Every business owner knows that marketing efforts exist to help you make a profit. No one wants to put endless hours and cash into a marketing strategy that falls flat—it’s frustrating, time wasting, and sometimes it’s even soul crushing.
ROI is a primary concern for business owners who are looking to get the most mileage out of their blogs, or any marketing effort for that matter. And whether you’re thinking of starting a company blog or you’re already on the ball, you’re probably wondering how to maximize your blog’s benefit to turn a profit.
These tips can undoubtedly help you boost your blog’s ROI. But before we get to those tips, we need to define ROI in terms of business blogging.
What is Business Blogging ROI?
ROI comes in many forms with blogging, and it goes without saying end goal is to make a sale.
However, business blogging is a funnel that takes your customers from one step of the buying journey to the next.
That means that the ROI of your blog might not necessarily be immediate cash, but the outcome can lead to cash down the road.
Generally, business blogging ROI is considered as follows:
- Web traffic
- Social shares
- E-mail sign ups
- Visitor retention
- Lead generation
- Direct sale of product
Each of these elements can be tracked and measured to determine your blog’s ROI.
So, how do you put your blog into ROI boost mode?
Plan to Promote
Once you hit publish on your blog post, your job has just begun in terms of gaining traction. Unless you’re running a blog that naturally attracts tons of traffic of years of hard work, you’ll have to put in some effort to get noticed.
It’s no secret that blog promotion can be a bit time consuming. The good news is that it becomes quicker and easier once you have a system in place.
If you haven’t explored different methods for promoting your company blog posts, here are a couple of tips that can get you started:
1. Take advantage of your social media accounts, and don’t be afraid to dive into more sharing options than the standard Facebook and Twitter. There’s a big world out there in terms of social media, so try out other platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram.
2. E-mail your new blog post to customers, and ask friends and family to spread the message as well.
3. Are you active on any online communities? LinkedIn and Google+ both have communities that cater to specific industries. If you aren’t already a community member on either of those platforms, consider joining up. Networking and sharing in these online communities can generate traction for your blog.
4. Ask employees to share and spread the word of your new blog post.
5. Include the web address to your blog on your traditional marketing materials, such as a direct mailer.
Your company blog can’t attract customers without promotion. As you begin making blog promotion a regular part of your routine, you’ll learn what works best for you in terms of increasing traffic.
Make it Simple For Customers to Share Your Posts
Social shares are another form of ROI in the world of business blogging, and shares are important because they give your business credibility while helping to spread the word about your brand.
There are several ways to encourage customers to share your posts on their personal social profiles.
- Social WordPress plugins are a snap to install and they integrate seamlessly into any theme. The idea is to have social share buttons right in front of your customers, so they can instantly share your blog post at the click of a button.
The less work that your customers have to do to spread the word about your blog, the better.
- Carefully craft compelling headlines. Great headlines capture more attention and encourage people to share with friends and followers. Include headlines that involve lists, how-tos, or promise to provide solutions.
Another helpful headline hint is to be specific as possible, and add creative language for pizzazz. Instead of writing a blog title such as ‘How You Can Get Rid of Clutter,’ opt for ‘5 Surprising Organization Tips For a Clutter-Free Home.’ As you can see, a little bit of re-wording makes a big difference.
Lastly, be sure that your headline accurately reflects what your blog post is about. Giving a blog post a false title to only lure readers to your website is known as clickbait—and it’s very frustrating to those who clicked on your title.
- Embed tweetable content directly into your blog post. A website called Click To Tweet makes it easy for your reader to tweet a ready-made quote directly from your blog post.
The easier that you make your content to share for your readers, the better your chance of boosting your blog’s ROI.
Exchange Exciting Content For E-mail Addresses
Generating a list of customer e-mail addresses can be tricky. However, it’s one of the most powerful ways to generate new (and even repeat) business.
There are several ways to help build an e-mail list, but you want to focus on collecting e-mail addresses in an ethical fashion. The idea is to get your readers to voluntarily opt-in to your list.
