Have you ever considered your blog as a tool for lead generation and boosting revenues?
Small business blogs are a great asset – nearly 40 percent of U.S. companies use blogs for marketing purposes and 92 percent of companies who blogged multiple times a day acquired a customer through their blog (source: Hubspot).
But many small businesses clog up their blog calendars with topics that focus on their trade and what they do best, instead of blogging about what their customers want to hear about. While there’s nothing wrong with using your blog to showcase what you do as a business, this won’t necessarily impact your bottom line.
So how can you re-jig your blog to help drive sales? Here are three ways:
1. Listen to your customer’s needs and challenges
A blog that addresses and answers a challenge is a great tool. Whether you’re in the B2B or B2C space, think about the challenges and needs that your customers have, and write blogs that address these topics. Think about questions that come up in client meetings or service calls:
- “How do I prepare my lawn for the winter?”
- “What can we do to improve the effectiveness of our email campaigns?”
- “How can we reduce the cost of running a fleet of company vehicles?”
These questions can also form the headline of your blogs, and are a great way to improve search engine optimization, because you’re using keywords that reflect how people search for information online.
By blogging about the things that your customers care about, you are also delivering value. Value leads to trust. If a prospect sees that you can address their needs, they may just buy from you down the road.
2. Strive to link to lead-generation resources
You don’t have to plug your product or service in your blog to get leads from your latest post. Instead, use outbound links to direct readers to other resources for more information about a particular topic.
For example, if you are writing a blog about how get more from email campaigns, include a link at the end to a landing page on your website where readers can sign up to download a white paper that digs deeper into the topic. Alternatively, encourage the reader to sign up for your newsletter, register for a webcast, or view a YouTube video.
Offering up something in exchange for the reader’s contact information is a great way to capture their details and re-market to them, on a one-to-one basis.
3. Email is still king – use it
Leading on from our last point, email is a great way to start nurturing and marketing to the connections that your blog has started to form.
According to the Direct Marketing Association, email still delivers the highest return on investment of any marketing channel ($43 for every $1 spent). Furthermore, Monetate reports that email has a conversion rate nearly five times that of social media.
Look for ways to get your existing customers and prospects onto an email list. Encourage them to sign up for updates about news, blogs and promotions. Hand out sign-up sheets at events or at your point-of-sale. Offer incentives, like those we described in the second point above.
Then look for ways to share your blog content via email. Add a “subscribe to this blog” feature so that readers get automatic updates via email each time new content is posted. You can also activate a feature within RSS that sends a copy of the post to each person on your email list.
For more tips on getting the most out your business blog, read: 8 Tips for Keeping your Business Blog Current, Fresh and Relevant