Table of Contents
Chapter One – Turn Your Blog into A Lead Generation Machine
In chapter one, we’re covering the step-by-step process you need to make your research effective so that your blog becomes the lead generating machine you need it to be for your business.
This is going to include uncovering the motivations of:
- your customer avatar,
- the benefits you can provide (and the specific problems solved by those benefits),
- how to find target keywords (the ones that make you money) using Ahrefs,
- and how to employ those money keywords to attract your customer avatar and triggering them into taking action with you.
This initial process is something you can knock out pretty quickly. Let’s do that together now.
Grab our free Lead Generation Cheat Sheet for Your Blog by clicking here.
Step One – List All the Ways Your Customers Benefit from Your Product or Service
Why do your ideal customers make purchase decisions?
Simple – because it benefits them to do so. It’s also why they are going to end up on your blog.
So what are the benefits to your customer avatar for doing business with you?
To answer this question, follow these simple steps:
1. Create a list based on your expertise.
Since you know your industry, you should already have an excellent idea of the problems that you help your customers solve. Write them down.
Let’s say, for example, you have a pet grooming company, and you are looking to generate more leads.
How would you create your list?
Based on your own experience and expertise, ask yourself – ‘what are the benefits I’m providing to my clients?’
In this pet grooming example, you might come up with a list that looks something like this:
- Proper grooming is good for your pet’s health
- It gives you the ability to spot illness or disease early
- You can get your pet’s nails cut without the hassle
- You can make your pet Instagram-ready and show them off to the world
If you’ve been working for any amount of time, coming up with this list should come pretty easy.
Once you’ve listed all you can list off the top of your head, move on to the next step.
2. Use Google to find more benefits.
If your prospects have a question, chances are hundreds, if not thousands, of other people have also had that same question.
Which is where Google comes in.
Simply Googling phrases like “why would I hire a [what you do],” or “what are the benefits to hiring a [what you do]” will give you a ton more benefits to add to your list.
Another very informative phrase to try Googling would be “[what you do] nightmare stories.” While darker than the previous Google searches we talked about, this one has the unique advantage of providing you with the kind of stories that your customers REALLY want to avoid.
A little reverse engineering of these stories will quickly reveal potential fears and problems that your clients may be looking to solve.
Using this information, you will be able to add to your list of benefits that you can provide.
When we google “why would I hire a pet groomer,” a few of the top results are articles like “Top Three Reasons to Hire Pet Grooming Services” and “ Why You Should Hire a Professional Dog Groomer.”
From just these two articles, I came up with nearly a dozen more benefits to add to the list, including things like:
- Healthy skin and coat
- Fresh smelling
- Avoid mats and tangles
- Discovering parasites
- Use of the right supplies
- Professional hair cuts
- Soothing massage
- You’ll be able to take pride in showing off a happy, healthy-looking pet
How many more benefits were you able to find with a quick Google search?
Now that you’ve got a big list of benefits, it’s time for the next step.
Step Two – List the Problems Solved by Each of the Benefits
The goal of this research is to get into the head of your customer avatar:
- to understand what motivates them,
- the problems they have,
- determine if you can help them solve them,
- and if so, to what scale.
Benefits never stand alone. They are always accompanied by a related problem.
How do you find out what these problems are?
Use common sense.
As we mentioned, we’ll be getting into more detail later on in this lead generation strategy guide. But for now, use your own experience to answer this question. Think of everything you can but limit yourself to about 15 minutes.
For each benefit, you listed in Step One, list a problem that it fixes.
Continuing with the pet grooming example, here are the problems that would accompany all the benefits we came up with:
Good for your pet’s health
PROBLEM SOLVED #1
I might have been hurting my dog by not properly grooming it, and the idea of that gives me anxiety.
Ability to spot illness or disease early
PROBLEM SOLVED #2
I’m unsure how to detect illness or disease. I will have peace of mind knowing my pet is checked by a professional.
Nails cut without the hassle
PROBLEM SOLVED #3
I feel like crying when I make my dog yelp when I cut too close.
Charted out, it looks like this:
|Good for your pet’s health||No idea how to groom, no desire to learn|
|Ability to spot illness or disease early||Unsure how to detect illness or disease|
|Nails cut without the hassle||Hates hurting pet when they cut too close|
Those are just a few examples to give you some ideas.
Ready for the next step?
Step Three – Sort Your List to Find the Problems You Can Solve
As awesome as your product or service is, there are problems that it doesn’t fix (or doesn’t fix very well).
But that’s ok!
Go through your list and sort out the best fits – the benefits/problem combos that are the most poignant.
You should end up with 3-5 super strong ones at the end of this step.
For our dog grooming example, you might decide that “discovering parasites” might not be your strongest benefit/solution. Swap it out for one that really hits home, like “nail cutting without the hassle.”
The goal is to have those top 3-5 benefit/problem pairs be THE motivating factors in your customer avatar’s mind.
Once you have that, it’s time for…
Step Four – Use Ahrefs to Find Keywords Based on Your List
If you’ve never used Ahrefs before – you are in for a treat!
This tool is chock full of amazing utilities that will give you key insights to help you maximize your blogging efforts.
No more wasted time throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks.
First, input the “top problem” from the list you sorted in Step Three.
For these examples, we’re looking at some research a pool maintenance company might do. After going through the previous steps, they discovered that one of the top problems regarded a customer’s pool being dark green.
So input that problem into Ahrefs.
Then find the parent topic.
Why is the parent topic important?
Because it will allow you to expand the number of keywords you can get info on while giving you more keyword ideas.
This example will help clarify what we’re talking about:
- Click on the “Parent Topic.”
- Sort your results by CPC (cost per click).
The CPC is usually a good indication of what keywords are bringing in the most sales. A higher cost per click (generally speaking) means that the keyword is more valuable.
