Blogs provide a great opportunity for hosting high quality content and attracting new buyers. Dayna will walk your through the steps you can take to optimize your blog for lead generation.
- [Instructor] Once you have your website optimized, one of the next steps is making sure that you are providing high-quality content on your website; one of the places where you can provide high-quality content is your blog. But a blog is not just there to have fun content and to educate people. You can also use your blog to generate leads. Developing a blog that has high-quality content and helps to drive inbound traffic and lead generation is where you want to go when it comes to your blog content.
Blogging helps you attract new buyers at the top of your sales funnel. So these are generally folks that have never heard about your company or product or service. They often hear about your blog through social media or through another website, and your blog and that great content helps attract people onto your website and therefore into your funnel. So blogging usually happens in this top-of-funnel stage where people are just getting to know you. Blogging for business helps your company be found.
So it helps drive inbound traffic to your website either through Google search or through social media. Helps create a voice for your company. Your blog is a great place for you to really show your personality. You can be a little bit more conversational on your blog, you can be a little bit more fun. Business blogging helps generate leads. You can actually generate leads in your blog by providing links to high-quality content, by having subscription pages. Your business blog helps generate inbound links.
So by having high-quality educational blog content, other websites will link back to that content, which ultimately helps you get found and it helps generate traffic. And your blog helps amplify your social campaigns. So blogs are a fantastic thing to share on social media. Because they're generally more fun, more conversational, and bite-size, your blog will be the content that really helps amplify what you're doing on social. One of the most important elements to generating leads with your blog is your blog's layout and design, so how your blog looks when somebody's coming onto your website.
So there's various steps that you can take and keep in mind as you're thinking through what your blog should look like and how to make sure that it's optimized appropriately for lead generation. Step number one: make your blog visual. You want to make sure that your blog is very visually engaging for people when they come onto your website. This is an example from a company called Uberflip. As you can see, each particular blog post has its own custom image, and then, mixed into these different blogs, you can actually see CTAs in between each post that cause people to click and learn more.
When you come onto this particular website, everything is organized very well. You get a good feel for what each post has to offer because of the fun consistent imagery. Step number two: have clear conversion goals. Just like with your website, you want to make sure that your blog has conversion goals and that you are providing places for people to fill out forms. Here's an example from the Marketo blog in three different types of conversion paths on the blog itself. On the left-hand side you see a CTA asking for subscriptions to the blog.
This can appear on the upper right-hand side of your website or on the bottom of each blog, wherever you want on your blog. The idea here is to get people to subscribe. So then you can see on the right top you have related resources. So at the bottom of every blog post Marketo actually provides a series of resources that are related to that particular blog topic. So if somebody's interested in that topic they can click on one of these resources to learn more. And then below that you have actually a light box for a blog subscription.
So if somebody comes onto the blog that have not subscribed before, a light box appears that pops out where the person can put in their email address for a subscription. Step number three: have multiple paths to social. You want to make sure that people are sharing your blog posts on social media. So it's important to provide easy social sharing both on the posts as well as the blog itself. So you can see example here from Content Marketing Institute. The example on the left is asking people to subscribe and to like the main social channels of the brand.
And then the example on the right-hand side is how the company is asking people to share an individual blog post. Make sure that you provide those options for people and make sure that it's easy. Step number four: offer prepopulated Tweets within the post. So this is an example from Marketo. Within the blog posts sometimes Marketo puts Tweetables. So these are, basically, a prepopulated Tweet that all a person has to do is press the Tweet button, connect it to their Twitter account, and this automatically Tweets out.
Step number five: provide a mobile-optimized experience. It's very important, especially on your blog, that your blog is mobile-optimized. People will be reading your blog posts when they're on the go, on their cellphones, on their tablets, so you want to make sure that it's easy for people to look at when it's on those types of devices. So here's an example from Captora. On the left-hand side you see what the blog looks like when it's on a regular laptop screen. And on the right-hand side you see what it looks like within a smartphone.
