Does Content Marketing / Blogging Actually Generate Leads?

I was thinking this week, how does blogging actually generate leads? For instance, are the leads that come from blogs not just learners and are not ready to buy or even be known as a lead? Is it not about the fact that you are producing thought provoking and compelling content consistently and that makes you stand out from your competitors – differentiating you – that is generating you leads? This is nurturng your leads with blogs.

Is your content marketing goal about building a brand or generating leads (or both)?

Businesses that don’t tend to their online identities risk appearing isolated and disconnected from their audiences. Your brand is how others see you, not how you see yourself. Everyone has a brand, and the instantly recognisable brands are the most influential.

When I am talking about content marketing, the specific aspect I refer to is blogging. As often we use our different types of content to disseminate infographics, videos, how to guides, webinars, etc. and businesses share these blogs through social media to attracts a wider audience..

A blog is a great way to connect more deeply with your existing or would-be customers, build a community around your business, give a human personality and ‘voice’ to an organisation, evolve your business and relationships in sometimes unexpected or surprising ways, and yes, drive sales.

Essentially, blogging is a means to not only inform and build your brand and an engaged readership, but also generate leads and drive sales.

How does blogging generate leads?

It creates a readership

This is the traditional goal of blogging as a publishing medium, that is, to establish a readership or a community of avid content digesters. This is something we see a lot of in B2B blogging and the emergence of “thought leaders” and industry influencers such as Seth Godin, Mashable, dotRising, MozBlog, etc. This readerships likely to spread the word and share your content.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

This is really where blogging comes into its own as part of the inbound marketing machine. Through blogging we can create fresh content with regularity, rich in keywords and phrases that we want to get found for on Google, Bing and other search engines.

It’s becoming harder to artificially influence Google through keyword research and manipulation, as Google strives to create a more natural, more human ranking algorithm that serves the user’s purpose, not those of companies trying to get found.

Social media

One of the great things about being social with your content, is it presents you with very usable data about what your most popular content really is. Then, you can continue to craft new blog posts around these same topic areas, feeding your audience with what they want. Social media networks can be a tremendous source of traffic for your website and thus a tremendous source of new leads for your business, so it’s important to pay attention to these metrics every step of the way.

Putting it All Together for Maximum Lead Generation

How does this all fit together to get more leads and drive sales? It’s all about directing users down our sales funnels and thinking of blogs in terms of the larger inbound picture.

A business blog with a direct readership can easily influence sales through recommendations, relevant call to actions, lead nurturing and onwards links.

Find out what is missing in your inbound marketing strategy. Download the guide today and kick start your marketing strategy.

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