When it comes to inbound marketing, your blog is by far your most valuable asset. Not only is it a key source for building your brand reputation, but it also holds a ridiculous amount of potential for your lead generation. So what should you be doing, and just as important, what shouldn’t you be doing?
The absolute worse thing you can do with blogging is to just publish a post and hope for the best. The reason this is so bad, is because it is so dangerously close to being great that it is extremely frustrating.
By this point you have already gone to the effort of researching a topic and writing a top-notch content piece. You might even have gone so far as to upload the post into the software, ready to go live on your website, and now you are about to press the ‘Publish Now’ button…. STOP! Don’t. Really don’t. There are so many more things you can do to not only make sure that the blog gets to as many readers as possible, but also to make sure you convert those visitors into leads.
And it really isn’t that complicated.
What happens when people get to your blog?
When someone visits your blog they do one of two things:
- Read your content and leave
- Or read your content and ask for more
Obviously you want them to do the second; otherwise you are just handing out all of this brilliant, free content and getting nada back. You want to try and convince them to stay with all of your inbound marketing might. But how do you do that?
The way to win leads from your blog
There is one major way that can help you keep your readers around – CTAs. Blogs and CTAs are a match made in heaven. To inbound marketers a CTA-less blog is the stuff nightmares are made out of.
CTAs can be placed in three top spots on your blog to increase your click-through rate.
- Smack bang at the top of your blog homepage
Banner ads are still very much alive and well and there is a key spot where you can chuck them on your blog homepage so they act as a very large and loud CTA to generate leads. Below is an example from the CMI blog homepage. As you can see, they have featured a big CTA banner directing visitors towards the registration of their virtual event. Just under it, there is also a call to subscribe to the blog – offering a free eBook with every sign up. In short, CMI are doing it right – broadcasting a number of great offers across the prime real estate of their blog homepage.
- Right at the end of your blog post
Your prospect has just finished reading a fabulous content piece of yours, they really enjoyed it and they want more. But they have reached the end of the post and all that is there to greet them is a big old blank space. No excitement, no extra little bit of content. Nothing. To me, the CTA at the end of a blog post just needs to be there. It would be like baking a cake and forgetting to frost it, or watching an episode of Friends and switching the channel before that last little post-credit snippet.
Image from Culture Culte from Flickr creative commons
If you are not sure what this exactly looks like then have a look at our example below – or check out our CTA in action at the bottom of this blog post. We are practicing what we preach!
So, end on a sweet spot and give your reader what they want, particularly because it might be exactly what they need to transform into a qualified lead.
- Inside the text
This is by far the sneakiest of all CTAs – so sneaky it sometimes isn’t even called a CTA, but instead ‘Anchor Text’. You can work these to be seriously subtle so much that they feel like they were destined to be paired with the text. Alternatively, you can select a word or phrase from your blog post that relates to either an offering or another content piece and link them back. This offers a brilliant take-it-or-leave-it choice for the reader. If they are uninterested in that particular topic they can carry on reading without interruption, or if they are keen to learn more then they can click on and read after they have finished scrolling through this blog.
Quick tip: Make sure your in-text CTAs open in a new tab so readers don’t lose their place in your current blog. Also, it is only ever a good thing if your site is filling up multiple tabs on a reader’s computer.
So please don’t let your hard blogging work go to waste. With these three elements added to your blogs, you will see your business blog evolve from a content source to a lead generation machine in three easy CTAs.
If you want to know how to generate as many leads as you physically can from your blog, then you are in luck! The upcoming HubSpot User Group Sydney event in October is covering this very topic, featuring presentations and Q&As with top Hubspot experts and Inbound Marketing know-it-alls. To register for this free (yes, that’s right FREE!) event, click this (slightly ironic) CTA below.