Oct 24 2011
Many businesses have a blog but don’t use it because its time consuming to write a good article that they would want to publish. I’ve heard lots of different excuses about not producing good content for the company blog.
But, here’s the fact: a blog that publishes useful content regularly draws more and more attention even to the point that it generates business development leads, including b2b lead generation.
Last year HubSpot published “101 Marketing Charts and Graphs” from a survey of numerous businesses and in it was a chart entitled “Leads by Indexed Web Pages” which clearly demonstrated the ratio of search engine indexed web pages to leads generated. It climbed from 60 pages indexed to 120 pages to 200 and so on. The most dramatic increase in lead generation came when a site moved from 200 or so pages indexed to over 311 pages indexed. The number of leads jumped by well over 200%! So adding quality content to your site or blog can produce real business development leads if your target audience uses the Internet to find solutions to problems related to your business.
Another problem businesses have is what topics to cover in their blog. It’s critical that businesses seek to engage their audience by providing helpful, useful and even entertaining content that they know people want. One way to do this is to ask your sales and customer service people for the hot topics that come up regularly. Another way is to use Yahoo Answers to find the questions people are asking for help or advice on.
I did this for one of my home improvement clients who provides window replacement services and found great questions in Yahoo Answers by using a few keywords. So in this case I found questions like:
- “Should I choose vinyl or non-vinyl replacement windows?”
- “Does it matter whether I get vinyl or wood replacement windows as far as resale value when I sell in 3 years?”
- “What are the best replacement windows if you live in a very hot climate?”
So when you answer questions like this from an expert’s point of view, it is useful content for your audience and it lives on the web. The sales and customer service people now refer to the blog when they are conversing with prospects and customers by phone, email, in person and while interacting in social media and online forums.
Now for a few easy ways to add great content to your site that can generate business development leads:
Become a reporter, ask good questions, solicit feedback
There are a number of tools and ways to do this. You see this type of thing on Facebook regularly, but you can use other forms of social media, forums, surveys, quora, helpareporter.com and other places where people in your industry hang out. Ask good questions about a hot topic, collect answers and provide a well-rounded article that includes the answers you received.
I’ve done this a number of times on blogs and find that it’s not only easy but very engaging content that gets passed around social media, especially if you are giving credit to the individuals who answered your question. They have an interest in the article because they contributed to it and some will promote it to their followers.
Conduct a “meet the bloggers” in my industry campaign
Ask people in your industry to contact you if they have a blog. Send each of them 5-7 questions to answer by email to be published (along with a picture or two) on your blog. People love it because of the free exposure and link to their blog, they also might promote their profile on your blog which gives you more links. Your blog almost always gets the most benefit out of a campaign like this, rather than those who post their answers to your questions, i.e. more business development opps.
Provide lists of industry resources
Topic focused article links, resources or organized items that invoke social sharing, bookmarking, and link bait. Most people have seen these kinds of articles get to the top of social voting sites like Digg. You can easily produce a nice list for your industry if you use some creativity.
Business development leads from your blog is absolutely attainable. It takes a little work to understand what your target audience is hungry for, but once you figure that out keep feeding those hungry prospects until you see the leads from your blog double.
By the way, if you are hungry for a content strategy specific to your business, give us a ring-a-ding-ding. We provide SEO consulting and content development plans that build lots of quality links and business development leads.