For B2B marketers, blogging is arguably the single best tool to help your target market find you online. When done correctly, B2B blogging significantly increases the amount of quality leads to your site. Good blog articles drive traffic, improve SEO and capture your target market's attention just at the right time. This fills the top of your sales funnel with quality leads.
We've been doing this for a while, so we thought we'd share what we've learned with you. Here are the key elements to an excellent lead generating blog:
1. Momentum: Blog Regularly
Google recognises websites that create quality content on a regular basis. Once a week is the bare minimum to make a difference in website traffic, although more than this is better. The more you blog, the better your traffic. It makes sense - why would Google recommend you if there's nothing new to see? Give people a reason to come back.
With our own business, we have seen a direct correlation between the frequency that we blog and the amount of leads generated (here's the full article). That's right, our blog content revolves around our services, so a significant chunk of that blog traffic converted into leads. The important lesson learned is it's not a quick fix - it takes a consistent effort over a long period of time.
2. Keywords: Selection and Placement
Relevant keywords result in targeted traffic. Targeted traffic increases quality leads. There are two two major SEO factors to consider:
- Picking the right keywords. Choosing the correct keywords plays a huge part in the success of your blogging activity. Google Adwords and Google’s Keyword Tool can help you determine your best keywords for free. Discovering what your potential customers are searching and strategically using these keywords gets you involved in their decision making process right from the start.
- Placing these keywords in your blog. Google has to recognise that you are using these keywords and writing relevant content. Optimising your blog posts to include these keywords in specific places, for example your titles and meta data, will increase your ranking and help your website be found. However, beware of keyword-stuffing as that will get you penalised!
3. Value: Engage your Readers
Once your blog has been found, the aim of the game is to engage your reader. This means fully understanding their problems and aligning your blogging content with them. Blogging provides valuable information to your potential customers during the initial stages of the buyers cycle. This means holding back on your sales pitch.
For example, if you sell accounting software, you should be writing about ‘How to choose the best accounting software for your business’ rather than ‘The best features of our accounting software is…’
Customers want quality information and will reward you with their time if you provide them with this:
That was in a reply to our tweet that thanked them for sharing our content. For B2B marketers, that kind of feedback is gold!
4. Conversion: Call to action
After providing your audience with some great information, you will want to capture their details. However, people are reluctant to give these up, unless there is something valuable in it for them. This is why your call to action requires more thought than a simpe 'Call us now'.
Your CTAs must compel action. Think about what offer will line up with the piece of content you're getting prospects to consume. What makes the most sense? The entire purpose of your business blog is to have its readers take action, so a blog post without a CTA is essentially useless.
5. Distribution: Spread the word
There's no point having great content if it just sits there. You need a distribution strategy to make sure your prospects can actually find it.
Publishing your new blog posts on social media sites dramatically increases traffic. Publish all of your blogs on social media sites and any relevant groups on LinkedIn. Submit your post to relevant voting sites. Include your new blog in your email signature and on newsletters. You get the picture - the list is endless. The trick is narrowing it down to those channels that matter.
Which is why you then need to...
6. Review: Analyse your results
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. With tracked online activities and analytics, hindsight can be turned into insight. Analysing and comparing your blogging activity provides valuable insight allowing you to increase your efficiency going forward. However, you probably need marketing automation to achieve this. Don't just look at metrics like page views and shares, but pay attention to conversion rates. Then you can look at testing blog topics, keywords, and blog titles.
For more insight on business blogging, download the eBook with our compliments:
photo credit: JoelMontes via photopin cc