Are you looking for an effective way to drive sales and grow your company? If so, an effective content marketing strategy may be just what you need. Don’t be fooled by the rumors floating around that say that it doesn’t work, there a number of businesses that have used this marketing tactic to great success.
Still need convincing?
Let’s use Neil Patel, co-founder of KISSmetrics, Hello Bar, and Crazy Egg, as an example of how content marketing can work for you. In fact, Neil says, if not for content marketing, none of his businesses would exist.
Before we delve deeper into the subject, it’s important to note that, like the majority of B2B enterprise companies, KISSmetrics customers do not buy the product from their website but from a sales representative and products range in price from $200 a month to over a thousand. If we assume that the sales rep is able to get qualified leads, this means that each lead is valuable since companies use this product for years.
A Basic Foundation
Consider the following data points and stats from KISSmetrics so that you can see for yourself how effective content marketing can be.
• 99% of their marketing dollars were divided up between two channels; email marketing and content marketing.
• Approximately $6000 a month is used for blogging services. This amount is divvied up between infographics (research and design of infographics), content writers, and a part-time helper who helps the editor correct posts for grammar issues, moderate blog comments, etc.
• On average, KISSmetrics posts 1-2 articles a day and a few infographics each month
Does The KISSmetrics Blog Help Drive Sales?
Okay, now that the above facts and figures are out of the way and you have a general idea how their content marketing works, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty. In other words, does the KISSmetrics blog convert? Check out the following stats to see if they do:
• For the month of January, KISSmetrics received well over 700,000 visitors and almost a million page views.
• KISSmetrics generated a little over 8,000 leads
• 85 demo requests came from the blog
• Approximately 2,000 came from webinars (which are promoted through the blog)
• Approximate 3,000 came from a free trial signup for KISSmetrics that is located on virtually every page on the blog
All in all, the blog was able to generate approximately 5,000 leads for KISSmetrics in January; this number is roughly 62% of all leads generated during the month. However, Neil says that he’s seen this number in the 80th percentile before. This translates to new sales being in the 6-figure range on a consistent basis; even on a bad month.
Utilizing Blogs Properly To Generate Sales
Although we have shown that blogging has generated a massive amount of money for KISSmetrics, things didn’t start out that way. In fact, when this company started, they didn’t make a penny from their blog during the first year. Why? They didn’t have enough traffic and their blog wasn’t set up to convert readers into customers. Therefore, before you jump onto the content marketing bandwagon, there are a number of things to consider:
• A reader turns into a lead after reading 3 blog posts; the probability of this conversion occurring is almost 50%
• Your focus should be on creating excellent content
• Once you have good content, put your focus on marketing the content
• After hitting approximately 10-30K visitors per month, you will have enough traffic to run A/B tests that will help you figure out how to convert readers into customers
Neil say’s that now day’s the leads generated from the KISSmetrics blog are almost as qualified as the leads from the homepage. But, it wasn’t always easy, in order to achieve success with the blog for KISSmetrics, as well as his other companies, Neil utilized the following techniques and tools to maximize their potential:
• You will need an email solution to help you leverage content marketing and to help you get a big ROI. There are a number of email services providers available. However, if you are strapped for cash, MailChimp is a free program that can help you save some of your marketing dollars.
• When placed appropriately, a nicely designed banner ads can go a long way in promoting your service or products, as well as help your company generate more signups. If you choose to utilize this feature, place your ad along the sidebar of your blog and in between your comments section and your blog post.
• Hellobar is a free tool that lets you place a bar at the top of your blog and is an excellent way to drive visitors to a page in order to get signups and collect leads.
• Use services like Leadin to help you collect leads when someone is about to leave your blog.
• Offer incentives, like a free eBook, in exchange for the email addresses of your readers. This tactic will greatly increase your email signup numbers. Once you have received their addresses, email your subscribers every time you publish a post so that they will be enticed to return to your blog.
• Build a connection with your readers by utilizing webinars. In this way, you are provided with an opportunity to educated subscribers, interact with them face-to-face, pitch your product in a subtle manner, and (perhaps most importantly) help them find solutions to their problems. Be sure to leave a decent chunk of time for Q&A at the end of your presentation.
• Create a stronger bond and with your readers by responding to their comments. This can be done in a short amount of time and will help you build brand loyalty because your readers will see that you care about helping them find solutions.
The Bottom Line
The reason that most people don’t find blogging to be a profitable channel is because they have no idea how to increase traffic or convert readers into customers. However, if you pay attention to the tips mentioned above, you will find that you blog will help you generate more sales as well as grow your company. In fact, you may find that blogging becomes your most profitable channel. So, give it a go, you have nothing to lose except potential customers.