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6 reasons you're not generating leads with your blog content

6 reasons you're not generating leads with your blog content Blog Feature

Justine Timoteo Thomas

Director of Training, Host of Creator's Block Podcast, 10+ Years of Project Management Experience

November 9th, 2020 min read

Content is an investment.

Not only does it take time for you to write it, it takes time for you to research the topic, interview subject matter experts, find examples to reference, format it in your CMS, and so on.

After spending hours on a single piece of content, you hit publish and feel accomplished. You did it! 

You do this day in and day out and are expecting to see an increase of leads each month. Maybe the first few months you did see an uptick. But now? Leads are stagnant. You hover around the same number every month and you start to question your efforts. 

What’s worse, your boss starts to question your efforts too.

As the Director of Training here at IMPACT, my team of content trainers have worked with over a hundred different content managers and the pain and struggles we hear are oftentimes the same.

One of the biggest challenges businesses face is generating leads from their blog content. In your mind, you’re checking all the right boxes, so what gives?

Today, I’m going to break down the top six reasons I’ve seen over the years that have hurt your ability to generate leads from your blog content. These reasons can stem from your holistic strategy to more minor tactical hurdles.

1. You’re writing about the wrong topics

This may seem like a no-brainer but in order to get people to convert on your website, your content must be speaking to their needs and pain points. How often is your blog content doing this?

When people search on Google, they are looking to solve a problem or a need. They have questions.

To convert leads, your content should answer any and all questions that your prospects have. 

Do you talk about cost in your content? How about competitors? When was the last time you purchased something before doing research on alternative solutions? 

By addressing the correct topics in your blog content, you’ll create an opportunity to build trust with your prospects and guide them through their buying process – ultimately leading them to convert.

All too often I’ve seen where people are focusing on keyword and monthly search volume to drive their blog content strategy. Though that can certainly help you gain traffic, it may not lead to generating leads.

Focus instead on writing about the topics your readers most care about when it comes to making a purchase. Answer the questions that will ultimately make-or-break their decision to go with you. These usually fall into five subject areas we call The Big 5:

  1. Cost and pricing
  2. Problems (theirs and yours)
  3. Comparisons and versus
  4. Best of lists
  5. Reviews

2. Your content has no personality

Now you may be thinking, what does my personality have to do with written blog content? 

Everything, my friends.

People buy from people and companies they trust, and with 70% of the buying decision being made before a person talks to a salesperson, you need to establish trust through the voice of your content.

I’ve read my fair share of bad content and I know within the first few sentences whether or not I will stick around to read the whole thing (and ultimately continue my research on the company).

And you want to know what hooks me in those first few sentences? The writer’s personality. They become a real person to me, not just a name on a byline.

If you don’t hook your reader right away, they will most likely bounce not only from your article, but your site as a whole, and you will lose out on the chance of converting them.

Liz Moorehead, our editorial director, has one of the most prominent personalities I’ve ever seen shine through words.

I laugh out loud when reading her newsletters. Her newsletters, you guys! When was the last time you actually enjoyed a newsletter?

The same is true when reading any of her blog content. If you covered up her byline, I would still know within seconds whether or not an article was written by her. 

She presents need-to-know-information in a fun and enjoyable way, which immediately makes me like her and trust her. I wouldn’t hesitate in sharing her content with fellow marketers.

Just because you sit behind your computer doesn’t mean you should use it as a shield! I know it can be intimidating to try to inject your personality into your content, so try these quick tips to help you get started:

  • Share a story or experience you had about the topic you’re writing on
  • Write like you talk

Those two simple tricks will help you get more comfortable with sharing a little more of who you are with the rest of the internet. My teammate, Brian Casey, gives some more advice on how to do this well in his article “How to add personality into your blog posts (+ examples).

3. You’re selling too hard

We’re going to stay on the trust train a little longer.

Marcus Sheridan recently wrote about why trust is the currency to any business and in his article he noted:

“When customers find you online, they immediately expect your sales pitch… but you can disarm them by pointedly showing neutrality. Rather than producing content about ‘Why HubSpot is right for you,’ try ‘Is HubSpot the right fit for you?’ One shows bias, one does not.”

If you are using your blog content to sell your products and services, and outright say they are the best options for the reader, then you’re doing it all wrong.

Sometimes, you won’t be the best option and that’s OK. I’m sure your sales team has ideal-fit customers and they don’t want to waste their time trying to sell to people who don’t fit the mold.

Use your blog content to be honest instead of doing a hard sales pitch.

One way to do that is to answer your customers’ questions without bias in your content (think The Big 5 we mentioned earlier). When you address their questions in your content, prospects take notice and trust you before you have any direct contact with them.

We did this in an article about our competitors. We addressed the fact that most of our prospects compare us to two other HubSpot partner agencies and sometimes, they are the better fit agency than us. Prospects that have read this while considering working with us have expressed that they appreciated the honesty we provided up front.

Honesty will help build that trust needed for people to buy from you -- they will feel like you have their best interest in mind and can deliver on your promises. 

4. You have no clear next steps

When a reader reaches the end of your article, what should they do next? Do they have a single, clear next step to take? 

The answer should always be yes. If it’s not, no wonder you’re not generating leads. 

All of your blog articles need to include a call-to-action (CTA) at the end. Now, I’m not concerned about the design or look of your CTAs at this point. I just want to make sure they exist. 

The CTA is the bridge between the piece of content your reader is currently consuming and the conversion opportunity you want them to take. If you don’t have a CTA, you’re immediately missing out on the easiest way to drive readers to convert.

Now, what you don’t want to do is present them with so many options that they have no idea what they really need to do. 

Should they read the related article? Contact you? Use the ROI calculator? 

If you link all three, how will the reader know which action is the most important one for them to take at that moment?

Choose a single action you want the reader to take at the end of your most trafficked articles. Then, create CTAs for those landing pages, articles, etc and add them to the end of the articles. Ramona from our team highlights some tried-and-true CTA best practices you should follow in her article, “6 CTA Best Practices to Push All the Right Buttons for Your Audience.” 

5. You’re missing links to your best content

I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that I link to several related articles throughout this article. Chances are, you’ve even opened a few in a new tab to read after you’re finished with this one.

Each link has been selected on purpose. I genuinely want you to be able to generate leads from your blog content and I know you won’t learn every single thing you possibly need to learn just from this article. 

So, I’m providing you with links to additional, highly helpful resources.

The more content a prospect consumes on your site, the stronger your relationship and, in turn, the more trust you build with them. With this trust, the more likely they will go on to convert. 

Link to your best content to continue to educate your prospects so when they are ready to talk to you, they will be more likely to actually buy.

To do so, create a list of common topics you write about and then locate the best two or three related content pieces. Your best content may be other articles, service pages, a demo offer, etc. Anything that is most helpful to your readers.

Use this as a linking guide for when you write. Anytime you write about a specific topic, see what content you’ve noted down would be good to link to and then see where it is most applicable to link within your content.

6. You’re not promoting your content

Without traffic being driven to your blog, leads won’t happen.

Chances are, when you think of blog source traffic, you think of organic traffic. Now, is organic traffic imperative to be found online by people who haven’t yet heard of your company? Yes, definitely.

But oftentimes blog content can take months to rank organically so you’re wasting crucial time by not being more assertive in getting your content out there. Organic is just one source of traffic. 

Interview your existing customers to find out their online habits. What social media platforms do they use? Which industry journals or newsletters are they subscribed to? 

By finding out your prospects online habits, you can learn where they live — digitally. Then, share your content on these platforms. 

If it’s social media, find groups your prospects are part of and find discussion threads you can participate in and share your content with. If it’s an industry newsletter or journal, look into sponsored content options.

Promote your content to help drive traffic now, instead of relying on organic a few months from now. Don’t let the waiting game be the downfall of your content. 

So, where do you begin?

Listen, I get it. It’s overwhelming to see a list of things you need to change in order to improve your chance of generating leads.

But you don’t need to do everything all at once. Instead, start with the two items that will have the greatest impact:

  1. Write about the topics your prospects actually need and answer their questions
  2. Add CTAs and next steps at the end of your articles

By focusing on writing about the right topics and adding calls-to-action to your articles, you will improve your chances of engaging the right audience and encourage them to convert on the best next step they should take.

Download our content calendar template and follow the steps outlined to organize all of your blog content — both written and video — to help you get started.

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