Blog and content marketing have begun to make quite the impression on the digital marketing sphere.
The main reason for this is because of the incredible success that many businesses have experienced after making blogging a part of their marketing plans.
According to information from the team at HubSpot, marketers who prioritized blogging in 2015 were 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI.
Not only that, but their statistics also say that companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website – which is a major factor in SEO rankings.
As Olivia Allen, a HubSpot contributor, points out:
“Producing reliable, insightful industry news to your visitors pays off. Not only will it increase your reputability, it will also increase your inbound links. Other websites want to seem helpful and credible as well and will share your content to do so. This will send their visitors to your site and gives you an opportunity to build your own relationship with them.”
But you probably already know about the type of positive influence blogging can have on your business.
The reason you are here is to find out the answer to how in the world you can convert leads from your content marketing and blogging strategy.
The purpose of this article is to show you just a few simple ways that you can convert leads from your blog.
Let’s take a look:
#1 – Solve Problems or Share Resources
If you want a strategy that is going to drive visitors away from your site in droves and prevent leads from being converted, focus on constantly sharing news about and promoting your products and services.
If, however, converting leads is your goal, your focus has to be on showing that you can provide value to potential customers.
As Entrepreneur contributor Ann Handley says:
“Your blog should focus on your customers. It should either solve their problems or share your resources. Don’t shill your stuff. This may sound obvious, but too many business blogs seem to be a repository for press releases, regurgitated marketing-speak and other pablum. News about your company and its products and services might be fascinating to you, but it’s not what will ultimately attract and engage prospect. Write about what they care about.”
Handley makes a point that deserves your utmost attention; you cannot convert leads from your blog unless you first prove your usefulness to them.
She goes on to point out that one of the best ways to gather ideas for blog posts is by taking a look at the questions that your customers are asking.
This can include the questions that they are asking you directly or ones that you find your target market asking on social media sites or forums.
Even creating extensive posts related to the questions in your FAQ section is a great way to create quality, useful content that can lead to conversions.
Some of the questions that Handley advises that you ask yourself include:
- What problems do your customers ask about?
- What advice do your customers need?
- What problems do your products and services solve for them?
Find out what your target audience needs help with and create posts or share resources that help them with it.
This is a tremendous way to develop trust and will allow you to use tactics like email marketing to put customers through your sales funnel.
#2 – Utilize Email Marketing
One of the hottest marketing strategies for modern companies to implement is email marketing.
The reason for this is simple; because it works.
In fact, according to Express Pigeon, email marketing has an ROI of 4,300%.
That is pretty darn incredible.
For some reason, however, companies are not utilizing email marketing in the way they should.
As Paul Jorgensen from Express Pigeon points out:
“Companies view email marketing as a better ROI than social media, content marketing, PPC, and more. But only 4% of marketers rate their email marketing efforts as excellent.”
So, even though it is clear that email marketing can be incredibly effective, many marketers are not focusing on the optimization of their email marketing strategy.
Obviously the problem here seems to be that these businesses are not taking the proper approach to email marketing.
But what is the proper approach?
Well, one method that has worked well for sites like Quick Sprout, Content Marketing Institute, and Copyblogger is to combine blogging and email marketing.
As Copyblogger contributor Beth Haden says:
“If you have a blog (and by this point, we certainly hope you do), you need to make sure your blog is working together with your email marketing efforts to serve your audience and get you closer to your content marketing goals.”
In her article 8 Smart Ways to Combine Blogging with Email Marketing for Best-Selling Results, Haden goes on to lay out the path to successfully integrating the two together.
Some of the ways she lays out include:
- Train people to open your emails. Do this by using tools that automatically push your new blog posts out to your email list.
- Create FAQ autoresponders. Putting together useful autoresponders for new subscribers is a great way to immediately build trust with new members of your email list.
- Schedule for content synergy. You want to make sure that the themes of your content are working together. Delivering content with random, unrelated subjects can cause subscribers to disengage and become uninterested.
Haden goes on to list five other ways in which you can go about successfully combining email marketing and blogging.
With this combination, you will have the ability to develop the trust that it takes to convert leads from your blog.
It should be understood that this is a process that you will more than likely have to be patient with.
Depending on the product or service you are selling, visitors are more than likely not going to simply come to your website or blog and purchase from you.
Instead, the process involves developing trust with your visitors; at which point they can then become loyal and long term customers.
The beauty of email marketing and blogging is that it allows you to do that in a subtle, yet effective way.
#3 – Make Quality and Promotion Your Priority
While company blogs are clearly becoming much more popular than ever, far too many businesses simply expect that updating their blogs with regular content will bring in leads.
Unfortunately, however, this simply is not the truth.
The fact of the matter is, just about everybody is blogging nowadays.
This creates a massive amount of content that is being published on a regular basis and thus creates competition from every corner.
In fact, according to an infographic from DOMO, there are over 30,000 new blog posts published on Tumblr and WordPress every minute of every day.
Competing with that amount of content is going to be extremely difficult unless you ensure that the quality of your content is top notch.
As digital marketer Kristi Kellogg says:
“If one lesson emerged regarding content in 2015, it was that a digital marketer’s strategy should revolve around quality over quantity.”
This lesson cannot be overstated.
As time goes on, the digital world will only continue to see an increase in the amount of content being created.
Therefore, competing with this content can only be done by producing extremely high quality blog posts and effectively promoting those posts.
