Michael Habiger is a marketing enthusiast and content marketer at FollowUpFred with six years of professional experience.
Many businesses miss major best practices, and therefore shortchange the ROI they could be getting with content. In order to sell effectively, know how to generate leads that you can convert to customers through blog.
One of the most effective tools in content marketing with the highest return on investment or ROI is blogging. Having a blog offers your business the perfect way to connect to your customers with information that educates and informs, establishes you as a knowledge leader in your field.
When you have a blog that gives out concise, actionable content, your business will build trust, and that makes you a go-to source that can lead potential customers through the sales journey and can keep them coming back again and again.
Industry experts have found that businesses that use blogs as a means to drive traffic to their websites generate 67% more leads than companies who choose not to do so.
Blogs have become one of the most trusted resources for potential customers to connect with you and to get valuable information. Once you've created blog content, you can keep it evergreen so it continues to stay relevant to your site visitors and subscribers.
So how do you use your blog to convert more B2B sales? Below are seven ways to promote your blog to get more sales to meet your company’s goals.
1. Create Great Content
Your blog needs to feature content that is relevant and is giving something to readers that they can act on. What separates average content from something that others will forward to colleagues or even link to is content that uses current and credible sources, satisfies the need of searchers, and generates traffic to your website in an almost passive manner.
Each blog post you create should contain:
● An attention-grabbing headline–The first thing you should do before writing any blog post. If the title doesn’t grab a reader’s attention, they aren’t likely to read the rest of your blog post. This headline should be how-to’s or lists of tips or useful advice that give the reader an idea of what your blog post is about.
● An introduction - Readers want to know at the outset what information they will find when reading your blog post, so grab their attention by making a bold statement. A statement can give readers information that they have looked elsewhere to find but haven’t found, or help them to solve a problem that they already have. The introduction also will tell the reader an overview of what will be discussed in your blog post.
● Use Subheadings & Images–In today’s business environment, all of us are pressed for time. Make the blog post you write scannable content by breaking up the post with subheadings and adding visually appealing graphics. If your blog post isn’t scannable, visitors are less likely to take the time to read your blog. Keep the lines between the subheadings small so that readers don’t get bogged down with too much information. Web marketing expert Neil Patel advises to keep the information in the section under each subheading between 5 and 6 lines of text.
● Use Links wherever possible–It’s a good business practice to link not only to the content on your website but the content of other people who can provide additional information to your readers. It builds credibility because you are citing your sources and building relationships. Backlinks are flattering to the bloggers you link to because you are driving more traffic to their site.
● Use keywords that target your audience–Keywords that rank your content to search engines and apply to the audience you are targeting can increase traffic to your blog. Having optimized content with keywords boosts traffic and can increase the chances of converting visitors into customers.
● Have a conclusion at the end of every blog post–Having a conclusion at the end of your blog post reiterates what your post was about. Many business people are just so busy that after reading your headline, they will skip the body of your blog and go straight to read your conclusion. If a busy reader likes your conclusion, they will be more inclined to read your blog post in greater depth. Also, consider ending the conclusion by posing a question. Asking a question at the end of your blog post is another excellent way to encourage readers to leave a comment and create even more engagement.
2. Find Places to Share Your Blog
Here are a few of the places to promote your blog. You can email subscribers of your blog directly every time you post new content to your blog.
● Good Old Email Subscription - Almost every blog platform offers a way for visitors to subscribe to your blog by leaving their email address. Every time you post something to your blog, readers will receive an email, either letting them know about your latest blog content or sending them the entire blog post right to their email box. The problem with this approach is that it’s rarely personalized and is rarely enough to interest or convert buyers of your product or service.
● Email Marketing Automation - You can take this a step further by using an easy-to-set email follow-up extension. Such tools allow you to create profiles for each subscriber of your blog based on various behaviors or pre-determined criteria. You might base these criteria on a user’s job title, the size of the company they work for in terms of revenue or number of employees, or emails that they open.
Marketing automation also can keep track of the content that visitors download, webinars that they attend, and other factors. Marketing automation can be performed by an all-in-one portal such as HubSpot, for example, or managed through several individual apps.
Based on the information tracked in the database about each user, you better target the content they are likely to find of value. You can then tailor landing pages that they click to or offer up related content or calls to action, which is tailored to their specific needs.
● Utilize Share Buttons - Most blogging platforms allow you to repost or re-blog your web content. Make use of social media sharing buttons that link to other platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Facebook.
3. Join Online Communities
Depending on the industry you are in; there are tons of sites that offer the opportunity to connect with other professionals in your industry. These can be an ideal place to promote your blog content and drive traffic to your company website.
One of the most popular websites for this is LinkedIn. In a recent survey, over 90% of B2B marketers said that they use LinkedIn as a channel to distribute their online content. LinkedIn also has industry and interest-specific groups that allow you to share your blog content with others.
Facebook allows you to create a company webpage and to connect with scores of groups and communities that enable you to connect directly with people who are looking for the kind your blog provides without having to purchase advertising.
4. Use Hashtags
Twitter and Instagram let you create a user page that you can then provide a link to your blog in your bio. Twitter and Instagram, for example, both use hashtags that many users follow. Whenever you use the hashtags in your post, users can connect directly to a link in your post or tweet.
5. Write as a Guest Blogger
Every industry has bloggers that are considered leaders in their field. By becoming a guest writer on the blog of a leader in your industry is an excellent way to establish you as an authority. Guest blog posts can connect to readers of the host blog and bring them to your website.
6. Create Podcasts and Video Content
Using video channels and podcasts are both excellent ways to familiarize others with your brand and can further establish you as a leader in your industry. Podcasts and videos on sites like YouTube, for example, can also enhance your blog content in the eye of your site videos.
According to a recent survey, over 70% of users searching for content they can use prefer blogs that also offer video and audio content as an option besides written content.
Professional blogging guru, Darren Rowse, author of the book, “ProBlogger” and owner of ProBlogger.com does both of these things and more. Darren’s website features hundreds of podcasts, videos, and lots of free, downloadable content that helps bloggers create great content, a vibrant community, and to increase their website’s traffic and profitability.
7. Tap into employee experience and customer testimonials
The people that work for you, particularly on your sales and marketing team are out on the front lines when it comes to making B2B connections. If they are using social media channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, they are likely the first ones who hear the questions that users are asking and hearing their feedback.
By creating content that answers those questions or offers expert tips or offers free content, you are helping them to reach sales goals and increase your company’s ROI.
When you create great blog content, you are helping your sales and marketing teams do their jobs more effectively and assist them in making more sales of your product or service. Making sure that the content fits the audience and where they are in their sales journey helps you generate better, more qualified leads.
It can also help you retain the customers you’ve sold to in the past by linking them to related products or upsell offers on your company’s website and turn them into lifetime customers.
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