This is a PSA to all businesses out there-if you want new leads and a steady pipeline of prospects for your sales team to make sales, blogging is one of the best ways to accomplish this. If you follow this process you can turn your blog content into revenue, and it's easier than you think.
Where do I start with blogging? This is the million dollar question clients ask me all the time. Just like many things in life, until it's a habit it's not top of mind. In most cases content creation is shuffled to the end of the to do list every time you look at it. Being a blogger isn't for everyone, so I can see how this happens. My first reply when I get asked this question is: what are your concerns, and challenges with blogging? I get a variety of answers including: I don't know what a blog is, I am not a writer, who reads blogs for my industry, how does this help with lead generation, my leads and customers aren't on the internet. Does this sound like you or your marketing team? Let's take each reply and break it down
I don't know what a blog is: HERE and HERE are fabulous examples for you to get familiar with the look and feel of a business blog. HERE and HERE are case studies of niche companies that have embraced blogging and grown brand awareness and revenue from their blog. Being a thought leader in your industry will never let you down.
I am not a writer: While this may be true, you do know your business better than anyone. You know your target customer needs and how to engage them. You also have a good understanding of how they move through the sales cycle, so you should have targeted content along the way to help them come to a decision faster. If you need to spruce up your target persona profile HERE is a helpful guide on how to zoom in who you should be going after. Zerys and Writer Access are professional writers that can edit your work, build off your bullet points, or create the content for you if you just don't have time or want to write. We don't have to be great writers, we do have to be clear in our messaging and readers will appreciate your insight and experience whether it's super polished or not.
Who reads blogs in my industry? More people than you think! There is no more yellow pages phone book or 411 directory. We live in a world where reviews and web presence can make or break a company. Your website should not be an interactive pamphlet, and if it is you are missing opportunities for revenue and growth. With keyword research and insight into how your best customers are navigating your website to find your services, you can optimize your blog content to directly show up when people search for those terms. HERE is some more information on SEO.
How does blogging help with lead generation? Blogging is a piece of the inbound lead generation process. There are things that happen before and after the blog post that make the process work. Step 1: research keywords and phrases your target customer is searching for. Step 2: based on the research of keywords, use ones with the most area of opportunity for organic rank and then create a post and topic around that phrase(s). Step 3: share your content and make it share able. Search engines love to see companies that are always innovating, posting, and engaging on social platforms with great content. Step 4: have effective messaging at the end of each blog post AND throughout your website. When prospects do read your blog and land on your website you want to have various offers to identify where they are in their decision making process. Step 5: analyze, repeat and begin a lead nurturing process This is how you build a strong lead pipeline for your sales team of warm leads that can impact new revenue. The ROI for content creation speaks for itself.
My leads and customers aren't on the internet or my website: This is an easy one as it's simply not true. The biggest growth sector of Internet users is the baby boomer generation. 8 out of 10 adults have a smart phone and everyone uses Google. Your leads and customers are on the Internet-they are just finding your competitors first.
Now that you have conquered your "I can't" fears what do you do next? Most companies in the B2B space have found success with creating 1 new post per week, 1 Ebook or white paper quarterly, and use social media to post 3-5x a week of industry related news, helpful articles, and even self promotion (although limit these types of posts to 1-2x a month as no one likes an ego).
With a solid process in place, and blogging now part of your weekly strategy, you will start to see new leads, and in turn new revenue opportunities come cross your company table. Rome wasn't built in a day, and there are no quick fixes or band aids to accomplish steady and thoughtful growth, but you will be happy with the results. If you do the work, the revenue will come.