How To Sell To The Different Types of Online Prospects On Your Blog
By The BBS Agency
November 7, 2022
If you use content on a blog to promote your services or digital products, it’s no surprise that your goal is to sell. You can’t run a business if you don’t make any money, right? The tricky issue though is that the reader who just stumbled upon your blog for the first time is going to need to be sold to in a much different manner than your long time loyal subscribers will. There are five different distinct phases of prospect awareness on your blog. They are categorized based off of how much someone has interacted with your blog in the past and what type of lead they are. Keep reading to learn more about each type of online prospect and what strategy works best to sell to each one on your blog. If you have any questions about marketing or advertising or want us to handle anything for you, reach out to us at Prebuilt Sites or The BBS Agency. We’d love to help you out!
If you use content to promote your services or digital products, it should be no secret that your goal is to sell on a blog. You want a return on investment for the time and effort you spend on building your platform.
On the other hand, you’re probably also aware that if you spend all of your time relentlessly selling, you’ll alienate a good portion of your prospective audience.
The tricky problem for content marketers is that various readers are at different awareness levels, depending on how long they’ve been reading and how much exposure you’ve provided to your offer.
And the way you approach your offer will change, depending on which stage your prospect happens to be in.
Pause before you directly sell on a blog
Eugene Schwartz tackled this issue in his classic book Breakthrough Advertising back in 1966.
Schwartz broke down prospect awareness into five distinct phases:
- The Most Aware: Your prospect knows your product, and only needs to know “the deal.”
- Product-Aware: Your prospect knows what you sell, but isn’t sure it’s right for him.
- Solution-Aware: Your prospect knows the result he wants, but not that your product provides it.
- Problem-Aware: Your prospect senses he has a problem, but doesn’t know there’s a solution.
- Completely Unaware: No knowledge of anything except, perhaps, his own identity or opinion.
As usual, we often find that the “new” challenges we face in digital marketing, such as how to sell on a blog, have already been thought through decades before.
Bright people like Schwartz and David Ogilvy needed to approach their work in similar ways.
The five stages of reader awareness
Let’s take a look at how the five stages of awareness can help you craft content that works for your marketing goals.
This means, when blogging, we don’t dive into directly selling to every audience member who engages with our content.
Instead, we use a variety of strategies — both direct and indirect — to make a case for the offer when the time is right.
1. The Most Aware
The Most Aware are long-time readers who aren’t customers or clients yet.
These are the ones you can speak most directly with, but you’ll need to make sure that those direct messages are not hurting your chances with those at different awareness levels.
Take these readers “off road” for periodic offer-specific messages designed especially for them, such as a high-value sales funnel.
You can also do occasional offer announcement posts in between regular content, or tack on a P.S. to a relevant article.
2. The Product-Aware
These people are still not sure if what you offer is right for them, even though you’ve educated them about it with some creative storyselling.
They don’t want to be pummeled with offer information, because they’re hung up at an earlier stage of the conversion process.
If your content hasn’t made your case for you, you probably need to take an approach that more fully addresses prospect questions and objections. (The basic email autoresponder is an excellent tool for this.)
The key to learning how to sell on a blog is to deliver real content with independent value that also demonstrates a benefit of your offer … with a link, of course, to a well-crafted landing page at the end.
3. The Solution-Aware
This person has a need, perhaps subscribes to your blog, but doesn’t yet know you offer a solution to their problem.
In this case, content marketing will help tremendously. This is the perfect person to offer a white paper, free report, multi-post tutorial delivered by email, webinar, or other high-value content.
Be sure you’re engaging this reader’s attention, normally via an opt-in email list, so you can let them know about everything you have to offer.
This both holds their interest and builds rapport.
4. The Problem-Aware
This person knows they have a problem … but they don’t know you.
They haven’t yet been convinced to subscribe to your blog and begin a relationship with you. They might have arrived via a search engine or through a social media channel.
The key point is they don’t yet know or trust you.
Strong content with independent value is critical to everyone in your audience, but it’s these people who most need to see the value up front to get on board as a subscriber.
Originally published on Copyblogger.