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The Daily Stream

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Educate Your Prospects, Don't Sell

December 15, 2015 // By: Ashley Clark

Once upon a time, people commonly invited a traveling salesperson into their living room, offered them a glass of iced tea, and listened attentively to a product demonstration. Today, the only salesperson you want to show up at your front door is a Girl Scout with delicious cookies.

Something has vastly changed the way people shop today, and understanding this is the key to having a successful online presence.

What Do Customers Want?

Your online presence is about more than having a user-friendly, aesthetically pleasing website. While these characteristics are musts, your prospective customers expect them, so you won’t get any brownie points for having them. The best websites support the actions that customers want to take and blends into the background of their shopping experience.

Today, shopping starts online, regardless of whether you have a physical storefront or your business is fully online. Customers actively look at your online presence before they consider shopping with you. They look at your About Us page, store policies, and blog.

Your blog is the biggest opportunity for earning, retaining, and pleasing your customers. And here’s why: Your business blog is an opportunity to show your customers who you are as a brand and why they should choose you.

Brand Education

When you walk into a business such as Starbucks, you immediately notice the atmosphere. The music is easy to hear but definitely prevalent, especially during the holidays. The smell of fresh coffee and the sound of the espresso grinder blend into the background and give the store the ambiance so many desire. Even if you didn’t see the name of the coffee shop when you walked in, it’s obvious as you move through the store where you are.

This kind of atmosphere is exactly what you want to create with your blog. Its purpose is to engulf your customers in your brand and culture. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, and it facilitates shopping without being pushy. Peddlers aren’t outside the store shoving perfume in your face, and no one is holding up fabrics to show you the thread count. The brand sells the product, and the culture sells the lifestyle. Your online presence should do the same thing.

Stop Selling, Start Sharing

When your prospective customers visit you online, they want to learn more about your brand culture and your business. With numerous products available, your customers have many options where to shop. But having an educational online presence shows your customers that they’re important to you, that you’re willing to invest in those relationships, and that you’re providing something of value free.

By sharing this valuable information, you can position your company as an industry expert and easily show customers why they should choose you for their next shopping adventure. Your customers learn to trust you through your blog, and you can establish your brand’s authority in the industry. Both are integral for earning new customers, retaining loyal customers, and delighting all of them.

To learn more about how inbound marketing can help you increase conversions, download our FREE ebook Inbound Marketing 101.

Happy blogging,

Ashley

—Ashley Bailey is an Inbound Marketing Copywriter at Stream Companies, a full-service Philadelphia-area advertising agency.Generate-leads-inbound-marketing_webinar-replay

Topics: brand awareness, brand marketing, Inbound Marketing, Marketing tips