Increasing ROI on your blog

Digital Marketing By Rhys Little, 21st March 2014

There’s little doubt that inbound marketing is the way forward for most businesses. Gone are the days of hassling large groups of potential customers until some of them decide to buy something – now it’s all about bringing people to you. You’ll probably already know that providing something of value is the best way to achieve this, with quality content likely to be top of your agenda.

So it’s easy to see how significantly a regularly updated blog can boost traffic to your website, but your end goal should really involve them buying something while they’re there. Your return on investment (ROI) must be substantial to warrant the time, effort and money you’re putting in. With this in mind, here are a few tips…

Use the power of social media

Social media can put your business in front of a huge audience and it doesn’t have to cost a thing. Without even going into advertising, it’s the perfect outlet for you to distribute your blog posts and get your brand name in front of more people. That said, you’ll need to use it efficiently to set yourself aside from the competition. To make the most of sites like Facebook – and their millions of users – make sure the pieces you publish are shareable. Of course, you’ll need a base following to begin with but once the piece is out there, there’s no telling how far it’ll go.

Link your posts

When you’re writing a piece or devising a brief, think about which products the target audience members are likely to want to buy and make it easy for them to do so. Focus on relevance – for example, if your business sells mountaineering equipment, you could publish an article on the best navigation tools, hyperlinking the products’ names as you go along. Just be sure to remain informative and avoid turning it into promotional web copy. Inserting links to other useful websites (non-competitors) will also help to boost the reader’s trust, which leads us neatly onto the next point.

Don’t forget existing customers

While direct emails aren’t always a business’s first thought when it comes to getting content out there, they are extremely effective – especially for targeting those who’ve already bought products. Use the purchase history data you have to distribute posts to those you think will benefit from them most. Whether it’s the product links or the carefully selected and positioned advertisements on the page itself, there’s every chance the returning reader will see something they like.

Embrace product-based content

Quality content is all about providing something of value, so taking an obvious sales approach probably won’t win you too many customers. That said, there’s no reason you can’t cover certain products on your blog. You’re not going to sell much if you slate them so brutally honest reviews may be best avoided but profiling a brand or an item that you work with or supply can help to give your target audience a useful introduction. This should also give you the chance to naturally insert product-specific keywords – something consumers are becoming increasingly likely to use in search engine queries.

It wasn’t long ago that a blog could be seen as a differentiator. Now, however, having one is all but essential, which means businesses must do more to ensure theirs produce some noticeable results. The tips above should certainly help you on the way to success.