come to you. If you can actually figure out how to achieve this outcome, the return on your investment in content will be huge.
So, the real question is what do you need to do to make the content compelling. Pretty simple, basic marketing stuff, perhaps so simple that most just gloss over it, offering insufficient thought, so here goes with a list:
- Define who your ideal customer is, and “e-talk” to them, in their language, looking at your offering from their perspective, not yours.
- Make sure the content interesting, informative, offers distinctive Intellectual Capital that conveys your proposition clearly.
- Be clear about the value they will derive from a relationship
- Ensure the post, blog, whatever it is, can be easily shared, and encourage that sharing
- Have a call to action, the Rule number 1 of direct marketing!
- Relentlessly monitor responses, and experiment with the message and they way it is packaged.
When you are doing all that, you are being smart at blogging, or social media, does not matter what you call it, you are using the power of the digital age to engage, and create the opportunity for a sale.