How to Turn Your Blog Into a Lead Generation Machine
As a small business owner, one of your main ongoing goals is (or should be) to continue bringing in new leads with the hope of expanding your customer base.
Strangely enough, we’ve reached a dichotomy of sorts. It has never been easier to reach out to potential leads – but it’s also never been more difficult, either.
On the one hand, unlimited access to the internet allows us to easily create content on our blog and broadcast it to millions of people with the click of a button.
On the other hand, the digital community is so inundated with content that actually getting people to engage requires much more than simply hitting “publish.”
Done well though, content marketing – blogging, in particular – can do wonders for your company in terms of generating visibility and building trust among your target audience. In the process of doing so, you’ll also begin generating more leads than you perhaps ever thought possible.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the fundamental steps for using your blog to generate a massive amount of leads that show a high probability of converting.
Let’s get started.
The Simple Four-Step Process to Turn Your Blog Into a Lead Generation Machine
First, it’s important that we make clear just how effective content marketing truly is as a lead generation tactic.
Regarding cost, content marketing is much cheaper than other methods. According to Demand Metric, content marketing costs a whopping 62% less than outbound marketing.
Not only is content marketing more cost-effective – it’s also more effective, overall.
Case in point: Kapost found that companies that focus on content marketing see 600% more conversions than those that focus on other methods. More specific to our purposes, companies that actively focus on blogging generate 126% more leads than those who do not.
Again, though: this success isn’t exactly typical. For a company to experience such results, they need to approach their blogging and content marketing initiatives strategically and methodically.
So, without further ado, let’s discuss how, exactly, do to so.
Create Content With a Purpose
With everything we’ve said so far, it’s pretty obvious that we’re looking at blogging as a way of generating leads.
It’s too easy to lose sight of this goal when you sit down and begin creating content for your blog.
While it’s definitely important to create content your audience will find highly valuable, you don’t want to neglect the “marketing” side of “content marketing,” either. In other words, you need to ensure that every piece of content you create serves a dual purpose:
- To provide value to your readers and
- To keep them wanting more from your brand
Taking this a step further, the articles you post on your blog are typically meant to make your target audience aware of your brand. But there’s no point in simply making an individual “aware” of your brand if they don’t do something with this awareness. Again, your goal isn’t to get them to say “Hmm, that’s interesting!”, then move on with their lives. You want your blog’s content to be the first of many touchpoints for your audience.
Consistently Create Unique and Engaging Content
As we said, your blog is meant to be a catalyst for forming a long-lasting relationship with your audience – hence it becoming a lead generation machine.
For this to happen, the content you publish on your blog needs to consistently engage your audience. And this must be done in a way that no other content on the web can.
Let’s break down each of these points separately.
A blog provides you with the freedom to publish content whenever you want. However, the best course of action is to stick to a schedule as best you can.
First, develop a schedule for your content provides a framework for you and your team in terms of content creation. In turn, this will help you keep your content marketing initiatives from falling to the backburner. And will challenge you to continue developing new and exciting content for your potential readers to devour.
Secondly, creating content for your blog on a consistent basis will prove to virtual passersby that your content is worth diving deeper into in the first place. Given a choice between a blog with content posted whenever the mood strikes, or a blog which posts new content every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9:00, it’s easy to assume which one will provide greater value.
Lastly, the more valuable content you post, the more likely your blog is to be picked up by Google’s algorithms. By increasing your visibility on Google, you, of course, increase the chances that individuals who fall into your target personas will stumble upon your blog when searching for topics related to your industry.
With the sheer volume of content that’s published on the web on a daily basis, creating content that’s 100% unique might at first seem like a monumental task.
The truth is, though:
Nothing is original. But, at the same time, everything can and should be original in some way.
While the overarching topic of a piece of your content is unlikely to be 100% original – no matter what industry you’re in – you can make it so in a variety of ways.
Maybe you’ve uncovered insight from your in-house data that no other company is privy to.
Perhaps you disagree with most others in your industry on a specific topic and are prepared to take an opposing stance via your blog.
Or, you might simply have your own unique way of explaining things through your writing.
Ultimately, it’s essential that you do something to make your content stand out.
The final part of the content marketing trifecta is in your content’s ability to engage your audience. You need to guide them to the point that they actively want to get even more from your brand.
Most importantly, you want to ensure your content provides incredible value to your audience.
Depending on the focus of your blog, this might mean:
- Answering their burning questions
- Helping them overcome a major obstacle in life
- Providing insight that no other brand provides through their content
This is often the difference between:
- An individual reading your content and moving on, and
- That person reading your content and bookmarking your blog to dig deeper at some point in the future
Additionally, you want to use your blog as a means of creating an emotional connection with your readers.
