11 Clever Ways to Nurture Leads With Your Business Blog

Your business blog is a powerful tool for attracting visitors, engaging prospects, and generating leads. But its potential doesn‘t end there.

A well-optimized blog can also be an incredibly effective channel for nurturing leads into sales-ready prospects and customers. With the right approach, you can use your blog content to build trusting relationships, showcase your expertise, and guide leads to a purchase decision.

In fact, companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those that don‘t.^1 And leads nurtured with targeted content produce a 20% increase in sales opportunities.^2

The key is knowing how to strategically map blog content to the buyer‘s journey and leverage tactics that continually drive leads forward. Here are 11 clever ways to turn your blog into a lead nurturing powerhouse.

1. Develop topic clusters aligned to the buyer‘s journey

Topic clusters are the foundation of an effective blog lead nurturing strategy. By creating clusters of related content that comprehensively cover a topic, you can establish authority and guide leads through each stage of the funnel.

Start by identifying 3-5 core topics (aka "pillars") that align with your target buyers‘ needs and challenges. Then create subtopic blog posts for each stage:

  • Awareness: Address high-level pain points and provide educational insight
  • Consideration: Discuss different approaches or types of solutions
  • Decision: Showcase your unique value proposition and product use cases

Buyer's Journey Topic Clusters

Example topic cluster mapped to the buyer‘s journey, via HubSpot^3

Organizing content this way ensures you‘re creating the right content for the right lead at the right time. As leads progress, they can easily find the next relevant post to consume.

Audit your existing content and identify gaps in your topic clusters. Prioritize new posts that fill those gaps to create a more cohesive lead nurturing experience.

2. Use contextual CTAs

Compelling calls-to-action transform your blog from an awareness tool into a lead conversion and nurturing engine. The most effective blog CTAs are highly contextual—that is, directly related and relevant to the post the visitor is currently reading.

For example, say you sell project management software. In an awareness stage post on "X Signs You‘ve Outgrown Spreadsheets for Project Management", you could include a CTA for an ebook on "The Definitive Guide to Choosing Project Management Software".

The visitor is already thinking about the limitations of their current tool, so an offer promising to help them find a better solution would be highly appealing.

In a consideration stage post comparing different types of project management tools, you could offer a "Project Management Software Evaluation Checklist". And in a decision stage post showcasing customer case studies, include a CTA for a personalized demo.

Contextual Blog CTAs

Example of contextual blog CTAs, via Impact^4

By directing visitors to a relevant next step based on post context and buyer stage, you can more effectively convert casual readers into leads and propel them forward in the buyer‘s journey.

Tools like HubSpot and Unbounce make it easy to create and A/B test blog CTAs to maximize conversions. Experiment with CTA copy, design, and placement to see what resonates best with your audience.

3. Deliver personalized content recommendations

Personalization is essential for effective lead nurturing. The more you can tailor the blog experience to each visitor‘s unique needs and interests, the more likely they are to progress toward a purchase decision.

There are a few ways to personalize blog content:

  • Behavioral: Recommend content based on past blog posts viewed or offer CTAs redeemed
  • Demographic: Tailor blog content and offers to the visitor‘s industry, company size, or role
  • Contextual: Personalize blog elements like headlines, images, and CTAs based on referral source or search keywords
  • Stage-based: Adapt content and recommendations to the lead‘s current stage in the buyer‘s journey

Personalized Blog Content

Example of personalized blog content recommendations, via Salesforce^5

Marketing automation platforms like Marketo, Pardot and HubSpot allow you to easily implement many of these personalization tactics. You can define behavioral and demographic triggers to automatically display dynamic blog content or enroll leads in personalized email drips featuring recommended posts.

By delivering an experience that feels custom-built for their needs, you keep leads more engaged and moving forward. According to Epsilon, 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences.^6

4. Set up lead scoring

Lead scoring helps you identify which blog readers are most engaged and sales-ready based on attributes like demographics and behaviors. Assigning point values to specific attributes and actions gives you a quantifiable way to gauge a lead‘s buying intent and fit.

First, define your ideal buyer persona and determine which attributes or behaviors indicate a high-quality, sales-qualified lead. Some common lead scoring criteria for blogs include:

  • Viewing multiple posts in a single session
  • Returning to the blog multiple times per week
  • Subscribing to the blog
  • Clicking blog post CTAs
  • Spending a certain amount of time reading each post

Assign points for each criteria. For example, you might give 10 points for viewing 3 blog posts in one session, 5 points for returning to the blog twice in one week, and 20 points for clicking a CTA.

Use marketing automation to track these engagements and automatically tally points for each lead. Once a lead reaches a certain threshold, you can trigger sales outreach or enroll them in a more aggressive lead nurturing campaign.

Lead Scoring Model

Example lead scoring model for blog engagement

Lead scoring helps you monitor a lead‘s progress through the buyer‘s journey and determine the optimal time for sales intervention. By engaging sales-ready leads with a relevant offer, you can dramatically increase lead-to-customer conversion rates.

5. Gate your best content

While most of your blog content should be freely accessible to maximize reach and SEO value, consider gating your very best posts to capture leads.

Look for opportunities to turn high-performing posts into value-rich content upgrades like ebooks, templates, tools, or video courses. Then gate that premium content behind a lead capture form on your blog.

Some examples of blog posts that translate well into gated assets:

  • Ultimate guides
  • Checklists
  • Cheat sheets
  • Case studies
  • Original research and data
  • Thought leadership pieces

Leads who fill out the form to access these meatier assets have expressed clear interest in the topic and a willingness to engage further with your brand. You can then use progressive profiling to gather additional qualifying information and feed that data into your lead scoring model.

