While most businesses think of blogging as an SEO play or a way for companies to present themselves as a leading brand in their industry, blogs bring a lot more value that most organizations fail to tap into.
If properly optimized, blogs can contribute to a significant percentage of a company’s sales, and there is a plethora of strategies that can be applied to a single company blog.
The best growth marketing agencies not only recognize the importance of good content, but they know how to concoct a blog that will play a vital role in hitting their client’s revenue goals. This article will delve into the topic of how a blog can be optimized to enhance sales and facilitate year-over-year growth.
Let’s Talk Content
Blogging as a sales strategy is going to be very different than blogging for SEO. While the ability to rank for the search terms your customers are using is critical to generating online sales, what is more crucial is to ensure the content speaks to the target buyer groups, and at specific stages in the buyer’s journey.
This means that rather than trying to get a certain keyword percentage in a blog, focusing on the buyer is more critical. A sales-driven blog should determine what the buyer persona’s needs are, the various solutions the buyer might consider, and how the main product or service at hand that’s being promoted can offer the best solution. Then, use the appropriate keywords naturally, and in context to the buyer’s needs.
It is also important to understand who your buyers are so that the blog is properly targeting each type. For example, imagine a company that sells custom car kits and original rare parts. Your target buyer personas could be auto fabrication shops (B2B), car collectors, hobbyists aged 16 to 25, middle-aged hobbyists, and retired hobbyists.
Of course, you are not going to use the same angle or tone in a blog speaking to an 18-year-old kid that wants to add chrome and spoilers to his 2005 Hyundai, as you would speak to a 65-year-old retired lawyer who wants to restore a 1955 Mercedes Gullwing.
Each blog article must address a specific buyer and serve as a single piece in a much larger system that nurtures readers until they are ready to pull the trigger and convert to a sale.
Blogs can Utilize CTAs that Convert Readers to Leads
When you start getting traffic to your blog the last thing you want to do is sit back and see if they click on the link that takes them to the form submit or shopping cart. Chances are good they are in another stage of the buyer’s journey and aren’t ready to make a purchasing decision. This is where a CTA can be a powerful driver in turning blog traffic into sales.
For those who are ready to convert, they can click on your link. But for those still in the decision-making phase, the right CTA can lead them to additional content that educates them into feeling confident to buy. Be sure to use action-packed language that speaks to your target buyer, and use an eye-catching design.
You can place the CTA at the end of the blog, and later move it to the middle of the blog. Play around with placement to determine which positioning gets the highest clicks that convert.
Blogs Help to Improve the Quality of Organic Traffic
We already talked about how buyer-focused content is the most important thing, and with this in mind blogs can be optimized to do this while also improving the quality of organic traffic.
Rather than trying to rank for broad keywords, try ranking for longtail variations that have context to the buyer’s needs. Not only will this strategy bring in qualified higher quality customers, but because these keywords are not as competitive, they will likely see faster conversions.
For example, rather than spending a year to rank for “men’s shirts” (15900 monthly search volume) try ranking for keywords like “blue flannel shirt mens” (480 monthly search volume). After all, would you rather have a product page rank on page one of Google that gets tons of traffic but only converts at three percent, or rank for a search term that gets significantly fewer searches but converts at 25 percent?
Blogs can Support Sales Sheets and Brochures
People normally look at sales sheets and brochures when they are in the decision stage of the buyer’s journey. They already know what the general product or service is that will resolve their problem, but now they must choose a specific brand.
For example, the customer knows he needs a scuba diving regulator suitable for ice diving but is trying to decide if he should get the Apex MTX-R, the ScubaPro MK-25 or the Sherwood Blizzard. A blog can talk about what important features to look for in a cold water regulator, then have a CTA to a brochure that potential buyers can download and make a direct purchase from.
Additional assets can be downloaded from blogs such as interviews with customers who are using the product, case studies, E-Books, and any other in-depth information that can be accessed via the catalyst that is the blog.
Writing a sales-driven blog requires a great deal of dedication, time and talent. The person in charge of the blog will need to
- Define target buyer markets,
- Create buyer personas,
- Engage in social listening,
- Crack search analytics,
- Have knowledge of marketing psychology,
- Be an exceptional writer,
- And understand how inbound, SEO and paid media work together to generate high-quality traffic,
- Have the right tech tools.
Most companies don’t have the budget (or interest) for investing in a robust CRM and other tools, nor do they tend to have true experts to run such a strategy. Growth marketing agencies not only have the costly tech tools and team members but investing in one can save your company thousands by removing the need for a large internal marketing and sales team.
In fact, most large brands only require three internal team members to work with a growth marketing agency when executing a stack of strategies and tools with a sales-driven blog at the heart of the strategy.