One aspect of marketing that I have always wanted to improve at is bridging the gap between a company blog, blog posts, and the sales/lead pipeline.
I have always believed in the power of content, especially from an SEO organic traffic generation mindset but I have often failed to create processes that engage blog visitors, opt-them-in, and build a strong connection between content and other marketing and sales avenues.
Barrier 1: Blog Subscriber Forms
The classic example of this is putting time and effort into a company blog but not offering a subscriber signup/popup for lead form. I have been guilty of this for 10 years at my last company, GroupHigh, as well as for the first year and a half at FeedOtter. Why is adding that simple signup form so difficult? A couple theories:
- Our marketing tools make good looking forms a pain
- Many marketers (myself included) don’t like popup or takeover forms
- We write it off as “not that important” and plan to return to it when we’re less busy
For me it has always been a combination of 1 & 2. Sure, I have used tools like OptinMonster on occasion but for some reason it has never stuck whether for cost or aesthetic reasons. Maybe I just feel guilty knowing I should just wire up my own form and get it done!
Barrier 2: Emailing your company blog posts
While capturing blog subscribers is one barrier to capturing additional marketing value from your blog efforts, emailing them is another. After all, who wants to get another boring blog post in their inbox? Won’t sending dry blog posts kill my mailable prospect count?
Perhaps. I have struggled with this aspect of content marketing as well and I founded a company that helps other companies email their blog posts! The truth is at my last company, we rarely emailed blog posts. As the head of marketing it was something I always wanted more of but my team resisted. The time spent composing and personalizing emails is intense. When you put out 3+ blog posts per week that is a lot of time. It is why every email newsletter I have been a part of in my career has fizzled out after 2-3 issues.
The other reason is self-doubt. Secretly, deep-down do I know that my content isn’t good enough? That it isn’t valuable enough to email? I know that it isn’t targeted to my audience perfectly, it’s too general, it’s not written in the right style, etc…
While I continue to struggle with these questions in my own marketing life I can relay stories from several companies that have nailed it.
Clinicient, they have a targeted audience, technical in nature, and they only produce content on technical or industry topics that their entire sales/marketing/website audience can relate to.
ProFarmer is subscription-based and prides itself on bringing trusted news, analysis, and marketing advice through its newsletters to farmers and agribusiness leaders across the United States and Canada.
Orbit Media has always been one of my favorite blogs as well. Always technical and always targeted to their specific audience with good, unique emails to push their content. After 15 years of keeping up a company blog, they’ve been able to evolve and remain relevant in a way we could all learn from.
What’s their secret? Possibly having the manpower or the confidence in knowing their audience and knowing their content is something their audience will be interested in. Maybe it’s the ability to automate these blog newsletter sends that takes the pressure off and provides more time for signup forms and curating content.
Bridging the gap between company blog and sales/leads pipeline and engaging blog subscribers will always be a topic of interest in my mind. As I still struggle with these questions, and maybe you are too, we can at least follow examples from these great bloggers mentioned.
Orbit Media blog