Todd Martin

Todd Martin

Sales Strategy

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Blog as Benefactor: Be Good to Your Readers

December 7, 2016

No, I’m not suggesting you give your readers money. You have other things of value to share.

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‘Tis the season, right? Generosity abounds this time of year. You’re probably in the process of sending cards and gifts to friends and business associates. Maybe you’ve given your customers an end-of-year bonus in the form of a special sales or discount.

You’re giving money to the newspaper carrier. Tipping a little more at restaurants. Remembering all the people who were good to you throughout the year.

Being Good Through Your Blog

When you think about ways you can be good to customers, your blog probably doesn’t jump to mind first. But there are ways you can use your blog as a vehicle for giving. And anything you do to help people through your online content generally doesn’t go unnoticed. It becomes a part of your brand, your corporate culture, your social media todd-120716-image-1persona. Some people will remember you for it – maybe when they’re looking to buy what you’re selling.

Being aware of the opportunities for generosity does something else for you: It can help you flesh out your blog’s editorial calendar so you don’t feel so rushed to come up with an idea for a post at the last minute. If you find you like one or more of these ideas, you can schedule that kind of content regularly.

So here are some ways you can share the wealth in your blog (without literally sharing your wealth).

Include Curated Content

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You’ve undoubtedly heard of the concept. The phrase, “curated content” simply refers to collections of links to pages that the reader might find interesting. Come up with a theme every month. If you sell real estate, for example, you might give your readers six links to articles about getting a home ready to sell. Be sure to provide attribution. That is, give written credit to the source of the information. You can be assembling such collections as you do your own web-browsing. Set up theme-based folders, so that your work is half done by the time you start the post.

Suggest Influencers to Follow

The word “influencer” gets thrown around a lot, but it’s apt in some cases. Who do you todd-120716-image-4follow on Twitter? On Facebook? Your readers may not know as much as you do about who your industry leaders are. So share that insight with them. Again, you’re establishing yourself as someone in the know and enhancing your own reputation while you hold others up.

Interview Leaders

If you do a lot of writing, you may get tired of the sound of your own voice sometimes. I’m todd-120716-image-5not suggesting that your readers do, too, but it’s always good to mix things up a bit. Try to score brief phone interviews with industry leaders, as far up on the food chain as you can. If you have trouble rounding up subjects for your interviews, you could even call on people in your own company to talk about their particular area of expertise. We’re always being told to “humanize” in our corporate communications online. Here’s one way to do that.

Solve Problems

This is the greatest gift you can give your readers. It’s what so many of us spend a lot of our time doing online — even if it’s just browsing Facebook because we need something to todd-120716-image-6lighten our problematic mood. Your company makes products or provides services that at their core are solutions to common problems. I know I’ve harped on this before, but help your readers find their solutions — even if it doesn’t necessarily mean a sale for you. Like I said before, people remember people who helped them. And you do want to be remembered — especially at buying time.

Macy’s or Gimbels?

Remember the scene in “Miracle on 34th Street” when the Santa character sends a Macy’s customer to Gimbels for a purchase? Did the customer go to Gimbels to get what Macy’s didn’t have? Probably. But did the customer think of Macy’s first in the future? Most likely.

That’s the kind of thing that can happen when you’re generous with customers, when you’re genuinely thinking about their needs. So find your balance here. I certainly don’t advocate chasing customers away. But the more you can find ways to give–even through something as simple as your blog–the more you’ll give prospects another reason to buy from you.

Stock images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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