This is a guest blog by Pankaj Mondal. He is a business blogger and content marketer helping businesses with branding and generating leads. He's the Founder of Monkey Goes Digital and you can find him on LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter.
A business blog is designed to capture leads for the sales team. After all, businesses need to come up with new revenue streams to survive. You may generate a lot of money by focusing on your current customers, but still, you'll be leaving a lot of money on the table if you fail to attract prospects. And who knows? The customers you're working with today may decide to stop doing business with you tomorrow.
Your blog doesn't have to be the best and biggest. Ironically, small blogs which are unheard of or businesses with mediocre products BUT with a solid lead generation strategy sometimes win. The only reason is that they understand how to generate leads.
So, how do you get new leads with your blog?
1. Create A Solution In The Form Of Blog Posts
The first step includes creating content that addresses the pain points of your target audience. You can spend hours on end to create a fantastic article but if it doesn’t address their issues or concerns, you won't see any conversions. Getting tons of visits and social shares can make you feel good, but it won’t contribute to your business goals.
Identify the core topics around which to create content. For example, if you own a business that sells candles, you'll probably write about the best varieties of candles, scented candles, the best matches to light candles and so on. But there will come a stage when your resources get exhausted. This is the time when you need to ask for help.
Here are some strategies you can use to generate topics to create lead generating content:
- Send surveys via email to your customers, share polls or put up questions on social media, or talk to your support team about the conversations that pop up the most.
- Scout social media channels to draw insights. Join Facebook and LinkedIn groups and see what types of conversations are drawing the maximum attention. You can also check out Google Trends to find hot topics and brainstorm to come up with some cool ideas.
- Check your competitors' website for inspiration. Very often, you can find topics or ideas which had never crossed your mind before.
- Quora (or your local equivalent) is a fantastic Q&A site that I often use to create topic ideas. Just head over to the search bar and type your topic. The tool populates the list with common topics. You’ll also find open/unanswered questions, which are a golden opportunity to find topics to blog about.
- Head over to Ubersuggest and enter your seed keyword. The tool gives you a list of suggestions within seconds. For many webmasters, the cost of keyword research tools can seem prohibitive. Thankfully, Ubersuggest does it for free.
- Finally, identify specialty websites for specific industries and their forums. The amount of information on the Internet is staggering, but for certain industries like IT, biotech, or aviation, it comes in very easily digestible packages.
2. Actively Promote Your Content
There are lots of incredible marketers who spend hours upon hours perfecting their blog posts with one goal in mind: providing value. Sounds awesome, right? Yet they fail when it comes to promoting their content.
If you want your content to serve its purpose and drive your business goals, you have to be proactive with your promotion efforts. It is a futile exercise working on content that never generates any ROI, and never gets seen.
3. Make Your Homepage Messaging Captivating
Your homepage is one of the best tools for driving conversions as it receives the maximum visits. If you have been actively promoting your site, your homepage will receive visitors from search engines, social media sites, referring sites and other sources.
When someone lands on your homepage and finds a captivating message, you can rightfully expect conversions.
Alex Chris from Digital Marketing Pro, says that by tweaking his homepage, he received 400k visitors per month, leading to several thousand leads. He has a list of the latest posts along with five sticky posts on the homepage. On the side bar, he presents a case study on how his website generated 5k visits per month.
Just take a look at Neilpatel.com. The homepage headline and the CTA look attractive. More importantly, they are in sync. When people visit the homepage, they'll immediately see the topic and how Neil can help them with traffic.
Obviously, what works differs from country to country, but the basic rules are the same: An important takeaway in your homepage messaging is that it has to be sweet, short and valuable to your readers.
4. A/B Test Your Website
A/B testing is a great technique for figuring out the best marketing strategies for your business. Your website, landing page, ads and marketing emails should be tested periodically so that your business gets the best ROI.
The first step before carrying out A/B testing is to find out what you want to test. If you plan to run an on-site test, you'll have to consider all the sales-related elements of your website, and then find out the elements you’ve to test.
In case of off-site tests, you'll be testing either a sales email or an ad. Testing ad copy to identify the ad that leads to greater conversion can help you bolster your advertising efforts. The same is applicable in case of emails. If you send out two different emails to your list, and then track the one that converts better, try sending only that version in the next round.
It's best to create a list of all the variables you'll be testing before making a final change. Find out more here: A/B Testing - Everyone Should Do It
5. Treat Every Blog Post Like Your Landing Page
The best hack I can recommend for your lead generating efforts is to treat each post like a landing page. Most businesses make a grave mistake of not putting enough value behind a post, assuming that the results it will drive on its own will be minimal.
