There is an art to selling through a blog – and we can learn a lot about it from the American retail giant Target.

Blogs are one of the most popular content marketing channels, and for a good reason: It’s easy and quick to set up and requires relatively little technical expertise. 

In addition, for many entrepreneurs, writing is a pleasure and a passion. Many businesses have even started out as blogs and became full-time ventures only afterwards.

Still, many entrepreneurs dedicate a lot of their marketing time and budget for a blog that never brings in a penny. In particular, service-based entrepreneurs struggle to see how a blog can boost their business, because the link between the content and the revenue isn’t always straightforward. 

Selling through a blog is possible. Let’s look at the American retail giant, Target, and see what we can learn from their example. 

Follow Target: target early stages

Author Charles Duhigg shares a fascinating case study of Target in his book The Power of Habit.

According to Duhigg, Target hoped to tap into the huge consumption potential of a specific group: future mothers. The company was, however, facing tough competition, because all the other chains were after future parents, too.

Target set to identify the pregnant clients in the early stages, during the first trimester, so that they could attract them before everyone else was on them, and before the overwhelm in front of a huge life change really kicked in. Their hope was to gain the loyalty of these customers at a moment when their consumption habits were easily influenced and prone to change.

Give your clients what they don’t even know they need

Target finally reached their goal by analysing loads of client data, which many small businesses don’t have. But you don’t need to, because you have something as powerful.

You understand your clients and what they need. 

Adapt the Target approach to your content by thinking about your clients’ lives and what happens before they ever get behind your door, and try to hit that mark with your content.

To stay in the baby world: if you’re a newborn photographer, you probably don’t want to focus your marketing efforts on sleep-deprived clients who are stressed and overwhelmed about choosing the right baby formula and trying to figure out which size of a onesie to buy. 

Instead you can create a step-by-step photography guide for documenting the pregnancy from the two red lines to the invisible bump and so forth. 

When they get to a point where they make a decision about a newborn photoshoot, they don’t even need to consider their options because the decision is already made. You’ve gained their trust through free content. 

Blog can nudge a hesitant client over the line

Sometimes brainstorming blog topics that are a few steps away from your business might feel hard. Not all client journeys are as straightforward as pregnancy. 

The same approach can be applied in a closer circle as well. Think about what happens in your clients’ lives just before they are ready to buy from you.

How could you bridge the gap between their pain point and your service?

Free content isn’t for first-timers only

A third point of the client journey to think about when choosing blog topics is after the purchase. 

Often free content is seen as the first step of the process, before paid products and services, but in fact, free content can also be a great way to improve your client experience and ensure they make the most of their purchase. 

How could you help your clients get better results or enjoy their purchase more? 

Serving your clients through free content creates loyal, lasting relationships with customers who don’t only come back but bring their friends and colleagues, too.

Nothing happens?

Now it’s your time to shine! Take a pen and paper and start brainstorming for fun, creative and even a little bit crazy content ideas!

If you need further inspiration, these 12 tips from successful female entrepreneurs might also help you get unstuck. Learn from the best and build an unstoppable business!

P.S. Did you see this?

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