The journey to a successful blog begins with knowing your audience. Who are they and what problems are they facing?
If you have tried blogging or content marketing in the past but were not successful, did you have a plan? According to popular marketing automation software company HubSpot, businesses with larger websites (401-1000 pages) get 6x more leads than those with less than 100 pages.
That’s a lot of content!
The question is do you have a detailed plan how your going to increase business using digital marketing? If that’s you, the following business blogging guide will show you what steps you need to take in order to be successful in attracting more customers online.
Identify Your Ideal Customer
If you have not created your buyer persona yet you are not going to see much success from your blog. To get the most traction you must specialize and focus on your target audience because not everyone will be interested in your product or services.
Once you identify the characteristics of your buyer you’ll need to figure out what they want. What problems are they trying to solve?
I know of at least 3 blogs that gives this information freely away to readers. Have you heard of Hubspot’s blog? Hubspot teaches their readers how to do inbound marketing. The guys over at Social Media Examiner will show you how to use social media the right way in your business and Copyblogger will show you how to get better at online marketing.
Create a Lead Magnet
The real reason for you to blog is to build relationships and sell to them long term. Using a lead magnet will help you build a mailing list. You can then use this list to create your own traffic on demand for your products and services.
People don’t voluntarily show up to give their email address, although it would be nice. Creating a lead magnet (premium piece of content to solve a problem) will help you gain credibility and trust so that the reader is willing to exchange their information.
Creating valuable content is you showing your expertise in the subject, and then writing the content from an insiders viewpoint. Building trust and credibility by providing something of value helps draw people back to your site and move them through your sales process.
Create an Editorial Calendar
Do you have a blogging calendar? If you are just posting when you feel like it or writing on topics off the top of your head, you aren’t likely to get the results you’re looking for. Instead, do a little research and plan out a posting schedule all geared towards the lead magnet.
For example, if your lead magnet is about kitchen remodeling, your blog posts could cover different stories about how families gather together to make memories in the kitchen. You can write about a variety of recipes cooled or conversations around the dinner table. Each post can lead people to your lead magnet, and your blog posts will make up an inbound marketing campaign.
Another idea could be that each month you have different inbound campaigns running associated with the seasons. You can then use that information to collect data on what is working and what isn’t so that you can tweak your efforts going forward.
Using an editorial calendar helps you to plan out in advance your post topics, titles, and what inbound campaign they are related to.
Publish Your Blog Regularly
Posting everyday on your blog can be overwhelming. The important thing to remember when publishing content is consistency. The idea here is that you are using your editorial calendar to create a content posting schedule. Whether you are posting twice a week or more, the idea is to stick with it. Your readers aren’t expecting a new post everyday. Instead they are expecting that when they return to your blog that they will find something that is geared towards them.
When writing your blog posts, be sure to also have a consistent writing style keeping it friendly and informative. End your blog post with one to two sentences that encourage readers to take action. This is also a good place to include information about your lead magnet so they will opt-in to your mailing list to receive it.
Promote Your Blog Content
Anyone can write something and post it on their blog but it will sit and collect cyber dust if no one is gathering to read it. To attract more traffic and readers you will need to do some promotion. You can begin by doing several things such as:
- Share your posts on social media with your accounts, assuming that you have followers.
- Share some interesting facts about your topics on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
- Share your article with a well known journalist in your industry and invite them to guest post on your blog or link to your site.
Matthew Gratt over at Convince & Convert wrote an excellent article on this very topic. Check it out here.
Build a Sales Funnel
It’s not a secret that people are not ready to buy when they first find you. Attracting people into your sales funnel through a lead magnet like mentioned earlier will help move them along. The key here is to automate the process and move them from traffic to lead and the convert from lead to customer.
You likely already have a sales funnel in your company. The idea here is to take the offline process and adopt it online using marketing automation software. You can monitor and analyze the data as your customers move through each stage and you can create different markers in your sales process to convert the prospect from an information qualified lead to a sales qualified lead.
Take a look of the visual buyer’s journey graphic below that breaks the sales process into three phases: Information, Marketing, and Sales Qualified leads.
Your sales funnel is designed to turn your traffic into customers by having relevant offers each step of the way.
Measures Your ROI
Combining your existing sales and marketing efforts with digital marketing and automation tools gives you a competitive advantage, you can measure everything. The information that you gather from leads in your funnel will help you determine what is working much quicker. This will help you see what is paying off and should also guide you into your next content marketing strategy.
Hey, thanks for the business blogging guide but now what?
Get started by turning your blogging efforts into customers. If you need help with creating content for your business, we have a lot of articles on our blog to help you get started.