Blogging has emerged as one of the most effective forms of content marketing, the third-most-popular after video and ebook, according to this 2020 report. It is an easy and inexpensive tool for providing comprehensive information to your audience, boosting your market reputation, and, above all, gaining more revenue-generating customers.
While high-quality, SEO-friendly content could take care of the first two goals, converting readers into customers is what most brands struggle with. This is primarily because most people do not end up at a blog with the intent to buy.
People will read blogs in order to gain more information, to seek guidance, or even for pure entertainment, but with a few easy and clever tactics (and great writing), you can gently nudge your blog visitors down the funnel and persuade them to consider buying your product.
Before we explore the various ways you can convert your blog traffic into customers, it’s important to ensure that you have a great blog set up first. This includes the design, the colors, the hosting, and the domain name.
You could give your blog its own unique online identity on a meaningful and contextual domain name. For example, if you’re in the tech industry, your domain name could be www.latesttalk.tech or you could have a blog that explores the latest in food trends on www.yumtoday.online. A unique online presence can give your blog additional credibility which can help turn your traffic into customers.
Now that we’ve covered setting up your blog, let’s dive into some tips about how to create blog content that will lead to conversions.
1. Refrain from overselling
Every blog is written for the purpose of selling. But the content marketing approach to selling is different from traditional marketing (and that is why it works). The intent of your blog is to identify and acknowledge the needs of your readers and convince them through your expert advice that you have the best solution to their needs.
Your blog’s content should be relatable, empathetic and build trust. Once readers are convinced that you understand them and come to see you as an authority, they will be more willing to become your customers, as opposed to if you narrowly focus on how great your product or service is without any social proof.
Anything too salesly or boastful will drive readers away and may even ensure that they never return.
2. Publish long-form content
Our short attention spans have elevated the popularity of short-form content such as listicles and one-minute videos. But when it comes to generating leads, long-form content remains the most effective.
According to this Curata study, long-form posts generate seven times more leads than short-form content. This is because they allow you to show deep expertise about a topic and talk to readers at different buying stages, effectively leading them from one to another.
For instance, a person who intends to start a small online business may read your blog on tips for starting a small business just to get a general idea of how to go about it. Another person may read it for more specific ideas on marketing.
Yet another may need more actionable tips on content marketing and viewing you as a trusted authority, may be interested in hiring you to develop content, or buying your marketing insights tool or software
But through your long-form blog post that addresses the concerns of the first two readers, you have a chance to convince them into buying your product too.
Having said that, be mindful that not everyone has the patience or time to read through your entire post. Allow them to navigate quickly to the parts relevant to them by enhancing the readability of your post.
You can do so by breaking down the content into subheads printed in bold fonts, writing short paragraphs, and using images and other graphics to break the text.
3. Don’t provide all the solutions
This can be a bit tricky to get right. Of course, you want to be recognized as a trustworthy expert whose aim is to inform and educate your readers; but if you lay out all of your cards on the table, your readers may just read and absorb your post and then feel completely equipped to deal with their problems on their own. You are, after all, a business, not a free education service.
The best way to tackle this is to provide effective solutions backed by research but still leave some room for “but, how?”. You want to inform your reader’s thinking, help them develop their skills, and make them feel more confident without diluting your need for them.
Rather, they should be so convinced of your expertise through your content that they see your product as an compelling solution (rather than the content itself). This is where calls to action come into play.
4. Use calls to action
It is remiss to assume that people will automatically convert to customers after reading your blog. No matter how great your content is, you still need to tell people what to do.
Moreover, asking them to check out your product right after they have read your post helps you target them while they are still warmed up. Once they have navigated away from your blog, they may forget to come back or may choose to do more research and land up on your competitor’s page.
Calls to action are how you get your readers to take decisive actions in your favor. However, don’t expect people to do your bidding through half-heartedand uninspiring calls such as “Click here to learn more about our product” or “Click here to buy” at the end of each post.
Placement and tone are key when it comes to crafting effective calls to action. There’s no rule that suggests you place them right at the end of the post. You can have more than one call to action interspersed throughout your post wherever they are the most relevant.
Use bold and persuasive language to be more convincing. For instance, instead of saying “Check out our content insights tool”, say “Increase the reach of your content to over 10 times through our content insights tool.”
5. Get visitors to become subscribers
It takes more than a persuasive blog post to convince readers that you indeed are the best solution for their needs. In order to generate that level of trust and confidence, you need to give them the chance to engage with you repeatedly.
The more they consume your content, the more likely they are to be convinced of your authority and eventually become your customers. Getting them to read more than one of your posts showcases how diverse your expertise is and how capable you are of being their one-stop source of content and solutions.
If you are able to convince one-time readers to sign up for your subscription, you can send them emails and alerts every time you have a new post published on your blog. Also, by analyzing their content consumption behavior, you can send them customized emails with content that is more relevant to them to increase the likelihood of engagement.
Getting people to sign up to recurring content requires some persuasion and a good deal of trust. People will only be willing to part with their email addresses if you offer them a valuable takeaway. Calls to action such as “Want free and unlimited access to all our content? Sign up now!” or “Premium, expert content delivered to your inbox, once a week! Sign up now!” show people the benefit of becoming subscribers. You can even offer rewards such as a free ebook or access to an online course in return for a sign-up.
6. Publish reviews
Reviews are your most authentic stamps of approval. They come from satisfied customers who are happy to share their positive experience with your product without any vested interests. According to a study, the average customer reads at least 10 reviews before being able to trust a business.
Integrating in-content reviews enhance the credibility of your content as well as your product and are powerful tools for converting readers into customers. A person is fairly convinced of your expertise after reading your content and the social proof of the effectiveness of your product is right there for them to see.
However, cramming in too many reviews on a content page or informational blog can feel self serving and reduce the readability of your post. The best way to publish them is to incorporate them in the narrative, for example integrating a problem solving story, or especially when you’re quoting numbers and statistics.
It is rare that a first-time visitor to your blog will end up buying your product. But you can still take actionable steps such as the six on-page tactics discussed above to increase the time they spend on your blog, keep coming back for more, and, sooner or later (if not immediately), convert into customers.