A Blog I Wrote: Lead Generation
When talking to clients and people I meet at business events I often find myself saying, ‘if you need some more info about that I’ll send you a link to a blog I wrote.’ This might be on some diverse subject I’ve written about for a client, or on something to do with blog writing or content marketing.
It just goes to show how useful a blog can be throughout the sales and marketing process. Whether it’s providing an overview on a particular topic, sharing specific advice, or creating thought provoking content, blog writing is not just about driving prospects to your website, it’s also about lead generation.
Blog Writing For Sales Teams
To do this the kind of blog content you feature on your company blog not only needs to address your target audience, but also provide content for them at various stages of the sales funnel.
Typically you will have a percentage of blog posts aimed at prospects that perhaps don’t even know your services or product will solve the challenges they have in business or in their personal lives. In my case I would create content like Do I Need A Ghost Blogger For My Company Blog, or more disruptive content such as 5 Reasons Your Company Blog Sucks. This type of content often explores the pain points a potential client might have, or desires and aspirations. Often they won’t even know what the options are that can resolve this challenge, for example someone with back pain might not be thinking that acupuncture could be the answer to their prayers, so are searching for anything that might help.
But once you’ve got their interest and they understand that you could help, they move into the research and evaluation phase; where they weigh up the pros and cons, look for other options and also evidence that what you offer is the best choice for them. This is a key phase where you could be providing tools for your sales teams in the form of blog posts.
With one of my IT clients we’ve blogged about ‘the key questions you should ask an IT service provider’, addressing all the friction points a prospective client might have. It’s a great opportunity to demonstrate the value your company delivers over your competitors. For example one of the questions we suggest someone asks is ‘How large is your organisation?’ this allows my client to differentiate themselves from smaller competitors, suggesting that micro businesses might not have the infrastructure in place to provide the continuity of service needed.
An acupuncturist might write a post along the lines of ‘Will acupuncture solve your back pain?’ providing potential patients with evidence of how effectively acupuncture can treat specific types of back pain. Or an estate agent could write a post on ‘How to spot a great estate agent’, giving house sellers tips that point towards their service and customer care.
Blog Content Ideas: How Tos and Case Studies
‘How tos’ can also be a useful tool to help leads get their heads around your offering; and they can also save your team time explaining processes again and again. Instead they can just point the prospect in the direction of the relevant blog post. How about including a post called ‘How [insert area of expertise] Providers Operate’ taking leads through the process of engaging your services? Notice that this is different to ‘How We Work’ type pages you may already have on your website, this is an opportunity to educate but also differentiate your business from others. Here you could also include information about how some other providers operate (without mentioning names), and give compelling reasons why your process is better.
Case studies are an invaluable tool for sales directors, not only detailing what you did and the results you delivered, but also validating your work with testimonials from a client. An event business I work with has used case study content to create blog posts specifically addressing the financial services sector, exploring the impact events can have for this sector and using real examples of how successful they have been. They use this content as part of their telesales strategy, extracting an email address from the key person within that company in exchange for the link to the blog post.
So next time you’re struggling to think of a blog title or subject, ask your sales team what would help make their job that much easier. Think about the type of content that fulfills potential clients’ needs further through the sales process, giving them the information they need to make the decision to use your services, or buy your products.
If you would like help with your content strategy, and how to devise a content planning that addresses all parts of the sales funnel, get in touch for a chat about your business and requirements.