Write down keywords that are related to a triggering event. In other words, you want the keywords that are based on a problem someone is trying to fix, not just informational keywords.
Once you’ve determined the “problem keywords” and ignored the “informational keywords,” you can ignore everything except the top three problem keyword results (based on the CPC sort you did earlier).
PRO TIP: Depending on your niche, you might also want to try using the “question” feature of Ahrefs. It can give you some valuable insight into what problems people are experiencing.
Back to our pool maintenance example – using Ahrefs:
- We input the keyword phrase “pool is dark green.”
- Then we click on the “Questions” option in the left-hand menu.
A quick scan of the questions Ahref displays will show you that there are a lot of questions about what to do if a pool is dark green.
Now that you know this, you can add a keyword phrase like “what to do if your pool is dark green” to your list.
If you start to see a pattern in the results, this will give you a good clue regarding the types of problems people are having around your niche.
You now have a golden list of trigger event keywords.
And not only that!
You also have defined exactly what their value is in your specific market place.
Now, what do you do with this golden list?
Go back through all of your existing blog posts and ask yourself –
Do any of these posts match or come close to what’s on your list?
If the answer is yes, take those blog posts and optimize them by following the rest of the steps we’re about to share with you!
If the answer is no, then it’s time to get writing some new blog posts!
This initial research is going to be the foundation for what comes next in the guide. Once you’re done, you’re ready for the next chapter.
Whether you need to create a new post or add teeth to an existing one, read on!
Chapter Two – Follow These Steps to Make Your Prospects Cling to Your Offers
In the previous chapter, you got very clear on the problem(s) you are going to solve for your customers. To create the kind of lead flow you’re looking for, this kind of clarity is essential.
Now, we are going to cover a simple seven-step process to make your prospects want and desire your offer.
Start with your strongest problem (triggering event) from your new list and let’s dive in!
Note: Click here for tips & recommendations to make generating leads for your business easier and faster.
Step One – Optimize Your Meta Title and Description for Conversions
Continuing with the pet grooming example from Chapter One, let’s say that after all of your work in Ahrefs, you decide that your strongest benefit/problem is the benefit of being able to fix their green pool.
Now you can layout the problem that your client faces while providing a promise of a solution to that problem.
- Add the triggering event keyword(s) to your meta title and description
- State the triggering event and hint that you have covered the solution within your blog post.
For example, your meta title could be:
<title>My Pool is Dark Green; Need a Solution [Fast]</title>
In this instance, “My Pool is Dark Green” is the money keyword. “Need a Solution [Fast]” hints you have a solution for them.
You can cement that seed even deeper with the description.
For example, your meta description could be:
<meta name=”description” content=”Your pool is dark green. Well, that stinks. Don’t cancel your upcoming pool party over it though. We can help. Read how here.”/>
Follow me so far? Good, let’s keep moving forward.
Step Two -Seed Your Blog Post Introduction for Conversions
Your intro is a vital piece of real estate on a blog post. It’s often where a reader will make a decision – read, or bounce?
That’s why you need to clearly and passionately state the problem right away in the intro of your blog post. Then take it a step further and agitate the problem – get into the details of the pain caused by this problem.
Stating the pain of the problem should only take a few sentences at most.
After that, promise the reader that you have the solution for them within the post and that they need to keep reading.
“Keeping your pets healthy is a top priority. But this can be difficult or impossible when you are unsure of how to detect illness or disease in them. Also, finding solid, reliable information that you can trust is not easy when there are hundreds of competing opinions just a click away.
The last thing you want is your pet having to suffer because you weren’t able to spot a preventable illness or disease before it was too late.
Thankfully, early detection of many illnesses and diseases is easier than you might think. Read on to get the info you need to keep your pet healthy and happy!”
And speaking of continuing to read…
Step Three – Add in Plenty of Success Stories to Inspire Confidence
Social proof is vital to people coming to know, like, and trust you. Generously sprinkle in past customer success stories that directly relate to the triggering event.
Don’t just tell people that you can solve their problem. SHOW them that you HAVE solved the problem for other happy customers.
PRO TIP: You’ve probably seen the social share buttons on a blog post that show numbers next to them; this is another form of social proof that is extremely effective (especially the Facebook share icon). It shows your reader that your content is valuable in the eyes of other readers.
With our pet grooming examples, this would be some written testimonials from pet owners that you’ve helped. Make sure they include specific examples of how you helped them solve a specific problem.
And of course, the testimonial should be accompanied by some cute pet pictures.
Or another option might even be a short video montage. Because let’s be honest – who doesn’t enjoy a good pet montage!
Step Four – Use Segmented Facebook Ads to Help Build Social Proof
Now that you’ve completed steps one through three, your blog post is perfect, optimized, and ALMOST contains all the social proof it needs. Let’s add a little more.
Through a segmented Facebook ad.
For this step, you will be running a Facebook ad promoting the post you’ve just optimized. Your ad should be simple, focused on the big problem that you’ve decided to address and point people to the blog post for the solution.
Begin with ten $10 test ads where you advertise the post to ten different audiences. These should be different segments of your target market.
How do you decide on which segments to target?
Look for audiences that:
- Like and follow your direct competitors
- Have interested related to your product or service
- Are in your ideal location
Here’s the step by step process to make this happen:
Go to your business’ Facebook page and click on “Ad Center.”
Next, click “Audiences” in the left-hand menu, then “Create Audience” over on the right side of the page.
Now you get to name your audience and define it with Gender, Age, Location, and People Who Match (this is where you can include competitors, related interested, etc. There’s an option for you to have Facebook give you recommendations if you’re stuck!).
Facebook will give your audience a ranking based on whether or not it is defined enough.
Click “Save”, and you’re done!
With your first audience anyway.