As mentioned above, you do need to create quality content, but each piece showcases your brand and is a terrific opportunity to raise some eyebrows. As Nathan Ellering from CoSchedule rightly states, “Think of blogs posts as the home page of your website.”
Ensure that every blog post has a strong CTA, or “call-to-action” and proves your credibility.
6. Introduce Live Chat
Would you spend a fortune attracting new visitors, or use a cost-effective strategy to make the most of your existing traffic?
The cheaper option sounds better. Scores of posts explain how to optimize your website for conversions, right from your CTA button color, images and website copy. All of these emphasize on the aesthetics of your website.
But have you considered the human touch? Does it make sense in personalizing the experience for every visitor? It does and that's where live chat comes in. Sure, it's an untapped territory but has immense potential for conversions.
Remember that 99% of first time visitors are not willing to make a purchase. With live chat, businesses need not worry. In fact, even if you have a low quality website, you can still convert.
7. Use The Hello Bar
Every wondered why the likes of Ramit Sethi, Andrew Warner, DIY Themes and Tammy Crap started using the Hello Bar? It's an exceptional way to generate more leads.
You want to increase the value of each and every user that visits your site, and a clever way to do it is to get their information. The Hello Bar grabs your reader's attention. And once you grab their attention, the text you put in the bar should propel them to click the link.
A few ways to use it are as follows:
- Promote your posts
- Sell your services or products
- Drive traffic to wherever you want it to go
- Get users to opt-in to your email list
- Encourage social shares
8. Case Studies
While case studies are normally seen to be the “bottom of the funnel” content, they can act as a magical wand when it comes to selling your services or products.
Nobody is going to hire you just because you claim you're outstanding. People need real figures!
According to Content Marketing Institute, 82% of businessesuse case studies in their marketing efforts.
When you're engaged with a potential client that's close to sealing a buying decision, you'll be better served if you've more relevant case studies. A case study tells people how good you are than your competitors and what your clients love about you.
How do you write a good case study? It's about telling readers how you accomplished a goal or how you helped your client increase revenue. The title of a case study should look positive. For instance, “How We Helped XYZ Company To Increase Conversions By 50% In Just 2 Months?”
Weave an interesting story around it and include every striking detail but don't over highlight yourself.
The bottom line is to convince the reader on how you achieved the goal. Lastly, you must tell the reader that you can do the same thing for him. A CTA at the end is equally important so that the prospect doesn't forget the purpose of reading the case study.
Video content is a brilliant way to generate new leads.
Nearly 63% of businesses have started incorporating video content in their marketing efforts, with 83% believing that video marketing gives them better ROI. Studies have also proved that 74% of users who watched an explanatory video about a service or product subsequently purchased it.
It's not only about videos on Facebook or Instagram. It's about video content that supplements your blog post. You can incorporate video in any part of your lead generation funnel and enjoy the outcome.
You can use videos to introduce prospects to your team and disperse important information in a visually-stunning manner.
Here are some handy tips on creating video content:
- Instead of being excessively focused on your product and its benefits, state the mission of the product. For example, Dove creates emotional viral videos that lay greater emphasis on their mission rather than their product https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DdM-4siaQw
- With 80% of internet users owning a Smartphone, it’s imperative to make your videos mobile friendly.
- One of the most powerful ways to get visitors coming back to your site is by creating educative videos. Often, videos that offer advice, tips and information can be greatly effective compared to a promotional stuff.
- Putting your customers behind the camera and let them do the talking on how they’ve benefitted from your service or product is a powerful way to appeal to prospects.
- Keep your videos short. As Helen Klein Ross, noted write and creative director, states “The less you say, the more likely people are to remember.”
Read also: 9 Steps to successful video marketing
10. Include A Referral Program
As a marketer, one of the most gratifying feelings is when you can count on your current customers to help grow your brand's awareness. It's a hallmark of marketing when people start recommending your quality content to others.
It doesn't hurt to give your company a slight boost by incentivizing your present customers to spread the good things about your product. You can give discounts to people who can bring in, say 3 new customers. Thank them with greater discounts for any extra new clients.
Referral marketing is fantastic as a marketing channel. People pay extra attention to recommendations from friends and 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know. Some important points to note while creating a referral program are:
- Make your referral process clear
- Make it easy to submit referrals
- Make it fun for customers to share referrals
- Make referrals more personal
- Make referrals rewarding
You should always be testing new ways on generating leads from your blog. While some lead gen strategies can cost you a fortune, there are some inexpensive options as well.
Consider looking for influencers to promote your brand. Look for opportunities to guest post as well. And don't forget your value proposition.
Your blog is a hub for customer engagement from providing information to closing the sale. So ensure to take full advantage of it.
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