Blogging already feels like it's been around for as long as we can remember, but the truth is that business blogging - as part of an inbound marketing tactic - is relatively new to many companies. Yes, you could easily write up a post, place it online, and say you're done... but if you want to succeed, then you have to apply some real lead-generating tactics.
Here are eight proven ways to help turn your blog into a lead-generating machine and how to increase sales.
1. Connect Blog Posts To Long-Form Content. Your longest forms of content - ebooks, whitepapers, and things like that - should be promoted in a way that's supported by your blogs. Try having each blog post contain an excerpt from your existing content and use that to drive offers at the top of the funnel.
2. Always Use A Call-To-Action. If you're not including a graphic-based call to action at the end of your blog posts, you're doing it wrong. This is what drives leads to act.
3. Tell Tour Readers What They Should Do. Believe it or not, people like being led around online - regardless of whether or not they take your advice, they want to know your opinion on what they should do next. The more value they place on your directions, the more loyal they'll be in reading the content and, perhaps, even sharing with others.
4. Take A Stance. If you structure your blog like a basic news article, people are just going to yawn and move on. You need to have a stance, an opinion, and a way to express yourself in a contrary way. If you do, you'll be able to get attention, readers, and traffic. Don't be outright insulting, but do take chances - it's worth it.
5. Actively Share Your Content. Don't just preach things - practice them. Get your company involved - your employees should all be engaged in reading your blog and sharing it with the people on their network. Even more importantly, however, your sales people should be forwarding your blog posts to the best prospects in conversations related to your blog process. This is far more efficient than simply trying to bother a prospect until they agree to a meeting with you.
6. Be Consistent With Uploading Posts. People like regularity online - and if you have new posts up at a given time each week, they'll teach themselves to come check your content. Note that you don't have to force yourself to get up early if you want to post in the mornings - some forms of software allow you to load new posts and publish them on a set schedule, and feel free to take advantage of these.
7. Drive Subscribers To Your Blog. You have to be aggressive if you want to gain subscribers. Remember, the more you focus on driving people in, the more opportunities you'll have for talking with potential customers. Make subscriptions a prominent part of your website, with multiple Call-to-Action buttons - and perhaps even a "best posts this month" email you send out every so often.
8. Monitor Results And Adjust Accordingly. Don't just keep posting content without measuring its performance. Instead, focus on seeing which posts get viewed, which get shared the most, which tend to drive links and profits, and which get ranked the best on search engines. Adjust your editorial calendar every three months or so to take advantage of what you've learned - this will help you stay on-topic, appear more relevant, and allow you to focus your business blogging on the things people want to read.
Business blogging isn't a solution all on its own, but when used as part of a marketing strategy, it can quickly become one of the most powerful forces at your disposal. Imagine being able to increase lead generation by as little as five percent each month. That may not sound like a whole lot, but from as little as 100 subscribers each month, the compounding nature of growth means that you'll eventually see subscriptions and leads shoot upwards.
But how to increase sales and generate leads? Of course, that's only likely to happen if you're blogging constantly - if you don't post very often, then people have no incentive to come visit. Hard work and consistent value are the keys to success when business blogging - you can implement them by following our tips.