An increasing number of companies have turned to blogs as a method of encouraging customer engagement, spreading information, and building the voice of a brand. A great blog, however, will also generate leads for a company’s sales team, drawing in new potential customers. While no blog will replace thorough, regular pursuit of leads, these tips will help you supplement your existing lead generation efforts through your blog.
Offer something potential clients want.
A company blog can generate inbound traffic if it offers information that potential customers want to have. Even those who don’t buy your product right away will still find your company’s name at the top of their minds when looking for something in your field. This sort of name recognition can take months or even years to pay off, but once a company earns the trust of blog readers, those readers will often become sales leads of their own accord.
Optimize for search.
One of the fastest ways to draw in new leads is a blog with some well-optimized posts regarding topics important to the target market. If your potential clients are interested in news on a given topic, post about it regularly and make sure those posts get optimized. Once your site consistently ranks highly on topics about which your potential leads read, some will come in because of their usual search activity. If your posts and articles are as strong as their optimization, those readers will stick around and inquire about your products.
Provide the right information at the right time.
This requires a lot of effort on the part of the sales and marketing teams, and requires knowledge of the target market, the industry, and current events. Providing current information makes a blog more valuable in the eyes of its readers. It can also drive sales and attract leads by drawing attention to needs and desires the company can fulfill at the time those needs are most important.
Create and structure the conversation.
Comments sections provide an invaluable opportunity to gather information about potential customers, what they value, and what they expect from your company. Some comments will provide all the information necessary to make an effective sales pitch. Be sure to provide effective moderation for comment sections, however, if you choose to include them. Off-topic, offensive, rude, or hostile comments can sour readers’ experiences with the blog and give them a reason to avoid making comments.
Blogs and comment sections provide a unique opportunity to engage in dialogue with large numbers of current and potential clients at once. Blogging for lead generation often involves maintaining an active presence through the blog. If significant numbers of customers make their displeasure known in the comments section, address that. If a potential lead asks a question, answer. These interactions can build stronger relationships with existing customers and turn leads into sales.
Don’t overwhelm readers with sales pitches.
An occasional allusion to the product at the bottom of an article, making up around a tenth of the post, is fine. Much more, however, and readers will start to view the blog as primarily a sales tool, rather than a resource. Advertisements and sales pitches have become so ubiquitous that readers will try to tune them out, and if tuning them out takes too much effort, they will just leave rather than trying to find the content they want.
What do you think?
If you’re interested in using social media channels to generate new leads, give our article on using LinkedIn for lead generation a chance as well. Have you tried something with your company’s blog that’s worked out well? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!