Blogging is a term that has taken off over the years but not just for moms who want to talk about their favorite recipes or 20 something’s who want to write about their summer Eurotrip. Recently, forward-thinking businesses have realized it’s true value as a lead generation and lead nurturing tool, driving significant web traffic and providing clients and prospects with important industry information. All items which lead to more sales.
This is not just my opinion, as the data exists to back me up. HubSpot’s 2014 State of Inbound report determined that marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI. Additionally, 82% of marketers who blogged daily acquired a customer using their blog and 57% of marketers who blogged monthly brought in new business as well.
While the blogs we write differ based on our target audience and the nature of our businesses, there are things that all B2B companies should pay attention to in their approach to blogging. Here are eight things to consider that will help you get the most bang for your buck from your blog.
The first step to making your blog work for you is generating titles that are expressive, clear, and to-the point. When people are browsing the web for content, they want to know exactly what they are viewing. With that said, we also want our titles to be the proper length. According to Hubspot the ideal headline length is 70 characters and should include keywords and/or phrases to prove relevant for search engines.
2. Use of Keywords
I briefly touched on keywords within the title section above but the use of keywords does not end there. Keywords should be used consistently throughout your blogs to increase SEO impact and recognition. By implementing a strong keyword strategy within your posts, your blogs will gain authority with the search engine’s which means more clicks on your titles and ultimately more eyes on your website. However, over using keywords in your post is referred to as keyword stuffing and has a negative SEO impact. Instead, focus each piece of content around one or two keywords and let synonyms, variations, and so on come up naturally to avoid this problem. If you write strictly for keyword purposes you will lose focus of the context your audience needs to get maximum value out of your post. By remaining focused on your buyers’ journey it will be easier to provide the context your audience needs while imparting the authenticity the search engines crave.
One of the questions we often receive from clients and prospects is how do we go about promoting our blog.
One of the primary ways we promote our client’s blogs is through the use of targeted emails to their current clients and prospects. This goes a very long way in terms of lead nurturing and maintaining relationships. We often see spikes in blog views that coincide with the send of emails highlighting the blog. You may be doing email marketing already so including top performing posts, or blogs from that month is truly a no brainer and a great way to get your blog working harder for you.
Promoting the blog through social media channels is also a primary way to endorse your content. Promoting on social media channels not only provides the opportunity to nurture fans, connections and followers, but they have the ability to share your information with the click of a button, giving your blog the potential to reach hundreds, even thousands of new eyes, and more people are sharing information now on social media than they ever have. According to Facebook from 2011 to 2014, Facebook’s sharing traffic grew 277.26% (from 6.53% to 24.63%), with the average brand post influencing 16% of fans. That number may seem small but if those fans share your post with their network it will have a major impact.
Blogging is a commitment and the more frequently you blog the more traffic you will drive. Adventure Web provided some interesting information regarding blog post frequency. They stated that daily blogging yields five times more visits and four times more leads than businesses who blog once a week or less. Additionally, research showed that once you accumulate 51 blog posts (slightly less than one a week for a year) that blog traffic increases by 53%. After 100 posts, blog traffic increases by three times. After 200 posts, traffic increases by 4.5 times.
At Imagine, we blog four times a week to ensure we get the most value out of our blog as possible and have well over a thousand posts. Although it takes more work on our end, we provide our blog with more power to ultimately work harder for us.
5. Guest Blogging
Having guest bloggers write a post is a win-win situation that will help grow your network and drive substantial traffic back to your website. Having an authoritative voice in your industry post on your blog not only strengthens your position in the industry as a trusted source but will also familiarize the guest’s network with your brand. Assuming the guest blogger will share his post through social media channels, your company is instantly introduced to a new group of people who may not have had any idea who you are. Suddenly your blog has got you in ffront of a whole new audience without your content creation team doing so much as typing a word. If that isn’t having your blog work for you I Idon’t know what is.
Calls-to-Action or (CTAs) are a vital aspect of converting the readers of your blog to leads. The best way to do that is through the use of CTA buttons. A CTA does exactly what it’s name states; prompts the reader to fill out a form providing contact information in order to receive an offer. If you want your blog to work for you including a CTA is a must. This way when prospects come across your blog whether it be in an email or a shared social media posting they will have the opportunity to utilize more of your resources and become an inbound lead without their focus moving elsewhere.
Often times I come across information online and I like it so much that I want more! The only problem is I can’t find where to get more! This is an issue prospects should never have when it comes to your business and in particular, your blog. Readers should have the ability to subscribe to your blog both from within the post itself as well as on the website, but don’t get too greedy when adding fields. The more information you ask for the less likely the prospect is to fill it out. In a study by unbounce.com an 11-field version of a contact form was replaced with a 4-field version, resulting in a 160% increase in the number of forms submitted and a 120% increase in conversion while the quality of submissions stayed the same. To subscribe to the Imagine Demand Creator Blog we require just a name and an email address.
Metrics are what tell us how well your blog is working for you. At Imagine we focus on visits, opens, click-throughs and conversions to determine how well our blog performed. As you begin posting more blogs it is important to take note of these metrics and more importantly make sure they are trending in the right direction. If the numbers aren’t strong your blog certainly isn’t pulling the weight that it is capable of.
There you have it. Eight things about blogging you must be aware of to ensure your blog is working for you. By implementing these blogging strategies, you can generate more leads and nurture more prospects. So apply these strategies and tell your sales team to get ready because your blog is about to send some leads their way.