If you’re like many hard-working B2B content marketers, you understand the importance of blogging. It helps you increase brand awareness and gain the trust of your target audience. But you may not be sure how to convert your blog traffic into leads.
Every blogger needs a sustainable marketing strategy for turning blog visitors into valuable business leads and, in the long run, customers. Once you capture those leads, you can start the lead nurturing process. Through the use of B2B content marketing, you can send them targeted content that answers their questions, provides solutions to their challenges and moves them ever closer to becoming customers.
So, how can you get the most out of your blog and turn more blog readers into marketing leads? Here are a few tips to help you optimize your blog for lead generation.
1. Roll out the welcome wagon
One of the biggest B2B content marketing mistakes you can make is to not send out a welcome email to blog subscribers. In fact, 74% of subscribers expect a welcome email when they subscribe.
Start nurturing new subscribers by sending out an automated welcome email. Use this welcome email to thank them for subscribing and to remind them what they signed up for.
In most cases, this is the first email these contacts will be receiving from your company. So, you want to make a good first impression. You can do this by sharing a list of your most popular blog posts or resources like:
Let them know what type of content they can expect to receive in the future and how often you will email them (once a week, twice a month, every other month, etc.). It’s also a good idea to include social media buttons, so they can follow you on all your social media accounts.
Your welcome email should restate the benefits of subscribing to your blog. Do you offer exclusive content they can’t find anywhere else? Will you announce new product features and models? Do you explain complex and highly technical concepts in a clear and easy-to-understand way? You know how awesome your blog is. Now it’s time to let your readers know.
You can also give them the option to update their subscription type. For example, if you offer weekly and monthly subscriptions, let them know what they need to do to change their email frequency.
2. Create CTAs that they can’t help but click
A call-to-action (CTA) compels a reader to take action. They let your website visitors know the next best action to take, whether that’s scheduling a product demo, signing up for a webinar or downloading an eBook.
Before you publish your next blog post, think about where your readers are in the buyer’s journey. What CTA will help your prospects move from one stage to another? If they are reading an awareness stage blog post that is more educational, they may not be ready to click a CTA for a product demo or request a quote. Instead, you could add a CTA for an educational webinar, tip sheet, or how-to video.
There are many different types of CTAs to choose from. Here are a few you should consider when optimizing your blog for conversions:
When writing a blog post, you can include a link (what’s called an in-line CTA) in the text to a relevant eBook or white paper. These links motivate your readers to explore different parts of your website. They also help search engine bots crawl your website, which can help improve your SEO rankings.
Bottom of the post CTA
At the end of each blog post, you can include a clickable CTA to guide readers to the next step. To give you an example, below is one of the CTAs we use at the end of our blog posts.
Leave plenty of whitespace around the CTA so it’s clear where they should click. The best calls-to-action use clear, compelling language and create a sense of urgency. Make sure you state exactly what they’ll get if they click on the CTA. Are you offering a video, white paper, eBook? Are you sharing expert tips, product comparisons, a tutorial? The last thing you want to do is leave your readers guessing.
Exit intent overlay
This pop-up message is triggered when a visitor is about to leave your website. It attempts to capture the contact’s information before they leave, typically with a gated piece of content. An exit pop-up can gather feedback, suggest a product or blog post, or whatever else you want to use to try to convince them to stay.
Instead of waiting until they leave, you can greet visitors when they first arrive on your site. This page overlay can display a CTA for a specific content offer or promo. The visitor can then choose to close the message and continue to the blog or download the offer.
3. Make the most of your blog sidebar
The sidebar of your blog is another prime location for CTAs. For the best results, you should place the CTA above the fold. That’s where it’s most likely to be noticed. Eye-tracking studies show that the top of the page gets the most visibility.
Before you start adding CTAs to your sidebar, or anywhere for that matter, you need to understand why your audience is on your blog in the first place. Are they looking to learn new things? Are they on the market for a new product? Are they feeling overwhelmed and trying to solve a problem? An effective CTA will speak to these needs and engage your readers.
When done right, CTAs can help you improve conversions and provide significant value to your website visitors. For example, you might offer a free downloadable guide that helps your prospects solve their toughest challenges (in exchange for their email address). As with any of your B2B content marketing tactics, be sure to A/B test your CTAs to increase their effectiveness.
In addition to a CTA for a content offer, your blog sidebar should include things like links to your recent blog posts, related posts or blog topic categories. Adding links to other content enhances your readers’ experience and makes it easier for them to find the most relevant content. It also helps establish you as a thought leader in the industry.
So, there you have it. These are some of the best ways to turn subscribers into quality leads (and eventually customers) and generate more revenue for your blog. You can use one or all of these methods to improve your B2B content marketing. Try these tactics out and let us know how it goes.
In B2B tech marketing, tactics should be thought of as part of a larger whole, rather than separate pieces. By strategically integrating new and traditional marketing tactics, your marketing program become more effective and cost efficient. To learn more about how you can increase your lead generation and overall marketing, download our free eBook: Modern Integrated Digital Marketing—A Better Path for B2B Technology Marketers.
Courtney Gursky is a Digital Content Specialist at Schubert b2b. She graduated from Lafayette College with a B.A. in English. When she's not working, you can find her re-reading Harry Potter or taking way too many photos of her 4 cats and 3 dogs.