Sunday, May 28, 2017

Blogs Top Choice for Lead Generation

Search Engine Journal asked 230 marketers which content attracted the most leads.

Their top choice: blogs.

Four in 10 marketers (41%) named blogs the best content for lead generation (their second choice was white papers (14%)).

If blogs are indeed the best content for lead generation, shouldn't you learn how to blog effectively?

I'd suggest you begin by choosing a form. Two schools of thought prevail:

Long form. Andy Crestodina recommends 1,200 to 1,800 word posts. Google likes long posts, and readers are more apt to share them than they are their short cousins.

Short form. Seth Godin recommends "microcopy," because we live in "the age of the glance."

The choice between the two comes down to your goal:
  • Are you aiming to be perceived as an authority? Then long is your best bet.
  • Are you aiming to bolster awareness? Then short's your best bet.
Whichever form you choose, I'd suggest you next decide on your beat. What subjects should you cover? 

The choice is obviously most influenced by whatever you sell, but should also take into account competitors' and trade publishers' blogs (you want to be distinctive). And you should be able to crystallize your beat readily:
  • We simplify fire-science breakthroughs
  • We go inside SaaS marketing
  • We promote faster LMS adoption
Lastly—whatever beat you choose—learn how to write readable posts.

Every post you write should be succinct, useful, insightful, startling, newsworthy, and entertaining. Every post should aim to change readers' lives; or their preconceptions, anyway. And every post should omit puffery. Save that for sales calls.

If you want to improve your blogging skills in a single day, sit down and read Bill Blunder's The Art and Craft of Feature Writing.
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