Blog posts are the first step on the conversion path as they drive prospects towards your landing pages and forms. They are also an excellent opportunity for an organisation to show thought leadership and provide unique industry insights. But, how do you attract people to your blog feed in the first place? Unless prospects have subscribed to your blog, you’ll be unable to directly notify them when your latest post is published. So now what?
Well, don’t fret. Blogs are a fantastic demand generation tool and fit snugly at the top of the sales funnel. This means that they are most effective when targeting prospects in the research stage of their purchase. As the prospects in question may not be able to name their exact issue at this point, they are most likely using search engines to just research their pain points. And this is when blogs become highly valuable in your lead generation activity.
Firstly, get to know your prospects, leads and customers. Find out what their concerns, issues and pain points are. Ideally, identify the business-related keywords and phrases they are most likely to type into a search engine (or did so during the early stages of their buying process). This information can be gathered by speaking to current customers, reviewing the popularity of certain phrases on Google Adwords, or analysing the source data on your marketing automation software (keyword information is still provided by Bing and Yahoo).
Once you have this information you can begin to create engaging blog posts that focus on these keywords and phrases. Using SEO best practice it’ll be possible to ensure your blog post ranks highly on the search engine results pages for this keyword. Now, when one of your prospects uses a search engine to research their business issues and paint points, they are likely to see one of your blog posts which directly references their query.
It’s important to remember that blog posts are not ebooks or white papers. They are not meant to be 1000s of words long. They are about providing top-level insight on a particular subject and ultimately driving the reader to convert to a lead by downloading a larger piece of content. Be sure to only focus on one keyword or phrase per blog post, as otherwise search engines will become ‘confused’ and not rank the post as highly relevant to the prospect’s search phrase. It’s also worth noting that if you are starting a new blog, each post should ideally be 1000-1500 words long. This gives the search engines a good amount of content to digest and understand, so they can rank future blog posts more accurately. Once the blog is more established you can reduce this to between 600-1000 words, but never less than 300. If a blog post has less than 300 words, the likelihood is that the search engines won’t even bother ranking it for their results pages.
Although SEO is an excellent way to ensure your blog posts are found in the search engine results page, there are other ways to ensure the maximum number of people see your latest post. Start by sharing the title and a snippet of text on all of your social media channels. Only write a short ‘teaser’ post on social media and link the reader to your full blog post. Also, when sending a lead generation email to your database, add a link to the blog at the bottom. All of these methods will help to increase your subscription rate and build interest in your blog.
A blog is an excellent tool, but only as part of a multi-channel marketing campaign, so to ensure you generate the best results from your activity…