Blog posts are a key content marketing ingredient that acts as a foundation for a successful digital marketing strategy. But to keep that marketing engine going at full steam, you need to ensure your topics are engaging your site visitors.
Posting content just for the sake of SEO, may help your site’s page rankings, but will those posts convert visitors to leads and sales?
Learn the secrets of choosing the types of blog post topics that are pertinent to your target audiences and will encourage them to reach out to you for IT services.
Blog Posts Sell, But Shouldn’t Be “Salesy”
If you want to compete in today’s world, which is heavily reliant on digital marketing, it’s important to have a blog strategy as the bedrock of your content marketing.
Posting blog articles on your site regularly increases traffic and spiders out into all sort of other marketing content, including:
- Social media posts
- Email marketing
- eBook lead magnets
- and more
Companies with a business blog earn 67% more leads per month than those without one.
The most important ways that blogging helps MSP businesses drive more revenue are:
- Improving visibility for local searches
- Boosting site-wide SEO and search rankings
- Driving traffic to your website
- Creating more marketing “touches” for lead nurturing
- Converting site visitors to leads and sales
But one of the main struggles that IT business owners have is what topics to post to continually feed that marketing engine with new content. It’s not as simple as just writing about your products and services all the time. Blog posts need to be topics that are relevant to readers and will draw them in to learn more about your offerings.
They should be informational, not full of ad copy. While you do want to include a call-to-action at the end of a blog post, the main content of the article should be informative and relevant.
For example, here are two blog post approaches that are designed to sell a company’s managed security services. Which one do you think a reader would be more interested in (and not see as a sales pitch):
- Topic 1: “Find Out Why XYZ Tech Has the Best Managed IT Services”
- Topic 2: “Were You Impacted by the Microsoft Exchange Server Breach? (What You Need to Know!)”
The point is that you want to use topics that your target audiences are interested in and then weave into them how your services can be helpful in addressing the topic.
96% of consumers don’t trust advertisements, so don’t approach your blogs as a big advertorial. Instead, choose great, engaging topics, and they’ll end up converting without the hard sales pitch.
How Do You Choose Blog Topics That Drive Leads & Sales?
Here are several tips for finding the topics that will convert your blog article readers to viable leads and ongoing sales.
Tap Into the News Headlines
You can grab attention with your blog article topics and provide content that’s relevant to your audiences by scanning the news headlines and tapping into any that can be relevant to one of your products or services.
When a news topic is fresh, people naturally want to consume more content related to it. You also show that you’re a leader when it comes to IT-related topics. This reinforces you as an IT partner that’s going to keep customers apprised of the timely tech topics that impact their lives and businesses.
One more benefit of posting articles about current hot topics is that you can hop on some trending hashtags, which may gain you more traffic from social media.
Here’s an example of some “hot topics” that have made great, timely blog posts for MSP businesses:
- Microsoft Exchange Server Hack
- Reddit/GameStop/Robinhood Stock Rollercoaster
- The Major iOS 14 Feature Upgrades
- TikTok’s Potential Banning in the U.S.
- Rollout of Amazon Sidewalk
Pull Topics from Customer Questions
When you run a service business, you get new questions all the time from people inquiring about your services. And it seems that no matter how long you’ve been in business, there are still questions that come along that you’ve never heard before.
Use those questions as fuel for your blog topics. If people are asking a question, then you know that it’s not only relevant to them but most likely relevant to many other people as well.
Customer questions that come in by email, phone, or contact form make great topics on their own and also joined together in an article about “The Most Pressing Customer IT Questions Answered!”
Use “Look Inside” on Amazon for IT Topics
This awesome blog topic secret came from Neil Patel, and it’s a great one for finding topics relevant to your website readers. You’re piggybacking on the topic research of those who have written books related to technology on what people would be interested in.
Here’s what to do:
- Visit amazon.com.
- Type in your keyword to search a topic (I used “cybersecurity”).
- Look for books that have the “Look Inside” icon.
- Next, click the book cover to look inside and scroll to the Table of Contents.
