First, it’s important to understand how a Blog or eBook will generate leads for your business, this way you have a realistic expectation of what your blog is going to help you achieve. Blogs can help increase your website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO), resulting in increased traffic to your website. It can also create huge viral potential with easy share tools, educate your customers on new uses for your products or services and help position your brand as an expert. An eBook can also help increase SEO, provide huge viral opportunities and position you has an expert in your industry. Blogs rarely are the direct result in new sales, in fact in many cases your blog or eBook will be the first step in your sales funnel. It is important to understand this aspect when writing your blog and creating your overall content strategy. Now that we know that your blog and eBook are going to be just the first step in your marketing funnel lets look at some strategies that you can use to grab new leads to put into your sales funnel.
Linking: One action that every blog post you create should have is links to other pages of your website, other articles or directly to your networks such as Facebook or Twitter. If a reader is reading your article and they are getting value from the article they are naturally going to want to learn more. By linking to other sections of your website or networks you’re making this an extremely easy task for them. The best part is some articles can link directly to your services or products page. This gives the reader direct access to learn more about what your business has to offer.
Calls to Action: The most important part of any blog is going to be the call to action, usually at the end of the article. Every blog that you produce is going to need a call to action. A call to action can be anything from asking the reader to share your article on Facebook, write a comment at the end of an article or to signup for your monthly newsletter. Depending on the article you will want to use different calls to action. When writing your call to action it is important to remember that the less the reader as to do, the more readers you will have take action. Sharing is going to be done more often than commenting, but commenting is going to be done more often than submitting an email, keep this in mind.
All Call To Actions Are Good: Obviously a reader sharing your article is not going to allow you to contact them about your services or products, this does not mean it’s not valuable. When you’re articles are shared they will be seen by new eyes, of which you never know who might become a customer. Comments provide value by allowing you to communicate in more depth with your target market. And of course, likely the most valuable call to action is capturing a potential customer’s email address, at which time they are officially considered a lead.
Obtaining More Opt-Ins: Blogs and eBooks provide huge opportunity for Opt-In marketing, otherwise known as Inbound Marketing or Email Marketing. One of the most powerful ways to achieve these Opt-Ins is by giving away a freebie. For example, in one of Social Brothers’ articles we talk about the importance of tracking your social media efforts, then at the end of the article we offer a free tracking spreadsheet. The reader understands the importance of tracking their efforts after the article and naturally wants this spreadsheet to help them do so, they opt-in by giving us their email address and grabbing the free spreadsheet. eBooks are a great freebie, not only will they provide you with their email address for future communication but they will be learning more about you through the eBook.
The Funnel: Capturing the email from the blog is only the first part. In order to have a solid Blogging strategy it needs to be part of something bigger, a Sales Funnel. Once you capture the email address what happens, do they get a series of emails educating them about your services? Do they get sent to a questionnaire for them to fill out? Do they get added to your monthly newsletter? Whatever your sales funnel is, it needs to contain multiple layers. If you’re expecting a reader to read your article, opt-in for a freebie and then contact you for your products or services chances are you’re going to be disappointed with your blogging results. Consider this, many marketing experts say it can take up to 20 different times seeing a business’s name, message, product or advertising before they will become a customer. Capturing their attention with a blog post is only the first impression.
Blogs and eBooks are a great tool to help improve SEO on your website, increase traffic and attract new leads for your business. However, if you don’t have an in depth marketing funnel in place, you’re likely going to see that increased traffic and leads come up short. Use your blogs and eBooks as the first step in your funnel and watch your leads come from readers to customers.
If you enjoyed reading this article and learned valuable points on how to get more out of your business blog, we encourage you to checkout our eBook, Social Brothers’ Guide, Laying the Foundation to a Successful Social Media Strategy for even more great tips and resources.