There are always three critical questions that, in a split second, pass through a prospective buyer’s mind, Pat Racco, founder of Advantage Media explains:

  • What is it?
  • Is it for me?
  • What should I do?

In my work at Say It For You, which is centered around blog marketing, a favorite topic of mine has become the contrast between ads and blogs. When people go online to search for information and click on different blogs or on different websites, they’re aware of the fact that the providers of that information are hoping to do business with them.  On the other hand, those blog visitors are doubtless asking themselves the very same what-is-it/is-it-for-me/what should I do questions.

The critical difference? Blogs need to be more like advertorials than ads, using more examples and fewer claims, “more care and less scare”. Back in 2014, I commented on an advertorial in the Indianapolis Star supplement called “Why to Buy a Piano”.  The piece provided tips on the basic decisions facing piano buyers (digital vs. acoustic, upright vs. grand, used vs. new). The writer of that advertorial was providing the answer to the first question – (What is it?), going on to help readers choose between the different options (Is it for me?)

Effective blog posts include calls to action (addressing the what-should-I-do question). Over the years of working with business owners and practitioners, I’ve encountered two very different attitudes towards blog marketing and specifically towards Calls to Action. At the one extreme are those who feel that any direct Call to Action is abrupt and obtrusive, believing that if the blog provides useful information, the reader will want, without being asked, to follow up with the company or practice. At the opposite end of the spectrum are owners who feel uneasy about giving away valuable information without asking for “an order”.

Searchers on the web may be shopping for the products or services you offer, but may not be ready to make a commitment.  If, in your business blog, you can convey the idea that there are different levels of involvement possible, and that “ultimate decisions” need not be made the moment a potential client or customer “steps into” your website, visitors can be comfortable engaging with you.

Providing answers to the three critical questions going through prospects’ minds is a path to success in blog marketing.