Reiterating this point, Forbes contributor Jayson DeMers said in his article The 12 Essential Elements of High-Quality Content that:
“Quality content is far more than just a buzzword marketers throw around for fun. It’s what savvy marketers strive for, and what Google and people look for. It’s what separates the winners from the losers online; it’s what will help your site rank well in the search engines, what will naturally attract high-quality inbound links, and what will help you build trust, credibility, and authority with your audience.”
But how do you make sure that you are consistently creating high quality content?
DeMers points out a few things that you should focus on:
- Long form content. It is very difficult to develop an effective blog post with 300-500 words. 1000+ words is ideal as it caters to both mobile and desktop users.
- Supplement with images, video, infographics, and other media. Writing well isn’t good enough anymore. Visual content and multimedia can drastically improve the effectiveness of your post.
- Proper grammar and spelling. There are no ifs ands or buts about this one. Even a single grammar or spelling error can destroy the way a viewer thinks about your content.
- Easily readable content layout. Viewers get bored by overly long paragraphs. Instead, write short, concise sentences and paragraphs while using bold, italics, and numbered lists to highlight the major points of the article.
While DeMers lays out eight other essential elements of high-quality content, these are the ones most pertinent to the actual creation of the article.
Now, while creating quality content is important, it could be said that the proper promotion of that content is even more important.
For more information on content promotion, Maciej Fita put together a post of the more basic ways to promote your content effectively.
You can take a look at some of the more advanced ways to do so by checking out Kissmetric’s article, 17 Advanced Methods for Promotion Your New Piece of Content.
At the end of the day, if you are unable to produce quality content and effectively promote that content, you will have a very difficult time converting leads.
Not to mention the fact that you will more than likely have significantly fewer leads to convert from.
#4 – Create a Sales Funnel Specifically for Your Blog
This is a rather new idea that many content marketing experts have yet to really dive into.
If you think about, just about every company uses a sales funnel in their business model.
Potential customers go through this funnel and, after going through the steps involved, are then asked to purchase the product or service that the company is offering.
For some reason, companies are not using a sales funnel with their blogs.
In the process, they are making converting leads from their blog a complete guessing game.
Fortunately, creating a funnel is not quite as difficult or time consuming as you may think.
The time consuming part is continuing to find ways to improve upon it and working to create the highest converting funnel possible.
While the way that you create the sales funnel for your blog will depend on your specific industry, Jason Clegg from Convert with Content put together a useful post for helping you get started.
In the article, Clegg talks about the importance of nurturing your prospects by guiding them through a sales funnel.
This not only leads to more initial conversions, but also leads to far more loyalty and long term customers than not doing so.
The beautiful thing about a blog is that its intention is to do just that; nurture and build trust with your prospects.
In the end, creating and continually improving upon a sales funnel that caters specifically to your blog visitors can help you convert significantly more customers over both the short and long term.
The team at Petovera put together a list of some of the best sales funnel examples that can give you some great ideas to get started.
#5 – Use Tools and Analytics to Improve Your Content and Sales Funnel
One of the other beautiful things about creating a blog specific sales funnel is that you can continually improve upon it by using tools and analytics from your blog.
Free tools like Google Analytics make this incredibly easy to do.
It allows you to see what content is performing at the highest level, see where improvements can be made, and also see what promotion areas are working best.
As Mike Bird of Rank Watch points out:
“With Google Analytics, the content marketing game only gets stronger. When used correctly, Google Analytics will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about your website and content marketing strategy, including how many visitors are coming to a single page, which keywords are getting them there and how convincing a landing page truly is.”
With this information laid out for you, it becomes much easier to go to work towards improving the different aspects of your content and sales funnel.
For help with using Google Analytics, you would be wise to check out Bird’s post on How to Improve Your Content Marketing using Google Analytics.
#6 – Make it Easy for Leads to Be Converted
For businesses looking to convert more leads through their blog, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is by making it difficult for leads to be converted.
Far too many blogs do not take the proper steps to ensure that their visitors know what to do next.
Simplifying the conversion process is incredibly important.
Adam Connell, a contributor at SEMrush Blog, laid out some fairly simple ways to do this.
- Add an opt-in form with your post. If a visitor enjoys your post, they may be interested in discovering more useful information. Include an opt-in form that requires nothing but their email address to receive similar content through email updates in the future.
- Promote downloadable content. If you have larger pieces of content like e-books or extensive guides, provide the option for readers to download that content after reading through your post.
- Offer a free trial. Depending on the type of blog post, sometimes offering a free trial is a great way to immediately convert visitors into customers. Just make sure that the call-to-action associated with this offer is strong.
When implementing these tips, it is important to realize that you initially want to avoid forcing your readers to fill in too many form fields in order to become leads.
As Connell points out:
“It is important to consider the fact that the number of form fields matter; the more you have, the more data you will get. But, you run the risk of lowering conversion rates.”
Simply going through the process of making it easier for your blog visitors to convert can lead to an immediate surge in the amount of leads that your blog generates.
The Final Word
One of the problems that marketers and business owners seem to have with blogging is that it is usually said that it takes time to be effective.
While that is certainly true, each tip outlined in this article can be implemented as a way for you to continually grow and convert leads from your blog.
The long term results that can be experienced when you effectively implement these tips will make it well worth the initial time and financial investment.
Make the decision to focus on converting leads from your blog and you will soon see the fulfilling success that can be achieved by doing so.