How to nurture leads through using a blog for business
The increase of content marketing is changing the way businesses work. Gone are the days of spending thousands of pounds on SEO and link building – now content is king.
A recent change in Google’s algorithm means that good quality content that offers value is now more important than how many keywords are crammed into your website. Of course, SEO and keywords are still important, and we aren’t suggesting you forgo those techniques completely. But your business needs to think of a new way to attract customers, and introduce your business.
This is where social media, blogging and content creation come in. By offering free resources, such as a blog or a knowledge base, you are giving your customers something a little different. You are building your reputation as a ‘thought leader’ and are helping customers, and turning prospects into customers.
There are hundreds of informative posts out there on social media, and how your company should be using it – today we’ll look at your blog.
In our line of work content is very important – it is the difference between a successful campaign and one that withers and dies. Without great content there’s no reason for your prospects to stick around, after all, the world of sales is so competitive these days, your prospects may simply look elsewhere for a similar product.
Today we will look at using a blog for business and how it can help you to nurture leads.
1. Blog about topics generated by your sales team
Your sales team will be able to provide you with loads of great blog topics. They are on the front line every day, dealing with the people you are trying to convert with your blog. They will be answering the same questions again and again. Wouldn’t it be great if your sales team could send over a blog post and link to informative content instead or repeating the same thing over and over again?
Your blog posts should answer questions that your leads are asking.
2. Tell your sales team what content is available
Following on from point 1, you need to equip your sales team with enough knowledge to fire out relevant content to the right people. You should not assume that your sales team are reading every piece of content you are producing, and they may not be aware of the collateral they can use. Make sure they know what is available – encourage them to sign up to the newsletter, send them weekly updates of the content you have produced, or you could even create an internal newsletter for your team.
3. Send blog content to unengaged segments
Just because you are in the marketing or content team, it doesn’t mean you should ignore the sales process. You have the content and the email marketing software at your disposal. Consider sending blog content to your contacts who haven’t engaged for a while. A soft approach in the form of blog content will hopefully warm those contacts up again.
Segment your leads based on their previous behaviour, for example, send them blog posts based on what type of content they have viewed or downloaded in the past.
4. Add blog content to automated emails
When someone downloads an e-guide or a whitepaper from your site or from an email, send an automated email. Content is usually at the beginning of the funnel, when the contact is looking for information or researching a product or service. This is why you need to hit them with more content.
Following from point 3, send content related to their original point of interest, to show you are watching, listening and are interested in the individual.
5. Add links to your blog to relevant web pages
Adding links from other areas of your website reinforces your status as an expert in your field. It shows that you are not all about the sales. For example, if you are a finance company, on your product page you could link out to ’10 ways to manage your money more effectively’.
This can also help your SEO efforts as relevant content that makes life easy for the user is a good thing in Google’s eyes.
6. Mention your products and service where appropriate
This is an area of content creation where you must tread carefully. There is a fine line between simply promoting yourself and your products and offering value that will promote sales.
You shouldn’t stuff your blog posts with references to how amazing your own services are, but you want to generate leads. Weave your services into your blog content where appropriate. You don’t want to turn them off with self-promotion, but they will accept a product mention every now and again.
7. Use the available space
On your blog, your user will be looking at more than just your words. There’s probably some spare space on your blog that can be used to promote other areas of your site. For example, there may be space on the top banner or the sidebar of your blog. You could also try including a call to action in this space linking back the product or service relating to the blog topic.
8. Encourage blog subscription
Keep your readers coming back for more, by encouraging them to sign up as a blog subscriber. You can keep nurturing them with your content through the usual lead generation techniques. Make blog subscription call to actions obvious and clear, such as your RSS feed or email sign up form at the top of the page.
9. Promote your social accounts on your blog
In the same way that you would position your sign up forms in an enticing place, you should do the same with your social media accounts. If your readers are following your blog, it’s likely they will want to follow you across your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ accounts. Make it easy for readers to discover you on social sites as well. Promote social sharing so that the readers become your company advocates, and ask them to share the post if they find it interesting.
What other ways do you use your blog for lead nurturing? Let us know, or tweet us @Wired_Marketing.
Amy is our Campaign Manager and works with our clients to ensure all campaigns follow an effective campaign strategy and produce results.