Follow that process x10, and you will have your ten test audiences.
The goal is to find your people; those who will engage with your post by liking and sharing it or leaving a comment either on the ad or the blog post.
After those ten $10 test ads have run their course, you have a nice little bit of market research. Using this data, you will be able to tell which audience engaged the most with your ad.
Click Ad Center again.
Click All Ads.
Find the ad with the most engagement.
This is your audience to boost your social proof.
Now, it’s time to get serious.
Step Five – Using the Info You’ve Acquired, Bring Out the Big Guns
Now you will run a $500 Facebook ad to that audience that had the most engagement.
PRO TIP: Make sure that the ten test ads all point to the same Facebook post. That way, when you run the $500 Facebook ad, that one post will already have a lot of engagement which will boost the effectiveness of your big ad run; this is maximizing your social proof which you can later embed into your blog post (see Step 6 below)!
Let’s keep this thing moving; you have leads to generate!.
Step Six – Respond to Any and All Engagement to Boost Your Social Proof
Responding to every comment will effectively double (and probably more than double) the number of comments. The Facebook algorithms reward this kind of dynamic engagement, making your ad dollars stretch even further.
And don’t be afraid to reply with a meme or even a gif (within reason!). It can help a lot with making people feel like they know you on a more personal level and that you’re not just another faceless brand.
It pads your social proof efforts big time. The more engagement you generate, the more your prospects respond. It will be the gift that keeps giving to your business.
Check out this example of Cheerios NAILING the engagement and how it’s boosted their ad:
Step Seven – Screenshot Your Boosted Facebook Post to Maximize Social Proof
Now that this Facebook post has received all this love, it’s time to show it off. One way would be to grab a screenshot of the post so that you can see the number of likes, reactions, comments, and shares.
Then put the screenshot into the upper fold of your blog post.
Or you can get a bit fancier and embed that Facebook post into your post.
(Note: these instructions are specifically for a WordPress site.)
First, navigate to the post you want to embed. Select the post itself and then copy the URL of the post.
Next, go to Facebook’s page for Embedding Posts. Paste your post’s URL into the slot.
Click “Get Code” and BOOM!
Just add that code to the website following the instructions Facebook gives and you’re good to go!
Now when your prospects hit the post, your embedded social proof will maximize your conversion chances.
Now at this point, you may be wondering:
Why would anyone care about some blog post that I’ve written?
Glad you asked.
For the answer, check out the next chapter of our humble lead generation strategy guide.
Chapter Three – How to Dissolve Your Readers Distrust Like a Boss
Your blog has the potential to be a goldmine for your business.
However, there’s something that many blog writers don’t realize that stops their progress before they can get started.
What is that something?
You see, your readers aren’t looking to jump into a relationship with you. You are the furthest thing from their minds.
The only reason they ended up on your post is that you promised a solution to them.
So how do you move past that distrust into a mutually beneficial business relationship that lasts a lifetime?
Here in Chapter Three, we’re answering that question with four simple, practical steps you can implement right now.
So let’s do it! But first, you should download our free Lead Generation Cheat Sheet before you forget about it.
Ready, set, go.
Step One – Act As If You Care
Too often, it’s easy to come across like a salesperson, nobody likes to feel like they’re being sold to, so try to avoid that.
Which is why you should demonstrate to your readers that you care about their problem.
You want to take some time to put yourself into the position of your potential client. Get inside their heads.
To do that, ask yourself these questions (and get detailed!):
- If you were them, how would you feel about your problem?
- How much time, money, and effort have you invested in trying to solve that problem?
- How would you feel about finding the perfect solution to your problem?
You should include these emotions in your blog in order for you to get past the trust barrier.
The team over at DigitalMarketer has done a fantastic job of this in one of their blog posts about hiring. They start out by addressing the emotional feelings that accompany the hiring process – from both the hirer and the hiree perspective.
Addressing your readers’ emotions isn’t the only way to build trust…
Step Two – How Taking It Slow Can Pull Down Barriers
In business as in life, there are certain rules of human interaction that always hold true.
One of those rules:
Don’t rush into a relationship!
If you look at some of the cheesy sales blogs out there, you will quickly notice how they try to rush – pushing a sale before you’ve established a relationship, this is the wrong way to do it.
Don’t try to “marry” your reader on your “first date.”
You will fail if you try.
The concept of “provide value first” has been harped on a lot. But that’s because it’s vital to establishing trust in a customer-business relationship.
By taking it slow, you will avoid the easy road of asking for a sale upfront and instead be able to provide your customer with the necessary info for them to take the next logical step.
In the DigitalMarketer piece we mentioned earlier about hiring, you’ll see a great example of this. The piece is not pushing for a sale. It’s providing the reader with all the info they need and then suggesting the next logical step.
They do it subtly and in three basic steps:
- Hiring is hard (acknowledging the emotions – we care!).
- Here’s all the info you need to make good hiring decisions (providing a TON of value).
- If you found this info helpful and would like some more help, we’re here (providing the next logical step).
Now that you’ve completed these first two steps, you’re beginning to break down that barrier to trust!
There’s still more to do – let’s check out Step Three!
Step Three – Why Offering Micro-Solutions Builds Trust Fast
What is a micro-solution?
Back in Chapter One, we established that your potential client has a problem and you are offering your product or services as THE solution.
However, as we’ve discovered here in Chapter Three, you can’t sell them your full product or service right off the bat.
That will scare them away!
This is why it’s not time to swing for the fences; you’re starting a brand new relationship with this potential new customer or client.
Remember Step Two – Take It Slow!
That’s where micro-solutions come in.
A micro-solution is:
- A miniature (or partial) solution to an element of their problem that meets them where they’re at and that they can use as soon as they hit your post.
Again, kudos to DigitalMarketer for their amazing demonstration of this concept!
