A blog makes your website more dynamic by automatically injecting new content every time an article is published. Search engines reward higher rankings to websites that consistently add fresh content, and these higher rankings translate into new visitors and lead for your business.
When blogging, take off your hat as a business owner or marketing manager and try to think like a magazine publisher. The goal of your business blog should be to publish valuable, non-promotional posts, much in the way a column or an article in an industry magazine would.
Also, think about the words you are using. Avoid industry jargon that only your employees would understand as this might alienate your target audience. Instead, think of the words your customers use to describe your business and apply those phrases to your blogging language.
What Do I Write About?
Most business blogs start with a purpose. What are you trying to educate your industry and potential customers about?
This education is not about your product. It’s about common industry issues, the problems your potential customers face, and, sometimes, the solutions your product or service offer to tackle these challenges.
A great way to start blogging is to answer the ten most common questions you get asked by prospective new customers. Do this once a week for ten weeks and you have the foundations of a successful blog.
Once those first ten weeks are over, check out your blogging analytics to see which articles resonated the most with your audience. You can measure this through free tools such as Google Analytics or a Content Management System (CMS).
If two or three of the posts received a significantly higher number of views and inbound links, try to expand on the topics at hand. Consider interviewing a coworker to reveal their thoughts on the subject.
Remember to let your expertise and passion shine through in your blog content.
Key Components of a Great Blog Post
- A compelling title – A blog post’s title is the first thing people will see, so it should clearly indicate what the article is about. Clarity and specificity attract readers and prompt them to share the post with their networks.
- Well-written and formatted text – The body of your post should be well-written and formatted in a way that makes it easy to read. Consider using header tags and bullet points to break up the content into sections. Ask a coworker or a friend to review the post before you publish it.
- Multimedia content – Relevant multimedia content can make a blog post more memorable and fun to read. It also helps to break up the text to make it more pleasing to the eye. Aim to add at least one relevant image per blog post. Slideshare presentations, videos, and infographics are examples of other multimedia content you can feature.
- Links – Include text links to relevant content, thus helping readers dig deeper into the resources they are most interested in. Your links can, naturally, point to your own internal pages and landing pages to help you generate more leads from your content.
- Call-to-Action (CTA) – Each and every blog post you publish should include a relevant call-to-action in the article to help boost lead generation.
Generating Leads with Blogging
Business blogging presents a fantastic platform for attracting organic traffic and engaging with your audience. However, the primary goal of your business blog should be to move your website visitors to the next stage in their buyer’s journey (e.g. making them a subscriber or a lead).
To achieve this goal, add calls-to-action (CTAs) to your posts and have them link to landing pages that provide downloadable access to more in-depth learning materials, such as ebooks or webinars.
Make sure to include CTAs both in the sidebar of your blog as well as on every individual post you publish. In addition to image/button CTAs, you can also include text CTAs within the body of your blog content.
Of course, blogging isn’t the only way to generate leads using content. Next, we’ll dive into other content formats for generating leads, as the more diverse your content types are, the more people you cater to.
Other Content for Generating Leads
While it’s a great place to start, blog content isn’t the only type of content you can be creating to be successful with digital marketing. You need to produce longer-form content items like ebooks, whitepapers, or research reports that can be used for lead generation. Also consider creating non-text-based content like how-to videos, webinars, templates, and free tools.
These content “offers” will feed your business conversions. An industry resource that takes some time and effort to put together will provide the type of value visitors are looking for.
It might educate, enrich one’s knowledge, or simply entertain. In any case, it has the power to achieve an information exchange: the process in which a visitor fills out a lead capture form to access the resource.
The offers you produce shouldn’t be randomly selected. On the contrary, there is some precise strategy behind that decision: the insights gained from your marketing analytics.
Reporting insights will direct you to the types of content which attract your target audience. For instance, if a whitepaper on heating systems brought you more leads and sales than a webinar on the same topic, you might want to focus on creating more text-based content.