B2B Marketing: How Your Business Can Use Blogging To Get More Leads

In this article we will tell you exactly how to gain leads on a 24-hour basis using blogging and as we will see, it is easy to get more results from your B2B Marketing efforts using our advice. 

The Benefits of Blogging For Business To Business Marketing

The facts are pretty simple: 82% of marketers that blog acquire a customer daily and b2b marketers that blog report an 67% increase in leads. Now if that doesn't inspire you to get blogging then this will: Companies that blog receive 97% more links to their website.

These are pretty impressive statistics by anyone's standard  and when you consider that blogs are the 5th most trusted source of information on-line you start to see b2b marketing in a different light. But how are you going to enter this blogging world and how can you use blogging to your advantage? In this article we will  have you blogging in no time at all and if you already blog you will achieve better results. 

​B2B Marketing Strategy: How To Integrate Blogging

The decision to  start a blog for your business really should be a case of when and not ​if. Seth Godin is reported as saying "Content marketing is the Only marketing left" and whilst you may not agree, the world is blogging and you need to as well.  

One of the first decisions on blogging is to find the right platform. After all many people will tell you that you do not need a blog, simply publish on things like Medium or LinkedIN Pulse. This is a fair comment so let us address the pro's and cons of choosing a platform. 

Your main choices are going to be LinkedIN Pulse or Medium as blog platforms or use your own self-hosted platform such as in your own site  or a separate blog. 

​Pro's of Using Medium and Linked in Pulse

  • ​You are in a B2B platform: Easier Conversion 
  • Pre Existing Business Owners Are in Abundance
  • Your personal profile gets more exposure

Cons of LinkedIN Pulse and Medium

  • ​Your site only gets 1 link per post
  • If the post does well it helps the platform it is on more than you
  • Your post traffic may be short lived

Pro's Of Using A Self Hosted Blog

  • ​Your site will get more links for great content
  • Stable search engine traffic means more leads
  • You can convert leads into customers directly
  • You can get email sign ups
  • Your site will grow in size and this creates more leads

Cons of Using a Self Hosted Blog

  • ​You are competing with billions of bloggers
  • It is harder to get content on page 1 of Google
  • You will have to promote your content as well

Ok, so we can see that the pro's and cons are roughly the same but it is my belief that you should create 2 types of content. Primary and secondary.

Primary content should  be your main  larger blog posts in excess of 2000 words.

Secondary content might be mini posts  that cover  some of the content in your primary post in more depth. ​

As we know if you spend all day blogging on Medium and Linked IN pulse you will be helping their platforms to grow . If you have your own blog then YOUR business blog grows in size and this increases traffic and we all need more  traffic to gain more customers. 

The end result in my opinion is that you should have your own self-hosted blog and also post on Medium and LinkedIN Pulse. However your primary and in-depth content should be on your own blog. I like the 5 to 1 approach. So for every 5 posts you write on your own blog create one for another platform. However in the video below Rand Fishkin goes into greater detail on this whole debate. 

Should  My Blog Be Separate To My Own Site?

This is a good question. Should your blog be part of your own site or should it sit separately on another domain? 

There are lots of discussion about this , after all if your blog is part of your site you will get more traffic, this will increase leads. My personal view is quite simple:

It all depends on the business that you are in.

Disney are a great example of this. they have multiple bogs ​all on different aspects of their brand, they also have a blog on their parks site as well.

This means that people can focus on the aspect of the brand they like, this was great for me when I stayed at Disney  in 2015 and a Storm was coming, I went to their parks blog and was given the latest advice.

Disney, however is a huge brand and for the vast majority of businesses, 1 blog will be enough. The next aspect will be to decide of your blog should be on your site or separate. 

The next aspect will be to decide of your blog should be on your site or on a separate. 

Again for some businesses, especially small one you may have had a website designed that does not have blog functionality, or you no longer are using the design company. A redesign might not be part of your budget either. In this case just go out and start a blog that is separate. Just add links to your business site in your posts.

However wherever possible your blog should be part of your own main site , unless your brand has multiple and very different aspects, just like Disney you would then be better to have multiple blogs. An example of this might be a company that own restaurant chains.  In this case you would need a blog for your company and a blog for each chain. 

