How to Turn Your Blog Into a Lead Generator
How do I generate qualified leads for my business is a question I’m often asked (like anyone really wants unqualified leads.) I’ve got one word for you—Blogs!
Here are twenty ways that a blog can help you identify qualified prospects and customers for your business, regardless of whether it’s B2B, B2C, not-for-profit or solopreneur.
- Focus on prospects’ pain points. Of course, this assumes you have an appreciation for your shoppers’ needs. Use your blog to demonstrate how your product can help them by using text, photographs, video and other media formats.
- Deliver product education. Show your product in action with supporting product information. Unlike other forms of marketing collateral, a blog allows you to build context around your product to show it in use. Be creative—it can be how-tos, patterns, recipes, and other forms of product knowledge.
- Sell your product(s). Integrate a link in your blog content so prospects can purchase. Include a “Buy Now!” button or other call-to-action where appropriate.
- Supply links to related content. Let readers gather additional information by linking to other information on your blog or website.
- Make content easy to consume. Bear in mind that prospects may be reading your blog on the go. Therefore, make it easy to scan with the use of short paragraphs, bolding and bullet points.
- Use strong headlines to pull readers in. Make sure your titles grab your prospects by the collar and cause them to read your blog posts. The goal is to engage them with content related to your products.
- Build your brand. Through your blog’s design elements and voice, your blog enhances your brand image with readers. Your blog gives your brand personality.
- Include visually appealing graphics. Make your products and services the star of your articles with photographs and videos that lure interested shoppers in. As visual beings, people want to see your offering. Many people have a hard understanding your product without seeing it.
- Help search optimization. Help your product get found through a combination of keyword rich blog content, architecture and linking both to other parts of your blog and your website as well as to other related information. (Of course, don’t link to your competitors!)
- Provide for on-site search. Encourage blog readers to look deeper into your offering by including a search box on your blog that searches your blog and website. Use the results of these searches to create targeted content focused on what prospects are seeking.
- Position key executives. Get your senior management team out in public and on social media through the use of regular blog posts. This can be very useful for providing your target audience with insights into how your firm is managed.
- Publish on a regular basis. It’s critical to create content on a regular schedule so that prospects and readers know when to expect it, rather than just when the spirit moves you or there’s an industry event. Research shows that blogging 2-3 times a week captures most of the benefit in terms of customer acquisition.
- Build an email list. Email lists are at the heart of most marketing because they’re cost efficient relative to the value their deliver. To maximize the number of people registering for your blog, it’s useful to develop a related e-book or other offering to use as an incentive to register.
- Add social sharing buttons. Consider Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Tumblr and Pinterest depending on your product array. The goal is to expand your reach by enabling readers to share articles with someone they know. This can act as a personalize product endorsement.
- Include forward-to-a-friend functionality. Don’t assume that readers will think to copy your link. Make it easy for them to send your posts to friends and colleagues.
- Include “Contact Us” functionality with a call-to-action. Make it easy for potential buyers to contact your firm whether it’s sales or customer service. Understand that they may not be ready to buy until they get their questions answered.
- Engage via comments. Offer prospects use the opportunity to interact with your firm via the comments section of your blog. While this may not be as direct as other ways of using your blog, it can help you by get questions in the open and answered.
- Get fans to contribute guest posts or content. Allow customers and fans to write guest posts to share their love for your product and company in a way that your employees can’t. Alternatively, feature a customer of the week to help readers identify with other consumers.
- Mix on social media platforms. Offer prospects the ability to connect with you on social media entities of their choosing. Give your prospective customers a variety of ways to connect with you.
- Promote your blog on other forms of internal or owned media. Expand the reach of your blog using your other forms of internal media such as your website, emails, customer service, signature files and packaging. While this may sound like it’s circular, it helps introduce your blog to people you didn’t know they were interested in your content.
A blog serves as a hub for customer engagement from providing supporting information to closing the sale. Be sure you take full advantage of it.
Do you have any other suggestions as to how a blog can help you generate leads for your business?
Here are some related articles you may find of interest.
- Group blogging – 42 tips
- 3 Secrets to Being an A-List Blogger [Infographic included]
- 31 Ways to Make Your Blog Stand Out
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/joost-ijmuiden/5619821352/