We’ve written before about how blogging is a good lead generation tool, and it definitely is. But you also need to look at this chart:
That’s the amount of content posted on WordPress from 2006 until May 2015. In May 2015, it was up to 58 million posts per month — that’s almost 2 million per day. The latest numbers? About 70 million posts per month, or over 2 million a day. WordPress is very popular, but there are also other blogging and back-end sites for company websites. All in all, there are millions upon millions of blogs, articles, and more (the big bucket of “content”) posted every day. How exactly is blogging going to be a lead generation tool, then?
One flaw that people make on blogging and content in general
When an organization is trying to sell via blogging or other content, oftentimes they make two big mistakes:
- Every piece of content is about their solution, which means the content can feel like a sales pitch.
- They publish a lot of success stories, i.e. case studies and more, about how great everything they do is.
Now, on the surface, case studies are a good idea. You should have them. You should have them across different industries too, because a guy who works in SaaS and a guy that sells vacuums want to read case studies that reflect their industry and their concerns. So, diversified case studies is a good thing.
But when you are all rah-rah-rah and we-are-the-best on everything you produce, some more things tend to happen:
- People ignore you or tune you out
- You are no longer “creating the demand”
What does “creating the demand” mean?
Think of it this way: Almost everyone that works, i.e. any prospect or buyer, has a boss. (Not everyone, but damn near close to everyone.) Most people are looking to solve a problem that their boss has presented to them. That’s it. In many ways, that’s all work really is: Here’s a problem, you go find a solution. That’s definitely how the middle to high-middle ranks of a company spend most of their time.
(We actually once had a sales call where the guy kept saying “My boss is all over me about this and I need a solution now!” Pretty easy sell there.)
To “create the demand” with content, then, you need articles, blogs, and more — yes, even Instagram posts and whatnot — about the problems that you can solve. Focus the content on the problem, and put the potential solutions in one section. Mention the problem in the headline and SEO headline (name). Keyword it as best you can. You want people finding you for the problems. That seems stupid, but it’s not. People are searching for the problems they’re experiencing and hoping solutions will be within those results. Over 50 percent of Google searches, per research, are in a question form, i.e. “How do I do this?” or “What does this mean?” People have questions and want answers. That’s what search is, basically.
You create the demand by being good at being there when they come looking for more on a problem. Hubspot is great at this for marketing. Many marketing questions that one might Google, the top result is Hubspot content. Wikipedia is great for dates and info about people. These become sources you keep going back to.
That’s what you want to be for your space — people need to know that when they have a problem, you have content around a solution.
And yes, case studies are a part of that. But always promoting yourself gets you ignored and questioned as a legit source. Solving problems gets you customers and referrals. Which one do you want?