In one of their posts, they’re explaining the importance of the Customer Value Journey (more on that in a second!). At the start of the post, they have this:
“Before you get started, you need to know who your ideal customer is, where they are, and what they will buy. Download our FREE proven Customer Avatar Worksheet now and get clear on who you’re selling to.”
Providing a free worksheet is a perfect example of a micro-solution.
- Ask yourself – how can I divide up my readers’ problem into multiple parts?
- Then – how can I solve that part of the problem for them quickly?
Speaking of the Customer Value Journey…
Step Four – Understand the Customer Value Journey
Mad props to Ryan Deiss for his awesome work over at DigitalMarketer (as you can tell, I’m a big fan!). His explanation of the Customer Value Journey is stellar and a vital piece of information if you want to use your blog to build trust with your audience.
Imagine if you didn’t just have “customers” – instead you had avid fans who actively promoted your business simply because they love what you do!
How would that change your business?
That’s what the Customer Value Journey is all about – taking your audience from merely “aware of your product” to “active promoter of your brand.”
According to Ryan, there are eight steps along this Customer Value Journey:
- Make them aware
- Get them to engage
- Ask them to subscribe
- Make them a customer
- Get them excited about your brand
- Make them a multi-buyer
- Ask them to spread the love
- Make them a promoter
Our guide here is dedicated to lead generation for your blog, or the first three steps of the customer value journey.
Steps 4-8 are what you do with your customer after you’ve generated the lead.
But if you want to dive into more of the customer value journey, be sure to check out the article on DigitalMarketer or this awesome video for a more in-depth explanation of what to do after you’ve got the lead. Once you understand the journey, you can begin taking action to move your audience through each step faster.
Creating trust is absolutely essential if you plan on using your blog to generate effective leads. By following these steps, you can avoid the pitfall of trying to “marry” before you “date” your customer while providing a solution that will move them on to the next logical step.
Asking for too much too soon is probably hurting your efforts on your website. To cold leads, you’re just another person who wants their email address. Instead of jumping right into demanding something from your audience, it’s best to take micro-steps.
Now that you’re providing value to an engaged reader on your blog, it’s time to double down and provide EVEN MORE value.
Find out how to do that in Chapter Four…
Chapter Four – How to Create an Effective Lead Magnet Fast
When you’re talking about optimizing your blog for lead generation, you have to talk about lead magnets. However, like many marketing tactics on the internet, your normal, run-of-the-mill lead magnets are showing their age and losing their effectiveness.
Gone are the days of blowing up your email list subscription numbers with a “Free Report” or a “Free EBook.” And if you keep tabs on these kinds of things, you have probably noticed that your “Sign Up for My Newsletter” form isn’t doing so hot either.
While traditional lead magnets and your generic email list opt-in form can still work, they’re not going to give you the kind of jaw-dropping results that you’re looking for.
So what will?
Note: Have you snagged the free lead generation cheat sheet for your blog yet? We share expert advice on how to avoid the blunders we made when we started out generating leads on our blog.
A Content Upgrade Lead Magnet.
In a second, I’m going to walk you through the quick steps that will give you a world-class Content Upgrade Lead Magnet (or just Content Upgrade for short:) in less than an hour, but first…
What exactly is a Content Upgrade?
(Huge shoutout to Mr. Brian Dean for opening my eyes to this amazing (and simple!) tactic!)
To explain what a Content Upgrade is, let’s check out a quick example.
AutoGro.co has a post called “The 20 Best Lead Magnet Examples To Help You Convert Leads Like Crazy [Updated for 2019]”. In the post, they provide a ton of awesome examples to get your creative juices going.
But once you get to the end of the article AutoGro.co mixes things up by offering you a Content Upgrade.
Namely their “11 Point Perfect Lead Magnet (PDF) checklist”.
Here’s why this type of thing works:
You are reading an article about lead magnet ideas. Therefore, you are interested in the topic and most likely looking to create your lead magnet. The article provides you with a ton of value but then…
The Content Upgrade takes that value up a notch (upgrading the content!).
After getting all of these lead magnet ideas, you’re going to want this 11 Point Perfect Lead Magnet (PDF) checklist!
The biggest difference between traditional lead magnets and a Content Upgrade is the fact that lead magnets are typically generic to your site or the service your offer.
Content Upgrades, on the other hand, are SPECIFIC.
They relate directly to the blog post on which they appear.
Does this mean you need a different Content Upgrade Lead Magnets for every blog post?
I’ll answer that question in a second (the answer might surprise you).
But first – let’s dive right into the simple step-by-step process of creating a Content Upgrade for your blog!
(Oh and by the way, if you want even more info on this, you need to check out that Brian Dean post on Content Upgrades – it’s awesome and goes into even more detail!)
Step One – Research & Choose a High-Traffic Post
Do you need a different Content Upgrade for every blog post?
The answer is no, and the reason is that you want to use this lead generation strategy on your high-traffic posts. That’s where readers are already going so it makes the most amount of sense that you should put your best offer where the most eyeballs will see it!
Though at this point in the guide, you probably either already have a post in mind that is performing well and deserves a content upgrade, or you are already in the process of creating such a post.
So let’s use that!
Step Two – Pick What Kind of Content Upgrade Fits the Best
You’ve got your awesome blog post. You’ve taken some time to make it even better.
Now it’s time to ask yourself – how can I provide EVEN MORE value to my readers?
How to provide more value may seem like a hard question at first. After all, this blog post is doing awesome for a reason, right?
Here you need to think outside of the box.
- Here are some questions that you can ask yourself to start thinking like a Content Upgrade pro!
- What information did you have to leave out of the blog post?
- Is there another way to say what the blog post says? Some people prefer to read, and others prefer video, while others prefer audio.
