You put a lot of energy into creating content for your blog. It’s understandable that you would want it to pay off in terms of generating leads for your B2B company.
And yet, simply having great blog content isn’t going to move the needle in terms of converting the people who visit your blog into dedicated customers. You’re going to have to do a little legwork on your own! Here, I share strategies that I myself, as well as my clients, have seen work in converting WordPress blog readers into leads or even customers.
1. Make It Easy for People to Get Your Content
While having someone visit your blog again and again certainly doesn’t guarantee that they’ll become customers, the more they are exposed to your brand, the more they begin to trust you. From that trust, the likelihood of them becoming customers increases. As you become a trusted resource of information, you’ll move up in importance in your leads’ minds.
How can you get people to visit your blog regularly? Start with your subscription form. People don’t want to have to remember to check back on your blog for new content; instead, they’d rather sign up so that new posts get sent to their email. Feedburner makes an incredibly easy subscription widget that you can install on your blog. There are other RSS plugins with various features, all ranging in required technical competency. Whichever you use, just make it dead simple to subscribe. Typically putting the subscribe box in the upper right corner will get the most attention.
2. Occasionally Share a Freebie
One of the best ways to drive B2B leads into your sales funnel is via email, and you need a special offer to get people to part with that precious email address. If whitepapers, ebooks, or special reports aren’t a part of your content marketing strategy yet, it’s time they were. By offering some larger type of content for “free” in exchange for an email address, you effectively capture people who you know are interested in what you’re selling.
Where does your blog come in?
This special offer may live on your website’s homepage, but your blog is a great place to advertise it, especially because some blog visitors may not visit the rest of your website and will only see the offer on the blog. I suggest including the offer in the sidebar of your blog as well as writing a post announcing it. Explain the benefits of downloading this piece of content, and outline a few things people will learn in it. But make it available for a limited time only! You want people to hurry to sign up to get the goods, and you do so by creating a sense of urgency.
Oh, and, of course, you also need to heavily promote this special offer via email and social media! When it comes to marketing, everything you do in one place, do in all.
3. End Each Post with a CTA
A CTA — also known as a call to action — is what drives a visitor to your blog to take action. That action might be to sign up for the freebie mentioned in #2. Or to click to learn more. Buy now. Sign up. Call to schedule a free consultation. Whatever you want people to do, you must gently tell them.
Let’s say your accounting software company writes a blog post entitled “10 Things to Look for When Choosing Accounting Software.” It’s informative, but also in line with what you’re selling. At the end of the post, you could include a CTA like this:
Not sure what you need in your small business accounting software? Let our small business specialists guide you. Click here to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We’ll help you determine the features you need in your software.
The CTA ties into what the post was about (always, always stay relevant) and provides a soft nudge to get them to take action.
4. Link to a Landing Page
If you use landing pages as a way to focus on different B2B products or services on your site, your blog can funnel traffic to these pages. Whenever you mention something in a blog post that’s relevant to one of your landing pages, link to it. Not only is internal linking a great SEO strategy, but it also gives people who are interested in your products more to chew on.
Let’s keep using that accounting software example. Maybe you have a landing page about your freelancer accounting software and are trying to generate leads for it. You could write a series of posts aimed at freelancers and include links to that landing page in each. Repeat for each niche that you have landing pages for.
5. Promote Your Blog Content on Other Channels
The best inbound marketing strategy involves cross-promotion. Don’t wait around for people to discover your blog content. Guide them to it from each channel you’re using to market your brand. In your monthly email newsletter, feature part of a recent popular article (bonus tip: only include 1/3 of the article, then include a “Read more” link to get people from email to your blog). Promote each post on social media…more than just once. Dabble with Facebook ads and see if you can generate more views of a popular blog post.
Just like you market your company, you also need to market your blog. In the end, they serve the same gods, but by pulling people to your blog, you are building a relationship with them. You show them that you offer plenty of value in the useful, targeted content that you provide. Once they get hooked on your blog, they’ll be more likely to explore the rest of your website, so it’s imperative that you have your calls to action and special offers peppered throughout your site to reel them in.
Your blog is just another way to get people into your B2B sales funnel. From there, it’s up to you to create an email campaign that nurtures your leads, segment them into appropriate groups, and increases their interest in hiring you or buying from you.