Using your HR blog as a lighthouse for new clients
Tim Cameron-Kitchen, head ninja at Exposure Ninja
If you’re searching for your dream customer or to dramatically increase your sales pipeline, you’ve got more chance of finding success from your blog than your latest advertisement.
Put simply, blogging is a more productive way to generate leads. It’s a simple activity we often suggest to our clients as opposed to a full-scale campaign.
Blogging doesn’t require you to spend hours cold calling prospective clients or brainstorming flashy ads. Instead, your company blog can become the single-most effective resource for sales by continually providing your target audience with advice, information and even entertainment.
Despite this, for most HR businesses, their blog is an unloved corner of their website stuffed with “news” about promotions and awards.
They might have dabbled in some blog writing, but have usually had little traction and promptly gave up, discouraged. These businesses are often surprised to learn that, actually, their blog can be one of their main sources of website traffic and new clients!
When done right, your blog can get new visitors onto your website and also act as a soft sell to prospective clients. It’s like an evergreen advertisement that doesn’t require a team of salespeople or creative geniuses to keep reinventing the wheel.
In this article, we’ll outline some common mistakes and basic fixes for your blog before showing you the type of results you could enjoy after spending some time sprucing up your HR blog.
4 reasons why your blog isn’t generating leads
Just because you have a blog doesn’t mean your quest into blogging will be successful. As we said, most HR businesses dismiss blogging as a viable opportunity when their first attempts don’t result in immediate success.
These businesses often make four common mistakes that turn their blog into a pointless commentary, rather than an effective sales tool.
To create a successful blog, you’ll need to steer well clear of this list of common mistakes:
- Always talking about you — While people might want to hear about major company updates — take brand mergers and changes in your policies as an example — they’re less likely to be interested in a story about a local awards ceremony or how your latest staff member has risen the internal ranks. Remember that we’re all busier than ever, and your audience’s attention spans are disappearing rapidly. So imagine that every visitor to your website or social pages is constantly asking one question: “what’s in it for me?” Every post you write should have a compelling answer to this question; either you’re entertaining or informing, but never boring.
- Providing no value or direction — In the same vein, you’ll want to make sure your “news” stories have a point. Why are they beneficial for your customers to read? What’s the next step a reader should take? Blogs without a clear call to action — an instruction of where to go or what to do next — are about as useful as fairy tales. So add a downloadable checklist or offer a next step consultation. The more enticing you make your next step, the more likely the visitor is to do the thing you want them to do.
- Publishing clumps of un-optimised text — Think about whether the latest blog you uploaded is appealing to read. Is the text formatted well? Are there any supporting pictures and videos? Do you use bullet points to sum up key points? Even if what you’re writing is of a high-standard, clumps of un-optimised text will often lead loyal readers astray. Remember that a growing portion of your audience will be reading from their phones, possibly whilst on the train, in an Uber or even sitting on the toilet. The most successful publications use short sentences, clear enticing sub-headlines and snappy takeaways.
- Have no clear theme — Just as a self-promotional blog proves to be irrelevant to readers, so will a blog with no clear theme or purpose. A blog is a bit more complex than a journal and shouldn’t consist of random thoughts. Try to centre your blog around topics your audience is actively interested in.
How to fix your blog (and make more sales)
The good news is, it won’t take long to fix your blog if you guiltily nodded to every item on the tick list above.
Essentially, you’ll need to reverse all four of the common mistakes to make a successful strategy for your business blog.
Let us explain:
- Talk about your customer’s pain points — Refrain from talking too much about your firm’s success and instead chat about solutions. This focus gives your blogs a greater chance of being seen by people searching for an answer to a question or trying to solve that problem. When they type a problem into Google, your blog can appear. If you’ve chosen your blog topics to match the problems that your potential clients have at the moment, your blog posts can bring these visitors onto your site.
- Always provide the next step — Decide on the purpose of each blog before you write it to make sure you can guide your prospective clients to contact you. For example, you might decide to write a blog on a topic you’ve created a downloadable or an ebook for. This next step will help to get your audience signed on to your mailing list, simultaneously providing value to the reader and you.
- Make the text readable — Although we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, our reading habits are often led by how visually pleasing a resource is to the eye. The same goes for your blog. Try to write paragraphs no longer than three to four sentences in a bid to keep your audience’s attention — even when you’re explaining complex topics.
- Plan content ahead of time — To keep a consistent theme that will keep readers engaged, it’s a good idea to decide on a content theme — a topic you’ll cover over a period of time. For an HR blog, this theme might revolve around onboarding or employee engagement.
Remember, blogging is much more than simply sharing your company's latest updates and promotional offers. Readers are much more concerned with valuable content that will build trust and affinity with your brand.
Spending time on your blog will make this hub a business asset that can provide you with prospective clients that have already warmed to you making the sales process much smoother.
Cameron-Kitchen is a digital marketing author and head ninja at Exposure Ninja. His goal is to help business owners to capitalise on the untapped potential of their websites and grow their businesses using free and paid traffic. Exposure Ninja offer free website reviews
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