- Could you repackage the post (with additional content of course) in a different format? Or you could do something as simple as making the blog post easily available as a nicely formatted PDF file.
- What tools would help your readers implement the info in your post? A huge swipe file? A practical worksheet? A handy printable?
- Is there a topic that is related to your blog post that would be helpful?
Jot down as many ideas as you can think of based on these questions (and any others you come up with). Then sort through your list and pick your best idea.
REMEMBER: Your content upgrade must offer a logical micro-step for your reader that takes them toward solving their problem. The reason they are at the blog in your first place is that you promised a solution to their problem. Use your content upgrade to follow through on that promise!
Now that the brainstorming is over, it’s time to get busy creating!
Step Three – Build Your High-Quality Content Upgrade
To state the obvious – QUALITY matters when building a Content Upgrade.
The word “upgrade” should be a dead giveaway.
If you’re concerned about spending a bunch of money on quality, don’t be! A high-quality Content Upgrade can be done very affordably and STILL look and be amazing.
With the content and format ready to go, all that’s left is to design the actual look of your Content Upgrade. If you’ve got design skills, then you’re set!
However, if design isn’t one of your strong suits, the internet is a wonderful place to connect with awesome creatives who are ready, willing, and able to hook you up.
Sites like Upwork, Freelancer.com, Fiverr, or 99Designs are great places to get design work done at very competitive rates.
Your Content Upgrade needs to look and feel professional, so don’t be afraid of hiring a professional to help you out.
Now – how do you get it to your readers?
Continue to Step Four to find out!
Step Four – Remove Friction and Give Your Content Upgrade Away
Downloading your Content Upgrade should be the easiest thing in the world for your readers. It should be a complete no-brainer and require as little effort on their part as possible, this is accomplished by you removing as much friction as possible.
The call to action should be clear and concise – here’s the Content Upgrade, *briefly* here’s why it’s awesome, here’s where you put in your email address, and…
Here’s how that might look from a post on optinmonster.com’s blog:
There are all kinds of tools out there that will allow you to easily integrate the Content Upgrade giveaway onto your site and into your blog post.
If you’re using ConvertKit or LeadPages, they have simple integrations to make that work. Or MailChimp or Aweber are also options.
Having multiple locations that offer the Content Upgrade is also a good idea. However, you shouldn’t have DOWNLOAD HERE spammed throughout your post:)
That post from optinmonster.com that we mentioned above did a good job of this. They had a CTA toward the beginning (after the intro), and then they had another CTA at the bottom of the post.
Having an unobtrusive sidebar call to action, a call to action somewhere in the middle, and one at the end of the post is about all you need.
And now, we’ve made it to the best part…
Step Five – Blow Up Your Email Sub Numbers!
A high-traffic blog post is not complete without a Content Upgrade.
If you’re looking to grow your email list and increase your lead generation through your blog, these five steps for creating a Content Upgrade Lead Magnets NEED to be on your to-do list.
And remember – a Content Upgrade needs to be a serious upgrade – not just a bunch of general information. It must be a micro-solution that meets a need and gets your audience closer to the solution to your reader’s problem.
Step Six – Nailing the Follow-Up
Got to give another shout-out to Val Geisler for her awesome post on this tactic. Val gets into a lot more detail on what your follow-up strategy should be AFTER you’ve implemented your Content Upgrade.
The scope of this guide here is focussing on lead generation for a specific blog post. Instead of getting too far into the weeds, we want to give you an idea of the potential options you have in the future as your blog grows.
For instance, Val talks about how you need to keep track of which people opted into your list through which Content Upgrade Lead Magnet. Then you need to continue to engage with those people about that topic.
For instance, if you had a Content Upgrade that was about keeping your yard looking green, you should follow-up with the people who got that Content Upgrade on the topic of keeping their lawn looking green. Don’t just send them your normal emails. They’ve already told you exactly the type of stuff in which they’re interested. Give them more of that!
You can put in options for them to check out more of your content on other topics as well, but the bulk of your interaction with them should center on the Content Upgrade topic that with which they first engaged.
It’s solid gold so be sure to check out that article for more in-depth training on how to do Content Upgrades right!
Chapter Five – Add These Three Conversion Paths to Increase Your Sales
No two leads are exactly the same.
So why do we try to have a one-size-fits-all approach to lead generation?
It just doesn’t make sense!
Which is why in this chapter, we are going to cover three different ways to approach lead generation through your blog posts. This method takes into account the inherent differences in your readers and provides unique ways for you to engage on their level.
When it comes to your blog readers, one size DOES NOT fit all.
Grab our free lead generation cheat sheet for your blog by clicking here.
But before we get to that – what is a conversion path?
The concept is VERY simple.
HubSpot defines a conversion path as:
“The process by which an anonymous website visitor becomes a known lead.”
It’s that simple.
Imagine you have a lemonade stand on one side of a park. All your potential customers are on the other side of the park. A lot of the time, online businesses like to pretend that there is only one path between their potential customers and their lemonade stand.
But that’s just not true!
There are multiple different ways (paths) for that potential customer to get from where they are to where you are. And the path they take depends on a host of different factors.
The smart lemonade stand owner will realize this and do their best to reduce any and all friction in every path.
But what do those paths look like when we’re talking about a business blog (instead of a lemonade stand)?
Glad you asked! Because in this chapter, we’ll be tackling three different conversion paths that you can use on your blog to increase your conversions and sales right now.
The Elements That Make Up Every Conversion Path
Conversion paths take different routes. However, they all contain the same elements.
- Stellar content
- An engaging call-to-action
- A tested landing page
- An optimized “thank-you” page
Let’s do this!
Conversion Path Number One – Passive – Avoiding Pain
The first kind of lead we are going to talk about is the person who needs your service desperately but isn’t going to do anything about it.
