If you haven’t checked it out already and your serious about making your content better at converting strangers into loyal customers, you really should check out the inbound training that hub spot gives for free, here. Today’s scope was framed by the principles taught in that course. If you didn’t catch the scope live or would like to replay it here it is:
Some of the most useful content from the inbound marketing course is this simple framework to view the customer conversion process, according to Hub Spot there is five phases that a customer goes through:
1) Attract- (strangers) blog, keywords, social publishing
2) Convert- (visitors) forms, calls to action, landing pages
3) Close- (leads) CRM, email, workflows
4) Delight-(customers) Surveys, smart content, social monitoring
In each of these stages there is different content and different strategies to help filter down your traffic into buyers. In order to make these stages work for you, you first have to get clear on your buyer persona.
- Buyer Persona- Semi fictional representations of your ideal customer based on real data and some select educated speculation about customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations and goals
- To create a buyer persona-
- Conduct persona research– Must be based off of research not assumptions.
- Ask about their role, company, goals, challenges, watering holes, shopping preferences etc. Follow up questions should be ‘why’
- Start by interviewing your existing customer base.
- Look for patterns and trends
- Background- basic details about personas role, company and relevant background info
- Demographics- Gender, age range, household income
- Identifiers – buzzwords and mannerisms
- Goals- persona’s primary and secondary goal
- Challenges- primary and secondary to persona’s success
- How we can help- how you solve your persona’s challenges and help them achieve their goals
- Common objections- identify the most common objections
- Real quotes- a few real quotes from the interviews
- Buyer’s Journey- Active research process that someone goes through leading up to the purchase.
- Three stages of buyers journey:
- Awareness– Prospect is expressing symptoms of a problem or an opportunity their doing research to understand frame and give a name to their problem.
- Consideration– Prospect has clearly defined problem or an opportunity.
- Decision– When a prospect has decided on their solution strategy.
- Need to have content prepared for each of the stages of the buyer journey.
Blogging Best Practices:
1) Pick a topic and a title
- Write educational posts
- Write about your industry not yourself
- What are the most frequently asked questions?
- What do your buyer persona’s need help with?
- What do you wish people knew about your industry?
- What are industry bloggers, social media and your competitors talking about?
- Do keyword research from what people are trying to learn more about.
- Pick one topic to focus on per post.
- How to title it
- Start with a working title for your post, then narrow your topic down.
- Include a long tail keyword in the title
- Put the value (what they will get out of it)
- Shorten your title to under 60 characters so it doesn’t get cut off
2) Format and optimize the post
- Use whitespace, it allows the visitor to focus on the content not the clutter.
- Use section headers bullets or numbered lists
- Bold important text
- Include images to visually break up your text
- Optimize page around the Long tail key word in the:
- Page title
- The url
- The post title
- In the image alt text
- Used in the body naturally (don’t be afraid to break it up through out the text
- In the headers
- Link to internal and external sites (1 to 2 sources per paragraph)
3) Promote offers on your blog to increase lead generation
- Use your blog to strategically promote your current offers
- Feature call to action on the side bar of the blog (both an inital one for those in the awareness stage as well as one for people in the decision stage ie. ‘Subscribe to our blog’ and ‘sign up to work with us’
- Include a call to action at the end of each post that is relevant to the content that the visitor has just read. (That gives them more information about the same topic they just read such as an ebook)
4) Promote your blog posts
- Link internally to your blog post
- Leverage your website (add it to your primary website)
- Share posts on social media (make it easy for people to share your content as well)
- Promote posts through email (send them relevant content)
5) Analyze the performance of your blog
- # of views
- Filter your most popular articles by topics, author and promotion strategy
- Look at number of clicks on call to actions
- Write consistently and frequently.