Having a business blog is already a good start for any software company. However getting it to really work for you takes a little bit of planning and work.
One place that a lot of companies ignore is the sidebar. That’s the column on the right (or left) of your main content section on your site. You may have a sidebar already, you may not. These 7 tips will help ensure that it’s always working at the max for you.
#1 – Promote your subscription options.
Having icons there is fine, but adding some actionable text to them can make all the difference.
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#2 – Offer downloadable content.
One way to generate leads from your blog is to offer downloadable content, like case studies, white papers, e-books, and other reports. Use a simple text link, or image of the book, and then ask them to register on the site before sending them the content, and you’re building a prospect list.
Did you know? Including a graphic of the item increases the likelihood of them downloading it, so invest the time and/or money to get one produced for your report.
# 3 – Tell/Ask your readers to share.
If you’ve done your research, you know which social media platform your readers are using. So ask them to share your content with their readers and followers. You share their content already, it’s only fair they share yours. Use persuasive text in this section of the sidebar to get them to do it.
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# 4 – Show off your awards.
You’ve worked hard to get those industry awards for your software product. Display the link or graphic for the award in your sidebar. Talking about your awards & successes increases your credibility to your readers, turning leads into customers.
# 5 – Popular articles list.
Listing the most popular articles on your blog in the sidebar is a good idea for a couple of reasons. Creating backlinks to your own site increases your SEO scores and SEM position. (backlinks = authority) It also shows off the topics your readers are most interested in, giving you topics for future blog posts or even product enhancements. It’s a sneaky way to take the pulse of your potential customers.
# 6 – Advertise your own products.
Just had a new software release? Want to brag about it? Put a small ad in the sidebar for it, and link to the main product description page. You’re not inundating readers with a lot of information, but it may be just enough to get them to click and read more. Use these ads to test out landing pages, and get informal stats on your readership.
Plus, it can also be a revenue source if you sell the space to other companies, like say, your partners.
# 7 – Pictures of the employees who write for the blog.
Turning leads into sales is done by creating relationships. As we know, the Internet can be a bit de-humanizing, so putting up photos of the employees who write for the blog can boost readership and generate more leads.