Having a content strategy that tells an engaging brand story on all your social media channels, and using your blog as a vessel of ideology and valuable information will help you get the audience you crave.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is defined as a strategy that focuses on pulling engaged customers in. Marketers use personal content that is tailored to their audience to help them convert. This is why blogs are essential when applying inbound marketing – as it proactively aims to provide crucial information to valuable leads.
Inbound marketing is there to help you tell a meaningful story that will touch consumers on a personal level and make them sympathetic to your brand and its social impact. It’s what going to make your blog convert leads in the first place.
A content strategy is more cost-efficient than spending thousands a month on ads that reach consumers, annoy them, and leave a trail of bad responses for you to follow up on. And the ROI will improve, as meaningful stories are what people are looking for.
In addition to this, storytelling can shift in the direction the wind is blowing – you’ll have more flexibility if problems arise. You are leading the precious conversation with users. This gives you inside knowledge on what they want and can help you react to the consumer needs in time. Leading and listening to the online conversation will help you acquire additional creative ideas from your community which will help your story and steer it in the right direction.
According to HubSpot, 63% of people find ads annoying or intrusive and 56% think ads are somewhat insulting to their intelligence. In fact, 77% agree with the statement “I wish there were a way to ad-filter instead of ad-block completely.” This proves that people are not against brands that provide engaging content to their communities, they’re just tired of the unmistakable and pushy sales messages.
If you want to make your blog convert leads, you have to know what you are doing, plan how to give it the extra value, know what consumers want, make your audience eager to read your next post and, most importantly, make them respond to your call-to-action.
So how exactly can you do this?
Publish Valuable Content Constantly
To publish something meaningful for your customers, you need to know who they are. Or in other words, you have to know your buyer personas. Going through your contact(s) databases is an excellent place to start, and having a way to update your database through your website, e.g. browsing through account information, can be quite helpful. You can then speak with the sales team to gain further knowledge on what leads they are interacting with the most.
Here’s how to keep your readers engaged so they’d consider buying from your brand:
- Use interviews as a form of determining your buyer personas.
- Implement social media listening as a smarter way to help you with determining your ideal customer.
- Utilize proper content structures. Use headers, subheaders, lists, bullets, and numbers.
- Stream content that your buyer personas are looking for.
Post content that might help them overcome any problems they have. To make your blog convert leads, every article should be of real value. Don’t just give it a cool advertising title and fill it with popular or trendy information.
A lot of brands also use interviews as a form of determining their buyer personas, but in practice, people knowingly (or not) tend to not tell the truth during interviews. Thus, we recommend social media listening as a smarter way to help you with determining your buyer persona.
Once you know who you are publishing for, you need to stream content that your buyer personas are looking for, content that might help them overcome any problems they have. To make your blog convert leads every article should be of real value, don’t just give it a cool advertising title and fill it with popular or trendy information.
For example, if your buyer persona is Marketing Steve (CMO), an article about digital marketing and how it’ll help them, is presenting knowledge that your lead already has. This makes your blog of no particular value to your buyer persona.
Once you find out what resonates well with your leads you only have to worry about frequency. Usually, the best practice is to post 16+ articles per month. Blogs that publish that amount get 3 to 4 times more leads than their competitors.
Related article: The 8 Practical Blogging Trends You Really Need to Follow in 2020
Our phones have become an active part of our lives; through them we share experiences, get to know the world around us and even engage in relationships. Mobile advertising accounts for 92% of Facebook’s total ad revenue for 2017. That’s why you should expect your blog to be read by a large number of mobile users.
Your design needs to be “platform-perfect” so that it provides a smooth user experience on all possible devices. The articles posted should be well structured and easy to navigate. If your blog looks like something the more progressive web media app publishers are offering, you’re in for a bright future.
SEO and Meta Tags
If you are going to use your blog to convert leads, you need to first find them, right? And unfortunately, that’s not going to happen without doing the boring technical part – SEO and meta tagging. People usually overestimate both those in terms of difficulty.
