Content marketing is definitely king. Today's smart marketers don't waste time trying to trick their potential customers. Instead, they grab valuable attention fairly and squarely with engaging information and media.
An interesting, well-written blog has proven to be one of the most effective ways of creating the involved audiences that can most easily be turned into customers. Those who set out on the path of blogging for more leads, though, sometimes find that how to use a blog most effectively is not as clear as it might have seemed.
In fact, however, thinking strategically about your blogging activities is often all that is required to produce a payoff that will make the effort worthwhile. Blogging for business can be satisfying for just about any company, and we'll look at some of the most powerful concepts below.
Subscribers are Worth Their Weight in Gold. Mine More.
Search-engine-driven traffic is nice when you can get it. Blogging for business, though, just as often relies on subscriber lists to produce the lion's share of any particular post's audience. Those who actively express interest in your offerings, after all, are most likely to show up again when something new pops up. Furthermore, they are even more inclined than other readers to want to share what you have written, thereby helping with your marketing.
Surprisingly, though, many business bloggers are relatively hands-off about pumping up their subscriber counts. Some fear alienating visitors with overly aggressive appeals, and this is something that should certainly be avoided. Tasteful reminders that the option exists, though, aren't likely to turn anybody off and can be among the most productive changes you can make.
Think about boosting the prominence of any existing subscription links on your blog, then, especially if your analytics show that casual readers rarely convert into subscribers. A simple call to action that is positioned such that a satisfied reader of one blog post will happen upon it is often all that it takes to create a new subscriber.
Creating a standalone landing page that details the benefits of subscribing can be an excellent idea, too. Not only will visitors who arrived for other reasons run across and make use of it, the page can be prudently shared on social networks to great effect. Even adding a simple, low-key aside in unrelated emails can produce more subscribers for a blog, as well.
Make the Most of What You've Already Done
Blogging for business can lead to a focus on creating new posts, and steady activity is important. Once a blog grows to a certain size, though, it also pays to start thinking about how older work can be used to better effect.
As a content marketing effort evolves, for example, the keywords and topics of interest blog writers focus on will shift as well. One way of better leveraging older blog posts is to go back and update their titles to reflect any new emphasis. Far from detracting from the value of established assets, this gentle repositioning can give them fresh significance as new titles better show how they fit in with a company's current thrust. More concretely, they can also help boost search engine rankings as those new terms find their way onto older pages.
Don't stop at the titles, either. While it requires more time and commitment, updating the content of popular old posts can be especially worthwhile. Particularly for those posts that still draw steady streams of visitors, consider adding an addendum that reflects what has been learned since the original went up. Showing that kind of initiative impresses readers on a second level beyond that of the original post's worth, making their visits to your blog more satisfying.
Measure, Measure, Measure... and Adjust
Nothing beats hard numbers. Creating an interesting blog can feel like a fuzzy sort of undertaking, and there is an undeniably subjective element to the art. Even so, the effects can often be measured in clear-cut terms, and those who fail to do so are missing out.
One of the most profitable ways of working an analytical approach into your blogging is to study just how actionable your calls to action are. Every post you make should include an appeal designed to get readers to move further along in your lead generation process, since that is the main point of using a blog for business, but these entreaties are not all created alike.
Simple A-B testing systems can help you to figure out how to perform better in this respect, and this sort of investment pays twofold returns: First, it creates more leads in the short term and, second, it helps you hone your skills in ways that only reliable feedback can enable.
After gaining some confidence in your ability to provoke action from your readers, you can start looking for ways to apply your newfound powers elsewhere. Once again, older blog posts that continue to generate gratifying amounts of traffic can be spruced up with brand-new, more-effective calls to action. You can use your website's standard analytics reports to figure out where any other updates would be likely to produce the greatest effects, too.
Respect Your Own Efforts
One of the most important reasons for the power of high-quality blogging is the inherent authenticity and intimacy of the pursuit. Visitors who enjoy and benefit from what they read develop real, positive feelings for the businesses and people who create content for them.
Blogging for business differs from traditional marketing in some fundamental ways, then. Recognize and take possession of that fact and your blogging will benefit. Engage with readers who care enough to leave comments on your posts, and you will discover new avenues worth exploring in the future while inspiring more loyalty in your fans and creating new ones.
Banish the old-fashioned marketing mindset, then, that so often carries a whiff of shame about it. Create good content and share it proudly and do everything you can to make sure that anyone who might be interested finds out.