To be successful, companies must blog to increase sales. Companies that blog almost double their inbound links while attracting potential leads already interested in their service. Customers are tired of the old, outbound style of marketing, but will search for fresh, helpful content that offers legitimate solutions to a problem he or she is having.
On the surface, it looks like a basic buyer’s arc:
- A buyer has a problem
- Looks for solution online
- Finds your post
- Learns solution
- Feels good about your business
- Makes a purchase
Steps 1–4 and 6 are straightforward, but what about step 5? What is it about your post that’s going to make a potential client feel good about your business? When he or she may find a dozen similar articles, what makes yours stand out?
The answer: empathetic storytelling.
Blogging gives value to readers, it increases your credibility/authority, it drives traffic to your website and turns that traffic into leads, and it connects you to your customers.
Do you know what element these four things share? You guessed it: empathy.
By creating empathy with your audience, you’re investing them in what you do; you’re building a relationship and developing trust. When it comes time to answer a problem, a person is more likely to turn to you for a solution.
So how do you invoke empathy? By telling an engaging story.
What Is an Engaging Story?
Good storytelling may seem daunting, but this is isn’t Hollywood. You don’t need a blockbuster, just a basic story with the appropriate elements that activate your audience’s empathy. In order to blog an engaging story, you need only consider three things: character, conflict, and resolution. Together, these three elements will emotionally invest your audience.
People naturally want to invest their empathy into things, be it an object or a living creature. By providing your audience with a believable character with some depth, they’ll do the work for you. Share the essence of the character beyond just a name and a title. Give people a real person they can connect to and they will.
Conflict doesn’t have to be a fight or an argument. Conflict is simply the arc of facing a problem and reaching for a solution. It’s important to share the emotional journey your character faces during this journey. Your story may be as simple as purchasing HubSpot to track your inbound leads, but if Brenda from sales has watched in horror as her leads list has disappeared twice through your old CMS, her journey to selling management on the new software will engage your audience. It’s your character’s emotional journey your audience will empathize with.
Ah, cathartic release! After investing in a character, being rapt with attention as that character faces his or her conflict, the resolution (whether good, bad, or something in-between) is a sweet dessert. You want to explain how your character travelled through their emotional journey as they tackled their problem. Ultimately, you’re establishing a link between your character’s arc and your audience. You want them to consider the character’s solution and how it would work in their own environment. On a meta level, showing a solution that connects to your audience will not only place you as an expert, but invoke their empathy and emotions for you. When they next think of your company, they’ll have this positive association to draw on.
When blogging to increase sales the most important thing to remember is that you are telling a story with characters, conflict, and resolution. These elements of a good story activate empathy in your audience which translates to good feelings for your company.