Here are a few incentives that you can give your readers in exchange for an e-mail address:
- Offer a helpful, high quality download. As an expert in your field, you are a primary source to top-notch tips and advice for your customers. Produce a download (PDF document, eBook, etc) with your best quality content and offer it in exchange for an e-mail address.
Be sure that your download offers real value for your customers. If they are giving you their e-mail address, you want to make it worth their while.
- Integrate e-mail sign up forms directly into your blog post. Be clear in terms of what your readers are signing up for and what they have to benefit. Value is always key.
- Install a pop up e-mail subscription form. This method is slightly more intrusive, but it can help you increase conversions and boost your blog’s ROI. You can always offer an incentive within your pop up (free eBook, etc).
When your blogging strategy includes useful content and valuable offers, you can help build your base of customer e-mail addresses while boosting your blog’s ROI.
Integrate Interactive Elements to Increase Visitor Retention
You might not think that visitor retention matters in terms of a blog’s ROI, but that’s far from the case. Visitor retention means that your customers are spending more time on your website.
The longer that your customer stays on your blog, the better chance of a conversion such as an e-mail sign up, or possibly even a purchase. It shows that your customer is engaged and you are building credibility with your brand.
So, how do you convince your customers to spend a longer amount of time on your blog post?
- Embed videos into your blog post. Videos are possibly the most interactive and engaging forms of content on the planet. Furthermore, they can help increase conversions. Visitors will spend a longer amount of time on your business blog when they have the option to watch relevant and helpful videos that are based on your industry.
- If videos are out of reach, consider integrating slideshows into your blog. Slideshows offer a new spin on blog content, and they up the ante in terms of presentation. Another advantage of slideshows is that there’s less competition for content on websites such as Slideshare.
Highlight your blog post’s most important points in your slideshows, and consider typography and color for your presentation’s design. It’s all about making a statement with eye-catching graphics and delivering value on content.
- Above all else, always add images. Blog posts without graphics scream bland. They help add interest and depth to your blog, which will keep readers on your blog for a longer amount of time.
Interesting and interactive content is key to keeping customers on your blog for longer periods of time.
Offer Educational and Credible Content For Lead Generation
If you’re using your blog as a lead generation tool, you’re in luck. Business blogs can be goldmines for gaining leads for your business, and the key lies within your content.
- Blog with the intent to educate to help generate leads. When your customers are educated about your product or services, they can make better choices when it’s time to make a purchase. Your blog shouldn’t be used as a sales pitch, and frankly nothing will turn off your readers faster. So as you plan your business blogging strategy, include blog posts that help readers solve problems or gain knowledge that they can’t find elsewhere.
- Find your unique selling point against competitors. The idea is to show your readers how your product or service compares against run-of-the-mill products. Find your unique selling point, whether it’s price, quality, customer experience, or something else. Once you can effectively communicate what makes your products stand out against your competitors, add it on your blog and run with it. In the world of business blogging, you can’t fake it until you make it—you have to provide compelling reasons why your company is the right choice in this over competitive world.
Do Your Research And Add a Call-to-Action
A little bit of legwork and research can be all that you need to convert a reader into a customer.
- Discover what your customers are searching for with keyword research. When you are depending on Google to help you score leads and sales, you need to be informed on your customers’ keyword inquiries. Knowing your best keywords can help boost your blog’s ROI by bringing in more traffic. It also takes the guessing game out of what should I blog about next?
- Provide a clear call-to-action. Your customers aren’t mind readers, so give them clear instructions on what action that you want them to take. It’s all too easy for your customers to scan your blog and go on with their day.
If your goal is to generate leads or make a sale, lead your customer directly through the funnel with a strong call-to-action.
Blogging for lead generation can be highly effective and easily boost your ROI. Helpful, educational, and relevant blog content can turn your business blog into a lead generating machine.
Activate Your Blog’s Boost Mode
Business blogging ROI comes in many forms, but each level can take you a step closer to closing a sale. Use your business blog consistently, blog selflessly, and your ROI will see a serious boost in no time.