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When it comes to online marketing, content is usually king. While content can come in many forms, blogging is a mainstay. In fact, 90% of businesses use some form of content marketing, including blogging.
There are many reasons to start blogging, but for most businesses, the driving force behind their decision to launch a blog is the ability to generate more leads. How do you do that? Let’s take a closer look.
Why Do You Need a Blog?
Many businesses are reluctant to start blogging because they’re intimidated, unsure of where to start or just don’t understand the benefits of it. The truth is that every business should have a blog. Here’s why:
Blogs Build Authority
One great advantage of having a blog is that it helps you build authority. Each post you publish displays your knowledge, which builds credibility and fosters trust among potential customers.
Trust is crucial. Clients or customers only want to do business with brands or people they trust. They want someone with knowledge and experience to solve their problem. By providing valuable information and answering questions that your target audience may have, you’re demonstrating your expertise and building that trust little by little.
Blogging about the latest advancements or developments in your industry also shows your audience that you keep up with the changes and innovations that are driving the industry forward.
Blogs Build Brand Awareness and Expand Your Reach
Blogging can play a big role in building brand awareness. When you share your expertise and provide value to your readers, they’re more likely to share your content or talk about it with their friends and family.
Each time your content is shared or discussed, your brand is put in front of more faces. These are people that are also interested in what you’re offering or may need your products/services in the near future.
Blogs Provide Value to Your Readers
A blog gives potential leads a reason to visit your website and stick around. Why? Because you’re providing them with valuable content.
Blogs can provide value by:
- Answering questions
- Sharing insights
- Offering tutorials or demonstrations
Blog posts are even more valuable when they give readers actionable steps that they can take to start solving their problems.
Providing valuable content makes your brand memorable. When customers need your product or service, your brand will be the first that comes to mind.
Blogs Attract Search Engine Traffic
Blogging is an effective way to attract search engine traffic. Each post you publish is another opportunity to rank in the search results for targeted keywords.
Quality content that ranks well will drive more visitors to your website – for free.
Up to 80% of search users ignore paid ads and only click on organic search results. This means that if your blog posts show up in the search results, people are more likely to click through to your site than if you paid for ad placement.
Businesses that have blogs get 55% more visitors than those that don’t.
Search engine traffic is arguably more valuable than other traffic sources. Why? Because it’s highly targeted.
Let’s say your business sells widgets. You write a great blog post on the benefits of widgets. When people search for “the benefits of widgets,” your post ranks on the first page of the search results.
Visitors who click through to your website from the search results are already interested in widgets or they want to know why they should buy one. You don’t have to sell them on the idea of widgets – they’re already thinking about it and considering buying one. This means that they’ll be more likely to convert, which is the ultimate goal for every business.
Blogs Keep Visitors Around for Longer
When your blog posts provide value to readers, they’ll be more likely to stick around and engage with your brand. When posts include all of the right elements, these visitors are also more likely to take the next step – contacting you or making a purchase.
These are just a few of the many reasons to start a blog. Ultimately, actively blogging will help you increase conversions and your bottom line.
What Should Your Business Blog About?
Now that you understand the benefits of blogging, you may be wondering what you should blog about. Even if you’re in a so-called “boring” industry, there is always something to write about.
But you shouldn’t create content for the sake of it. To be effective, your content needs to be:
- Easy to digest
Every post that you publish should focus on topics that your ideal customers are searching for or seeking help with.
But how do you find topics that your customers are interested in?
- Keyword research can give you an idea of what your ideal customer is searching for. Use these keywords to brainstorm ideas for posts.
- Scour social media. Find out where your ideal customer is hanging out. What are they talking about? What problems do they need solved? What are they interested in?
- Check the competition. What are your competitors blogging about? How can you improve on their posts? Are there information gaps that you can fill? Can you give another perspective on the topic?
- Check comments and messages from prospects and customers. Are people asking the same questions? Can you get ideas from their feedback?
In addition to informative posts, you can also blog about industry news or company announcements that may interest your ideal customer.
What Should Your Blog Content Do to Attract More Leads?
A blog is a great lead-generating tool, but to be effective, you’ll have to do more than just hit the “publish” button. Content needs to be created in a way that will attract more leads.
- Providing information that’s easy to read and digest.
- Educating visitors on the services or products that you offer.
Content that’s easy to read and understand is more accessible to a wider audience. Providing more information on the products or services that visitors are interested in will help nudge them towards taking the next step.
How Do You Get Leads from Your Blog Posts?
You know the importance of blogging and how to find topics. But how do you actually get leads from your posts?
Businesses with blogs receive 67% more leads, on average, per month than companies without blogs. Clearly, blogging is effective at bringing in more leads. But just like any other marketing strategy, you need to use the right tactics and incorporate the right elements to see the results you desire.
3 of the Most Effective Ways to Get Leads from Your Blog Posts
1. Include a CTA (Call to Action)
You’ve created a really informative blog post that’s getting some traction. People are sharing it, and it’s driving traffic to your website. But you don’t seem to be getting any leads from it.
It may be because you forgot to include a CTA, or call to action. A CTA tells your readers what to do next. It encourages them to take the next step.
Let’s go back to the “benefits of widgets” blog post example. At the end of the post, you may add a CTA that says, “Want to maximize the benefits of widgets? Contact us today to get started.” This CTA tells readers to contact you about your widgets and invites them to start the buying process.
Make sure that you have at least one CTA on every blog post page. You don’t necessarily have to have it in the middle of your content (although you can and it may be effective), but you should have one at the end of each post.
A CTA doesn’t necessarily have to be a “contact us” message either. You can invite readers to request a quote for your services, or take another action that’s unique to your buying process. The more personalized the CTA, the better. HubSpot found that personalized CTAs perform 202% better than generic ones.
2. Create a Newsletter/Mailing List
Another great way to generate leads with your blog is by creating a newsletter or mailing list. Having a newsletter or mailing list allows you to nurture leads over time and eventually (hopefully) convert them to customers.
The goal is to get visitors to provide their email address through an opt-in form on your blog post. You’re probably familiar with opt-in forms, even if you don’t realize it. These are forms asking you to sign up for a newsletter to be informed of updates or to receive freebies, like eBooks, webinar access, or special discounts.
Each email address you capture helps build your mailing list. This allows you to build and launch email marketing campaigns to educate leads on your products/services and hopefully build trust and credibility along the way. When leads are ready to buy, your brand will be the first thing that comes to mind.
According to data from Monetate, 4.24% of email marketing traffic will buy something compared to 2.49% of traffic from search engines.
To entice visitors to sign up, offer something of value in exchange for their email address and information. The freebies we listed above are great options.
3. Add a “Buy Now” Button
Much like a CTA helps guide prospects in the right direction, a “Buy Now” button entices visitors to take that next step in the buying process.
“Buy Now” buttons should be easily visible and can even be placed after a CTA. Depending on what you’re offering, you may direct the visitor right to the checkout page, or to a form to learn more about what they need.
Incorporating “Buy Now” buttons into your blog posts can help you effectively generate more targeted leads and convert more customers. Test out different colors and placements for your buttons to find a combination that generates the most leads.
Blogs are highly effective lead generators, but you must have the right strategy to see results. Careful content planning and incorporating the right lead-generating tools (opt-in forms, CTAs, etc.) will help you achieve your goals for lead generation.