No one wants to sign up for a blog that’s going to be constantly promoting their own products. We get enough advertising in our snail-mail mailbox, so why would we want to get it in our email box? But of course, the primary goal of many blogs is direct sales. You want to let your customers know what you offer and encourage them to make a purchase. So how do you do that without scaring away your followers?
One company that’s doing this well is Whole Foods Market. Their blog, The Whole Story, directly promotes products but does so in a way that’s useful to consumers. They provide recipes, how-to articles, and other ideas for how you can use what they sell to make healthier, yummier meals. Even if you don’t intend to shop at the organic grocery chain, you can pick up tips and learn a little something about cooking, so why wouldn’t you want to subscribe?
Another thing that makes this corporate blog stand out is its use of different media. Need something to listen to on the way to work or while exercising? They offer an audio podcast. Prefer watching a video demonstration rather than reading an explanation? They have that too. And, of course, they have social network feeds, making it easy for people to keep up with their goings-on through Twitter, Facebook, or even Flickr.
When working on your blog, think about ways that you can give customers valuable information rather than simply selling your product. Focus on making a blog that’s interesting and engaging while still tying in the marketing messages you need to include. You can also consider other ways you can deliver that information to them. Producing a video or audio podcast might be too expensive for you in the beginning, but what about a blog entry that uses many photos to illustrate a point? Think outside the box, and give your readers something worth checking every day.