In our 2021 executive leadership survey, 20% of marketing executives identified corporate blogs as one of their “most important channels” for achieving goals.
The enduring importance that blogging is given is not shocking. Not only can blogs increase your SEO, overall website traffic, and online presence, but they can also help potential customers learn more about your industry, brand, product, or service.
However, starting and running an effective, traffic-generating blog takes a lot of time and energy. And if you’re a marketing manager on a tight budget, you may only be interested in tactics that directly benefit your bottom line.
As you finalize how to invest your time, effort, and money in 2021, you may be asking yourself, “Will my blog posts actually turn into purchases?”
To help marketers answer the above question, we surveyed nearly 300 consumers using Lucid software to find out if reading company blog posts ever made them buy from this brand.
Do blog posts lead to purchases?
While the growth of other content strategies like video marketing may lead you to believe that consumers only buy products after seeing them on other platforms, you may be surprised at how consumers responded to our survey question.
When we asked, “Have you ever bought anything from a company after reading a blog post from them?”, A whopping 56% said, “Yes.”
While blogs are no longer the most widely used type of marketing content, data like the small survey above confirms that blogging is still an effective way to market your brand and even sell products.
Why blogs drive purchases
If your company has a blog explaining your industry or how your offerings can help with the everyday problems of the average reader, your audience can discover and trust your brand’s expertise. That trust and credibility could ultimately lead to purchases.
Why? If a potential customer trusts the advice or information in your blog posts, they can be confident that your offerings are of better quality than those of your competitors because your brand knows the industry, customer needs and weaknesses that your product or yours are Service solves.
Even if you prefer video, social media, or visual marketing strategies, it’s important to keep in mind that blogs can help you sell products in ways that other types of content can’t.
While videos and images may only give prospective customers a glimpse of how a product or service works in real life, blog posts can contain a lot of information that a visual content editor may need to cut out to avoid a viewer on social Media or on other platforms is overwhelmed.
While blog posts offer more ways to provide detailed information than some content types, they can also improve your search ranking and provide more ways to link directly to a landing or buying page. Because of this, consumers can find your content through search, read your post, and click straight to a low-friction product purchase page after your content persuades them to buy a product.
Also, since most blog pages allow you to embed videos, podcasts, and pictures, your business blog can be a great place to promote your other marketing resources while also informing potential customers about your brand.
For the next year, consider a mix of content marketing that includes blogging. Not sure how to use your blog posts to convince buyers? Here are a few quick tips.
How to guide readers to make purchases
Strategically place product page links and CTAs.
Aside from mentioning your brand, product, or service, which feels natural in your blog posts, you can also use hyperlinks to link to product pages or CTA buttons that draw a little more attention to a product or offering without drawing the reader’s attention too far away from the blog post.
At HubSpot, we typically place at least three blog topic-related CTAs in each post: a text-based CTA in the introduction, a larger banner image at the bottom, and an inset CTA that appears next to your text as you go through the Scroll in the middle of the post. This allows for three mentions of a product or offering without disrupting the reader’s experience.
Offer a free resource:
If your brand is selling a subscription, service, or product that is more expensive or needs approval from your business’s leadership, blog readers may need more than a few blog posts to trust your brand and invest in your product. In that case, instead of sending blog readers straight to a shopping page, you may need to focus on lead nurturing.
HubSpot and many other blogs have expanded their contact and qualified lead lists by simply creating a free downloadable resource like an e-book, template, or research report and offering it at the end of blog posts via CTAs.
Below is an example of a recent free research report resource that we offered at the end of one of our sales blog posts:
To access free but gated offers, readers need to provide basic information about themselves and their company. From there they will receive an automated email or an instant download of the resource and at the same time become a contact – or lead – and take part in our lead qualification process to see if they could be a good prospect to contact.
The HubSpot blog’s free resource strategy results in thousands of qualified leads per year who can potentially become HubSpot customers. You can find more information on how to implement it on your blog here.
Remember, quality beats over-advertising.
In another recent Lucid survey, a third of our group of general consumer respondents were the most likely to read blog posts to “learn something new.” Around 20% now read blog posts for entertainment.
As a content creator, it is important to remember that readers are likely to find your blog because they are looking for information related to an industry they work in, want to learn about their hobbies, or solutions to a pain point need to deal with in their daily or professional life.
Chances are, they’re not just looking for promotional content. If a reader visits your blog site and only finds blog posts with product photos and cheesy advertising language, they may lose interest in your content and may not develop the confidence it takes to make a purchase.
While it’s wise to include a few unobtrusive CTAs on your blog posts and even mention your product or service if it feels relevant. However, make sure that your content primarily provides valuable guidance, advice, and information to help your reader and meet their needs.
For example, in this post on AI social media tools, we provide valuable information on how to implement AI-based technology in a social media process, while listing HubSpot as one of the tools readers can use. While we still mention our offerings, the aim of the post is to show readers how multiple AI tools can streamline a marketing process.
Creating Your Blog Maintenance Process
Ultimately, every brand has a target group with different interests and content needs. While a blog strategy such as B. Free resources, works well to generate qualified leads for a B2B company, other tactics, such as simply linking to a product in blog posts, may be more lucrative for customer-facing brands.
As your focus more on converting your blog traffic into revenue, keep the following questions in mind:
- What information is valuable to my audience?
- Does my product need lead maintenance of such closed offers?
- Will the tactic I use advertise or break away from my audience?
Want to learn more about how the HubSpot blog generates leads? Read this post from one of our content acquisition managers. Or, write down these tips on how to make money blogging.
Before you check out these parts, download the free resource below.