At least once, business owners and marketing executives who have invested in blogging and content marketing can all share a similar pain: spending the time and energy writing and posting content and not seeing the results – little traffic and no leads.
Frustrating, I know.
But you’re not alone! Over the past few years of working with businesses on their inbound and content marketing strategy, I’ve noticed a trend of common blogging blunders that many businesses don’t realize are hindering their blog’s ability to attract and convert.
So if you’re at that stage where you’d rather pull your hair out than spend one more minute writing a blog post, this article is for you. Here are the four foolproof ways to improve your blog today (and overtime) to attract more quality traffic and generate more leads.
Master the Art of Quality AND Quantity
One of the most common debates when discussing content marketing is “quality vs. quantity.” And here’s the answer: it’s no longer either/or – it’s both.
Google LOVES content – good content, and lots of it. So don’t think of your blog as a typical social network like Facebook or Twitter where you can easily “over post” and annoy your audience. A blog that publishes useful, relevant content on a consistent, frequent basis delivers results.
As an agency that practices what we preach, our team took the HubSpot 30-Day Blogging Challenge and increased our blog posting frequency to publish one new blog post per business day for the entire month of January. The results: visitors that came to our website through our blog increased by 145% in comparison to January 2013, and our blog alone helped us generate 165% more new leads for the month of January 2014 when compared to just the previous month of December.
Write Above the Noise
It’s no mystery that content marketing is effective – which is why so many businesses in almost every industry are implementing content into their marketing strategy.
Unfortunately, this means your competitors are most likely talking about the same topics you are, resulting in content overload for your audience.
In order to combat content overload, it’s critical to spend the time investigating the topics your competitors (or even reputable industry sources) are already overly talking about. How can you put a spin on it? Is there an opportunity to offer different information or even a unique perspective?
Another way to be heard above the noise is to look for “holes,” or subject matter opportunities that your competition has yet to tackle. Some of the best resources to utilize in finding those untapped topics are your sales team and existing customers. What questions or problems are your sales team hearing consistently from prospective customers? Or if speaking with your current customers, where do they feel you could have provided more explanation or information during the sales process or throughout their engagement with your company?
Stick with it
This point seems obvious but where I see a lot of blogs fail is when business’s post for a few weeks or a month and throw in the towel because they’re not seeing immediate results.
Blogging is a long term marketing effort, and typically does not show an immediate “spike” in results that many traditional marketing tactics generate. That said, the overall benefits of implementing a long-term blogging strategy are significant to most business’s marketing goals: establishing authority and thought leadership, increasing your search engine rankings, driving more traffic, and finally, generating more leads.
Inform, Guide and Convert
In addition to driving more traffic, the next stage is to provide those prospects with conversion opportunities, so that once nameless prospect can become a newly identified lead, which you can continue marketing to in the future.
How do we do this? Integrate relevant calls-to-action into each and every blog post that allows your prospects to take the natural next step in learning more about a specific topic.
Each blog post should accomplish the same goal of informing your reader, guiding them to other relevant information, and converting them into a lead by offering relevant, high value content that's parallel to their interests and needs.
Although this may sound simple, keep in mind this does require you and your team to create more engaging, premium content that prospects will be willing to provide their email address for in order access the material.
To learn more about developing quality content that drives leads, check out my webinar replay, Intro to Inbound: Creating Content that Converts where you'll learn how to build your own content marketing strategy, as well as how to create content that connects with prospects at every stage of the buying process.
All the best,
Sarah D’Andrea is an Inbound and Content Marketing Manager at Stream Companies, a Philadelphia area advertising agency.