In addition to using your business blog to participate in online opportunities, too often business owners develop a narrow vision and neglect to use their blog (and their entire website) to leverage offline opportunities. In this post we’re going to share 10 Ways to Leverage Your Business Blog in the Offline World to provide you with added value from your blogging efforts.
- The Calendar: Based on what you know is coming up, write blog posts that are directly tied to future in person meetings.
- The Sales Cycle: Depending on the composition of your typical sales cycle, write posts that are intended to be delivered after an in person meeting or pitch. This is a great way to have follow up materials at the ready, and quite possibly if you are really astute you might be able to get way ahead in your sales process by addressing these later stage issues before you even meet a prospect.
- Events: If you know you are going to a specific event, write blog posts in advance meant to cater to the audience you are about to see.
- On Premise: If you have an on premise platform (such as a store) write blog posts knowing full well when you interact with customers, in addition to providing them with an amazing in-store experience you can also direct them to your blog. An example might be a women’s clothing store where the clerk might also suggest that the customer visit the store’s blog to read the amazing article on “how to mix and match colors for Spring 20XX” – the idea is to add value and to deepen the relationship.
- Parlor Posts: Depending on the nature of your business, sometimes it is great to have posts ready that are focused on the “big news” in your space. What is great about these posts is that when you meet people in everyday life, you have a nice opportunity to send people directly to your blog post rather than a news site, which further positions you as a subject matter expert. And yes, clearly it should be something relevant to your business and also a subject you’d want to talk about in public.
- Trade Shows: Trade shows are great opportunities to interact with a wide selection of “potentials” and it is always a great idea to have a few blog posts ready for these events. The posts should be pretty focused on whatever the subject of the trade show is, and if you do it really well you might even be able to get a viral wave going.
- Trade Show Hijack Posts: Imagine walking around a trade show and being able to say “make sure to check out my blog to get the latest info on “must see” booths, talks, people at the show? That would clearly be a very valuable resource for a limited time and it would likely generate a good deal of interest in your blog during the show. Just a warning on this one… the trade show organizer might not think it is as great as you do…
- Your Trade Show Booth: Now that you have taken the time to pay for a booth, to build it and to staff it, let’s make sure you get the most out of it. On your blog you can promote your booth, but more so, knowing full well that are going likely be meeting a good variety of targeted buyers (and buyer types), have a series of blog posts already live on your site that are very focused and can provide your team with distinct talking points as well as ready made resources to help introduce your solutions. If you want to maximize your time, that means you need to be prepared to maximize the amount of time you spend with each person at your booth – it used to be that the focus would be on the brochure (and you should probably still do those too) but in our modern communications world we can shift some of this knowledge transfer in different ways – and your business blog is a prime vehicle.
- Everyday Life: You are obviously blogging about your business because it is important – either your job is directly tied in some way to this activity, or perhaps the business you work with has determined that blogging serves a value add business function of some kind. So make the most of it in your everyday life. While nobody cares for a mindless shill, there are likely going to be plenty of opportunities that you will have to talk about your business following the very typical “what do you do” question that so often invades our lives. With that in mind, if the opportunity is there, don’t be shy about sending someone directly to a blog post. If you’ve done a good job with that post and provided great information, rather than being a hindrance you’ll actually be doing this person a favor by directing them to something specific that they are obviously interested enough in to talk about with you – worst case they politely smile and move on with their lives, but a much better outcome is that you have helped them.
- Your Ears: With all these amazing offline interactions that we all have, not only do we have great opportunities to promote existing blog posts in a very “eye to eye” manner, but I have found that in person interactions also provide an amazing platform from which I can learn more about what people are interested in – and then I can use that information to write informative blog posts that can help solve their specific problems. If they have a problem, likely others do as well. And in writing a specific blog post about their specific problem, I also have a nice opportunity to reach out directly to them after the fact as well, now armed with a blog post addressing their great question.
Photo Credit: Rendy on Flickr