If, for example, the goal of a piece of content is to help your reader overcome a certain roadblock, you want to convey to them the notion that you truly want to help them succeed.
By forging such a connection from your initial touchpoint with your reader, you stand a much greater chance of gaining a customer for life. If you don’t, somebody else will!
Encourage Audience Engagement
No matter how engaging a piece of content is, there’s no guarantee your audience will take it upon themselves to stick around after they’ve digested the material in question.
For this reason, it’s essential that you promote engagement throughout your content – and beyond.
By prompting your audience to take a specific action (or multiple actions) once they’ve finished devouring your content, you create an “open loop” for these individuals. Essentially, you explain to your readers that you have more value to provide them. You also explain that they’ll need to actively engage with your brand in order to receive it from you.
You’re almost certainly familiar with some of the more common ways of promoting engagement via blog post. You’ve probably come across some that ended by saying something like, “Did you enjoy reading this article? Make sure to share it with your friends on Twitter!”
While prompting your reader to like, share, or comment on an article isn’t necessarily poor practice, it can come off as rather trite – especially if your content isn’t all that engaging to begin with.
Get Your Readers Thinking!
You want to be sure your blog’s content is engaging. And not just in the ways we discussed earlier. You should prompt your audience to think, ask questions, and develop their own opinions on your topics. That way, when you do include a CTA that includes a prompt to “leave a comment below,” your readers will see it as a genuine call to further the discussion – rather than a played-out marketing tactic. In turn, you can then follow up with those who show a genuine interest in the topics you write about. Many of these individuals can certainly be considered qualified leads at this point.
Another method of promoting engagement and action from your readers is to ask them to sign up for your mailing list. This will allow you to deliver new and valuable content to their inbox as soon as you publish it. Of course, this also enables you to deliver other marketing-related content to them in the future, as well.
Speaking of mailing lists…
Repurpose Your Content – and Add to Its Value
As we’ve established, your ultimate goal when creating blog posts is to:
- Make people aware of your brand, and
- Get them to take the first “baby steps” toward converting as paying customers.
Typically, these “baby steps” include signing up for your mailing list. This is where your relationship with a given individual becomes “official,” as they’ve moved from a mere passerby to being considered a lead.
While you can certainly request that your readers sign up for your mailing list in exchange for general updates and notifications, you also want to consider providing ultra-valuable incentives for them to do so. Such incentives include:
- eBooks and PDFs
- Podcasts and videos
- Case studies
For example, you create a blog post titled “9 Easy Ways to Save Money on Groceries.” At the end of the article (or perhaps within a lightbox overlay or similar pop-up message), you might prompt your reader to provide their email address in exchange for a free ebook titled “30 Easy Ways to Save Money on Groceries.”
Needless to say, if the reader found value in the original blog post, they’ll definitely want to learn some of the other tricks you have up your sleeve to save money. And they will be more than happy to give you their email address in exchange for such.
Repurpose Your Content
You don’t always have to create more content for this to work. Another method for generating leads via mailing list subscriptions is to repurpose content into different formats. For example, you could create an infographic based on the information within a popular article. Then allow your readers to download it in exchange for their email address.
The name of the game here is still in providing incredible value to your new leads. But your company stands to benefit hugely from providing this gated content, as well. Because your new leads will come from a variety of areas (e.g., some may sign up to receive an ebook, while some will do so receive an infographic), you can begin segmenting your new leads accordingly. Then, rather than sending generalized follow-up content to your entire mailing list, you’ll be able to immediately begin sending targeted content and messaging to specific leads depending on their interests and needs.
To recap, blogging as a content marketing strategy is meant to:
- Create awareness of your brand among your target audience
- Generate engagement among this audience
- Nurture your newly-engaged audience members to take the next step toward conversion
In order to make this happen, your blog’s content needs to:
- Be highly relevant to your target audience’s needs
- Promote active participation from your readers
- Prompt your most engaged audience members to take further action with your brand
As we’ve suggested throughout this article, the leads you generate via your blog will almost certainly be ready to dive deeper into their relationship with your brand. As long as you can continue providing value to them after they’ve made the initial contact, there’s a pretty large chance that these leads will eventually end up becoming some of your best customers.
Over To You
Did you find this article helpful? Do you have any other Lead Gen tips you’d like to share? Please comment, below.
You may also want to read: The Curatti Lead Generation Roundup
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