Blogging: Your Lean, Mean, Lead-Generating Machine

content marketing seo optimization online blogWhat’s your secret weapon for lead generation, more conversions, and improved revenue? That’s right—blogging.

Blogging might be new to the content marketing game, but there’s no questioning the value it provides.

Data by Hubspot showed companies that blogged 15 or more times a month saw 5 times as much traffic as companies who didn’t blog at all. The same report also showed that businesses with over 200 available blogs found over 5 times as many leads as those with 10 or fewer.

Blogging helps connect you with your customers, fosters online community involvement, and personifies your business with a brand-specific voice. But the benefits of regular blogging aren’t just limited to emotional engagement—it also has demonstrable effects on your traffic, leads, and conversions.

Building Traffic

If you want to generate more leads, building a bigger readership is your first move. The best way to build a following is to blog frequently about topics specific enough to be relevant to your market, yet broad enough to generate mainstream appeal. This type of focused blogging serves your business in several ways:

  • More keywords and pages indexed by Google
  • More opportunities for other sites to link back to you, improving your page authority and SEO value
  • A bigger library of content for social media sharing and reference by other businesses

Aside from giving your audience something to read, regular blogging adds authority, SEO value, and helps to establish yourself as an inventive thought leader in your industry.

top customer channels

Blogging is as effective as social media when acquiring customers, as found by Hubspot.

Blogging for Leads

Now, it may not sound like blogging is an effective way to grow your business, but don’t be fooled—a State of Inbound Marketing survey by our friends at Hubspot showed that in 2013, 43 percent of marketers generated new business from their blogging efforts.

We’ve already established the necessity of regular content creation for growing your readership, but lead generation is where we come to a crossroads. Depending on whether your marketing is business-to-business or business-to-customer, your strategy will need to be adapted to fit your market.

For B2B blogging, this involves promoting yourself as an authority figure who generates cutting edge ideas for your industry readers to employ. Value-driving content is the name of the game here. B2B blogging prioritizes relevant information and industry news to address the pain points of the businesses that follow you. Research by Nurturehq via LinkedIn found that 81 percent of businesses believed their blogging efforts to be “useful” or “critical” to their B2B lead generation.

B2C blogging involves partnering with authoritative organizations and sites that already have a dedicated following—giving you an opportunity to capitalize on their momentum and link viewers from their content to yours. Establishing a personal brand is essential here—customers don’t want to listen to just anyone on a soapbox.

what to consider for digital customers

Creating content of value is the utmost of importance as it is what represents your business and brings new customers, chart from Marketo

Creating Trust in Your Brand

But there’s more to lead generation than simply getting more eyeballs on your content. Lead generation is all about trust. If your customers don’t trust you, you have no chance of getting their business. Fortunately, gaining customer trust doesn’t need to be a lengthy ordeal. Establishing trust can be as simple as employing the following techniques:

  • Social Proof: This concept involves our natural tendency to trust in ideas that our social groups and peers trust. This is a psychological technique that can be employed by any organization and applies to B2B marketing as well as B2C. Including customer testimonials, social media integration, and positive comments on your page can all contribute to your social proof value. Building this trust is essential for converting leads into actual customers.
  • Information Exchange: Part of managing your sales funnel is recognizing when prospects aren’t ready to buy and prepping them with the appropriate information accordingly.  This is usually done with contact info retrieval forms to give your site a way to keep your leads on the line after they’ve left. Ideally, the value you provide from your blogging efforts will be strong enough to entice your readers into taking this step.
  • Remove the Risk: Fear of being taken advantage of is a barrier to purchase in nearly every industry. To combat this deeply-ingrained anxiety, offer your prospects money-back guarantees, trial periods, and free services. This type of risk reversal costs businesses nothing—yet has a powerful impact on the consumer mindset.

Blogging for Profit

While the goal of your blogging shouldn’t be focused on commerce, effectively managed blogging efforts will help generate commerce. Regular blogging provides SEO value, authority, and traffic. This traffic can be leveraged with further industry-relevant content and trust-building practices to turn your viewers into leads, your leads into prospects, and your prospects into buyers. Talk about a well-oiled machine. What other strategies has your business used to generate leads from your blogging? Let us know in the comments below!

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