Content marketing has become one of the most common ways to generate leads for your business – but is it effective? According to Content Marketing Institute, only 30% of marketers feel confident about the effectiveness of their content marketing strategy. With new ways to produce content constantly emerging, it’s no wonder marketers are feeling uncertain.
Market research is potentially the most important step in the development of your content marketing strategy. You need to identify your personas and their pain points before you develop content – otherwise, you risk losing your audience due to irrelevant topics and information.
You should narrow down your content topics based on your market research, but don’t forget to diversify the format. Audiences absorb information in a variety of ways, so you want to make sure they’re attracted to the type of content you offer.
Turning Audiences Into Leads
The goal of content marketing in a lead generation context is to shift your audiences from an observing behavior to a buying behavior. To achieve this, you need to nudge them gently through your sales funnel.
It’s important to include calls to action and lead capturing methods to your content marketing strategy – otherwise, you will find it difficult to actively track and nurture your leads. You can easily implement a lead generation strategy by offering your content in exchange for an email address or other contact information.
These content marketing formats allow you to engage with your audiences and actively capture contact information:
If you want to reach a large audience with targeted, high-quality content, webinars are an excellent option. This one-to-many format gives you access to a much bigger audience than in-person workshops or events, and you can tailor the content specifically to their needs and interests.
When you plan your webinar, make sure to solve only one problem for your audience. Your level of detail on the topic can vary, based on the sophistication of your audience and their position in your sales funnel.
Lead Generation Tip: A formal registration process allows you to capture email addresses and segment audiences based on topic of interest.
If you’re a B2B company, LinkedIn provides a great platform where you can engage with your audiences. Content publishing is becoming more and more popular on this social media channel, which gives you an opportunity to demonstrate thought leadership in your field.
Lead Generation Tip: Make sure to engage with your audience by responding to comments and building relationships to position yourself as an approachable expert.
Guides and White Papers
This long-form content format allows you to go more in-depth on a topic than a typical blog post. You can provide tutorials, research, templates, models, and other custom content that drives up the perceived value of the resource.
Lead Generation Tip: Offer this resource in a downloadable format in exchange for an email address. You can follow up with an email sequence to keep your leads engaged.
Don’t discount the lead generation potential of in-person events like trade shows and conferences. The key is to aim for more than just name recognition, as with a booth or sponsorship. By hosting a workshop, speaking on a panel, or delivering a keynote, you can position yourself as an expert in your field and become more memorable to the event attendees.
Lead Generation Tip: Make sure your audience knows where to reach you, and offer an additional resource (such as a white paper) that is relevant to your presentation.
Capture with Caution
When you capture leads through content marketing, it can be tempting to ask for detailed contact information. Keep in mind, though, that bulky forms with too many fields lead to increased abandonment rates.
With some extra legwork, you can supplement the information your leads provide and create a more complete picture of their needs and buying habits. At Simply Direct, our Database Hygiene service allows you to reverse-engineer your lead list based on simple information like a name and email address. Whether you have new leads, or need to refresh your old ones, we provide additional context that will help convert leads to sales. Find out more about how we can help.