At the beginning of the year I wrote a post about the classic AIDA advertising formula and how it could be applied to a blog post when you want readers to take some form of action. The formula essentially allows you to turn a content piece into a landing page that funnels your readers in a desired direction.
Chris Garrett expands on AIDA for bloggers, and hits the nail on the head regarding the types of actions you want to focus on when employing this strategy. In essence, you’re looking to incrementally deepen the relationship.
Chris uses this analogy to dissuade you from simply posting a sales letter in the normal course of your blogging:
It’s like walking into a bar and asking the first likely candidate for your, um, affections, to go back to your place for … coffee … before you have even introduced yourself or bought them a drink.
So you have to woo your prospect. Give a little, show you are trustworthy and your stuff is good. Get them to believe your promises and reward that trust. Each step reinforces the relationship and desire builds.
This is exactly right, and harkens back to the third post I ever wrote for Copyblogger, in which I proposed that you take your readers “off road” (outside of the day-to-day posting environment). In other words, you offer great value with content that is relevant to your ultimate offer, and then employ a call to action that invites the reader to take the next step in the process.
Your call to action can drive the reader to whatever selling vehicle you propose, such as a focused sales page, a marketing tutorial contained in a free report or white paper, or an email announcement list related to the launch of a new product.
As I’ve said before, your content is an opportunity to gain a seat at the table with your prospect. In essence, you’re selling them on “sitting down with you” by subscribing to your blog. Content alone is not going to maximize the marketing potential of your efforts, but you do need to extend yet another invitation to the reader to take the next step, rather than throwing something unexpected at them as soon as they take a seat.
In other words, you’re always selling. First and foremost, it’s your authority and credibility that you’re selling via content. After those have been established, you’ll find a much more receptive audience for your ultimate offer.
Reader Comments (19)
isn’t it something like ‘walk the talk’?
We are not here to buy anything from you. So what are you selling? 🙂 Possible answers may be revenue from ads perhaps. But more importantly, what is your “ultimate offer”, my friend?
Brian Clark says
I think you missed the point, Momekh.
Re-read the article… a lot of my audience finds me authoritative and credible at this point, thanks to the content. So to that extent, the audience has been “sold” on me.
The audience also understands how important copywriting is to effective online marketing, where perhaps before they had no idea. Therefore, the reader has been “sold” on the importance of the subject matter.
When I get around to selling things that are relevant to the above, I’m expecting to do quite well. 😉
Great reminder and I really appreciate the link leak to Chris’ blog, which I hadn’t seen before.
I’ve been reading your blog for some time. And I enjoy the content. I really enjoyed the analogy regarding “it’s like walking into a bar and asking the first likely candidate for your… ”
I guess the secret in keeping reader’s interests is maintaining enough content to successfully sell yourself while excluding verbose content that could lose readers (aka scanners).
Aha, this means I did not completely miss the point. I was taking the ‘sold’ bit a tad too literally. But you are right on you being the authority when it comes to copywriting and also the fact that not many people ‘realize’ the importance of copywriting, although they do claim to know it.
Thank you for bringing the importance where it is due.
Sean D'Souza says
The point is still being missed. Blogs do sell their authority, but that doesn’t mean that customers will buy products/services from you. And even having bought ‘a product’, it doesn’t mean that they’ll buy a ‘second or a third product/service.’
Most blogs are simply doing what ‘speakers do on circuit.’ They act like National Speakers Association, that frowns on speakers selling to audiences. It’s the same with most blogs. They’re too wimpy to sell, and hence like most ‘speakers’, never make any money at all. Yes, it’s possible to earn something through Google ad words or even hope that someone does hire you, but that’s still not a direct sale of a product or service.
People don’t necessarily buy one thing at a time. A blog can quite easily sell both ‘credibility’ as well as ‘product/services’ at the very same time.
And as I said, most never do.
Morten K. Holst says
“Selling to people who want to be sold told.” -Seth Godin
Brian, love the “full-width” image–will this be the new standard size?
Morten K. Holst says
“Selling to people who want to be sold to*.” -Seth Godin
Also, try replacing ‘selling’ with ‘marketing’, and ‘sold’ with ‘marketed’.
Brian Clark says
Sean, I agree. In fact, if this blog were designed to provide my main income, I would have been selling from day one, whether that be consulting services or products. A business blog should bring in new business, period.
I agree with you Clark. ‘Credibility’ is also a service , imo .I usually collect the info of products from blog which i am interesting in and I enjoy this service .
Great post .
Sydney BMW says
Hi Brian, I notice that some other things your post is selling are: information, and selling people to spend time and attention here, too.
I’ll be installing a blog soon so this is handy info. Thanks!
Car People says
Another thing that makes selling easier is having an understanding that your customers, or potential customers, have needs. It also helps to have an understanding of what those needs are, or are likely to be. Whenever possible, ask them what they need. One of the better explanations I’ve seen on customer needs is in Neil Rackham’s book – S.P.I.N. Selling.
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