You can start by picking an appropriate headline. Having your keywords as part of it guarantees better results. The best performing headlines for Search Engines are around 70 symbols and use work-related wording like “How to…”, “X Reasons to…”, “Guide.”
The article needs to be content-rich to help your blog convert leads. Alt tags should be added to photos, however, the primary focus should be on the meta description. Don’t forget to include keywords and their different variations as part of the copy, especially when it comes to the heading, meta tags, and links.
Engagement and Call to Action
The rapport with your consumers is important because they’re the people that drive sales. Whether you start the conversation or not, it’s going to happen, and you need to be an active part of the talk. Statistics show that 96% percent of people who discuss brands online, do not follow them. This means that you need a lot more effort to be an active part of the online conversation. Let alone making your blog convert leads.
Inbound marketing is your best friend because it plays in the long term, manages to start social media conversations and retains the brand’s engagement. Talking and listening to your consumers can help your brand determine any problems that might exist, and even get a much needed creative push from the community.
But don’t forget what you’re aiming for and work towards that goal step by step. You need to have a call-to-action message that’s going to stimulate a response from your audience. It could be as simple as “Post a comment and let us know what you are thinking”. But it should be a message that drives the conversation forward. Only once you have people’s interest and prove you are a trustworthy source, will consumers start browsing your products and services and chose to be your loyal clients.
The placement of the CTA is equally important. Consider putting the call-to-action at the middle of the article, or somewhere towards the end. Make sure that the reader knows what they are signing up for before you ask them to take action. Additionally, performing A/B testing on your CTAs can help you determine which ones really work.
Get Those Sweet Emails
Let’s be honest; if a person opens your emails, you’ve managed to close half the deal. But how to achieve this? Offer your audience something more – it could be a newsletter, discounts, or a guide. Add a section to your blog where users could sign up. Make it visible but not annoyingly big like a pop-up ad. The most significant mistake most brands seem to make is offering users a way to opt-in before that person has decided whether the website is a trustworthy and valuable source.
Such ads target consumers as soon as they open a blog to read an article. What people usually do in such cases is close the advertisement along with the publication, resulting in a bounce rate you don’t want to have.
Just add the opt-in section, preferably somewhere around the end of your article. Target the consumers that have already enjoyed what you’ve already posted and present them with even more. That’s what will drive those conversion rates and make your blog convert leads.
Do you remember the call-to-action we discussed? You can efficiently target emails through it. For example, if your message is “Tell us what you think”, make it possible to comment only after providing an email as an authentication method.
Think of a way you are going to get this information without annoying users. Make it a simple task that comes with the added value of participating. Offer your buyer persona “Marketing Steve” a deal they can’t deny.
But why do you need that contact information in the first place? It’s more effective to present your brand to people who’re already interested in it. Having the emails of such leads would lay the ground for a retargeting campaign that’s going to make your sales team smile.
Push Notifications with an Honest Smile
You probably know that websites can now benefit from push notifications. It’s obvious they are the best way to build an active community of followers. There’s just one trick – a user has to enable them. To do so, they must first view you as a valuable, trustworthy source of information.
So skip up the pop-up ad asking people to do this or that before they’ve even read a single line from you. Ask them once you’ve won them over. It could be at the end of the article, a pop-up when you get to the comments section, a different page on your website called “Get News First” or a button of some kind. Let your blog convert leads by presenting an offer that has value for your prospects.
You should also take your time and explain what you want from your followers and what benefits will they get in return. Make it simple but informative. It could be a whole article promoting it or simply an email campaign. But always remember that if you want people to get real-time information about you, you have to win over their trust.
Share with Care
Don’t forget that your articles must reach people. Share them on social media. Start a conversation but be mindful of the ideas you are presenting and the tone of your article. There’s a big difference between “Learning why you need to get IT services from OUR BRAND” and “Learning how to find the IT partner your company needs in a highly competitive market where there’s a new hero every day!” Share, don’t brag, and contribute towards the community to make your blog convert leads.
