Lead generation online is the number one challenge for small and medium sized businesses in particular. You’re looking to grow your business online and find potential customers on the internet, but you’re struggling to know how best to achieve your goals.
You’re reading this blog because you’ve come to realise that content marketing, in particular blogging, is a fantastic way to grow your business online. And you’re not wrong.
So, you’ve got a website and you may have a blog area. Your traffic on the other hand is low and anyone who does visit isn’t converting by getting in touch with you or buying anything. This can be tough to take, especially if you’re trying to write content on a regular basis.
You’re probably thinking, what don’t people like about my website, blog or my content?
There’s many reasons as to why your blog is not performing:
- It may be due to the quality of your overall website
- It may be due to the quality of your writing
- In many cases we’ve seen, it’s because you’re not exposing your blog content well enough.
Really take a moment to yourself here and ask yourself, are you happy with your website? Are you proud of the content that represents your business?
If you hand on heart are not convinced by the quality of your blog writing, then right away we strongly recommend you hire a professional blog copywriter.
A carefully created blog promotion strategy is required to grow your blog’s online presence. Promoting your blog can be done step by step with the techniques we’ve listed below. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
First look at your ‘traffic’ as real people, think about their needs
Your customers aren’t just traffic – of course, you already knew that! Many online business owners can slip into the habit of seeing their customer base as nothing more than numbers. And yet, to generate plenty of leads out of the online traffic you’re producing, you need to see those who visit your website as the people they really are, rather than the statistic they’re a part of.
But what does that mean for your lead generation strategy? You’ve already conducted plenty of research into how to get traffic on your blog, and you’ve got your own content marketing targets to hit. However, do these milestones take into account a person’s thoughts and feelings, likes and dislikes, wants and needs? Or does your strategy take on more of a ‘throw content at a wall and see what sticks’ tone?
You need to know what a potential customer is looking for.
- What do they want out of a company like yours?
- What products would be of most use to them?
When you can answer these questions, you can start pushing the right content their way, and watch as your conversion metric doubles in short order. And that means more specific research is needed to benefit your business’ online presence here.
Research your customers to better your SEO strategy
If you’re looking for ways to really promote your blog, market research should be your top priority.
You can look at your competitors and see how they appeal to your audience, but you can also just talk to your customers to get to know them.
So how can you research your audience? By pushing out surveys and feedback forms. You can ask the main source themselves about what they want from your company and what they’re looking for when shopping in your sector. Most specifically, you can even ask them what they type into Google when looking to either find or buy a product like yours.
You can also make good use of focus groups and interviews, but these elements can take time, which might be something you don’t have much of!
There are also many online data research companies who have published reports for you. Of course, this won’t be specific data and many other companies will also be using it, but it’s a good start in determining the best way to refine your SEO practices for better lead generation.
Expand your content strategy
You may think that you have a content strategy because you’re writing blogs. This isn’t enough. You need to consider everything; from the type of content you’re writing right through to promoting it.
We can talk a lot about how to conduct research and what you should really be doing to ensure your blog grows, but now we need to put all this knowledge into practice. To do this, you’re going to want to focus on building a detailed content strategy with a clear direction.
This will help you to focus your content marketing energy, and use the results you obtain from these campaigns to reach your readers and convert them into customers at a higher conversion rate.
Think of this as a roadmap – it shows you where you need to go to reach your destination, and what milestones you need to hit along the way to know you’re moving in the right direction.
So what is it you’re looking to achieve with your content?
- Maybe you want to know how to make your blog grow in one year?
- Maybe you want to increase blog traffic, enquiries and sales?
- Probably both?
Either way, your goals can be better defined and reached much faster when you have a proper content strategy in place.
Start with one question: What do you want your blog content to do?
Once you know this, you’ll have a content goal to work towards. Your strategy will be tailored perfectly towards it. It could be that you have multiple goals too; to entertain, to inform, to advise, to convert into a paying customer. Planning and putting the rest of your content strategy into action doesn’t have to be hard either.
Then comes the use of your SEO and audience research data – this will help you to develop a few market personas to identify the blog readers you want to target. This will also help you to spot the gaps in your current published content, especially if you already know what keywords you aim to rank for, and which ones you’ve been missing out on so far.
With your audience identified and your content goals, you can write your content and specifically talk to them and persuade them to take the action you want them to take. You can do so by appealing to their needs, feelings and emotions.
Create a content calendar to keep fresh content coming
As part of your content strategy, you should also create a content calendar to follow. Why? Because following one will enable you to both streamline your blogging efforts, as well as scale your content in the future, but more on that below.