Even though your PERFECT SOLUTION is staring them right in the face.
This is a passive lead who isn’t motivated to respond to your calls to action because they put things off.
But how do you convert this person into a sale? By showing them how your service will help them avoid future pain!
So the conversion path you lay out for them has to be about acting NOW to avoid pain LATER.
One company that’s doing a great job of this right now is ForHims.com. The content around their anti-hair loss products is ALL about doing something about hair loss before it’s too late.
Their content is for the passive buyer, and seeks to create a “fear of the unknown.”
And this fear of what horrible things will happen – if they don’t act now – becomes a powerful motivating force.
To demonstrate just how powerful this is, let’s go back to our example from Chapter One – where you own a pet grooming company, and you need to create more leads.
For example, many people try pet grooming themselves and fail miserably at it because they are afraid they will injure their dog or cat. THEN THEY DO!
So what if someone was grooming their dog and cut them so badly they had to take them to the vet for medical treatment?
Here are a few points to cover:
- How would they live with themselves?
- What would the vet think of them?
- What would other people say if their dog was limping?
- How would they explain this?
- How would they handle the guilt?
“WHAT IF” becomes a powerful question that can be answered by an engaging call to action like “Don’t let this happen to you!”
Hoping to avoid this pain – by taking a small action – is what leads the passive customer to the next logical step of grabbing your content upgrade.
They know they have a problem.
It’s probably nagging at the back of their minds.
By offering them an awesome micro-solution that will alleviate some of that nagging, you can make them feel better and develop trust at the same time.
In this case, your content upgrade could be, “10 Ways You Can Be a Better Pet Parent Starting Today!”
Of course, one of the recommendations is to get a good groomer, so they don’t hurt their pet!
Now, let’s look at how to convert two other types of LEADS into SALES….
Conversion Path Number Two – Aggressive – Solving the Problem
If you already have the answer to someone’s problem (which you do), you can help them solve their problem with an aggressive sales approach. An aggressive sales approach works for someone who already has a problem and needs to solve it now!
For this example, we’ll use the pool maintenance company. But this time, we’ll use the trigger from Chapter Two:
“My Pool is Dark Green; I Need a Solution Fast!”
This is for a person who needs your service today, so they are ready to buy, as long as you can solve their problem.
So your content for this customer will be all about PROBLEM-SOLVING NOW.
Start by asking them some questions, using your product benefits to answer them. But remember, your customer and their problem will be the focus of your content.
Although much like the passive buyer, we are motivating the person to get the solution you offer and give you their information.
A great example of this is what John Lee Dumas is doing on his site EOFire.com. His audience is made of a lot of aspiring podcasters. Knowing that every podcaster wants to grow their audience, EOFire has an awesome blog post with tips to help you do just that.
But they also offer a micro-solution in exchange for a reader’s contact info:
Notice – it’s FREE, has a large value proposition (15 days!), and looks to answer the reader’s problem (get more listeners to their podcast).
Of course, your product and its benefits have all the answers, but first, you have to empathize.
Let your customer know:
- Many people (just like you) have a green pool when they maintain it themselves.
- Most people just need a little help to isolate the problem.
- Once the cause of the green water is isolated, this is an easy fix for an expert.
In the case of pool maintenance, what you want to let the person know is that ANYONE can have a green pool. It’s the CAUSE of the green pool that you can figure out quickly and solve.
Now that you’ve solved the problem, the next logical step is for your reader to grab the content upgrade.
Now – you can (and should) have multiple calls to action that point readers to your problem-solving lead magnet — one for the passive readers and one for the aggressive readers.
How do these CTAs differ?
Your CTA for the aggressive crowd should be at the bottom of your blog post. That’s where they’ll go because they’re in a hurry and want the answer ASAP.
Here are some aggressive CTA examples:
Notice how each is offering to solve the problem right now!
Here are some passive CTA examples:
Notice how these are creating that fear of the unknown and offering readers a way to avoid future pain via acting right now.
Now that we’ve covered those 2, there is one more kind of conversion path to deal with…
Conversion Path Number Three – Skim Trail
Some people who find your blog will go ahead and buy your product if you just lay it out for them quickly.
I call this a skim trail and it works best for people who make decisions quickly by skimming over your content. Skimmers are trying to get a feel for whether or not they should invest in reading your solution.
Until they find buzzwords that pinpoint their problem.
If they don’t find the answer immediately, the skimmer moves on.
Leaving a Skim Trail
A skim trail is content made up of a series of images and captions for a skimmer that breaks down the problem, or agitation, and offers a micro-solution.
The original example of a skim trail is the old Burma Shave signs from the 1920-1960s. These were teaser signs placed along the highway so that when someone was driving, the signs spelled out a riddle.
But you had to pay attention to all the signs, or you miss the joke at the end.
A skim trail in a blog, to convert viewers into leads, works in the same way. To illustrate this, let’s go back to the green pool example again.
A skimmer likes to see bullet points, informational images, and lots of white space.
This is what makes them opt-in to your list and grab your lead magnet!
Make sure to hit on all the words they need to see at a glance. They will accept you as the authority and sign right up for your service!
Chapter Six – How to Track Your Efforts Implementing Our Lead Generation Strategies
Now that you have everything in place to start generating some substantial leads, you will need to set some measurable conversion goals.
But first, what’s a conversion goal? And more importantly, what’s a conversion?
Let’s start with this:
A lot of people will (hopefully) visit your website, and we are interested in all of them. But more importantly, we are interested in what appeals to them about your content.
But the more we know about what they do on your website, the more we will know about what THEY LIKE. Then, we can turn more VISITORS into CONVERSIONS.
Don’t go any further in our guide without grabbing the free companion cheat sheet.
And a conversion is simply a person who came to your website and completed an action you wanted them to do:
Like fill out a contact form or download your upgraded content.
