As digital marketers, we write and share blog posts to either attract ripe sales leads or boost online sales. Yes, blogging demonstrates thought leadership, boosts organic search engine rankings and engages your audience, but the real reason we blog is to bring more business to the table.
If you’re haphazardly posting without considering your sales process or the relevance of your content, you may be significantly reducing (or even repelling) a prospect’s desire to do business with you.
The key to attracting quality leads is being strategic with your writing and blog composition.
Here are 7 ways to get the maximum attraction and conversion out of your blog posts.
1. THINK OF YOUR BLOG POSTS AS THE FIRST STEP IN YOUR SALES FUNNEL
Behind every sale is a sales funnel—whether you realise it or not. Before you purchase new trainers, accommodation for a weekend away, or legal advice, you pass through the stages of Awareness, Consideration and finally, Decision.
A blog post can be the catalyst that propels the buyer from considering their options, to opening their wallet.
If you’re going to the trouble of creating content for your blog, it’s worth ensuring you don’t shoot off on an ineffective tangent. Start by thinking about what your customer is doing and how your content can help drive them towards a purchase…
- They have a problem or need and search online for a solution.
- They find your blog post. The post is “sticky” and establishes credibility.
- The customer starts to consider the rest of your blog and think of you as an authority.
Now, a customer may not buy from you immediately. Perhaps you own a property investment company that typically has a long sales cycle and your focus is on capturing the visitor’s information so you can send them nurturing emails regularly and move them closer to making a decision.
So it’s a great idea to include an email capture as part of your blog strategy. On this blog, we invite prospects to sign up to our lead generation video series if they want to know more about effective and systematic lead generation. Click on the image below for an example.
2. THINK ABOUT SEARCH DEMAND
You may be tempted to write from personal experience (often an excellent starting point), but if the topic you choose has no “search demand”, it doesn’t make any commercial sense to write about it.
You can find out how many people search for a topic using Google Keyword Planner.
If you were thinking of writing about “best answers to interview questions” then you’re setting yourself up for success. There are 3,600 searches performed per month on this term and could be quite lucrative if you are in the careers vertical.
However, if you write about ”worst answers for interview questions“ there is 0 search volume. As there isn’t enough demand for people looking to find the answer to this question, it doesn’t make any commercial sense to write on this topic.
3. THINK ABOUT WHO YOU WANT TO ATTRACT
Writing for everybody is a strategy that no longer works, and if you’re tempted to write a “me too” article, with vanilla content that doesn’t add value… stop.
Writing on standard industry topics that have been extensively covered by influential authorities makes no sense, especially if your article doesn’t offer anything new and is on a topic that “everybody” has written about.
As Marcus Sheridan says – “The more content an industry/niche has written about it, the harder it is for a blog to make headway and find success in that field. And when an industry has very little online content available to the masses, it can often be gobbled up within almost no time at all.”
Instead, you should write about topics tailored specifically for your ideal client profile. Think of your blog as a qualification step and write only about topics that directly interest your client’s problems and situations.
Here are some examples of blog post titles that feature qualifying phrases in order to focus the piece on a specific target audience:
- How to Double your Leads in the Financial Industry
- Digital Marketing Strategies for Lawyers
- Lead Generation for IT Services
4. FIND “HIDDEN GEM” TOPICS THAT NO ONE ELSE IS WRITING ABOUT WITH THIS TOOL
You might be wondering how to find topics that are both interesting to your target market and not already done to death by other bloggers.
Check out Keyword Researcher which is a tool that collates the auto suggest queries from Google, based on the industry you specify. In other words, the actual search queries that your prospects are seeking answers for!
5. FIGHT BATTLES YOU CAN WIN BY CHECKING THIS TOOL
There is a tool called the Moz Keyword Difficulty tool that analyses the search results, and gives an estimation on how difficult the competition is. If you’re investing the dollars into a blog, it makes sense to know that there’s a chance to rank in Google before writing the first word.
6. BACK UP YOUR POST WITH CREDIBILITY AND PROOF
As I mentioned earlier, the purpose of a blog post is to increase trust and authority so that the prospect is open to considering doing business with you.
One way of doing this is by adding proof to your blog post. This could be highlighting your research findings, providing testimonials, or showing credible photos of your business performing in the industry.
Feel free to use our Monster List of Marketing Proof Elements to help you do this.
7. AIM FOR FREQUENCY AND MILK THE WINNERS
Blog posts are like tickets in a raffle; the more you have, the more likely you are to win. For winning in Google organic search, it’s much the same (provided you follow all the above steps). Create as many quality posts as you can.
What tips do you have for making blogging more than just a content production exercise, but an effective sales driver instead? Leave a comment.