In a contemporary world where buyers are more acutely aware of advertising than ever, it's essential to figure out the best methods to generate sales for your organization on the customer's terms. Content marketing that drives blog visits is a great way to introduce your brand to new customers.
Content marketing is the practice of providing valuable information, assets, or resources to a market to engender a favorable opinion in the mind of a reader. Rather than asking people for their business, as in advertising, this approach gives, gives, and gives to a reader first and asks later.
This post details the steps taken by Bizzuka to:
- Define and create quality content according to strategy,
- Maximize the visibility and sharing of this content, and
- Drive readers to engage with our company through our website.
1. Start with strategy
We’d always blogged with a purpose, but planning to win made a huge difference. We identified the goals we wanted to reach in terms of blog visits and multiple measures of conversion, choosing aggressive but attainable numbers. Once we figured out the "what,” we moved on to the "how.”
2. Use keyword targeting
We researched highly-trafficked keywords related to our business and developed a thematic framework for our writing around them. An online search implies a need for information. Our research on people’s needs allowed us to craft useful content that answered their questions and provided them value.
3. Creating a content calendar
By proactively scheduling our content creation, we were never too swamped or caught off-guard to create a useful and interesting blog post that will increase blog visits. Calendaring also gave us a chance to serialize posts over weeks based on a few major themes, which are divided into more specific, keyword-oriented topics. Calendars can be created using a spreadsheet, Google calendar, or project management tool like Basecamp.
4. Post Volume
Increasing posting from one to 12 times per month made a huge difference. Not only does regular posting equate to more search engine fodder, it makes for an engaged and anticipatory audience that in turn become blog visitors.
5. Author Variety
Historically, 90% of our content has been written by one author. While Google has been fairly mum on the existence of a de jure "Authorship” system, we can assume that having more active participants reflects better on a site’s quality.
Reaping the Rewards of Increased Traffic
Of course, the endgame of all these activities is to generate revenue. We continuously test and optimize elements of our site to encourage conversion, or completion of a specific goal. In our case, it's filling out a form which enables us to engage a prospect in person.
This massive increase in traffic resulted in a 566% increase in leads over the previous year. In addition to setting a record for leads captured, we improved our closing ratio by blogging to serve our most qualified prospects. Once customer lifetime value and recurring revenue are factored in, inbound leads for 2013 have contributed nearly $500,000 to our business. Posting useful, well-written, quality content within a well-defined plan has paid off.
Only Part of the Blogging Puzzle
While earning higher traffic as a result of strategy is a win, it’s really only half the battle. In order to provide the greatest benefit, an increase in traffic must result in a higher number of conversions as well.
So, to recap, one must:
- Write the right stuff for the right people,
- Make sure that content gets found by the right people, and
- Make it as easy as possible for those people to say "yes" to a personal conversation with you.
Bizzuka's team of Internet Marketing Specialists perform this kind of work for Bizzuka clients on a daily basis. How can dedicated, strategic content creation benefit your organization?
(To learn more about buyer personas, check out The Buyer Persona Institute.)