For many Marketing professionals, blog posts are a core element of the content marketing strategy.
But there is no point spending time creating blog content if what you produce doesn’t resonate with your audience. Blog posts are really all about conversions – driving prospects and clients to your website to consume more content and, ultimately, buy your products and services.
What can you do if your blogs aren’t delivering the leads you need? How can you increase your blog conversions?
Improve engagement with your blogs
Today, content is central to most marketing strategies. Research in 2019 by the Content Marketing Institute found that nearly half of B2B marketers were planning to increase their content marketing budgets in 2020.
And blogs are increasingly a core element of many firms’ content marketing methodologies – but not all blogs are created equal. How can you be sure that your blog posts are optimised for conversions, and delivering the leads you need?
The benefits of blogs
Blogs have many advantages over other forms of content. They can be published very quickly, enabling your firm to take a stance on topical issues. They are published direct to your website, so the production process is simpler than for a whitepaper or many other types of thought leadership. They can enable you to take a more informal tone than some other forms of content.
6 ways to improve your blog conversions
1. Have a compelling CTA
The Call to Action is an essential element of a blog post – perhaps the most essential. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ answer to the question of what makes a good CTA. In part, it will relate to reader intent, something that’s very closely linked to the marketing funnel.
A reader who is at the top of the funnel and is reading your blog for general education, for instance, will appreciate a link that takes them to more in-depth content on the same topic – maybe a longer piece of written content, or a podcast or video.
Conversely, someone who is further down the funnel, and has come to your site as a potential buyer, may want to read a more product-focused blog, and be taken to information on your products or services.
It’s clear, then, that in terms of content, your blog is very closely linked to your SEO, which will capture readers based on intent and direct them to relevant content. Your CTA should also mirror, as far as possible, this reader intent by directing readers to relevant further content.
2. Create a fair data exchange
Or as some would put it, create a good ‘lead magnet’. A lead magnet is an incentive for sharing data – the quid pro quo that encourages people to complete their details in return for something they value. This is typically a piece of downloadable content like a whitepaper, eBook, podcast or survey.
Make sure what you are offering is something your readers will value enough to hand over their personal data. Our blog on the most effective marketing content has information on the content options available and which ones Marketers have most success with.
3. Take the reader on a journey
When considering this lead magnet, don’t just stick with one, either. If you have a number of CTAs and lead magnets – designed to appeal to readers at different stages of the funnel – then you will be targeting your readers with an appropriate message at each step of their journey.
Create lead magnets for every persona (more of which below) and every stage of your funnel.
4. Know your audience
When you’re creating your blog – or any – content, you need a clearly identified reader. Having a clear vision of your potential buyers enables you to write for them in a way that’s authentic and relevant.
Different audiences will appreciate not just different subject areas, but different means of delivery too. As we pointed out in our recent blog on avoiding the mistakes that can cost you conversions, content doesn’t always have to mean text.
You can read more about buying personas in our blog on the topic.
5. Substance, more than style, is what counts
A lot of thought – maybe too much – goes into the format of blogs, and of CTAs. In fact, the general consensus is that the value of content – whether in a blog or in the lead magnet – outweighs the look and feel.
The only possible caveat to this is to say that often, CTAs are relegated to the end of a blog. There’s no reason to do this – why not have it upfront, for people who don’t make it to the end of the page? Or repeat it a couple of times throughout the blog. As long as it doesn’t look contrived, there’s no reason not to include it several times.
6. Don’t forget compliance
If you work in a regulated industry, the final piece of the puzzle is marketing compliance. In your drive to make blogs compelling, don’t forget that they also need to be compliant. If you’re regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, you need to understand and comply with its financial promotions rules, including requirements around Compliance team approval. And because these are platform-neutral, they apply to online content like blogs as well as printed material.
Create content that increases conversions
Hopefully, these tips have given you an insight into the steps you can take to improve your blog conversion rate.
The constant drive to create compelling content is certainly an ongoing challenge for Marketers. Making your content production process as efficient as possible is vital if you want to keep pace with the relentless demand for new and relevant material.
Introducing an element of automation can be invaluable here. Many Marketing teams have found that automated workflow solutions help to streamline project management and content creation, minimising duplication and getting material to market faster. If you want to read more on this, you can download a copy of our whitepaper, The benefits of automated workflow systems. The whitepaper is free, and available from our resource library.
Nothing in this document should be treated as an authoritative statement of the law. Action should not be taken as a result of this document alone. We make no warranty and accept no responsibility for consequences arising from relying on this document.