How Your Blog Can Be a Valuable Source of Leads
A blog is more than simply content for content’s sake. It is a communication channel and one that should encourage readers to trust your business’s expertise. Beyond the obvious points of ensuring it is well written and relevant to the industry in which you operate, there are three key points to consider when creating each blog post.
Frequency and consistency
Often, the hardest part of maintaining a blog is posting frequently enough for users to see you as worthwhile and at the forefront of your industry. Once they subscribe, you have to keep your business prominent in their thoughts with regular updates. Your subscriber list is a valuable tool and enables you to add even greater focus to your blog writing efforts. You can discern what industries are most interested in your information, then write about issues and services that they will find most valuable and enticing.
The ideal posting frequency differs from industry to industry, but once a fortnight or a month is generally a good starting point. Some businesses blog every day and this can work with a series of short posts. However, for the longer content that requires a significant time investment by the reader, longer intervals will prevent your subscribers from becoming overwhelmed. Once you have decided how often you want to post a blog, you actually have to do it. It doesn’t matter how many subscribers you have, if there is nothing to read then they aren’t potential leads or potential anythings.
Relevance and authority
The average internet user has a short attention span. A recent Canadian study showed that in the age of smartphones, the average person has an attention span of just eight seconds. This means that your blog must capture attention, convince people of its value, and commit them to returning for more, in a very short space of time. Structuring your blog in a way that shows them exactly how your content is useful to them is vital to ensure they return for more.
A call to action doesn’t have to be at the end of your blog. In fact, given the goldfish-like attention span of most readers, showcasing the value of what you have to say, and how it relates to them and their business, should happen in the first couple of paragraphs. This CTA doesn’t have to be “Call now for more information etc…”, instead, you can ask a thought provoking question or identify a typical pain point. The sooner your reader can relate to what you have to say, the better chance you have of convincing them to keep reading and become a customer.
Expertise and guidance
Your calls to action should focus on gaining subscribers, not making sales. Blogs have been established as a valuable source of information, and readers are suspicious and put off by hard sell tactics in this arena. It is a long-term strategy to build a loyal base of engaged followers with the potential to be clients. A blog should be gently nudging them towards your end goal of conversion, not attempting to frogmarch them to the finish line. The greatest encouragement is producing genuinely informative and useful content. While the prospect of simply giving away ideas and information seems counterproductive, establishing yourself as an authority in a particular field using this strategy is effective for long term prospects rather than hiding everything behind a paywall. Most businesses – especially in the eCommerce and start-up world – simply don’t have time to take on every job, and while they may be interested in learning about your expertise, chances are they don’t want to have to do the jobs themselves. This is why it is vital to show what you know and what your business can do for them.
Make your blog a destination
The ultimate goal with any blog is to become a “must-read” for your audience. When you email them to announce your latest blog, or you post it on social media, you want them to drop everything and take the time to read it. This isn’t something that happens overnight and there is no formula for success, however following the above guide will bring you closer to your goal.