What’s your best lead gen tool? Maybe you mentioned webinars or email newsletters. Possibly, your tradeshows are your strongest performers for lead generation. You may not have thought of a marketing activity so effective, companies that do it regularly are 13 times likelier to generate positive ROI than those that don’t. This lead gen powerhouse is your blog.
Lead Generation Starts at the Top
Blogs work for lead generation because they’re often a lead’s first contact point with you. Organic searches that funnel visitors to your blog let you start collecting data on leads as soon as they visit the page, building an account file you can flesh out later as leads click through on links or follow posts to gated content. Few leads are going to line up to subscribe to your newsletter if they don’t know it exists, but with blog posts, you have an opportunity to ask readers to subscribe at the end of every post.
Easy accessibility makes blog posts excellent top-of-funnel content. Anyone who visits your site can get an idea of your organization’s culture and personality from a quick look at your blog. Because it’s a more casual introduction to who you are and what you do, it presents a low barrier of entry to top-of-funnel leads who haven’t yet decided where they want to drill deeper for more information. Blogs welcome them in and present them with handy signs saying, “Dig here!”
Take a look at most business blogs, and you’ll see tagged posts. Blog categories and tags help visitors find their way around, but they’re just as important for marketers because they open a window on what leads who click on them care about most. For example, you’ll be able to find this post with the rest of our posts on lead generation. Clicking on that category sends a signal that you’re interested in this topic. Interest translates into relevance by letting us know what you want to learn about so we can offer you more of it. The next time you visit a company’s blog, take a look at tags and categories; you’ll learn something about the organization’s major talking points and areas of customer interest.
Gated Content and Samples
People love special offers, and blog posts are great spots to place them. Giving visitors exclusive access to discounts or additional services for signing up through your blog is a surefire lead gen strategy that also gives you valuable data about your visitors. Because blogs are also highly shareable, you also earn wider reach as blog readers pass along the offer to friends and colleagues. Don’t assume samples and exclusive content are just for B2C marketing, either; B2B marketers also get outstanding results from asking for sign-ups through blog posts.
An Educated Audience
A blog attracts leads into the top of your sales funnel, and it also informs them as they move deeper into it. Audiences who learn more about what you have to offer are more inspired to buy; that’s the whole philosophy behind nurture programs, and it’s just as applicable to your blog. Considering how much learning leads now do on their own before ever contacting your sales team – anywhere from 40 to 70 percent, depending on industry – it’s absolutely essential to get in on the ground floor of their educational process. Blog posts are an excellent entry point.
A stand-alone blog is a good lead generation tool; one that’s part of a larger customer experience is a great one. Provide ways for visitors to your blog to get more information quickly and easily. Links to more in-depth content, including case studies and white papers, should be readily accessible. One valuable new option is a customer dialogue box that instantly connects visitors with someone in your office via a chat window. Cross-over with newsletters and e-book offers are also a natural fit for your blog.
Make your blog part of your bigger lead generation picture, and you’ll see just how valuable those weekly posts can be.
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