November 30, 2017
How to generate leads with content marketing: 3 tactics revealed
Content marketing can be a powerful tool for finding your audience and turning them into potential customers.
But how do we generate leads with content marketing? These are three of our go-to tactics.
Tactic 1: Build a strategy around website conversions
A customer should be able to tell what your website is about and why it’s important to them in five seconds– that’s the industry standard in website usability.
To achieve this, your site needs a primary goal, which must be communicated clearly so that – in just five seconds – a user is aware of the journey they should take, and more importantly, why they should take it.
- A bad example: Imagine you have a website selling business-improvement consulting to local SMBs. At the top of your home page is your brand name and a big sign saying “It’s time to take the next step in your journey – and XYZ Consulting is here to help,” accompanied by a “Contact Us” CTA. Why would anyone click that? We haven’t told them anything – the CTA isn’t compelling, and it presents no value to a user. Yet, this style of home page is incredibly common.
- A good example: We have the same page, same brand name, but instead at the top we have “XYZ Consulting can help improve staff productivity by 40% and cut business costs by 30%. The first consultation is free – improve your business today,” followed by the contact CTA. Now we’ve told the reader what we offer and why it’s valuable, making our button – the next step in their journey – more compelling.
This same tactic applies to any number of lead-generating objectives, like “Book a demo”, “Download our whitepaper”, “Subscribe to our newsletter”, “Join our webinar” and so on.
– Key takeaway
Every single page of your website should have a clear objective, and a compelling reason for the user to complete this objective. This doesn’t just apply to the home page.
Tactic 2: Target users at different stages of the sales funnel
Content is powerful because it’s flexible. Simply by adjusting what we produce, we can tune content to address different parts of the sales funnel.
Let’s look at examples of targeting content to the sales funnel. Imagine we’re deploying content marketing to generate leads for a B2B firm. What should we use?
– Top of funnel
- Context: We’re looking to build interest in your service. These readers might not be ready to convert, or even know that your service exists, but we can capture their contact details so a salesperson can follow up.
- Potential objectives: Gated downloads (“Download our e-book”), Sign up to a webinar, subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on social media.
- Content types: Here we’re looking at broad topics that will engage a wider audience. We’ll be answering questions commonly asked by customers doing research, and producing interesting stories about our industry. This is an opportunity to build thought leadership.
– Bottom of funnel:
- Context: These customers have done their research, know they require the type of service we provide, and are ready to convert. We need to convince them that our service is the best one.
- Potential objectives: Start your free trial, speak to a salesperson, book a demo or buy now.
- Content types: Because we need to convince a user that we’re better than our competitors, our content at the bottom of the funnel will be about showing off our USPs and how they might apply to a user’s business (like a case study). We’ll create content about our service and its benefits.
And of course, all of these ideas apply to B2C businesses as well.
– Key takeaway
Don’t try to capture leads from everybody at once. Plot out your objectives based on the sales funnel and use different types of content to target those specific audiences.
Tactic 3: Promote your best content on multiple channels
There are so many platforms available online to help you promote content, so why would you only use one?!
We talk a lot about SEO strategy on the Castleford blog, but organic search is only one part of the puzzle. While ranking highly in Google is a great passive strategy for drawing in long-term traffic, you’ll drive more leads, and faster, by finding other ways to target your customers.
So what are we talking about, here?
- Google AdWords: Use AdWords to get your gated whitepaper in front of more Google users, or target key landing pages to valuable search terms. Wordstream says AdWords has an average click-through rate of almost 2 per cent.
- Facebook ads: According to Social Media Examiner, 62 per cent of marketers use Facebook. It’s a great platform, with an average conversion rate of 9.21 per cent, says WordStream. Visual content works great on Facebook, which makes it ideal for video and graphic promotions.
- Other social media: Social Media Examiner also showed that marketers are using Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn as well. Snapchat and Pinterest ads aren’t as common, but if your audience is on these platforms then you shouldn’t shy away.
– Key takeaway
You’ll get more traffic by targeting multiple channels with your best content than only relying on one. It also helps you find out which channels are most effective for your audience, meaning you can be target more strategically in the future.
Content marketing is a fantastic tool for driving lead generation. It’s able to cross channels, target specific audiences and help users convert on your website.
Now the only thing left is for you to get your objectives together and start making content!