It’s fair to say that leads are the lifeblood of your business. Get the right lead and you have a customer and potential brand ambassador for life = incalculable value for your business. With so much to gain, you can understand why many businesses spend a lot of time and resources on nurturing new leads.
While Facebook marketing might be the rage and a great way to get those leads, you can also get the same results though your business blog; it’s a cost-effective solution, particularly if you have a limited marketing budget.
In this post, I’ll share how to get quality leads (that is, people actively interested in your products/services) through your most under-utilised marketing tool – your business blog.
1. First, know your customers
At abidemi.tv, our primary customers are:
- budding authors (those yet to write their first book)
- new to relatively established freelance writers
- solopreneurs/SMEs who lack the skills and knowledge to create great content for their business
As you can see from the blog, there are different content topics for each customer type:
- budding authors: how to write your first book, getting published, the business of writing, book marketing
- new to relatively established freelancers: practical help and advice on setting up a profitable freelance business
- solopreneurs/SMEs: help and advice on writing business content that converts
Because we know our customers, we can create targeted blog posts that meets their needs, and avoid the ‘blog-of-all-trades-master-of-none’ syndrome that blights so many SMEs.
Our customer type might change as the business evolves, but for now, this is what works for us.
Why knowing your customer matters
Jon Loomer is a Facebook marketing expert. His website is the first place I go whenever I need information about Facebook marketing.
He knows his target customers – entrepreneurs (people like me):
He’s also clear on his specialist topic: advanced Facebook marketing:
If you are an entrepreneur who wants to know how to make Facebook marketing work for your business, when you get on Jon Loomer’s website, you know without a shadow of doubt that you are in the right place.
His content is specific and speaks to your needs, so you won’t hesitate to give him your email.
You won’t even mind being marketed to.
You will also buy his products.
Because he knows you, his customer.
He understands every problem and challenge you have with Facebook marketing (his blog content is all about Facebook marketing for entrepreneurs). So when he releases a product on Facebook marketing, you will buy, confident that the product will deliver.
When you have a clarity on your ideal customer, then you can create blog content that matter to them (a la Jon Loomer). Consequently, they will be more willing to give you what you want – their email address>your leads.
The best way to know your customer and what they need is by having a customer persona. I cannot stress how important this is.
How a customer persona can help you nail down your offering
A customer persona is a snapshot of your ideal customer. It details their hobbies, pain points and how your products/services can be the solution to their problem.
It also provides psychological insights or even, triggers, that can attract them to your products.
When you know your customer, you understand their problem and can create highly-targeted products/services that are the solution to that problem – Abidemi Sanusi
When your customer is confident that you understand their problem they will willingly give you their email address (remember our Jon Loomer example?).
But only if you know your customer.
You can start by getting your free customer persona template, which also offers suggestions to help you write content that matter to your target audience:
2. Be the solution to their problem
Back to Jon Loomer. His homepage features his latest blog posts, which are all about solving the specific pain points his target customers have about Facebook marketing.
Here’s a screenshot of the landing page for budding authors (one of our primary customers) for abidemi.tv:
Here’s the landing page for freelancers:
And the one for solopreneurs/SMEs:
What do you notice about these posts?
That’s right; they all address a particular pain point for our target personas. When the persona reads these posts and the solution they offer to their problem, they are more amenable to our brand, and consequently, more inclined to join our mailing list (yes, it’s always about the mailing list).
3. Guest post where your customers hang out
One of the best ways to get leads is by guest posting on other websites. Yes, guest posting is a long term marketing strategy, but it’s well worth the effort.
Time Doctor is a time tracking tool used by 1000s of freelancers and SMEs worldwide.
In other words, the same people who use Time Doctor’s software.
And did I mention that Time Doctor is also a high-traffic website?
With all these positives, it was a no-brainer to guest blog for the website.
In return, I got a link back to abidemi.tv (which means more traffic for abidemi.tv).
Want to get quality leads from blogging? Then guest post on websites your target customers frequent.
4. Earn their trust – by writing quality content
The average post on this website is about 1,000 words. The reason is simple: more in-depth posts (also called long-form content) tend to get the most engagement. They also rank better on Google.
If you write quality content, you will be rewarded with loyal visitors who can’t wait to read what next you have in store for them.
…Which brings us to blog-to-email updates.
5. Do email blog updates
When people come to your website, ask them to sign up to receive your blog in their email. When they sign up (and make sure they double opt-in, i.e., confirm that they would actively like to hear from you), they will automatically be alerted every time you update your blog.
Most email newsletter services provide this facility as part of their service. It doesn’t take long to set up too. For the most part, all you have to do is to add your blog RSS feed to your newsletter campaign tool and you’re done.
Remember the 80/20 rule
Ultimately, your blog is a selling tool, but that does not mean that you should sell to your list ALL the time.
Remember the rule: 80% interaction, 20% selling.
6. Offer content upgrades
A content upgrade offers your readers premium content in exchange for their email. A live example of this is via the free customer persona template on this very page:
It’s one of the best ways to get leads from your website.
Remember my guest posts for Time Doctor?
Well, I didn’t just stop at a guest post. I also offered the readers something valuable – a free customer persona template that would help freelancers and SMEs who use Time Doctor’s software them identify their ideal customer (no more chasing after the wrong clients), consequently making them more money:
After reading a pretty thorough 3000-word blog post on how to hire their first business blogger, I knew they would be interested in the customer persona template and also sign up to the mailing list (I’d earned their trust).
Yes, blogging is a long term strategy, but it works, especially when it comes to building trust with your target customers, and eventually, getting those leads. Follow the steps outlined in this post and you have the makings of a long-term lead generating machine.
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Also published on Medium.