With more and more customers looking to buy online, digital marketing is becoming increasingly important for businesses. Building an online presence is now an essential cornerstone of generating and capturing digital leads, although there are many ways that organizations can do this: through creating their own website, through improved SEO to boost Google rank, or through social media marketing, for example.
However, perhaps one of the most effective ways to build a strong online presence is through guest posting; creating engaging and relevant content that is then published and shared online by others.
The value of guest posting, for both the content creator and the content publisher, is becoming increasingly apparent. For businesses, guest posting can be a cost-effective way to expand reach and target new demographics. For blog owners, publishing ‘outside’ content can help boost credibility.
At a time when there is a growing awareness of the importance of online trust, blog owners are finding that by sharing different perspectives and ideas from businesses, and by publishing a wide range of topics written by multiple authors, they are able to be viewed as more trustworthy by their readers. The mutual benefits of guest posting have helped to rocket this lead capture method to the forefront of many digital marketing campaigns.
But how can businesses get the most value from guest posting?
Where to Link
Knowing where to link is one of the first and most important aspects to take into consideration if you want to capture quality leads through your content. However, this can be trickier than it sounds. That’s because you need to think about not only what your own customers are looking for, but what each potential blog’s readership is looking for, too. There needs to be some sort of overlap between the two.
It is important to take some time to research blogs that are relevant to your industry, to your products and services, and to the interests of your customers, which means that you’ll benefit from undertaking target audience analysis as well. Generate some possible ideas, and consider how these ideas could be molded so that they overlap both audiences and incorporate aspects that appeal to both groups.
But it’s not quite as simple as finding a relevant blog and posting your content. There’s another level of complexity here, and that’s getting your foot in the right doors, at the right times. If you don’t already know how to write a perfect guest post pitch then now is the time to learn. Even if you know where to link, you may not have the opportunity to do so unless you really wow blog owners with your pitch.
How to Link
Once you know where to link, it’s time to think about how to link.
Some of this may be dictated by the blog owner, who will most likely have their own guidelines on how many links of a certain type (eg. promotional links) you can place within your content. However, even if there are no link limitations, it’s best to avoid spammy practices such as link stuffing. That’s because Google’s algorithms take these ‘black hat’ practices into account, and you may be penalized. For example, in terms of the Google ranking and visibility of your post, it is better to have 1 link from 10 different blogs than 10 links coming from 1 blog.
There are a few other considerations in terms of the how. Firstly, anchor text. Anchor text is the phrase you use for your link, and it can make a big difference to clickthrough rate.
Before deciding on anchor text, it’s a good idea to conduct a thorough keyword analysis, ensuring that your anchor text is relevant to the keywords and phrases that your audience (and the blog’s audience) are searching for. One of the many tools that can help you with that is Ahrefs. This text also needs to be persuasive, encouraging readers to click the link and successfully capturing these leads.
Secondly, what type of link are you going to use? When guest posting, you may be able to link either through text, or through an image included within your article. While linked images can be beneficial, especially for businesses operating within highly creative industries, research continues to show that text links perform better, so if you want to capture leads from your content, text may be the better option.
What to Post
The where and the how are really only the beginning of understanding how to capture leads with content. The what is actually one of the biggest obstacles that can stand in the way of success.
The majority of marketers cite content creation as the biggest challenge they face, whether that’s creating more engaging content, understanding what type of content works, generating visual content like infographics, or finding ways to recycle content that has performed well in the past. So how can businesses create great content for guest posting that will capture leads?
Here are some good tips:
- Make it evergreen; non-topical content that readers can benefit from at any time
- Make it shareable; content that readers actively want to re-post to their own followers
- Make it optimized; SEO-friendly content that is highly visible through search engines
- Make it readable; avoid keyword stuffing, focusing more on reader engagement
- Make it incomplete; don’t give everything away… make readers want to click to find out more
So you’ve considered the where, the how, and the what and you’ve successfully used the guest posting method of digital marketing to capture leads through your content. Great! But what now? Digital marketing doesn’t end with lead capture. After all, what’s the point in capturing leads if you don’t do anything with them? And that’s a question we need to be asking: what do we do with these leads?
This is where the importance of on-site marketing can really be seen. If you’re going to bring audiences from one website to another, you need to ensure that this new site has something that’s worth their time. On-site marketing is how we successfully convert these leads into a loyal, paying customer base.
Ensure that there is some degree of consistency between where your audience has been, and where your link has taken them. This means taking the time to work on landing page optimization, and making sure there is a clear, streamlined journey that your leads can take towards conversion. Guest posting alone is not enough to drive more sales; it is an approach that must be combined with on-site marketing.
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