Of course, different social media platforms have their own tricks, and timing that could be crucial towards generating leads. Here are some tips:
Best Days: Thursday – Sunday
Timing: 9 AM; 1 PM; 3 PM
Additional Tip: Wednesday at 3 PM seems to be a good time to publish content.
Best Days: Tuesday – Thursday
Timing: 7:30-8:30 AM; 12 PM; 5-6 PM
Additional Tip: LinkedIn is mostly used throughout the week, shortly before and after work or during lunch breaks.
Best Days: Mondays & Thursday
Timing: 2 AM; 8-9 AM; 5 PM
Additional Tips: Audiences are engaged throughout the work week; Videos perform extremely well.
Best Days: Wednesday
Timing: 12 PM; 3 PM; 6-5 PM.
Additional Tip: Monday to Friday, between 12-5 PM, is the time to post regularly.
Retargeting refers to the process of tracking your customers’ buying behavior and then using that data to offer relevant content and ads. A pixel is placed on your website, which then leaves a tracking cookie to your reader’s browser. This helps marketers see what type of content the visitor is into so they can personalize the advertisements to show the customer. The more customized the content is, the higher the chances of your leads turning into conversions.
Here are a couple of tools that you can use for retargeting:
There are lots of resources on the internet to help you master the art of retargeting. Create a strategic plan and take the time and effort to invest in it.
The Power of Persuasion
Being a persuasive marketer doesn’t equate to being annoying. There are ways to convince your leads without sounding too pushy – you just have to learn how to use the right words.
The blog represents your company as a whole. The tone that you use and the topics that you choose shows your brand’s identity. You’d want to make your reader stay and scroll down until the end of the article, and preferably click on the CTA. To do this, you have to show empathy, intelligence, and confidence in your articles.
Try implementing these tips and see if they resonate with your target market:
- Add an element of surprise within the article.
- Use simple yet powerful words, especially for your title and headings.
- Address your audience directly.
- Use short paragraphs and break down your sentences evenly.
- Humanize your content and avoid sounding like a robot.
Internal and External Links
Articles would not flourish without hyperlinks. Search engine crawlers rank content based on the internal and external links within the write-up. To put it simply, links can help increase your traffic and give you the leads and conversions that your team is aiming for.
Here are some internal linking best practices to get you started:
- Include three to five internal links in your article.
- Place the links in the second paragraph onwards.
- Don’t make it too crowded – space the links out in each paragraph.
- Keep the links relevant to the text you are using.
- Link to your top-performing content.
You’d want to avoid stuffing too many links in your article though, as the search engine can flag you for this.
Try Guest Blog Posting
Guest blogs can help leverage lead generation through organic traffic. Additionally, focusing on guest blogging aims to improve the value of your backlinks and increase brand recognition.
Find niche bloggers and influencers that produce content that’s relatively similar to your brand’s ideology. Be consistent with the topics that you are covering, as well as the day and time that you or the guest blogger choose to post. Ask the writer to include backlinks to your website to gain traction from their audience.
Your chances of getting conversions are higher if you have a wider audience set, which guest bloggers and influencers can help you with.
Focus on the Visuals
Google tends to favor blog posts that have great visuals. The search engine’s crawler bots notice the presence, or lack thereof, of photos and animation. Your articles will rank higher on SERPS if you use graphics that are relevant to the content.
Furthermore, readers gravitate towards blogs that incorporate videos and high-quality images into their write-ups. This keeps the audience engaged, which makes the possibility of them turning into conversions a lot higher.
Here are a few things to remember when adding images to your articles:
- Use your own design. Avoid using other people’s copyrighted images, as this can land you in deep trouble.
- Optimize your graphics to help them load faster.
- Turn statistics into infographics.
- Utilize high-quality images.
- Avoid stuffing your blog post with images and videos. One picture every 300 – 500 words is enough.
All you need to do to convert leads through blogging is find the right inbound marketing partner and let them use content to drive results. Now, it’s your turn to have trending topics on the web!