“To blog or not to blog.”
Many businesses find they are asking themselves that very question as they try to find more time in the day for marketing activities. Sharing or curating content online (also known as content marketing) has become more popular as a way to attract customers. So, we’ve been thinking about how blogging could pair with your direct marketing to make that online content work harder for you, whether by educating your customers or building loyalty…
Here’s how direct marketing and blogging can work together:
1. Drive people online to an enhanced brand experience.
When you list your website on your direct mail postcard, you give interested consumers the chance to stay engaged with your business. You could take this a step further and create a unique URL to send customers to a landing page on your site, or a specific blog post. This added point of contact enhances the already valuable information from your campaign because it gives potential customers another way they can take action on your direct mail piece by visiting your website and reading your blog content.
2. Produce naturally qualified leads.
Think about it. People research online before making a purchase. Someone who takes the time to go online and read your blog content already has an interest in your products or services and wants to learn more about what your business offers. You just provided a solution to a problem or question they already had.
Not to mention, you already educated them about your business before you even have a one-on-one conversation, which can decrease the length of your sales cycle. So don’t forget to have a “contact us” form on your blog!
3. Increase sales when a call-to-action is included.
Short, specific statements for what customers can do next after reading your direct mail piece or blog are extremely effective tools to get them to take action. On your direct mail postcard, include a call-to-action to read your blog. At the end of each blog post, ask a question, tell readers how to take the next step, or encourage them to redeem the direct mail offers (perhaps about the product your blog post talked about).
4. Easily grow your email list.
To grow your email list, simply provide an easy way for them to sign up. One effective way to do this is providing the ability to receive email notifications by subscribing to your blog. You’ll have a growing list of people who are interested in your business as a result of pairing your direct marketing campaign with online efforts.
5. Make your message last longer.
Many forms of advertising, including direct mail advertising, are effective and worth investing in. Eventually your ad runs its course, for example, driving the consumer to your store for a limited time offer or letting them know about a seasonal promo. On the other hand, a blog post will live on your website for as long as you want, providing information to anyone searching for your products and services at any time. Make sure your website is listed on all your direct mail pieces to maximize this opportunity.
6. Enhance your ability to be found in search engines like Google.
Direct marketing and blogging help your website appear closer to the top of the search results list. Appearing higher in search results means more clicks, which means more website visits. Your direct marketing can drive people to your website, so think of blogging as another little info boost.
When you write about your products and services using the keywords people search for, like “trustworthy local mechanic” or “Atlanta Italian restaurants,” you could get more website traffic from consumers looking for what you offer. More website traffic means broader reach to potential customers and greater brand awareness.
I know what you’re wondering now. Is it worth the time commitment? Research shows that blogging is beneficial:
- 81% of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice from blogs
- 61% of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from a blog
- Small businesses that blog get 126% more lead growth than small businesses to do not blog
What do you think? Have you started blogging for your business? How else do you use online tools to enhance direct marketing campaigns?