3 ways your blog can connect AND convert
A lot of marketers will try to convince you content that converts is greater than content that connects. In most business cases, I would agree with that statement. However, in a time where the world is forcibly idled, we find ourselves overwhelmed with content thanks to constant access to the news, social media and often unsolicited opinions of others we know. At a time like this, I think the hard lines once drawn between connection and conversion become a little fuzzy.
In fact, I’ve found (especially as of late) that the best blogs are those that purposely blur those lines — creating the perfect middle ground — providing content that both connects and converts.
So, as a business owner or a marketing professional, how do you quell the anxiety of your readership and make your content connect in a way that also drives them to act?
Tell your story (and make it personal)
I’m in the middle of reading a book called Inspired, by Rachel Held Evans. It’s nothing life altering or anything like that, but she did write a couple of things that stopped me in my tracks and gave me the idea for this blog.
The first thing she said was, “Storytelling always has been, and always will be, one of humanity’s greatest tools for survival.” Read that again. One of humanity’s greatest tools for survival. Now, if 2020 is not the year for helpful survival tips, I don’t know what is.
She goes on to say, “The ability to shape a narrative from your experiences, and to connect your story to a greater one, is essential for developing empathy, a sense of purpose, and well-being.” Another way to say that is: “By sharing personal experiences, you open yourself up to your readers, and thus remove their doubt as to why they should take advice from you in the first place.”
By showing this vulnerability through relatable stories, you break down any barriers the reader has put up in hopes of defending against a sales pitch. By telling a funny anecdote or sharing something that applies to you on a personal level, you create, whether knowingly or not, a connection with your audience. And that ultimately leads to a stronger compulsion to act.
Ask insightful questions
What’s the first thing you do when you’re asked a question? Again, whether knowingly or not, most people’s first instinct when reading a question is to think about how they’d answer. It doesn’t matter if the posed question pertains directly to them or not. It’s a natural reaction to insert yourself into the scenario that’s being questioned in the first place. So, there is a definite opportunity for connection here.
What if I put it this way? Questions lead to engagement; engagement leads to connection; and connection leads to conversion.
So, when in doubt, get the ball rolling by asking an insightful question or two. No, I’m not crazy — I do realize that your readers can’t actively respond to the questions you pose, but you can make them stop for a minute and really think about how they’d honestly answer. And, if you’re asking the right question, that answer might just be that your product or service is exactly the solution for which they’ve been looking.
One more thing to consider that might seem like such a trivial reminder is to be consistent.
You ever have one of those friends who always agrees to an exciting night out on the town while you are hanging out at the pool during the day, only to find yourself with the “I’m sorry, but …” text waiting for you on the actual day of said planned adventure? It’s annoying, right? The flakiness and inconsistency make it very hard to trust that friend even though you know they have good intentions and bring a lot to the table.
The same goes for your blog. Consistency goes a long way in developing a rapport with your readers (AKA your most engaged prospects), so it’s important you find a rhythm that works for your team and you stick to a particular posting cadence. Then, your readers know they can count on you for more helpful content.
There you have it. Injecting emotion through storytelling, leading readers through thoughtful and well-timed questions and keeping your information flowing consistently are three ways your blog can create connections that convert.
Remember: Connecting and converting don’t have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, they actually work better together.