According to HubSpot’s 2013 State of Inbound Marketing Report, 34percent of all sales leads last year were generated by inbound marketing sources, delivering 54percent more leads into the sales funnel that outbound marketing efforts through advertising, sales calls, etc. And more than 82percent of marketers who blog see real ROI from blogging for inbound marketing. Of those marketers surveyed, 43percent said they generated a customer from blogging during the year.
Overall, 79 percent of companies who maintain a blog reported positive ROI for inbound marketing compared to 20 percent without a blog. And 82 percent of marketers who blog daily said they acquired a customer as opposed to 57 percent who blog monthly.
Clearly blogging builds business, but successful business blogging has specific guidelines you need to follow:
- Know your audience – Before you start blogging, have a clear idea of who you are writing for. Create marketing personas to help you identify your target customer and audience, and identify their areas of interest and their problems. What information can you share in a blog that will make their lives easier?
- Deliver quality content – An informative and entertaining blog can be your best tool for inbound lead generation. The secret is to keep your audience engaged. You want the information you share to be different, interesting, and valuable.
- Mix up your format – Use different subjects and approaches to keep your blog fresh. Talk about common problems. Interview other experts. Cite interesting statistics. Use different techniques so your readers always get something fresh.
- Never sell – Most business bloggers make the mistake of making their blog all about them and their products. People don’t care about their products; they care about how those products improve their lives. Talk about the customers’ problems and challenges and provide information that is helpful. In fact, don’t even mention your products but just provide expertise. The soft sell is more effective in blogging.
- Remember, design matters – Appearance matters just as much as readability. Use a crisp, clean design that is easy to read, and break up the text with subheads, bullet lists, and graphics. Artwork is particularly important. Pictures give you blog life and make it more visible on social media – just make sure you don’t violate the copyright for any images you share.
- Include a call to action – Every online post should include some call to action, or rather a call to engage further. I can be a call for comments, or the offer of a white paper, case study, or more information. Ultimately, you want blog followers to contact you about becoming customers. Make it easy for them to reach you by email, with a simple form, or other means.
- Be prolific and be consistent – It’s proven that the more you blog, the higher your lead conversion rate. Commit to whatever frequency you can manage – daily, weekly, monthly – but remember the more you blog the better your chances for lead conversion. Try to post at the same time each day or week so your followers can look forward to hearing from you.
- Make your blog easy to share – Of course, you are pushing your own blog content out through social media. Make it easy for your blog followers to share as well with social media links. Getting your followers to share is the best way to attract more followers.
These are just eight ways to improve your blogging strategy. Whatever you do, don’t be boring and don’t plagiarize. But do start blogging and blog often. And if you need assistance with your blog, then by all means, call on us. We’re here to help.