- Among the chapter titles, you’ll find some real gems for relevant blog post topic ideas.
Choose “Pocketbook” Topics
Pocketbook topics are those related to someone’s budget and bottom line. These would be ways to save money or cut costs. Everyone is looking for ways to save more and spend less, whether it’s a residential customer saving for a vacation or a business weathering the pandemic.
Choose topics related to money and then DO THE MATH for your reader.
For example, if you do a blog on office optimization that can save a company money, you want to make it real to them, not just speculation. Even if you have a statistic that shows readers how much time could be saved by relieving users of IT struggles, you still need to do the math for them if you want a better chance to convert that lead.
For example, here are three ways you can express that companies can save money by offering remote IT support to their employees:
- Vague and speculative: “When employees don’t have to struggle with IT issues, they’re more productive and you save money.”
- Better, but lacks the math: “Employees waste 22 minutes a day struggling with IT issues. Using remote tech support can eliminate that wasted productivity and save you money.”
- Conversion-focused: “Employees waste 22 minutes a day struggling with IT issues. If you have 25 employees making an average of $20/hour, that’s a saving to your business of over $3,600/month by using remote IT support.”
You can’t assume a reader is going to see the obvious savings that you do, so spell it out for them. Doing the math also gives you an attention-grabbing headline to use, “Save Over $3,600 a Month Through One Simple IT Optimization,”
Create Blogs Posts that Teach
How-to videos are one of the most popular types of content on YouTube, and searches for them have increased by 70% between 2019 and 2020. Use the power of teaching for some of your blog post topics.
Some popular how-to topics in the IT world might be:
- How to properly migrate your data from an old to a new computer
- Small Business How-To-Guide for HIPAA Compliance
- How to check for malware in your cloud storage account
- Steps for Creating a Resilient Business Continuity Plan
Now, you might be thinking, “But we don’t want them to do things themselves, we want them to have our company help them with compliance, migrations, etc.”
Just because someone is drawn to your website through a how-to blog post, doesn’t mean that after reading all the steps, they’ll want to do it all themselves. That’s where your CTA comes in handy! “Need Help With This? Call Us!”
Want some help finding good how-to topics? Check out the topics Microsoft offers in its virtual workshops and training events for ideas. These are designed to convert someone to a Microsoft product. This can be a sales win for you if you are a Microsoft 365 partner.
Use Ubersuggest for Keyword-based Topic Ideas
A quick way to get some topic ideas when you’re short on time is Ubersuggest. You just type in a keyword related to your business, such as “cybersecurity.”
Then click on “Content Ideas” and you’ll see a list of search results related to that keyword topic. This can help both with timely “hot topics” and the keywords to use when doing SEO optimization for that blog topic on your site. The search also includes keyword ideas and lists!
You get three searches a day for free before needing to upgrade, which should be plenty to help you generate some ideas.
For each search result, you can see how many monthly visits the page gets and how many backlinks it has. The higher the visits and backlinks, the better chance that a blog article about that topic is going to convert for you.
Survey Your Customers About Challenges & Needs
You can be assured to get some great topic ideas by surveying your customers on challenges they are facing and their most pressing needs.
Use a free and easy online survey generator, such as Microsoft Forms. This allows you to make and send a survey link out in about 20-30 minutes tops. You also get the replies in real-time through the app’s interface.
Ask questions that will lead to converting blog topics, such as:
- What’s your biggest challenge with running your business?
- Where has technology failed to measure up to your needs?
- What initiative would you love to implement if you had more resources?
- How do you feel about your IT security? (multiple choice: Great, So-So, Unsure)
The answers you receive from your customers will give you fuel for relevant article topics that address concerns, challenges, needs, and “wish list” items.
The Right Blog Post Topics Can Inform & Convert!
The best MSP blog posts will inform the reader on a topic of interest without being “salesy,” and then naturally lead to conversions. Choosing relevant and engaging topics and skillfully weaving in your solution is the trick!
What are some of your favorite types of blog articles to read? Share your thoughts in the comments!