6. Launch a blog newsletter

A blog newsletter creates an owned audience you can nurture over time by delivering helpful content straight to their inbox. In fact, 60% of marketers say email marketing is their biggest source of ROI.^7

Place prominent newsletter signup forms throughout your blog to convert readers into email subscribers. Exit intent popups, slide-in scroll boxes, and post-specific lead magnets are all highly effective list building tactics.

To keep subscribers engaged, email a roundup of your latest posts each week along with unique newsletter-only content. Use storytelling and a strong brand voice to humanize your business and build trusting relationships with subscribers.

Analyze email metrics like opens and click-through rates to identify your most engaged subscribers. You can then trigger sales outreach once a subscriber meets certain criteria, such as opening 10 emails or clicking 5 links.

By continually providing value to leads‘ inboxes, you stay top of mind until they‘re ready to buy. Email marketing yields an average ROI of $36 for every dollar spent.^8

7. Retarget blog visitors with paid ads

Remarketing is a powerful way to re-engage blog visitors and bring them back to your site to consume more content. By installing a tracking pixel on your blog, you can serve targeted ads to previous visitors as they browse other sites across the Google Display Network or social media.

Let‘s say a lead reads your awareness stage blog post on common challenges then bounces without filling out the gated ebook offer. You could serve that lead ads promoting your solution-focused consideration stage content to entice them back to your blog.

Or if a lead visited multiple decision-stage posts like customer stories and product comparisons, you could retarget them with bottom-of-funnel offers like a demo or free trial.

Blog Retargeting Ad

Example of a retargeting ad based on blog engagement, via AdRoll^9

Combining your blog content with retargeting ads allows you to deliver an omni-channel lead nurturing experience. The more touchpoints and value you provide across channels, the more likely leads are to choose you when it‘s time to buy.

8. Integrate live chat

Sometimes leads have questions or objections that need to be addressed in real-time before they‘re willing to move forward. Adding live chat to your blog gives you an opportunity to proactively engage leads while your content is fresh in their minds.

Tools like Drift, Intercom, and HubSpot‘s chatbot allow you to program automated responses based on the page the visitor is viewing. For example, on a post about your product‘s key features, you could configure the chatbot to ask "Have any questions about how [Product] can help you achieve [Key Benefit]?"

Blog Chatbot

Example of a blog chatbot interaction, via HubSpot^10

As the lead engages with the bot, you can gather qualifying information and offer relevant resources to overcome objections in the moment. If the lead seems sales-ready, you can even alert a human sales rep to take over the conversation and offer a personalized consultation.

9. Leverage social proof

Modern buyers trust their peers more than brands or advertising. Showcasing social proof on your blog is a powerful way to build credibility and overcome skepticism as you nurture leads toward a sale.

Look for opportunities to naturally weave social proof into your blog posts, especially in consideration and decision stage content. Some effective types of social proof include:

  • Customer testimonials
  • Case studies
  • User-generated content like reviews or social media posts
  • Trust badges (e.g. awards, certifications, media logos)
  • Public relations (e.g. features in major publications)

You can also include social share and follower counts as subtle indicators of popularity and authority.

When leads consistently see third-party validation of your brand and solutions, they‘ll be more receptive to your product-focused content and offers. 92% of consumers trust recommendations from peers^11, so let your satisfied customers be your best salespeople.

10. Analyze and optimize

Continuously monitor blog engagement metrics to understand how well you‘re nurturing leads. Some key metrics to track include:

  • Pageviews and unique visitors
  • Average time on page
  • Bounce rate
  • Scroll depth
  • Click-through rate on CTAs and links
  • Blog-assisted conversions and revenue

Use tools like Google Analytics, HubSpot, or Sumo to get a granular view of how leads are interacting with your blog content. Spot trends and patterns to see which topics, formats, and offers are moving the needle.

For example, if you notice that leads who consume 3 or more consideration stage posts tend to become customers, you might gate more of that content or increase promotion to get it in front of more mid-funnel leads.

Also keep an eye out for points of friction or drop-off. If the bounce rate on a key post is unusually high, revisit the content to make sure it‘s meeting the visitor‘s needs and expectations.

By taking a data-driven, iterative approach to blog optimization, you can maximize lead nurturing results and revenue over time.

11. Promote on other channels

Finally, don‘t limit your blog lead nurturing to the blog itself. Amplify your highest-performing posts on other channels where your leads spend time.

Promote consideration and decision stage content to engaged lead segments via email. Retarget blog visitors with relevant content on social media. Equip your sales team with links to persuasive posts they can share in lead nurturing sequences.

You can even repurpose your best blog content into other formats like infographics, videos, podcasts, or slide decks to fuel multi-channel campaigns. Interactive content generates 2X more conversions than passive content.^12

The more touchpoints you create with your target leads across channels, the more opportunities you have to establish trust, build relationships, and guide them to a purchase decision.

Conclusion

An effective business blog does more than attract top-of-funnel traffic. By strategically creating, promoting, and optimizing content for each stage of the buyer‘s journey, you can turn your blog into a powerful lead nurturing tool.

The key is delivering the right content to the right lead at the right time through a combination of:

  • Behavioral and demographic personalization
  • Contextual conversion opportunities
  • Multi-channel distribution and retargeting
  • Data-driven optimization

When you invest in these tactics, you build an automated system that educates, qualifies, and converts leads while you sleep. That‘s the power of a well-executed blog in your inbound marketing strategy.

Use this guide as a framework to transform your blog from a traffic generator into a revenue machine. With the right strategy and optimization, you can create a memorable journey that turns casual readers into passionate customers and advocates.