Is your IT Consulting blog generating enough highly-qualified leads?

November 20, 2013

Are you getting enough high-quality leads from your IT consulting blog? Learn powerful second-chance strategies to get to the top of search results.

Guest blogger Josh Feinberg from SP HomeRun provides small business tips for IT consultants in his series on lead generating advice.

There are a lot of different reasons why people blog. But in the context of B2B professional services, including IT consulting blogs, blogging usually has an ROI-focused purpose: to attract more readers, to convert a percentage of those readers into leads, and then ultimately close a percentage of those leads into paying clients.

In an earlier guest post that I wrote for Hiscox on 12 ways IT consultants can generate great leads from blogging, I explained the basics of ideal buyer personas, keyword research, optimization, Title selection, formatting, links, calls to action (CTAs), lead qualification, and amplifying your message.

Now all of those dozen blogging best practices are extremely important. But for many new blogs that don’t yet have a lot of authoritative inbound links, it can be challenging to get most blog posts ranking on page one of search results pages for desired, competitive keyword phrases.

So what can mere mortal IT consultants that blog do when they don’t yet have relevant inbound links from lots of authoritative websites? Craft a second chance strategy!

In this article, you’ll be introduced to some content creation techniques you can use to give your important blog messages a chance to make it to page one of search results pages, one way or another:

  1. Re-purpose each post into a SlideShare presentation - Even with realistic keyword selection, that takes into account the competitiveness of your niche and the number of your website’s authoritative inbound links, a significant percentage of blog posts that you write, some that are super-awesome, will never make it to page one of search engine results pages. SEO is extremely competitive and a zero sum gain. To give each blog post concept a second chance to make it to page one, consider re-purposing each blog post into a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation. Then save each as a PDF and upload to SlideShare, using the same basic keyword strategy as the original blog post. Just be sure your presentation ends with a contextually relevant CTA.
  2. Re-purpose each post into a screencast, video, or podcast - Just as you created a presentation from blog post content to expand your reach onto SlideShare, consider adapting the same strategy to video. Regardless of whether you narrate your PowerPoint slides into a simple Camtasia screencast, or do a much more involved multi-camera video shoot, this derivative asset can again give your blog’s thought leadership a second chance to make it to page one of the search engine results pages. And again, make sure that your screencast or video ends with a contextually relevant CTA.
  3. Re-purpose each post into a News Release - It’s the same basic idea. In addition to reaching a different community of users who have an affinity for content in a certain format, turn your best blog posts into news releases that conclude with relevant lead generation CTAs. These news releases give your thought leadership another chance to make it to page one of search results pages, if they didn't make it through to there the first time around.
  4. Re-purpose each post into an Infographic - In the same way that some readers prefer skimming headings and bullet points, or watching videos, rather than reading a blog post, visual content such as an infographic is another way for you to tell your story. And infographics are yet another opportunity to create content with the potential to rank on page one and ultimately drive engaged readers back to a contextually relevant CTA, landing page, form, and offer.
  5. Evaluate metrics, especially closed loop reporting - Many blog for lots of different reasons. For IT consultants looking to generate highly-qualified leads from their blog posts though, there are number of metrics to concentrate on. At the minimum, look at each blog post’s number of views, its CTA click through rate, the number of keywords that each blog post ranks for, and the number of inbound links to that blog post. Also look at which blog posts are especially influential in driving landing page lead generation conversions. In HubSpot for example, you’d get this data from the Page Performance and Conversion Assists reports. And to pinpoint which specific traffic sources ultimately led to Contacts and Customers (Closed Loop Reporting), check the Sources report. I also like to monitor which blog posts get the most clicks and engagement on social media, and which blog posts get the most clicks in newsletters or other related e-mail marketing campaigns.

So if you manage an IT consulting blog that isn’t currently generating enough high-quality leads, first make sure that you have the basic best practices covered. But despite your best efforts, if your website and blog don’t have a lot of relevant, authoritative inbound links, many of your best blog posts simply won’t make it to page one of search engine results pages on their own.

If you’re frustrated because your blog hasn’t been attracting enough visitors, qualified leads, or positive ROI, definitely take these tips and techniques to heart as you plan out your content creation strategy going forward.

Joshua Feinberg is co-founder and CMO of SP Home Run Inc., an IT channel inbound marketing agency that helps find clients, retain clients, and grow by using proven inbound marketing systems. To learn more about how your IT consulting business can attract the right visitors to its website, convert visitors to leads, close sales with new clients, and delight clients for long-term retention, download your free copy of the IT Channel Inbound Marketing Planning Guide.