3 Ways to Make Your Corporate Blog’s Sidebar Work Harder

Want a simple way to have your corporate blog show measurable results? Take a hard look at your sidebar. Here are 3 techniques guaranteed to make an impact:

1. Promote subscriptions prominently.

Capturing new subscribers is one of the most efficient ways to convert random visitors into loyal readers that you can nurture over time and eventually turn into actionable sales leads. Just be sure to offer the reader as many subscription options as possible, and at a minimum: Email, RSS, and Twitter. If you post blog content to your Facebook or LinkedIn or Google Plus page, add those also.

These days, however, it’s not enough to simply display a row of icons (RSS, Tweet, Email) and expect the reader to act. Start with a prominent headline (“Subscribe” works just fine) and consider descriptive selling copy that “sells” the various options:

“Get instant notice of our new posts by following this blog through RSS or Twitter, or become an email subscriber and receive a convenient monthly summary of new content in your inbox. You can also be notified of new posts by following us on LinkedIn or Facebook.”

2. Offer downloadable content.

If the content on your blog is topical and relevant and insightful, and if you’re following basic SEO principles in your post title and body copy, there’s a high likelihood you’ll be generating significant traffic from interested prospects actively researching the types of issues and problems your company solves. Now the challenge is to convert those casual visitors into inquiries and opportunities.

One of the most effective ways to generate blog leads is to feature downloadable content – white papers, case studies, analyst reports – in your sidebar, and gate that content behind registration forms. A simple text link will do the trick:

White Paper: 5 Keys to
Increased Developer Productivity
Download Now

or even better, show a cover image or icon. Our experience indicates that a visual element serves to highlight the offer on the page, as well as making the asset more “real” and tangible.

3. Tell your readers to share

As with driving subscriptions (#1, above), it takes more than a row of sharing icons (Like, Tweet, +1) on your blog to get people to spread the word. My personal view is that the icons have become so commonplace that many readers don’t even notice them. You can encourage people to share your blog with their friends and followers, a proven technique for improving traffic, subscribers, and sales leads, by including both a sub-head as well as action-oriented text above the icons.

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One thought on “3 Ways to Make Your Corporate Blog’s Sidebar Work Harder

  1. Rohan David Emmanuel

    This is no doubt the best 3 pointer I have seen on corporate blogging. But I believe that the point of downloadable material should have been on the top. This is the most important feature as it gives sense of ownership to the readers. I am giving this opinion from a Social Media Expert point of view.

    Rohan D.
    Founder & Chairperson, Coffee Shop Gurus


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