Leads are individuals who are interested in a product or service that a company sells, and their generation is arguably the most crucial part of the online sales process. If you were to ask the common person on the street the best way to generate interest, they’d likely say some sort of advertisement or reference or referral from friends or family. If they are of the younger generation, they may even speak of the many sponsorships influencers acquire to advertise a company’s goods.
Only a digital marketer would think of placing a focus on blogs or written content as a key part of a strategy for lead generation. The average person might look at the wall of words and ask themselves why would they ever do that much reading? Or, if they are an aspiring company, they might ask why would they ever do that much writing? Well, lucky for you, as we are here to answer both questions – in blog form, ironically.
How do blogs help you generate leads?
The average person reads a great deal throughout the day, with the younger generations typically intaking more words every day via online platforms, including social media. Over the last five years, blogging activity on the internet has increased by 12%, with companies being some of the largest creators of blog content out there. Companies almost always have websites, and the websites that contain blog content on them get much more leads, in fact, around 67% more leads.
There are several reasons why blogs have this effect. The first reason we’ll talk about, which is one of the most crucial, is also one of the more basic: website traffic.
How does blogging increase traffic?
Blogs are not ad-lib games. They are not telemarketers interrupting your family dinner for the slight chance that you might be interested in buying a vacuum cleaner or washing machine. Blogs are highly specific content, written to inform, and sometimes entertain, about a targeted subject that will turn readers into leads and potential customers.
If you are not one of the very few big brands out of the millions that exist, then there is little reason for people to come to your site without some sort of content that will interest them or at least inform them. People type very specific things into Google, to find out information about very specific subjects, or shop for very specific goods. Blogs promising information about this “something specific” provides a reason for google surfers to stop by your site.
This is where knowledge of SEO will come in, and your skill at keyword research. First, you have to have a little insider knowledge of the type of things your potential customers are typing into Google. If you run a computer repair company, for example, you will want to research what terms somebody in need of computer repairs in your area would be searching for. From there, you would need to make content that addresses some of these search queries.
Once a customer arrives at your website or landing pages, good content that informs and addresses their needs can convince them to stay longer. It can also, more importantly, bring them back. This cycle can turn an interested party into a lead, and then it’s on you to turn them into a valued customer.
Furthermore, having content that people want to see adds to your authenticity as a trusted website/company. When Google’s crawler can see that your website has received visitors (who have not immediately left your site, but instead been on site for some time and perhaps viewed multiple pages) because of your content, then that helps boost your rankings.
The end goal for many companies is to get their content ranking well so that they appear high in the search engine results listings. Typically, many people often only bother with the first page of SERPs, so good blog content can aid your journey to that first page, and increase traffic flow to your website.
Finally, your blog content can provide you with a reputation or mark you out as an authority in your industry. When you put out truly good content, other websites that are not in direct competition with you may open up channels for co-existence. Friendly alliances between websites like this are not uncommon, and direct references (preferably links) will be noticed by Google and potentially boost your search rankings further.
How do you make a blog convert?
People value things for different reasons. Some of those reasons are not always obvious to a person, but regardless, the value is derived from one of four aspects that are known to the marketing world.
Functional Value – provides you with a certain utility that you find highly useful. For example, Google Chrome’s auto-fill system. This is lauded by a lot of users of the browser as something to be celebrated, as it makes registering for websites, remembering passwords or making payments much less of a problem. There is only so much patience in every person, and sooner or later, coming up against problems that you have little power to change will build aggravation.
Monetary Value – provides you with a function that you perceive as being an asset to your monetary resources. For example, a monthly train ticket. A train ticket that is bought once to cover an entire month is far cheaper than buying daily train tickets. Resources are directly tied to a sound state of mind.
Social Value – provides you with a function that allows you to connect with others. For example, Twitter. Twitter has been instrumental in connecting people from across the entire globe, opening up any individual person to speak to another out of the millions that use the app in a single click. Human beings are social animals and consider an important desire directly tied to their functional needs.
Psychological value – eases or calms your mind, and makes life more bearable. For example, tasty food. Think about it, why bother going and spending a whole lot of money on Dominos pizza? Why not eat some 39-pence non-branded beans for dinner? Because a more healthy option doesn’t fire off the same level of dopamine receptors in your mind like a high fat food like pizza does.
A good salesman fulfils at least one of these four values before they smoothly direct you to the checkout. A blog, with its length, is functionally doing the same thing. If they’re not selling the website itself as a place to stay, then they’re selling the product they’ve been talking about, and usually capping it off with the all-important call to action button.
The call to action button is important for three reasons:
- It simplifies the customer’s journey – pulling up google maps to find your way through the forest isn’t hard, but it’s more difficult and far more aggravating than having a shiny signpost showing you the way out.
- Catch net – hesitation typically leads to you deliberate, and sometimes the pessimist in us gets the loudest voice. Having a friendly, reassuring sign may be just the last bit of motivation necessary to direct the reader into becoming a lead.
- Completes the story – being sold to by a good salesman is like paying for a bard to sing you a tale. Clicking on a premium CTA feels like the epilogue to a personal tale.
So, if the blog convinces a prospective buyer into buying, a CTA will be what inevitably converts them. The best part is that the website’s analytics can tell how many people came to buy as a result of your blogs, helping judge and authenticate their effectiveness.
Long-term, cost-effective leads
Running ads on TV is expensive. Renting a billboard in London is very expensive. Both will have time limits to their lifespan. In comparison, writing blogs costs much less. Time and energy, sure, but other than the costs of hosting a website, money is not coming out of your pocket as a direct result of blogging – unless of course, you are outsourcing the writing of your blog content.
Blogging’s results come from the long term. As you add more authentic content that people connect with, Google will consider you a legitimate contender for the coveted top slots on the search engine results page. This will make them a lot more willing to push you up over time, increasing the effectiveness of all your SEO practices.
Add to that, a blog post that is well received or considered as ‘evergreen’ can stick around for a long time at little cost, providing regular leads to your website weeks, months and perhaps even years into the future. This longevity also brings in the possibility of a single or group of influential forces coming across your content and promoting it, providing massive boosts to your post, and probably the rest of the website too.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t short-term benefits. Capitalising on recent widespread interest by writing a blog about it can lead to spikes in traffic, giving you bonuses in leads.
It’s not just about sitting down and typing words. Not everyone can write a well-written, formatted and edited blog post, let alone do it over the long term, all the while doing keyword research and keeping their ear to the ground on the latest trends.
It’s entirely because of the difficulty and time constraints that digital marketers and blog writers exist. The world is increasingly going digital, with online purchases expected to make up more than 90% of transactions in the coming decades, and blogging will continue to be an essential branch of most company’s lead generation strategies going forward.
Lucky for you, we have your back. Get in contact with us here at Pronto today for more information on how to make your business boom through blogging and quality content, combined with other proven lead generation practices.