If you are like many hard-working bloggers, you may not be sure how to convert your existing blog traffic in to sales, which is ultimately an unsustainable marketing strategy.
It is a big job to consistently create and publish quality content that your community and potential leads find of value. And while it can be greatly satisfying to know that they find your content helpful, most of us can not to afford to create content for content’s sake alone. That content needs to pay off in some form – ultimately increasing your sales and income.
According to the New York Times, blogs actually have a higher fail rate than restaurants. Many people assume that this is because of the absence of traffic, and while this may be the case in some instances, more often than not most blogs are doomed by their lack of effective integration into a sales funnel.
If you have a sales funnel or strategy in place, your B2B blog will help you drive significant revenue with even small amounts of traffic. This money can then be used to invest in creating more content, promoting existing content and further optimizing the blog for sales.
But without aligning your sales strategy with your content publishing strategy, your blog will wither, and your company will not be able to afford publishing quality content.
3 Strategies To Convert More Blog Traffic In To Sales
#1 Make the most of leads:
One of the best ways to generate more revenue from your blog is to convert traffic to email subscribers. This is because when it comes to the acquisition of customers, email is nearly 40 times more effective that Twitter and Facebook combined.
Adding your community to your email list has an additional benefit – unlike social media platforms, you own and control your email list. In the world of fast changing social networks, this stability can greatly benefit your business as well as your peace of mind.
So rather than trying to convert traffic into social media followers, convert it into email subscribers by placing opt-in forms strategically on your website. Test out various options such as popup forms, sidebar forms and end of post forms to find out what works best for your website and community. You can further enhance your conversion success by using lead magnets and content upgrades. For a detailed overview on capturing leads check out these pieces of advice from 7 marketers.
Once you capture the leads, you can then start the process of lead nurturing. This is extremely important. As the below image from Digital Marketer shows, it’s useful to think of your site’s visitors as falling into three categories: cold, warm and hot.
Hot traffic comes from people who directly turn into customers by buying a product on your website. Cold traffic (people who aren’t necessarily eager to make a purchase) and warm traffic (people with some awareness of your brand, getting ready to make a buying decision) are visitors who won’t purchase from you right away, but with consistent value from you, can turn into leads in the future.
Cold and warm leads make up the lion’s share of your audience and are still “on the fence” with regards to doing business with you. To convince them that you are the right choice for them, you need to provide them with value and establish your credibility and authority on your topic.
This process begins by nurturing them with quality content. The best time to do this is in the first few emails after they sign up, as engagement will be at its highest. If you look at the email open rates in the examples provided by Neville Medhora, you will notice that the initial autoresponder sequences have a significantly higher open rate than broadcast emails.
For best success, create value based autoresponder sequences that are automatically sent out for 3 to 5 days when someone first signs up. Do NOT pitch your services and products until after you provided them with significant value. People will be more likely to buy from you after you established some credibility and trust.
Throughout the series, track your subscribers and segment them based on email opens, email call-to-action clicks and their onsite browsing patterns. This will help you filter the interests of your target audience and only send them relevant content and products. It will increase conversions and reduce unsubscribes, as people will only see information they want.
If you want the best success, use a tool or platform that has been specifically created for this purpose. Simple email marketing platforms in most cases will not have the features required to perform the tasks I have mentioned above. Great tools to try include Aweber and my personal preference Drip, which offers advanced features such as those shown in the image below.
The benefit of this is that once you segment your lists properly, you won’t need to send every blog update or product pitch to everyone on your list.
#2 Ungate your content
Another powerful strategy to convert more blog traffic to sales faster is by getting additional information from visitors on the landing page, at the beginning of your sales funnel.
Most opt-in forms ask for minimal information such as name and email address because opt-in forms with fewer fields convert better, but unfortunately the quality of those leads also goes down.
When people fill in more fields, it shows that they are ready to part with their information in exchange for your knowledge (your lead magnet). While fewer people might sign up, a higher percentage of those subscribers will turn to customers. Additionally, with the extra information they have provided, you can send more targeted messages.
There is a third options as well – no fields at all!
This where you ungate all your content by removing opt-in forms and landing pages. You place the content from the lead magnet (ebook, white paper, case study, etc.) on a separate web page or blog post and provide access to it directly. This may be counter-intuitive, but ungating your premium content assets is an effective strategy.
Companies like Drift have found success with this approach. Using this approach, their audience simply needed to click a button to download the document of their choice from the landing page or blog post they were promoted on. For example, in the first month one landing page got 2,338 views and the corresponding blog post got 4,046 views, with the ebook being downloaded a total of 3,116 times. That’s a conversion rate of around 50%, which is unheard of when your content is locked away behind a form.
Quite simply, more people will download your content because they can gain access to it without giving away any personal information. More downloads will lead to more reads and shares, and if you publish quality content with persuasive copy and calls-to-action, reads will convert to sales.
The main disadvantage of this method is that not everyone will convert. A distraction can easily lead them away and you will have no way to remind them that they should do business with you. But with content analytics intelligence tool such as Leadfeeder, you can still gain information on the people who are reading your content.
Leadfeeder integrates with Google Analytics to analyse website visitors and show you what companies they work for. It also displays the LinkedIn profiles of any connections you have who work at the company, to make it easy to connect with them and build a relationship.
One of the things I like most about Leadfeeder is that it allows you to create custom feeds that filter results based on information such as the pages people visited, time spent, location and company size. This helps you target the right prospects, helping you get the most out of your time.
#3 Use streamed digital content:
If you want to convert more traffic to leads you should create live digital content such as webinars. Not only do more people sign up for webinars, but attendees are more likely to convert to customers.
Adobe found that on average, approximately 51% of landing page visitors sign up for a webinar, and 19% of the webinar attendees sign up for a demo offered at the end of the webinar.
A great example, Neil Patel knows how to get the most out of the webinars on his website. If you visit his post on How to Start a Blog and click on the ads in the sidebar or at the end of the blog post, you are taken to a page where you can sign up to a webinar on how to generate more traffic.
If you click on an ad on another post not related to blogging, you are taken to a different lead magnet related to the content. This ensures that the webinar landing page has a higher conversion rate, as only interested people are referred there.
Neil can also pitch relevant products on blogging and driving traffic with this method, instead of sending every email to all of his subscribers.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to always do a live webinar. Once you have created a webinar that converts well, you can use the recording as an evergreen lead magnet and automate the process.
Turning Readers into Buyers
When integrated into your sales funnel, these 3 methods will help you convert blog traffic into sales. While this takes time, work and often money to get going, after the initial setup is complete, there is minimal work as the processes can be largely automated. You will then be able to focus your time and effort on creating more content, refining your funnel and nurturing prospective leads into clients – and sales.
How do you convert blog traffic to sales? Are there any other methods you would like to share with us? Please leave your comments below.