It’s no secret, if you’re in business, you need a Blog. Blogging is one of the most commonly used Inbound Marketing strategies for marketers of the modern era. In fact, according to an article Hubspot posted last year, over 60% of all marketers suggest blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority.
It makes sense doesn’t it—all you need to do is regularly publish relevant content your audience needs, and they will find you, buy from you, and become wild raving fans of your business. That’s it.. Nothing else to do!
Let’s get Real, having people magically show up and read our blog is great but it’s just not enough. Blogging, just like any marketing activity, requires a certain level of strategy for there to be a successful outcome. Yes, Blogging is effective, and they are beneficial to our marketing activities, but why is that we still struggle to convert our readers into qualified leads so we can do business with them?
Here’s the thing, blogging is designed to ‘educate’ our audience, not sell them. Blogs should be used to solve a fundamental problem our audience needs to solve.
(Interestingly, 66% of all potential buyers are unaware they even have a problem they need solving).
The key to successful blogging is to provide engaging and relevant content to our audience regularly. We need to showcase our best tips, tricks and knowledge of our areas of expertise to create a following of readers that makes them think they need a solve a problem. From a marketing funnel perspective, this strategy is called the ‘awareness phase’. Then, once they are in the marketing funnel we can help them transition into qualified leads by sifting them through the funnel. Check out this image for an example:
Image courtesy of Upenda
Of course, there’s no magic “blue-pill” for lead conversions, it takes time and effort to see results from your blog. But if you stick with it you’ll see great results… I guarantee it.
Here are five simple steps you can use to implement for best blog practice..
1. Use Stories to Hook Your Readers
I remember when I was 5 years old, my dad once told me these words: “Son, storytelling is one of man’s greatest skills. If you can tell stories, you can influence.” Dad used to tell me he’d write stories inspired by his childhood hero’s Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, and he’d share his stories with his classmates, and they would go wild over them. Growing up, Dad built a solid reputation in his local town for his storytelling and people loved him for it.
Here’s the thing, we are naturally attracted to stories. It’s a scientific fact that when we read or hear a story, our neurons trigger a response that simulates the same emotions we would feel if we were the ones inside the story itself. When written correctly, stories can be so engaging that they influence us to keep reading and continue all the way through to the end.
2. Help Your Audience Solve a Real Problem
This may seem like common sense, but from a customer’s point of view, they want to know how your blog will help them solve their problems. Example – If you sell training systems for the workplace, write about how to solve training inefficiencies in the workplace. You can get creative with your ideas and approach, but try not to stray too far from the goal of solving your customer’s problems.
3. Use Visuals
Founders of ytravelblog.com, Caz and Craig Makepeace, have built a million-dollar business writing travel blogs using simple imagery. They attach images to questions in their newsfeed, and the image catches the attention of their fans, and the question engages them. It’s a simple but it very effective strategy that works. Just like stories, images create a stimulus response to its viewers. Here’s an example:
Instead of using a generic image, try to engage your audience and trigger their emotions in a unique way. As a suggestion, try using imagery that is both personable and relatable to your readers and the topic at hand. Furthermore, to achieve greater lead conversions using imagery, try using larger Images.
*A recent article published by EcoConsultancy suggested using images with a size 28% greater than their original resulted in 63% more clicks, and a 329% increase in customers filling out online forms.
4. Add an email sign up
If people are engaged with your content, it’s super important to offer them an easy way to continue to get more of it. Staying in front of people is the aim of the game with lead conversion. If you can ensure that people will receive an email with your content every time you publish a post, when they’re ready to buy your product or service, your company name will be top of mind. Tip: make sure your email settings look great: pay close attention to the “from” line, the subject line, and the body of the email.
5. Review Your Analytics
After a period of time, your Blogging will get some traction. Sooner rather than later you’ll need to use analytics to reveal which content is delivering the best leads. If you can always create engaging and relevant content people want and need, your analytics will clearly show you what’s working for you and what’s not. Try using this system: Write, review, rinse, repeat: publish more of this content.
There’s no secrets here—you can increase your blog conversion rate too…
All you need to do is follow a few simple steps (like ours above), and maintain consistency with your blogging activities, and you too will have a high-converting blog.