Business blogging can be a dynamic way to generate sales leads and a powerful inbound marketing tool, but many companies are not making the most effective use of their blogs. Offering interesting, well-written content that's pertinent to potential customers and presenting that content in a pleasing manner are certainly important. However, if such altruistic externals are the only goals driving your blog; you're missing the key purpose of maintaining a business blog. Certainly, blogs have to attract site visitors and be interesting enough to ensure their return; but the core value of a business blog as an inbound marketing tool lies in its ability to capture sales leads. If your blog exhibits good site traffic but fails to convert that traffic into useful sales leads; you're wasting the time, money and effort that you're investing in your business blog.
How do you use your blog to generate sales leads? By taking a commercial view of your website, blog and other inbound marketing tools. Consider every item available through your website and associated social marketing platforms (blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) as something for sale in your virtual store. Assign each item a "price tag" based on its value to the consumer. Every time a potential customer "buys" an item, whether it's submitting a response to a blog post, downloading a white paper, viewing a podcast, printing out a coupon or signing up for your company newsletter, he "pays" for the information by providing his contact information. Obviously your "prices" will vary. For example, a visitor will be more apt to provide his mailing address, phone number and email address if he wants to download a buyer's guide or white paper from your website. To respond to a blog post or sign up for your newsletter, he may only be willing to provide his email address.
The point is to entice potential customers to move from a passive to an active relationship with your inbound marketing tools and, by extension, your business. You want your business blog posts to motivate readers to take an action -- click on a white paper link to your website, print a coupon, enter a contest, take a one-question survey -- and in the process divulge their contact information, providing you with useful customer leads.
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With over 30 years of business and marketing experience, John loves to blog about ideas and trends that challenge inbound marketers and sales and marketing executives. John has a unique way of blending truth with sarcasm and passion with wit. You can connect with John via LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus.