I recently attended a session of the Blogging Success Summit 2011 which was hosted by Mike Volpe, VP of Marketing at HubSpot. He presented some very helpful tactics for generating leads and sales from your blogging activities. Valuable content development should be at the center of your strategy, but in order to generate the desired outcome, you have to direct your readers to the next steps in the buying process. Mike’s 3 tips for lead generation were: include calls to action, compelling offers, and optimized landing pages.
Calls to Action
So you now have the reader on your blog, and they check back to read your posts on a daily basis. If all you are looking for is page views to sell advertising, then you are golden, but if you are looking for the reader to eventually become a paying customer, you are going to have to include a call to action at the end of every blog post. Mr. Volpe suggested to match up the call to action to the content of the blog post. For example, if your blog post is about improving a golf swing, you will want to include a link to sign up for further information about swing improvement. You will want it to stand out and include action verbs like “Download our Swing Perfection E-Book”.
In order to get the reader to click on the call to action, you will have to come up with an offer that will not be refused. Based on HubSpot’s own studies, the best offers are more in-depth content like webinars, white papers, e-books, contests, and on-demand videos. So instead of looking for the direct sale through coupons, offer more content to educate or fix a problem.
Optimized Landing Pages
The very next page the reader lands on after clicking the offer is the sign up page. There are many elements that you will have to test in order to maximize the effectiveness of the sign up page. Some important elements are number of fields to fill out, button copy (i.e. download golf swing kit), graphics, and page copy. You could run an a/b test with Google Website Optimizer to see which pages perform the best. For example, if you want to see if changing the button copy would produce more leads, you would test it against a page with the original button copy.
As you can see, the more content you produce, the more leads you will have the potential to collect. It is all about providing the right information to the right people at the moment they are interested.
Mike Volpe’s presentation was eye opening, and if you are interested in learning more about in-bound marketing, go to the HubSpot Blog.
What are you doing to generate more leads with your blog?