The days of blogs just serving as outlets for personal thoughts and ideas are long gone, friends. In today’s hyper-connected world, blogging is used to attract customers by capturing their attention, turning them to leads and nurturing them, and driving conversions. Contrary to the spontaneous and often random nature of personal blogs, business blogging requires strategic planning with a well-defined sales funnel leading your audience from awareness to action. If executed correctly, blogging could substantially boost your lead generation efforts and sales. This article means to show you how.
The Power of Engaging Content: Capturing Leads
Did you know that B2C companies that blog generate 88% more leads per month than those that do not (source, Retail TouchPoints)? That number falls to around 67% for companies who orient their business towards other businesses. That’s a lot!
Before we delve into the specifics of the lead nurturing process, it’s important to understand how blogging can attract and engage potential customers. Briefly put, blogging captures leads by providing valuable content to your target audience, “engaging” them with your brand. Engagement often entails of filling out a form, signing up for a newsletter, or downloading a content offer. However, to make these steps possible, certain conditions need to be met.
Providing Quality, Relevant Content
With 70% of consumers preferring to learn about products through content rather than traditional advertisements (source: The Digital Marketing Institute), blogs can showcase your business’s unique selling points without direct selling. Done right, this draws in potential leads by piquing their interest and establishing your brand’s authority.
In-depth industry insights, case studies, tips and tricks, or how-to guides are just a few blog topics that can attract your target audience and keep them coming back for more.
Optimizing Blogs for Search Engines (SEO)
Your blog is only as effective as its reach. Optimizing your blog for search engines makes your content easily discoverable by your target audience. The use of researched keywords, title tags, meta descriptions, and backlinks aligns your blog with what potential leads search online, enhancing visibility and driving organic traffic to your site.
Nurturing Leads through a Sales Funnel
Once you’ve captured leads, it’s time to nurture them through your sales funnel. Blogging can help your potential customers “nurture” themselves by delving deeper and deeper into your content. By learning about your company, its values, and associating with them, these leads eventually wind up as customers. Some measures include:
Personalized Content for Different Funnel Stages
The customer journey is a progressive one, with each stage requiring relevant content. ‘Top of the funnel’ content should be general, catering to an audience that is looking for answers and learning about their problems. As leads move down the funnel, content should become more product-focused, offering solutions to the identified problems and showcasing the benefits of what makes your offer so awesome.
For this, you need to build a solid personas list to help drive the intent behind your content. Being curious about your customers’ lives, the way they think, what drives them to click through to an article are all parameters that are priceless to know before producing any content. My awesome brother’s written an article about that, find it here.
Call-to-Action (CTA) and Landing Pages
Blogs should be equipped with compelling, direct CTAs that lead potential customers to a landing page where they can engage further. This could be a page with a contact form, a free trial, or a discount code. Such CTAs coupled with effective landing pages facilitate further engagement, pushing the prospect further down the sales funnel.
A Blog Series
A blog series related to your product or service can gradually lead prospects down your sales funnel. Begin with broad, informative content, then progressively introduce and highlight the benefits of your product or service in subsequent postings. This strategy not only creates anticipation but also reinforces your brand and product value.
While the guidelines above are fairly rudimental, they highlight the potential of blogging as a tool for capturing and nurturing leads and possibly life-long customers. In a digital world where consumers actively seek out quality and value and where the competition for monopoly on information is overwhelming, businesses must shift focus from direct selling to providing information, solving problems, and building relationships.
If you create quality, SEO-friendly content, personalize content for various funnel stages, and utilize CTAs and landing pages effectively, using blogging to attract customers will become an indispensable process in your lead generation strategy and ultimately, your bottom line. Remember, consistency and patience are key as nurturing leads and converting them into customers requires time and perseverance, so don’t get discouraged if results don’t show straight away. Just keep at it and you’ll reap them soon enough.