Plucking ideas out of the air for your content isn’t enough. And it will show on your blog. From time to time you may be in a great position to write a topical piece of content and this might jump in to write quickly, which is ok and can add to your calendar.
A publishing schedule ensures you leave no stone unturned in the blogging world. It’ll help you to create content on a regular basis, without running out of ideas simply because you’ve tried to write something on the fly. You’ll be able to consistently generate something valuable for readers to sink their teeth into. When you’ve got a content funnel like this in place, a reader is much more likely to find worth in your blog and turn themselves into a lead without any extra effort from you.
Similarly, knowing when you’ll be publishing content and what content will be published will help you to promote your blog. You can then create hype around what’s coming up next on your social media channels.
You can create both evergreen and seasonal content when using a content calendar. You’ll have planned pieces in advance to target those waves of readers who are interested in Halloween or Christmas inspired articles, for example.
All in all, a publishing schedule takes a lot of pressure off of your shoulders, thanks to just how much flexibility it grants your blog promotion tactics.
Scale your content into the future
Scaling content is all about knowing you’ve hit your stride and that it’s time to publish more. You’ve been working with a content strategy that’s clearly benefited your online presence, and you need to be able to keep up with the demand now.
How can you most effectively build your content backlog? By getting more hands on deck and building your business in terms of just how much manpower is behind it. And if you want to know how to increase blog traffic, this is the section for you!
In scaling content, you’re no longer going to be able to take on your blogging needs alone. You’re going to want to bring in more writers, whether they are outsourced freelancers, or you decide to hire in-house, specifically trained writers. You can also depend on a mix of the two; with a Content Manager in-house but an outsourced team of writers.
We wrote a useful blog on whether you should be outsourcing content or hiring content experts in-house.
It’s also a good idea to come up with a content workflow. This will ensure you’re always producing content in a defined manner that helps you maintain control over what gets published on your blog. A workflow will involve specific steps given to each writer, such as word count, what keywords to include, and how the content itself is to be structured.
Make your blog catch the eye
Creating more content and staying relevant online because of it is one thing, but once you’ve captured a reader’s attention, how will you best ensure they come back for more?
If you’re worried about the small amount of notice your blog is currently getting, how can you make your blog really catch the eye? Really, how can you get your blog noticed? You need to offer something more. And more can mean many things, so you won’t come up dry for ideas here.
How to get people to read your blog
If you’re wondering about the best way to get people to read your blog, then there’s two different sides to getting people to read your content.
First it’s the way in which you write. Your content needs to be written to a high standard. On top of this, the way in which people consume content online is very different to say in a newspaper or a book. You need to understand the psychology behind an online user reading content on a website. You can read about this in our blog, ‘There is more to website content than words‘.
Along with the way in which you write your blog content there’s also the visual aspect.
But what visual assets can you create for your blog to get it noticed?
Many people turn to images, graphics, videos and even podcasts. You could also write an eBook, create a free report, and even offer physical samples, sometimes known as ‘swag’, to better convert readers.
Whatever you do, make sure it’s worthwhile for your audience.
How will you know you’ve converted your reader?
Now, this is the big question. Once you’ve put into place the strategies above and you’re happy with the way your content strategy has evolved to drive traffic, how will you really know you’ve converted your reader?
Well, this all starts back at the beginning of your content strategy: the aim of your blog.
Do you want to inform and advise? Do you want to entertain and interact? Do you simply want to attract and sell? Think on your blog’s original purpose and how the customer journey has changed because of it.
Depending on the purpose of your blog and your reason for creating content in the first place, you’ll be better able to benchmark your new conversion rate.
Signs of conversion could be:
- Has anyone new contacted you to inquire after a product or service?
- How many new sales have you made since your blog promotion and lead generation efforts began?
- Have your readers been downloading those free assets we touched on above?
- Have you seen your traffic increase for the new content you’re producing?
Without such metrics to follow, it can be hard to determine if your content strategy is heading in the right direction. But at the same time, these metrics can be incredibly exciting to keep an eye on!
Comparing the before to the now will show you just how successful your content marketing efforts have been. And ultimately, they’ll be the positive signs you’re looking for concerning your blog growth.
Do you need help with your blog?
Whether you’re looking for strategy, planning or blog writing support, we have a team of writers here to help. We’ve worked with a range of businesses, from the likes of the British School of Motoring to small businesses who have scaled massively like Lucky Beans Childcare.
Got a question for us?
We’re just an email, call, text or social message away!