Blogging is a surefire way to attract potential clients and convert them into leads.
And I’m sure you know this already.
But what you may not know is that creating just this one content type actually reduces your chances for making the sale.
Here, let me explain.
Blog posts have become the staple of content marketing.
However, they have little ability to convert prospects into clients.
Blog posts attract mostly prospects who are in the early stages of the buying cycle. These people might still be trying to make sense of their website’s performance. Or they look for more information about what SEO could do for them.
And even if they decide to hire an SEO agency after reading a blog post, they’ll still need to review other information to help them evaluate who exactly to hire.
The thing is though that today’s prospects won’t reach out to you and ask for it.
Thhey’ll expect to find it on your website.
And only if they do, they’ll start considering hiring your agency.
In this post, I want to show you 4 content types your prospects MUST see to decide to reach out and inquire about your services.
So, let’s begin.
Content Has Changed the Way We Buy
And what’s more, it pushed anyone responsible for bringing new business to the side.
Today’s customers have taken control over the sales process.
They research potential vendors and educate themselves on services they need before even thinking of reaching out to a company.
Long gone are the days when salespeople were able to talk their way into the prospects’ hearts.
Today, your job has been reduced to offering prospects the final proof that might convince someone to hire you.
But don’t just take my word for it. Take a look at what authorities on the subject have to say about it.
Last year, Forrester Research reported that:
”…today’s buyers might be anywhere from two-thirds to 90% of the way through their journey before they reach out to the vendor….”.
According to SiriusDecisions,
“70% of the buyer’s journey is complete before a buyer even reaches out to sales.”
And Steve Patrizi pointed out that customers make the majority of the buying decisions before even talking to a company. In fact, they’re willing to enter a relationship with a vendor only at final stages of the buying cycle.
This means that the role of your website has shifted from just serving information about your agency to becoming the central hub for any research prospects might be doing.
And here are 4 content types it simply MUST include if you want them to pick you.
#1. FAQs that Help Prospects Find Answers to Their Sales Questions
FAQs are a great content type because they allow you to participate in your prospects sales journey, even though they now choose to go through it alone.
Thanks to FAQs, you can respond to any questions potential customers may come up with while researching your agency.
And you can be absolutely sure they’ll be seeking those answers.
A 2015 Global State of Multichannel Customer Service Report by Parature discovered that 90% of consumers now expect a brand or organization to offer a self-service customer support portal.
And in another report by the same company, 73% of customers admitted that they prefer to find answers to their questions on their own.
FAQs attract buyers at the decision stage of the buying cycle.
These prospects look for information that will help them realize the value of hiring you over other vendors. They want to find out more about your processes, implementation and setup costs, support and any other information that reveals how you work.
#2. Case Studies That Help Visualize Working with You
The job of a case study is actually quite simple:
It just needs to explain your service to a potential client.
Their power, however, lies in the fact that they do it by showing how you’ve already helped someone else.
Case studies work in the same way as if you were telling a prospect: “here’s what we do, and here’s how we’ve used it to help Company X overcome a problem similar to yours.”
But instead of presenting your part of the story, case studies rely on your customer’s experience. From the reason why they’ve sought you out in the first place, to what steps you’ve taken to help them and the results you got, they reveal every aspect of your cooperation.
And by providing such in-depth insights, a case study helps prospects visualize how it will be when they decide to work with you.
They can picture themselves going through the same process, taking similar steps, and finally, reaching similar results.
Greenlane dedicated the whole section of their website to case studies alone. Note how they wrote the results they got for a client into each case study’s title.
#3. Concept Visualizations Simplifying Complex Aspects of SEO
I’m sure you’ll agree:
The technical and intricate aspect of SEO makes it darn difficult for a non-professional to get it.
But here’s the deal:
To want to hire you, prospects must have at least the basic understanding of what you’re going to be doing and the results you’ll deliver.
It’s just, these concepts often prove too difficult to explain with text, don’t they?
Luckily, there’s a solution.
Use visuals, specifically, concept visualizations.
Concept visualizations help break complex ideas and convert them into easy to understand visuals.
For example, here’s a concept visualization from Hubspot explaining the closed-loop marketing:
And here’s how Bruce Clay Inc. explains the effect of website speed on SEO:
Granted, they still include plenty of technical information. But the visual format helps prospects gain at least a basic understanding of the concept.
#4. Proprietary Research Data Positioning You as a Thought-Leader
Including relevant and intriguing research helps add authority to your content.
It acts as a mental cue confirming a reader that you’re familiar with the relevant research, understand this information, and stay updated on recent industry developments.
But publishing proprietary research findings takes that authority to a whole new level.
Proprietary data not only confirms that you know and understand the subject but that you’re also willing to spend time and resources on researching new ways to improve it.
That’s one reason why companies like AdEspresso or Content Marketing Institute invest so much money and other resources to conduct internal research.
Publishing it immediately establishes them as thought-leaders who want to continuously stay ahead of the industry trends.
And here’s the good part:
If you’ve been delivering SEO services to clients for quite some time, you probably have enough data to come up with original research findings. Consider analayzing your current rank tracking tool or seo dashboard for inspiration.
Blogging offers a great chance to attract potential customers in the early stages of the buying cycle.
However, to convert them into clients, you need to display other content types that help prospects evaluate your agency as the vendor of choice.