Still very easy to read, easy to scroll. This is incredibly critical especially because your blog is filled with shorter bite-sized pieces of content. A well-designed blog will attract the attention of your lead and provide him with great conversion paths, but, if your blog content is what actually makes the person stay and ultimately convert. So you have to have high-quality content that lives on your blog. So coming up with blog topic ideas, this is one of the most difficult parts of actually writing and keeping a blog, especially for B to B, and this is something that I hear from a lot of people: "How do we constantly stay up "with what blog topics should be?" So here's some ideas and ways to generate posts that I think about when I'm currently doing my own company blog.
So looking at industry trends. So non-industry trends. So company priorities. Various company personas. Competitor content. SEO, so search-engine optimization. Common customer and prospect questions. And then LinkedIn groups. This is a great way to mine for ideas of what people in the industry are talking about. Have your team of marketing folks or your SDRs sign up for LinkedIn groups to see what people in the industry are talking about, and then make sure that you're writing blog posts to address those questions and concerns.
So blog post cadence is another important element to making sure that your blog is working and is generating leads for your business. Blog post cadence is the frequency in which you post content onto your blog. So, essentially, how often do you have to post; and this varies, depending on your company size and the resources that you have. Some companies will post once per week, some once every other week, and some every single day. So before you determine what your post cadence is, ask yourself how much content do you have.
So do you have a backlog of content currently? And if you don't, how are you going to be creating content, going forward? "What type of resources do I have for blog management?" So do you have one person that's dedicated to managing the blog, or is it more of a team sport? "Who comprises my audience and where do they find content?" So do some research to determine how your audience currently finds content. Are they very active on social media? Are they more likely to find content on industry websites? That will help you determine cadence.
So, for instance, I work in marketing technology. I sell to marketers. I know that marketers are constantly consuming content and finding it in a variety of different places. So, for me, posting with a more frequency makes sense for my audience. And then think through how will you promote your blog posts. You don't want your blog posts just sitting there because they won't do anything. You need to make sure that you have resources to SEO-optimize these posts, to promote them on social, and to promote them via email. So thinking through how you'll promote your post is a great way to determine blog cadence.
So then, what is your blog content mix look like? So the blog content mix determines what types of posts that you will publish. Your blog content mix will depend on a variety of things. You do want to make sure that you're posting different things all the time. If you have very boring, kind of similar content, people won't continue reading your blog. So the content mix depends on your cadence, so how often are your posting on your blog; your audience, so who are you writing to and what are the topics that they want to hear about; your authors, so do you have one author that blogs or do you have multiple authors.
So if you have multiple authors, the great thing is they generally will have their own writing style and personality, and so that really lends itself to a great content mix. So your brand and tone. So what type of branding do you have? What is the tone of your content? Is it conversational? Is it educational? And then, of course, the resources that you have to actually create your blog. How many people do you have working for your blog? How many people write for your blog? That'll help determine what the ultimate mix is.
So one last thing here is thinking through blog-subscription emails. So there's multiple ways that you can go ahead and promote your blog, and we will be mentioning some of those things throughout these videos. However, an easy win is setting up a blog-subscription email right away, and this also gives a reason for people to subscribe to your blog. So you can set up a blog-subscription email either through your marketing-automation platform, or, if you are using something like WordPress you can set up FeedBurner through Google to do this automatically.
So people will sign up to your blog, and then these types of services will automatically send an email out every time you post a new blog. It will also link back to that blog post if people want to come back and learn more. So this is a great way to automatically promote your blogs out and make sure that your audience really gets a sense of what you're posting. So, ultimately, your blog is a really fantastic place on your website to provide highly educational, fun, interesting content, but that also is a lead-generating tool for your business.
So make sure that when you create your blog and when you're thinking through your blog content you do this with lead-generation in mind.
- Identifying funnel stages
- Defining key goals and metrics
- Deciding on an approach
- Building a lead generation plan and a team
- Aligning with stakeholders
- Choosing a lead generation technology
- Building attractive content
- Generating leads with blogs and social media
- Creating an SEO strategy
- Tracking ad performance
- Increasing visibility through events
- Using paid ads and direct mail
- Qualifying leads
- Measuring campaign effectiveness