Blogging is an essential inbound marketing tactic used to educate your leads. But did you know that your blog is a powerful tool to nurture your leads and help push them down the sales funnel? Companies that excel at lead nurturing actually generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost.
Not every person reading your blog is going to be a new reader. Many of your leads are probably reading your blog to gain a better understanding of your products or service.
Your blog plays a critical role in converting website visitors and nurturing your leads to a point of sales readiness.
To help you maximize the lead nurturing potential of your blog, here are eight simple ways you can nurture leads with your blog.
1. Smart Calls-to-Action
Every blog should have a call-to-action. Take that one step further with a smart call-to-action. Did you know that better segmentation and personalization in your marketing, actually leads to better results? A smart call-to-action is a CTA that can function dynamically -- adapting to the interests and properties of a persons current stage in the customer lifecycle. Allowing you to display different messages to your contacts based on their properties. You don't want to show a contact that's already downloaded your sample GamePlan, the same CTA. You would want to send those contacts a different CTA relevant to their interests and needs to help push them down the sales funnel.
Uses for a Smart CTA:
Create different messages for prospects, leads and customers
Tailor messages by industry, buyer persona, interest level, geography, or other contact property.
Using smart CTA's on your blog will help target readers who might be at different stages of the buying cycle. For readers just visiting your blog, consider displaying a CTA that features a top-of-the-funnel offer, but for those blog visitors who have already converted, it might be wise to show them a CTA for an offer that aligns with their interests and stage in the buying cycle.
2. Talk to Your Sales Team
Your sales team is continuously talking to leads and prospects everyday. Therefore, they are a great resource for blog and content ideas.
What if ... your sales team has a content idea that will help trigger a conversation during a connect call that will help sales demonstrate the value of your product or service.
It's important to keep the lines of communication open between sales and marketing. Consider chatting with your sales people to develop blog content ideas on a regular basis that will not only help answer frequently asked questions typically asked during the sales process but help trigger conversations about your products or service.
Your probably not going to remember every idea they come up with. Develop a sharable Google Doc where members of both teams can contribute ideas on a routine basis.
3. Share Top Blog Content with Sales Team
Unfortunately, not everyone in your company is going to read every blog article your marketing team publishes. Blog content is a great resource for prospects and leads. Don't be afraid to share your top blog content with your sales team. More often than not, your blog content can be used in the sales process.
Make it easily accessible to your sales team. One option might be to put together a monthly newsletter or email containing top blog content and articles that you think will be particularly helpful during the sales process.
4. Reconnect with Unengaged Leads
Somewhere in the back of your leads database are leads that haven't engaged with your company in a while. You might consider re-engaging with those leads.
If you do, send those leads an email with introductory blog content in an attempt to bring them back to your site. Don't just use email marketing to reconnect with leads that aren't engaging with your company. This is also a great opportunity to nurture and educate leads.
Don't just send your leads content that doesn't pertain to their interests. Develop segmented lists based on offers they've downloaded in the past. Send leads additional blog articles that align with their interests. If you're weary about sending an email to your segmented list, lead nurturing emails get 4-10 times the response rate compared to standalone email blasts.
5. Add Links
Are you forgetting to add links to your blog articles? If you should definitely consider implementing internal links. Internal linking is an inbound marketing best practice. Why? A couple reasons. First, there's the SEO value you get from it: If you want to boost a page's credibility, linking to it from other pages on your site should help Google understand that particular page is important. But there's also this idea that when you link to other pages in your blog posts, your providing visitors with the opportunity to move through your site.
Consider adding links to:
Other blog posts
Resources (ebooks and whitepapers)
6. Link to Middle-of-the-Funnel Offers
Ultimately you want to generate leads and what better way than through middle-of-the-funnel offers. Just like with incorporating product or service mentions in your articles, linking to middle-of-the-funnel offers should be done in moderation. The idea is to link to lead generating offers. If a visitor is educated and interested in your product or service, provide your readers with the resources to push them down the sales funnel.
7. Encourage Blog Subscriptions
Do you have any loyal blog readers? Who wouldn't want to convert those readers into dedicated subscribers. A blog subscription is a great way to ensuring that your readers always know when you've published new content.
Tips for encouraging readers to subscribe to blog:
Demonstrate the value of subscribing
Offer an incentive
Leverage social proof
Include a subscription CTA in the footer of marketing emails
8. Promote Social Media Presence
Social media is a great lead management tool. Therefore you should routinely update and promote your profiles to encourage readers to follow you on social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, and more. Just make sure that your blog and every blog article has social sharing buttons and social media follow buttons. Make it easy for your readers to follow and to share your content.