When starting or trying to grow a business, many entrepreneurs overlook the power of blogging as a marketing tool. An up-to-date and relevant blog can be your most effective and high-converting marketing tool. Not only do blogs bring more traffic to your site, but they also help to convert visitors into leads and establish your business as a trusted source within your industry.
If you don’t have a blog for your business or are looking to re-energize your current blog, follow these tips for making the most out of blogging for your business.
Blogs Drive Traffic to Your Website
There are several ways that blogs drive traffic to your website. To begin with, every time you post to your blog you are adding one more page that is indexed and can return results for search engines. Therefore, adding more blog posts increases the likelihood that your page will appear on (and at the top of) the search results page. Frequent updates and posts to your blog signal to search engines that your site is active and should be checked regularly.
Blogging also creates more opportunities for you to reach social media audiences. Every post you make has the potential to be liked, shared, retweeted, and so on. The more times this happens, the larger your audience will become, which should equate to more site traffic. You can also draw from your posts to create your own social media content, saving you time when trying to create content for all of your social media sites.
Types of Content that Drive Traffic
There are many different types of content you can share on your blog, but some have proven to be more effective than others in driving traffic to your website. The two content types that are most successful at driving traffic are “How To” articles and infographics.
How to Articles – How to articles are very effective in driving traffic to your site because there are endless options for topics. They also have great potential to include long tail keywords, which search engines love. How to articles provide value to your potential audience and quickly turn them from visitors into loyal followers. When people realize they can go to you for reliable help in solving issues they are facing (exactly what how-tos are designed to do), they are more likely to check back with you in the future and to share your information with friends, family, and colleagues.
Let’s take a look at a successful how-to article from VitaMedica, a leader in the health and wellness space. In this how-to article, VitaMedica addresses a topic that both current customers and new visitors are interested in. By focusing on a topic that has a lot of search volume, it is more likely that they will draw visitors to their site who are searching for this term. With higher search volume comes more competition, though, so it is usually more difficult to rank your blog post for a highly searched term. Just something to keep in mind when choosing your how-to article topics.
Infographics – Infographics have become extremely popular because of their ability to take complicated ideas or topics and explain them in a quickly digestible visual way. Infographics are shared, viewed, liked, and linked to more than any other type of content. In fact, according to Hubspot, infographics are liked and shared three times more than any other type of content, demonstrating just how powerful infographics are when it comes to driving traffic to your site.
This next example comes from SmartMove, a division of TransUnion. While SmartMove has a wide selection of infographics, let’s take a look at their most recent infographic. The purpose of an infographic is to visually represent data to make it easier to digest the information rather than just reading it. While the information in this infographic could be put in a simple blog post, it is easier for the reader to understand the data when it is represented in this fashion.
Blogs Convert Traffic into Leads
With blog posts generating higher volume traffic to your site, the next step is to convert those visitors into qualified leads. To do this, you should include at least one call-to-action (CTA) on all of your posts. Your CTAs should include some kind of offer to the site visitor that will encourage them to submit their contact information. These offers can include anything from free templates, tools, eBooks, how-to guides, white papers, etc. – really anything that you can offer that provides even a small value to the visitor will help convert more of your traffic into leads. Two highly effective types of content that help convert traffic into leads include white papers and webinars.
Whitepapers – White papers are an effective way to create demand for your product or service without being pushy or using high-pressure sales tactics. The purpose of a white paper is to provide an in depth look at a particular subject that is related to your industry. It allows you to show your potential customers that you have extensive industry knowledge and can address the questions that they want to be answered. This warms the audience up to both your product and brand before the sales pitch ever begins.
A great example of how to effectively use white papers to generate leads is from DocuSign, an e-signature software company. In this white paper, DocuSign goes into detail on how to solve common HR problems by doing paperwork digitally. Before they offer up the high-quality content to readers, they require that the visitor input some information. This allows them to generate leads in return for in depth information on topics potential customers are looking for.
Webinars – Webinars offer potential clients a great opportunity to engage with your company in a more personal way, helping to create an emotional connection to your brand. By hosting webinars, you give attendees the opportunity to ask questions and get a better understanding of how your product or service can benefit them. Having these personal interactions not only helps to create a connection with potential customers, but it also helps you and your company get better insight into questions, concerns, and issues your target audience is facing, which allows you to create other types of content that are both timely and useful.
Our final example comes from Fi360, a financial software company. Fi360 lists all of their previous webinars and gives users the opportunity to not only download a recording of the webinar but also the slides presented. While it is helpful to have potential customers join the live webinar so that you can answer any questions that they may have, it is important also to allow users to access the recordings if they cannot make it at the scheduled time.
By answering common questions that your target audience has, your blog can become an effective tool for establishing you as a credible and reliable resource in your industry. When your company has high-quality posts that answer questions, explain issues, or offer other valuable information, then potential clients will refer back to your blog on a regular basis. Furthermore, your sales team will have a highly effective way to respond to client questions and give them something they can easily reference over and over again, even after the sales contact has ended, which in turn keeps your brand at the forefront of their minds.
Your blog is an essential part of creating an effective marketing plan. Your blog can increase site traffic, convert traffic into leads, and establish authority. By creating strong blog content in a variety of ways and adding great call-to-actions, your blog will quickly allow you to attract and convert more leads, ultimately benefiting your bottom line for a fraction of the cost of many other marketing tools.
- Nicole Stelmar is a managing editor at 365 Business Tips, a new site geared towards helping small business owners grow their business. Nicole specializes in helping entrepreneurs master the art of content marketing and improve their digital presence.