The reason behind this is all about targeting. The purpose behind blogging is to create useful content to gain  traffic to your site that offers a chance  for conversion.

Scenario: Restaurant Chain

Perhaps you are a restaurant chain and you have a restaurant that specialises in Steak and one that specialises in Seafood or Chicken dishes. Your searcher might be looking for a search phrase like "Angus Beef" which gets 14,800 searches on Google per month. So when they search they would find a great blog from your Steak chain that details all you need to know about Beef and how they cook it to perfection. This is a great opportunity for conversion to your Steak chain so you might offer a 10% discount on their first booking if  they sign up to your list. 

You have created a blog focused on your individual brand and your consumer. Yes, this is harder than having a generic blog but it is laser targeted and this results in better conversion. 

​How To Write A Blog That Gets B2B Leads

So you have your blog up and running but what next? Well you need to write content that delivers results or even  better, a solution to the searchers problems.

Let's use  an example:​

​The above image is for the search phrase "How to convert blog visitors."

If we look at the top result we see that this content was first published in 2012, and each of the posts are actually useful articles packed with actionable information. Google wants the searcher to get the best results for their query because this ensures they use Google as their search engine. So the results it displays are considered the best ones for the searcher to find their solution. 

This is the key,  you need to write content that is 'helpful' and not ​all about YOU!

To put this better, have you ever been to a blog of a company and read their content and thought it was boring. I  bet you have. A blog should be helpful to your reader, and not just about what your company did last week. 

How To Make Your Content Useful​

Although I have written lots of 'types of posts', I use a very simple formula for coming up with my articles and  this has lead to a lot more results . I call this formula "The Happy Meal Approach"

The Happy Meal Approach ​To Blog Articles

My little boy loves Happy Meals, he gets excited about them every time. Do you know why?

It is the toy inside.

Yes, he likes the food as well but that is only a very small part of the experience for him.  So every time we go to McDonalds he thinks "what toy is in the happy meal for me".  Lets face it the food is just a few fries, a drink and some nuggets, nothing amazing but the toy is what gets him excited. 

I applied this same approach to my blog posts many years ago and had brilliant results and you can do the same. However instead of a toy I made sure that inside the article was information that 'they wanted'.  Just like my boy wanting the happy meal toy, your reader wants something that is useful for them and your content  should be your 'gift' to the reader. 

To achieve this all you need to do is keep asking yourself the question "what's in it for them" after every paragraph or line. By them, I of course mean the reader. Take a look at our checklist to  help you out

The HM Approach Article Checklist

1. Title: Does The title tell the reader what's in this story for  them?

2. First paragraph: Does the paragraph tell the reader  what the article will give them? 

3. Body: Does the article tell the reader how to achieve their results?

4.  Conclusion: Does the article tell the reader what they have learned​, remind them of all  the things you have covered.

5. Call To Action: ​Is there a strong call to action in the article such as a subscribe now or like and  share comment?  

By adapting this self scrutinising editing process you will ensure your content does its job. There is also one last element to this checklist missing which I will share with you later. 

​How To Convert Your Blog Visitors

Now that you have visitors to your site as a result of your blog you need to convert them into potential customers. Some of this will  be natural and your searcher will take a look at your site, however we  also need a system that can help you to take a visitor and get them more engaged with your audience.

I have tried various options over the years and for myself I have found the best tool you can use is an email autoresponder service.  My preferred choice is Aweber, but there are lots of others. What this does for you is that it allows you to collect emails from a site visitor and then you can start to build a relationship with that person via emails that offer more content that can help them and of course, tell them more about the services that your business offers.  

The Best Tools To Use To Convert Visitors​

There are a range of services that can help you to convert visitors into leads which I will talk about in a second. However here are the methods you can use:

Lightbox

A light box is a very simple tool that literally pops up  and can offer the reader some value in return for their email​ or just as for it. I actually offer a free consultation on my home page pop up.

