There is a great deal of buzz about the importance of creating valuable, high-quality content. Although such content is indeed integral to inbound marketing success, an effective company blog requires much more than valuable content. If you only focus on the content creation part of the equation, you are not maximizing the potential of your company blog. Optimizing your blog for lead generation and conversion—for prospects in various stages of your marketing funnel—can make all the difference.
After gaining a new blog subscriber, promptly send a personalized welcome email to show your genuine appreciation and kindly remind the subscriber what he or she signed up for. The welcome email is a great opportunity to increase your social following, so encourage your new blog subscribers to follow you on social media for additional content updates. Emailing too often is a common mistake, which can turn off new subscribers and land you in their spam folders. Offering various blog subscription options, such as daily, weekly or by topic, is a great practice.
When you create a new blog post, select an offer that is most relevant to your topic. Then, add a call-to-action to your blog post, which links to the landing page for that offer. Informational offers, such as ebooks, guides and webinars, function well in this space, since individuals reading your blog will likely be interested in receiving more free information from you. Displaying CTAs “above the fold”—the space where your webpage is visible without having to scroll down is highly effective. According to Kipp Bodnar of HubSpot, anything “below the fold” will only be viewed by 50% of those who visit your page. Doubling viewing by adjusting page placement can significantly increase lead generation.
Relevancy and context matter. If your company offers various products or services, you may want to consider creating a different offer for each of them. Providing corresponding content and offers will allow you to provide more value and increase targeting. Place CTAs on each page, which link to your most relevant offer. Provide visitors with more of what they are interested in. Clearly define the premium offers within your CTAs; do not be vague. If you are offering a free guide on content marketing, promote it by saying, “Download our free guide on content marketing.” Your text should communicate a clear and compelling benefit of taking action on your offer. Clear, concise language will generate better results than vague inducements, such as “download now.”
Visual elements are critical, so ensure that you use attractive images as well as text. Images attract a lot more attention than text alone. Within your CTAs, use colors that contrast with your overall website colors. If your CTA blends in with your website design, it may fail to stand out and go unnoticed. For higher visibility, use contrasting colors to increase the impact of your CTAs.
Embed social sharing buttons on your blog to encourage content curation. Sharing your content on social media and content syndication websites can significantly magnify your reach and industry influence. Post your content on at least the big four social networks—Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn—and respected syndication websites like Social Media Today and Business 2 Community.
An effective company blog results from high-quality, valuable content coupled with a complete inbound marketing strategy. Without strategic CTAs and a plan for lead generation and conversion, you will not get all that you can from your blog. Give your high-quality content the platform it needs to deliver results for your brand.