March 8, 2017
Having a company blog is no longer optional. It’s the norm. In fact, recent stats point out that no less than 36 percent of Fortune 500 companies blog regularly. But simply writing some articles doesn’t guarantee that your blog can actually bring in customers. According to HubSpot, 57 percent of the companies that blog have acquired at least one customer through blogging. What happened to the other 43 percent?
While there’s no way of telling for sure why blogging didn’t work for them, there is a way to make sure it works for you.
Read on and find the seven heavily tested tips that can bring you customers through your blog.
1. Set clear goals
Before even starting on your headline, think about what the purpose of your blog post is. Yes, you want it to attract new customers. But how, exactly? And at what point in your sales funnel does this blog post fit in?
You can use it to generate social shares that, in turn, increase your brand awareness and attract new leads. You can use it to get the reader to subscribe to your newsletter; thus, you get their e-mail address and can start the lead conversion process. You can write a case study about how you helped other clients and get readers interested instantly.
All these are valid goals that will bring customers – some sooner than others. But you have to know what you are aiming for from the very beginning.
2. Focus on both quality AND quantity
Blogging once in a blue moon won’t help you much. It won’t even bring in traffic: it seems that companies that blog 16-plus times per month get an increase of 3.5 times the traffic. Readers (and search engines) expect consistency, so if you’ve set out to blog three times a week, do it.
On the other hand, sacrificing quality to get quantity isn’t the secret sauce, either. Your readers are bombarded with tons of blogs each day; they won’t get to the end of yours unless it’s near-perfect. Before sitting down to write, dig up stats and create infographics, find supporting opinions from (other) thought leaders in your industry. Quality content is not just about great penmanship.
In order to get both quality and quantity you need to be committed — and honest with yourself. Don’t take on more than you can handle. Rushed articles can be spotted from a million miles, even by non-trained eyes.
3. Get to know your audience
And I’m not just talking about the general “small business in the Midwest” type of targeting. Think about your buyer persona and get to know them in-depth.
What are their day-to-day problems? What solutions can you offer to those problems? Answer these questions and you will know what your next topics should be.
Moving on to the next level. What is their age and social status? What type of lingo do they understand? What else do they like to do; what are their hobbies? If you learned that your buyer persona loves playing golf, penning in golfing-themed analogies in your posts will bring you closer to your audience — and closer to turning them into clients.
4. Write for your audience, not for your business
Your company blog is not the place to brag about your excellent services and unparalleled product quality. Your company blog is the place to be helpful.
Keep promotion to a minimum, ideally to just a simple call-to-action at the end. Make the rest of the post about your target audience and solving their problems. Use actionable tips and examples. Write in the second person as much as possible. “You can win big by doing this!” — this is what people want to see: clear advice from someone who has the necessary qualifications to help them.
Your content strategy should focus on what is called evergreen content: tips and tricks, strategies, inspiring stories from thought leaders. They don’t just bring traffic; they also convert readers into buyers.
5. Use calls-to-action
This doesn’t cancel the point above. Today’s blog readers don’t have the time to figure out that you actually sell those services. Tell them.
One of our clients, a law office, used to blog regularly. The client’s SEO was impeccable (ranking on tons of keywords) and it had a lot of organic traffic. This is what marketers call “vanity metrics.” They look good on paper, but don’t necessarily bring you any revenue. So you had 500 shares of your last blog post and 5,000 unique visitors. That’s great; but how many of them actually bought something after reading it?
In the specific case of our client: none. Why? Because the client used a lot of legal terms that its audience didn’t understand (see point 3 of this article) and didn’t let the readers know how it could help. In fact, the audience was mostly made up of other lawyers searching for ways to solve their own cases. A few small changes — adding simple CTAs like “Need a divorce lawyer in X city? Get in touch!” and cutting down on the legal jargon — brought the first paying customer in less than a month.
6. Write long-form content
Gone are days when short, 300-word blog posts were the norm. Today, we know for a fact that long, 2,000-plus word posts work best. Search engines love them and so do (potential) customers. If you write more about a topic, your page will receive a better rank. Plus, the majority of blog posts out there are still short, so this is your chance to stand out from the crowd.
Similarly, readers will be more prone to perceiving you as a thought leader of your industry if you treat your topics more in-depth. Again, thorough research, analysis, and valuable, actionable posts are the key to excellent long-form content.
7. Be patient and consistent
No matter how good, valuable, on-point, well-researched, and lengthy your blog posts are, clients won’t appear overnight. You need time to get your blog posts indexed and your brand known.
Of course, you can also invest in ads and cut this process short. But this will only produce short-term effects. When your ads stop running, the leads a blog post generates will stop coming in.
Yes, you can get clients through blogging!
If your goal is sustainable scalability, blogging is the key to getting there. Depending on the resources and effort you are willing to put in, it may take anywhere from a month to a couple of years for clients to come rushing in through the “door.” But the good news is that once you’re there, the leads won’t stop coming in. In fact, you may even be pleasantly surprised to see that a blog post you wrote three years ago is still an excellent lead magnet.
In the end, it’s all about commitment and consistency!
Adriana Tica is an expert marketer and copywriter, with 10 years in the field, most of which were spent marketing tech companies. She is the Owner and Founder of Idunn. In October 2019, she also launched Copywritech, a digital marketing agency that provides copywriting, SEO content writing, and strategy services to companies in the tech industry.