As growth hackers we are obsessed with doing more with less, maximizing ROI and performance, analyzing journeys and measuring and improving results. This post is part guide part observations and examples we came across from clients using TrenDemon.
The opportunity – your blog can do SO much more
One of the things we discovered early on at TrenDemon when we started working with B2B brands and content marketers is that they many have great blogs, awesome content which they regularly update but they were still very far from maximizing their full potential and ROI. How far? well, when we started seeing uplifts of over 120% and up to 380% in conversions after doing the following steps, we understood how far… But first, why this inefficiency in the first place?
Why is this happening?
Awareness – One of the reasons for this gap is awareness of the marketer to the gap or problem. Most of them hadn’t realized that they could triple their leads within a few short weeks.
Tools – some of the tools which are today becoming common, haven’t been around until recently, when growth hackers started experimenting with different methods to boost performance.
Time – When you’re writing the blog, woking to drive traffic to it and promote it, all while doing your “real” job, there’s hardly enough time left for anything else.
How do we fix this?
The following steps are divided to quick, intermediate or long term steps:
1 – Immediate Steps – Quick wins to stop the bleeding and converting more customers tomorrow
2 – Intermediate Steps – Nurturing visitors that will convert within the next couple of weeks
3 – Long-term Steps – Analysis and preparation of the next steps to write the content that will convert your next customers in the months ahead.
1 – Stop the Lead Bleed with Targeted Call to Actions
Most of the time, content marketing efforts take time to start showing results, but every once in a while, we stumble upon a cool hack which shows amazing results right from the start. Naturally, after we discover those hacks, test them out with our clients, and see consistent result, we integrate them into our marketing automation platform so that our all our users (free or paid) can benefit (in other words, we routinely and shamelessly steal great ideas…).
One example of a quick win that will start showing immediate results in terms of lead generation is TrenDemon’s Targeted Call-to-Actions. These custom messages can appear at the end of an article or just before visitors are about to leave (exit intent popups). You may like them or not (honestly, I didn’t care for them much when I first saw them, but when we began testing them and combining them with personalized, targeted information, we saw explosive results. These messages can be automated based on the visitor’s position in the customer journey (more on that later) or customized based on whether they are new or returning, coming from specific geos or sources (like social or a specific url) or visiting a certain part of the site.
In one customer case we’ve seen an uplift of 167% in leads within 4 days from starting to use this tool (stay tuned for the case study we will release about it next week). For marketers who use marketing automation platforms like Hubspot, Marketo or Silverpop, this integration can amplify the performance of those systems by personalizing the visitors’ engagement with content.
2 – Nurture Visitors with the right kind of content
With many b2b products, it’s usually not about love at first sight. It takes a serious amount of courtship, or as marketers usually referred to – nurturing. One of the main challenges is just getting your prospective customer to understand that there’s an opportunity that their missing or that there’s a new and better way to do something.
But just like in relationships, where you wouldn’t propose on the first date, what you say and when you say it play a vital role whether you even make it to the next date…
Targeted content, as opposed to customized or targeted call to actions is designed to bring more prospective customers to the point they’d be willing to try. That usually involves reading several items on the matter, over the span of weeks or even months, depending on your space and complexity. Since not all content has been created equal, some posts or article will naturally convert better than others. But here’s where it gets interesting – we see that visitors from different sources follow different paths to conversions. Furthermore, every person is on a different stage in the journey so in order to match the right content, with the right visitor at the right time, we need tech. By identifying the different journeys visitors take, their sources and their performance based on the desired goal, personalized, targeted content recommendations can be offered to help increase the likelihood of conversion, accelerate the conversion process from content and get more valuable leads (better prepared since they went through the optimal path).
3 – Guide Your Content Strategy with Customer Journey Insights
Analyzing your customer journeys through your content will allow you to identify the topics and posts which convert best. Also look at which sources of those journeys generated the best results. This can help you know where to promote your posts.
Another question you can answer by looking at your customer journeys is how long is it (in time) and how many touch points does it require (4,6 or maybe 12 posts read before the avg customer decides to convert). For example, one of our financial marketers noticed that the articles on the subject of Bitcoin was converting 38% better than other topics they were writing about the previous weeks. Here’s an example of TrenDemon’s insights report:
Some of the tools we use to research and discover trending topics are BuzzSumo and I also just now tried Trendspottr which is also looking promising (credit for this catch goes the awesome Neil Patel and his blog). These trends change over time of course but you can still leverage those insights to create better converting posts. For longer term trend searches, there always Google Trends which I use it to look at some interesting topics we researched for our blog (see example below about the increasing interest in Customer Journey over the past couple of years) but also to get some guidance in terms of product strategy.
In summary, growth hacking your blog to increase leads can be achieved with the above steps. Together with a clear content strategy, these tools can yield powerful results.