Have you started a business blog and don’t know what to do with it? Do you know what kind of person is reading your blog? Are you blogging but not noticing an increase in business?
These days, a blog is crucial to your online marketing strategy. According to HubSpot, businesses that blog garner 97 percent more inbound links than those with static websites. Perhaps the problem is that you don’t have a detailed game plan on how to use your blog to increase business in the door? If that is the case,this business blogging cheat sheet will show you exactly what you need to do so that your blog starts to play a pivotal role in attracting more customers.
Get Clear on Your Ideal Customer
If you aim your business blog at everyone on the planet, you aren’t like to see much success. You must specialize because only a certain percentage of people will ever be interested in your product or services. Once you determine who these ideal customers are, your main goal will be to figure out what they want. What do they need to know to make their lives better? What problems are they trying to solve?
Successful blogs make this kind of information freely available to their readers. For example, HubSpot’s blog teaches people all about inbound marketing. Social Media Examiner teaches businesspeople how to use social media, and Copyblogger teaches small business owners how to get better at many aspects of online marketing.
Create a Lead Magnet
There is really only one reason to blog….and that is to build an engaged mailing list. With a list of subscribers, you have the power to create traffic on demand, to launch products, and so much more.
The key to building a mailing list is to create at least one lead magnet – a piece of premium content that offers information to help them solve their problem. This is free information you’ll give to prospective customers in exchange for their contact information. When you scroll to the bottom of this post, you will see that we offer a free white paper. This is how we capture leads.
Show your expertise in the subject, and write knowledgeably with an insider’s viewpoint. This will demonstrate your value to them and compel them to want to come back to your site for more information as they move through the sales process.
Create an Editorial Calendar
If you are just publishing posts on an ad-hoc basis, without a grand plan in mind, you aren’t like to get the results you need. Instead, plan out a series of blog posts relating to the lead magnet, with each one covering a portion of the solution.
If your lead magnet is about a certain nutritional supplement, your blog posts could cover the benefits of exercising with that supplement, the role of individual ingredients, how the government regulates supplement manufacturing facilities, and so on. Break down the topic into 8 to 10 smaller questions, and answer each question in one blog post. Each lead magnet, and the blog posts that are associated with it make up an inbound campaign.
Each month, you should have a different inbound campaign running so that you can collect data on what is working, as well as give your readers a variety of content.
The editorial calendar is the tool that you use to help you plan your inbound campaigns and the posts that are a part of each one. Here’s a post that goes into more detail on how to create an editorial calendar.
[Our content calendar] allowed us to go from zero visitors to our Real Estate Marketing Academy with over 50,000 unique visitors per month. – SethPrice for @InmanNext
Publish Your Blog Regularly
You don’t have to frantically post on your blog every single day, although the more often the better. The idea is to make a schedule, twice a week or more, and stick with it religiously. It’s not that your readers will expect a new installment of your blog on certain days, but that the more content you produce, the more traffic and leads you will generate.
Keep the topics organized according to your editorial calendar, and use the same writing style (friendly, informative, formal, etc) in each one. End each blog post with a call-to-action, a sentence or paragraph encouraging the reader to sign up for the lead magnet.
Promote Your Blog Content
Simply writing your content and putting it on your blog isn’t enough to gather large number of readers. In order to increase your traffic, you’ve got to do some promotion. There are many ways to promote your blog, including:
- Share each post on all your social media accounts
- Make interesting memes, add your URL, and post them on Pinterest
- Post or tweet facts about your current topic on Facebook and Twitter
- Writing guest posts on high-ranking blogs in your industry, with a link to your site
Here’s a terrific article that goes into more detail on content promotion.
Build a Sales Funnel
When people first find your content, they are not going to be ready to buy. They key is to create a lead magnet as I’ve described earlier, and then set up an automated system that moves your customers along from traffic to lead to customer. At Groove, we have an entire process that systematically moves our leads along this sales process.
The main idea is that you provide your leads with useful information, and give them the opportunity to gather additional information if that’s what they’re interested in. Monitoring what they’re visiting and downloading (done via marketing automation) will let you know when they’ve made the transition from information qualified lead to sales qualified lead.
To see a visual of the the buyer’s journey, have a look at the graphic below.
Notice that the funnel is divided into three phases:
- Information Qualified
- Marketing Qualified
- Sales Qualified
A properly designed sales funnel will have content and offers that are relevant to each phases of the buyer’s journey.
Measure Your ROI
One of the best parts of digital marketing is that you can measure everything you are doing so you don’t have to guess what is working and what isn’t. Once you have started to collect all this data, you will be in a position to determine if what you’re doing is paying off? This valuable information should guide you when planning your next steps in your content marketing.
Turn your business blogging into actual customers – click the image below to download the free report 8 Ways to Leverage New Online Marketing to Attract Customers.
What business blogging tips can you add?
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