So let’s make a list of the things we want to know about someone who visits your website:
- Where did they come from?
- What page did they land on?
- Did they click on any calls to action?
- Did they fill out a contact form?
- Did they download your upgraded content?
Those are the basics if you want to know what your conversion rate is. Some marketing people talk about bounce rates, session duration, or the number of page views.
Those are important too, and also things you can track.
It’s absolutely critical to measure the leads you generate from your new content; this is the main thing that you should be tracking. It will give you direction and help you spend your time most effectively.
Then you can duplicate this success to optimize every page and get the most leads possible!
Doesn’t that sound more like what you want? Of course!
So how do we do this?
We do this through Google Analytics and Facebook Ad Manager, which already have the tools you need to set conversion goals that will get you more qualified leads.
Step One – Set up Goals in Google Analytics
Setting up conversion goals on Google analytics is absolutely crucial to determining if the traffic visiting your website is effectively getting converted into leads!
There are three steps to set up Google Analytics:
Step 1: Fill out the information for your new account.
Step 2: Allow for your information to be shared. (You will need this for Google Benchmarking later.)
Step 3: Install the Google Analytics tracking code on each page of your website. (This will be a different process depending on what type of blog you have.)
Now you are ready to start setting conversion goals!
Go to the Admin tab and click on “Goals” at the bottom right:
Click on Goals.
Click on “New Goal.”
Select “Custom” goal.
Name your Goal Description, check destination, and click continue.
Now you will choose the page you want Google Analytics to track. In this case, we are choosing the customized “Thank You” page so that we can track how many people responded to your offer of upgraded information or filled out a contact form.
Since this page will automatically be visited by anyone who downloaded the content upgrade, it’s a great measurement of how you’re doing.
Now you can check the reports to see how your conversion goals are going. You can also customize any of the reports!
Step Two – Set up Custom Audiences on Facebook Ad Manager
Many people take out Facebook ads and then don’t realize there is much more value to them than just customizing who sees them!
Once you’ve set up your Facebook Custom Audiences, you can easily track how fast the list grows, which will help you know if you’re on the right track.
Tracking growth opens up endless possibilities.
It’s pure genius in the way it works to get you very detailed information.
Because Facebook will generate information on their activity on Facebook.
They can even generate a custom audience from visitors to your website when you install Facebook Pixel.
A custom audience is the best way to make sure that people who take action on your website also see your Facebook ads.
Then you get information on their actions.
To create a custom audience of your own, go to the Facebook Audiences page in Ads Manager.
Then Click on Create Audience.
Click on custom audience.
Then Click on website traffic.
- Select “ANY”.
- Select “PEOPLE WHO VISITED SPECIFIC PAGES”.
- Determine how long you want Facebook to track the prospect. Thirty days is the default. Which is fine for now depending on your selling cycle.
- Enter the URL of your thank you page. Anyone hitting it will be a lead.
- Name your audience.
- Click “CREATE AUDIENCE”.
Now, let’s talk about how you can use this information and why it is important.
Step #3 – Determine Your Key Performance Indicators
Your key performance indicators are the performance metrics that have the most impact on your website’s success.
In other words, what is working on getting you the MOST leads with the LEAST effort!
So ask yourself: Why are people leaving their information or requesting more information from me???
Using Google Analytics you can answer this question!
So here are a few metrics to focus on to maximize the ROI (return on investment) of your website:
- New Visitors from Referral Traffic
Google Analytics tracks your referral traffic for you, which is why it is so important to have it. (Referral traffic means visitors from outside Google’s search engine.)
You can get it from social media posts you make, hyperlinks from other web pages, or Facebook Ads. (See how it is all starting to come together?)
Knowing where new traffic comes from is key to generating new leads.
- Return Visitors from Referral Traffic
Google Analytics can’t tell you about return visitors, but Facebook can by looking at Facebook Custom Audience. So there are two parts to what Google and Facebook can tell you about your key performance indicators.
Google Analytics can tell you how many visitors you are getting from Facebook. Then Facebook can tell you how many people are return visitors when you place your Facebook ads.
Custom Audience will make placing Facebook Ads one of the biggest lead generation tools you have at your disposal!
- Conversions from Referral Traffic
Google Analytics can also tell you how many viewers from other sources are opting-in to your list or downloading your upgraded content.
You do this by setting up a goal of how many people are going to a specific “Thank You” page on your website with Google Analytics (as we talked about earlier).
Pro Tip: Have a different customized thank you page for every landing page. This way, you can track their success individually through Google Analytics.
- Growth of Your Custom Audience on Facebook Ads
In order to grow your custom audience, obviously, you will need to engage more people in your ads. You can do this by choosing to reach a larger audience, but there are other ways to do this as well.
- Focus the audience demographics of your customer avatar
- Use your golden list of trigger event keywords in the headline
- Take advantage of Facebook Audience Insights
Facebook Audience Insights gives you an incredible understanding of your target audience, which means your ROI for Facebook Ads will go through the roof!
Step Four – Define Your Key Metrics to Watch
Now, with everything you know about tracking your lead generation efforts and setting conversion goals, it’s time to set the key performance indicators you want to watch!
Here’s a list to get you started:
- The conversion rate for call-to-action content
- Number of qualified leads
- Monthly website traffic
- Custom audience list size on Facebook
You must build these metrics so you can truly evaluate your goals and know when you have reached them!
Chapter Seven – How to Scale Our Lead Generation Strategies to the Rest of Your Blog
Now that you’ve learned about lead generation strategies and how you should be implementing them on an existing blog post in order to boost the number of leads it produces, you may be wondering how to scale those efforts to the rest of your blog.
You’re in luck!
This chapter will wipe away any remaining questions that you have regarding scaling your efforts to the rest of your blog.
