Obvious sales tactics have been trending down for quite some time, as they have become increasingly ineffective. Today’s online marketing mantra for business professionals is less about heavy-handedness and more about subtlety.
This applies to every method used, from ads to articles to blogs, which have become a very effective online marketing tool. For example, guest posts offer a wealth of opportunity to become an authority, particularly in niche markets.
The Art of the Guest Post
The new marketing approach is less about charm and manipulation and more focused on providing information and service. This is why guest blogging is a perfect match for this aspect of marketing. The art of the guest post involves providing the most engaging, useful and honest information possible. Savvy consumers generally pay attention to where information comes from. Valued resources are not always that easy to come by. Just like rarefied air, a profound guest post can attract a following that even the Pied Piper could envy.
Branding vs. Selling
Building a brand that resonates with people is an effective strategy for any business. Business people understand that it is the repeat customer, and their referrals, that will both grow, as well as keep the business afloat in challenging times.
To keep in line with more understated marketing techniques, the goal is to promote products and services by offering the most thoughtful and useful information, which also inspires and motivates.
To keep you on the right track, here are some tips you can share that will have them delivering quality guest posts in no time:
Crafting the Message
1. Focus on quality.
When developing your guest post, focus on the value of your information and message, rather than on sales quotas and goals. Impress readers with expertise, and sales will follow intuitively. The most persuasive sales pitch is actually not a sales pitch. There is nothing more appreciated by consumers than assistance. People remember and respond more to help than they do to an apparent sales effort.
2. Educate and motivate.
Develop guest post content that focuses on educating the audience. In the digital content marketing age, information is what is driving web traffic. Useful and artful data is shared, and guest blog posts are no different. While web users are seen as potential customers, people are actually browsing the Internet first, to find information. For example, when consumers research to find the best products and services.
3. Differentiate your brand.
Focus on what sets your products and services apart from those that are similar. Emphasize specialties or specific and unique ways that your business approaches its services or products. Doing this will place your company in the lead, especially when used with effective distribution tactics.
4. Give credit where credit is due.
When you find useful information somewhere, share the wealth. Remember, the goal here is to educate and inspire. Mention other experts in your guest posts and link to them. Inform the experts about the links and offer a link exchange, for more positive, natural exposure. Not only will you be more respected for transparency, but this is yet another powerful organic content strategy. Success is really about networking, and nothing demonstrates this more than the power of sharing links.
5. Be the gift that keeps on giving.
Share your guest post by word of mouth, social networks, email and other distribution channels. Remember that promoting another business web site will be seen as far less self-promotional than posting to your company web site. Promoting other web sites with your guest post actually builds more brand awareness for your business. This makes it a win-win situation all around.
6. Be artful about promotion.
End each guest post with a signature message. It is common practice to mention the business and link to the web site at the end of a post. This is also a good opportunity to mention other useful content that you have created, both on your site and others.
Link to information where appropriate so that readers have access to other examples of your specific expertise. Again, the more precise the information is, the more it will differentiate your business and help establish it as a brand leader.
Consumers are sophisticated today; they know what a sales pitch is. Marketing is like anything else; the more you give, the more you get. The guest blog is an excellent way to provide value to customers and prospects.
Make educating your audience and prospects the number one priority, and their guest posts will be shared more frequently, expanding their brands online even further. As their search rankings rise, so will their positive online reputations, as well as web traffic and sales.