Exit Intent

An exit intent pop up works to try and grab your site visitor just before they leave. I use a product called Thrive leads to set up an exit box ona  site so that when people are about to click the x or  press the back button the pop up comes up. It takes seconds to set up

In content sign ups

I have this set up for my sites and in simple terms I place a sign-up box within my content for them to climb on board to my email list the below example is from my YouTube SEO Guide

Content Upgrades​

A content upgrade is when you offer a free PDF of the content you are offering or perhaps an enhanced or more detailed version of the content. It might even be a checklist that provides the reader with something they can save on their own computer or phone for easy reference. Brian Dean from Backlinko uses this in his post about on page seo 

There are of course other methods out there, but these are the general ones that tend to do well. Ultimately you need to give your reader something of value to get a better increase in conversions.

How To Get Twice The Subscribers From A Post

Now I will admit I did not focus on conversions much when I first started blogging. ​But if you really want to go to the next level use this ninja tactic to get even faster conversion results.

The Two Stage Post​

I now look at content in 2 stages. Stage 1 is the actual post and stage 2 is the upgrade for that post.

For example I have written this post and before I have published  it I have added a content upgrade that is very specific for this post. In this post I have offered this article as a PDF for the reader so they can keep for themselves. This sounds really easy to do but in a busy day being able to do this 'extra' work takes discipline. 

So I now add another element to my Happy Meal Approach checklist:

7. What Is My Upgrade: Have I created a content upgrade for this post? 

I know that I need to make  sure I provide this upgrade for  this article because it is a large one and rather than the reader just bookmarking for later reading (which means it is unlikely to be read) I am giving them the PDF version to read on the Bus, train or anywhere they wish. So for better conversion I now  offer a content upgrade on every new article I write.

​How To Set Up LightBoxes, Content Upgrades and More 

I appreciate that all of this may sound easier said than done, and to be honest it requires either to have someone set it up (such as us) or for you to prepare yourself for a steep learning curve. Either way, we have you covered with this guide.

Step 1: Get an Autoresponder​ Service

.

It doesn't have to  be Aweber, you can use Mailchimp, Get Noticed or one of the others out there. However it is essential that you have at least once service

Step 2: Get a Lead Creation Service or Tool

The simple truth is that you need some form of tool which will allow you to catch the attention of your visitors that pops up . Now there are a lot of services out there but I am  going to stick with 2 and they are: Sumo Me and Thrive Leads

Sumo Me
Thrive Leads

Both Sumo Me and Thrive Leads are plug ins for wordpress sites, however my understanding is (don't quote me on this) that Leadpages which is another similar service can be used for non wordpress sites.

Sumo Me has a treasure trove of tools for your business including heatmaps so  you can see what a person does on your website however it is the lead generation tools that we want to use and they have a boatload to choose from. They also have a free and paid version so there is literally no excuse for not starting this process.

Thrive Leads, on the other hand, has no free version, however, it has some amazing tools as well but has it for one price whereas SumoMe has a price for each product.

From a Lead generation point of view Thrive leads​ has vastly more options available.

​Step 3: Asset Delivery

The final step is actually the hardest part of all this. After all, it is pretty easy to get the first two steps going because each service has made doing so simple. They all have detailed guides. 

However the big question is all about the delivery of the asset . You want them on your list and you have something of value for them, but how will you get that content to the reader? 

In the past I simply used to  ask people for emails and then when they subscribed I sent them an automated message  that had the content on a page in their site, I have also added that content inside the email autoresponder when it was a small item. However this actually encourages people to leave your site.

These days it is far better to actually have them access that content upgrade straight away, they then have the choice as to  whether they want to save it or not. ​It also keeps the visitor on your site longer which is great for SEO purposes. 

​The only 2 services that  I know can do this right now are Leadpages and Thrive Leads (they just added their version). If you subscribe to this site via the content upgrade below you can see the process in action

Once you have this all set up you are ready to publish your post and use a proven content promotional strategy to ensure that your work gets seen by as many people as possible. 

If you have the mantra "create useful content" embedded in your brain then you will automatically start to see more clicks and higher organic search volume. However you need a conversion strategy so that you can make the most of every visitor that you gain. 

So to  finish off with a great conversion attempt please subscribe to our  newsletter below or get this article as PDF to read anytime.

However if you are reading this and want some help in getting more business leads from your website simply press the contact button below and send us a message or email me personally at andrew@zoogly.co.uk and we will be more than hapy to help yu to reach your business goals. 

​Written by Andrew Holland