How to Get More Leads from Your Blog
A corporate blog must bring leads, full stop.
Traffic, brand awareness or gaining expert status are just some lame excuses for what a blog should really be – a killer lead generation engine.
But here is the thing, when was the last time you were happy with the amount of leads your blog generated?
Sure those few email addresses you gain may mean a lot but they won’t break the bank. Even if you enjoy a 10% lead to sale conversion rate (which is very rare in most industries by the way), you still need more than those few leads to start making real sales through the site.
If you struggle to increase the number of leads from your blog, read on. What follows are some ideas that will help you change this.
Include a Call to Action in Every Post
A call to action gives you a chance to invite your readers to perform a specific action and often, explains their benefits of doing so. Without it you rely on your readers to figure out the next step themselves. And this very rarely happens.
At SERPs we include a call to sign up for our demo at the bottom of every post. Just scroll to the bottom of this post to see it. It highlights the main benefits of checking our rank tracker and acts as a signpost directing readers to take the next step.
Create Free and Downloadable Content
As I mentioned already in my tutorial on creating content strategy for B2B, this particular audience looks for sources that will educate them. And they do it for two main reasons: to find out more on the topic but also to look good in front of their superiors.
Use this characteristic to your advantage by offering your audience free, downloadable resources. Hubspot do it exceptionally well with whitepapers, ebooks, templates and many more materials they publish regularly.
In exchange for all this knowledge, ask your readers to provide you with whatever information you need to assess them and forward their details to your sales team.
Check out the Hubspot’s form below. You can quickly see how they assess their leads for future segmenting.
The key to creating leads through downloadable content is in offering free information that will attract the very people who can become your clients. They are the people who want to learn more about your product, service and solutions you offer.
Keep Your Submit Forms Simple
Whenever you ask readers to provide personal details, you need to ensure that:
- they can complete the form quickly and,
- they don’t feel intimidated by the information you ask for
A form that’s too long will dissuade people from completing it. Similarly, if you ask for too specific or personal information, your readers might lose their confidence in you and leave the landing page.
At the same time, asking just for an email address isn’t enough, as it doesn’t help you with qualifying the lead. Asking for details regarding their business, its size or annual turnover on the other hand might look too sales pushy for your clients to submit it.
Test Various Call to Action Placements
Most companies place their call to action in the sidebar. After all, it seems like a natural place for it. With so many ads in blogs sidebars though many people have developed what’s called a banner blindness and will not notice your call to action.
Experiment with different placements then. Here at SERPs we discovered that placing our call to action after the post offers the highest conversion rate. When testing a sidebar placement though, we noticed that moving the entire sidebar to the left hand side (now reverted back to right) increased conversions of a C2A placed on it too. This was possibly due to the majority of blogs having their sidebars on the right and thus visitors weren’t accustomed to seeing it on the left (thus, no banner blindness effect).
Use Graphic Calls to Action
If you are using only text based calls to action by placing a little note at the end of a post for instance, consider changing them to images instead. Text based ads might look like part of a text copy and thus it may seem that users are more likely to read and react to them. In reality though, many readers will just skim the last paragraphs of your copy, missing the text inviting them to take.
Image based calls to action will stand out from the text, increasing the chances that your reader will actually see them.
(text based call to action)
(image based call to action)
Use a Different Call to Action per Persona
Chances are that you create content for many different personas, each representing users with one specific issue your product or service can help them overcome. Therefore, technology permitting you could try to use a different C2A per persona, targeting the very need the persona has and further personalizing your message.
Use Hello Bar or Optin PopUp
Pop ups caused a bit of a stir among marketers few years ago. Many have claimed that they contribute to a higher bounce rate. Dan Zarella however discovered that having a pop up had no negative effect on his website performance. His subscription rate went from 1.52% to just over 3%.
Alternatively, if you’re not comfortable with using a pop up, consider installing a HelloBar (like the one you see on top of this page) to point readers to a specific page. It is another great way to display a call to action readers can’t miss.
Creative commons image by Katey / Flickr