In the meantime, you should download our free Lead Generation Cheat Sheet for Your Blog.
By the end of this chapter, you’ll know:
- What steps you should be taking when it comes to scaling your advertising
- How to test your messaging on ads and different audiences
- How to create new content for the benefit/problems
- The benefits to benchmarking your efforts
Let’s dive in.
Step 1: Optimize Your Posts
Let’s be honest; if you’re not incorporating SEO and optimization into each (or at least most of) your blog posts, you’re not reaching your full potential when it comes to readers trafficking your site.
So, the first step to scaling your efforts to the rest of your blog is to go back to your benefit/problem list from Chapter One and find content on your blog that is related to the rest of the benefits/problems.
Take each post and optimize them for conversions as you did on the first post. You’ll follow all the same steps, but just as a reminder, use Ahrefs to pinpoint the Parent Topics and to establish which keywords are related to a triggering event.
Once you’ve established the keywords and the Parent Topic, work to incorporate those words and phrases into your blog posts in order to optimize your posts.
You also want to be on the lookout for blog posts that are easily upgradeable. This way, you can quickly add a nice content upgrade along with a strong CTA towards the end of the blog post.
As we learned earlier, having a content upgrade available for free download is a quick, easy, and beneficial way to gain a new subscriber.
Step 2: Create Custom Audiences for Content Upgrades
Now that you’ve optimized the rest of your blog posts, if you haven’t already, go through and find a few posts to upgrade.
By including content upgrades to a few of your posts, you are giving your audience more information and a chance to interact with you on a deeper level (like subscribing to your blog).
Once you’ve created a few content upgrades, you’ll want to create a custom audience using Facebook Pixel for each content upgrade on your blog.
Utilizing Facebook Pixel will help you to target new readers by piquing their interest using the content upgrade.
If they have yet to visit your blog, but they see an ad with one of your content upgrades, and it directly benefits them, they’re more likely to:
- download the content upgrade,
- subscribe to your email list,
- or read additional blog posts on your site.
You can also use Facebook Pixel to target potential subscribers who have yet to visit your “thank you” page URL – this means people that have trafficked your site but have yet to subscribe or make a purchase.
The more they see your name and blog posts around, the more likely they are to take, eventually, take the bait and become your newest subscriber.
Step 3: Benchmark Your Efforts
After you’ve optimized your blog posts and created custom audiences for your content upgrades, it’s time to benchmark your efforts.
Don’t get too comfortable watching the results, though.
When you’re working hard to drive traffic to your blog, it’s imperative to monitor what’s working and what’s not – and be sure to document all of this.
Having an acute awareness of how you’re doing and which methods are working the most effective is the best way to scale your blog quickly. Always be open and willing to abandon ship when something isn’t working and pivot directions.
As you develop content and ads, you’ll begin to see what type of content tends to work best for your specific brand and audience. Having a willingness to adjust and make changes when you see that something isn’t working will only help you to scale more quickly.
Remember, these lead generation strategies are a marathon, not a sprint.
Step 4: Keep Your Scale Ads
Speaking of pivoting if something isn’t working, the reverse is true if something is working.
The ads that are running and doing well (i.e., the ones with the highest conversion rates and ROI), are the ones that you should be putting your money towards.
In the same way that you want to change, quickly, tactics if something isn’t working, you also need to be willing to put more emphasis on the ads that are working. You can also use those ads as a reference point for future ads.
The more time and money that you pour into ads that are driving traffic to your blog, the more quickly you’ll scale.
Step 5: Test Your Messaging with Different Audiences
Who’s to say that the same marketing tactic will work on all of your audiences?
One of the greatest things about selecting a target audience is that you can revise your messaging for each audience depending on their specific benefits or problems.
Continuing with the earlier example of dog grooming, a millennial dog owner might respond differently than an elderly dog owner to your ad.
You should adjust your messaging to bring both customers to your dog grooming blog post.
Having a product that is easily applicable to a variety of customers or readers is excellent because it grants you the opportunity to get creative in your marketing.
How can you show both a 22-year-old female and a 60-year-old man that they should have their dogs professionally groomed?
It makes sense that different messaging would appeal to each of them, but the product and result remain the same.
Again, always have a willingness to adjust and make changes when you see that something isn’t scaling as much or as quickly as you had hoped.
Step 6: Test Different CTA and Different Content Upgrades
Another way to scale your efforts to the rest of your blog is by testing different call-to-actions.
Play around with both aggressive and passive CTA’s to see which ones are attracting the most results. As with any market testing, always be prepared to pivot and make changes when needed and to focus harder on the tactics that are offering you the greatest ROI.
Similarly, use your content upgrades to discover what your audience does or does not respond to by way of advertising.
If you find that placing your content upgrade download in a particular spot on your page, or is reaching a certain audience list, lean into that and explore it further. Whereas, if you’re finding that there’s a certain audience that your content upgrades are not resonating with, take it as a message that you need to make a few changes and try again.
Step 7: Create New Content for the Benefit/Problems List
Last but not least, rinse and repeat.
Scaling and optimizing your blog is an ever-changing, ever-growing process. There will always be room for improvement, and there will always be a need for new content.
The good news is that it does get easier with time. Now that you’ve established a benefit/problems list, you can begin to work on specializing your new content to directly correlate with that list in order to optimize and drive traffic to your blog.
Ultimately, running a blog and optimizing a blog is all about the process. Eventually, you’ll have an understanding of your audience and your benefit/problems and optimizing will begin to feel like second nature.
But, even then, it’s always a good idea to mix things up from time to time in order to keep both you and your audience engaged!
So there you have it – our definitive guide on lead generation strategies for your blog that actually work! If you haven’t downloaded the companion cheat sheet to this guide you can do so by clicking here.
What’d you think? We would love to hear your comments or questions.