If you're blogging to generate leads, developing an effective lead generation strategy is something not to be taken lightly. If you are expecting your business blog to generate leads, rank higher on Google and increase traffic to your website, you probably want to spend as much time focusing on why you are blogging as you spend on what you are blogging about.
It’s important to provide more than just great content and blog posts. You need to create ways for visitors to take action and engage with your blog in order to capture visitor information and to follow up on leads.
Most blogs that I come across do a great job in the authoring of insightful blog posts, and it’s fairly common that a blog gets started based on the blogger’s ability to entertain, inform or provide insight on the topics that they cover.
Even though becoming a thought leader in your industry is something that we all aspire to do, most of us can’t pay the bills with just great ideas and thoughts. We have to have a product or service that we are selling, and must be able to do so in order to pay the mortgage or make payroll. That’s why more and more businesses are blogging each day, to generate leads and increase revenues.
The First Step: Clear Call to Action
Let’s face it—if you don’t ask someone to buy your product or to take a specific action, chances are they won’t.
A “call-to-action” (CTA”) is a subtle way of telling your blog readers what you want them to do or what action you want them to take. A CTA can be any of the following:
- download a report
- email you for more information
- watch a video
Not every blog post has to have a specific CTA. But, if you are blogging for lead generation, you can expect to generate more leads (and more qualified leads) if you are including specific CTAs on your blog, rather than just hoping someone decides to contact you and wants to do business with you.
How to Get More Leads? Premium Content
One of the basic premises of an effective lead generation strategy (or blogging for that matter) is that you need to provide your readers with great content to keep them coming back for more. Utilizing premium content and a simple download form that visitors fill out to access content can create a powerful lead generation campaign. When someone fills out a form and downloads content from your blog, you know more about them than most analytics software.
Common data fields in lead generation forms include:
- email address
Without premium content (podcasts, whitepapers, research reports and top 10s are all great for generating leads) you are going to be having a lot of people that read your blog but never interact with you or your company. They are simply visitors and NOT prospects or leads.
Appropriate Follow Up Strategy
Capturing leads from download / contact forms is a great way to build a database of prospective customers. However, if that database just sits there without a sound contact strategy, you might as well not capture the leads in the first place.
Through the use of auto responders and email software you can set up a simple lead nurturing campaign that, over time, sends out additional information, so that leads can continue to learn about your company and be provided with additional CTAs, which will presumably keep the prospect engaged.
If you are capturing phone numbers, you can add triggers that dictate when it’s appropriate to pick up the phone and call a lead directly. It’s probably best you don’t call too prematurely (like 20 minutes after they download a report) and wait until they download a second report or see that they posted a comment on your blog as well.
Thought Leadership Isn’t Enough for Lead Generation
Yes, it’s true that “thought leaders” end up ranking high on search engines and create a lot of traffic to their websites, but they sometimes fail in one critical area… GENERATING LEADS! If leads are important to your business, which I assume they are for most businesses, it’s important that you don’t focus all of your resources on creating content... and save some for capturing and following up on leads.