Content marketing has quickly established itself as a crucial component of SEO, demand gen, and community-building, particularly for B2B marketers. Great content, though it’s not easy to create, is one of the most effective ways of driving highly qualified traffic to your site.
Once you’ve built a readership for your content, the next step is driving sales. As challenging as content creation and audience-building are, converting content consumers remains one of the primary challenges faced by even the strongest content marketers. Heres how you can turn your content marketing strategy into revenue:
The Downsides of Blogging
You’re not alone if your content marketing is primarily focused on blogging. Blogging is an effective way to generate valuable, relevant content and it typically demands fewer resources than longer-form content like white papers or ebooks.
The downside is that it’s not feasible to place blog content behind a lead wall, like you can with webinars and white papers. While people are willing to sign up or log in to watch a webinar, they aren’t accustomed to doing so for a blog post. Secondly, you want blog content to be accessible so it can help you create demand and drive traffic. That makes it a little trickier for you to generate leads directly via your blog.
But here’s some good news: in my experience, blog readers tend to become more qualified, sales-ready leads, plus they have a stronger understanding of our product and how they can use it. But before you can pass all these savvy, sales-ready blog readers to your grateful sales team, you need to convert them from readers.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to turn blog readers into leads and (hopefully) into sales.
Grow Your List and Send Killer Emails
If you have a great blog, you should absolutely have a newsletter. You can encourage sign-ups directly from the sidebar or footer of your blog, and send monthly, weekly, or biweekly updates to your subscribers.
A successful marketing newsletter does not include sales collateral, and the last thing you want is to immediately pass subscribers over to your sales team. What you can do with a newsletter is continue or ramp up engagement. If you also host webinars or are creating long form content, you can encourage your readers to sign up, which can help you get more information from your subscribers like what company they work for and what their principal interests are.
The upside of webinars and white papers may be the ability to capture names and emails immediately, but just the fact that someone signed up for a webinar does not mean theyre sales-ready. More often than not, webinar sign-ups or white paper downloaders will not be ready to make a purchase. It’s rarely a good idea to pick up the phone and start calling everyone who signs up for a webinar, especially if its only tangentially related to the product or service you sell.
Instead, you might want to add those contacts to an email drip campaign and send them content mixed with sales offers. If you use a marketing automation provider like Marketo, Eloqua or HubSpot, you can automatically reach out to those sign-ups and anyone who demonstrates interest can be passed on to sales.
Retargeting can help convert blog readers, white paper readers, and webinar watchers. By placing a simple retargeting code on your blog as well as any dedicated landing pages you use for webinars and white papers, you can stay in front of everyone who is interested in your content. Readers may fit your target audience or buying persona to a tee, but may simply not be ready to buy yet. Retargeting can keep your brand in front of those readers, helping to guarantee that when they are in-market, you’ll be top of mind.
If you’ve had success converting content consumers into customers, let us know in the comments what techniques you used.