How To Boost Lead Generation Using Content Marketing
Any successful demand generation program, even when backed by the most advanced marketing technologies, can be ineffective if its content strategy doesn’t align with the buyer’s needs and feed into their entire buying journey. Crafting content is not just about filling up web pages to rank high on search engines. It’s about giving your audiences and prospects valuable, relevant information and insights to develop trust.
Throughout this blog, we’ll shed some light on different ways content marketing can be an effective part of your lead generation function, driving quality leads and conversions and creating a continuous flow of revenue into your business.
What is lead-generating content marketing?
In the purest of terms, lead-generating content marketing is a strategic marketing effort that focuses on creating and distributing interesting, engaging, and relevant content to attract and create leads from a predefined visitor persona. The lead magnets attached to this marketing activity are quite high stake in nature as content has the power to make or break a deal for your business. In essence, the better your content marketing strategy, the more leads you will capture.
The matured age of content marketing
Needless to say that content marketing has changed rapidly in the past decade. It has matured as digital experiences become a key driver of expectations. No longer do we need speculation on the whys and how to create, disseminate, and use content to one’s leverage. There is now enough data to know what does and does not work. The fundamentals of marketing still apply, but in new ways. It’s about placing needs of your audience above your promotional agenda; truly maturing content to put users as your centerpoint. Successful content engines document a reader’s trials and tribulations along with helping them discover answers to key questions that will help them succeed in their jobs.
Let’s now unravel different types of successful lead generation content marketing strategies and how to leverage them to your advantage.
How to generate leads through content marketing?
The content arms race is constantly pushing marketers to come up with something new, interesting, and interactive content to cut through and win the audience’s attention. With this in mind, we’ve curated a list of smart strategies that are on the cutting edge.
1. Understand your target audience
Understanding the fundamentals of your audience’s needs stands as the key way to create relevant, effective content. There isn’t a shortcut, but it doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Talk to customers. Ask them questions. Research online. Look at competitors to see how they’re trying to solve the customer’s needs. The more you capitalize on this, the more you’ll succeed.
2. Content promotion along with creation
Creating a brilliant piece of content is important, but promoting it across various content channels is paramount. The reason is that content doesn’t promote itself. It needs to be distributed for potential customers to read, get enlightened, and share with their peers. So, your job is not just to produce great content, it’s also to ensure it gets to the right audience.
To accelerate content discovery, collaborating with companies like Outbrain, PR Newswire, GrowthHackers, and Zest can help. Such platforms allow you to place your content pieces in relevant places on tens of thousands of partner sites and create exposure. Plan distribution using content calendars. This is not only a great way to distribute, target, monitor, and market your content and connect and engage with target audiences across the globe, but create valuable backlinks as well.
3. Choose the right channels
The choice of channels is another thing that can make or break your content marketing strategy. For instance, if LinkedIn is one social media platform where your target audience engages with your brand most, then bite-sized content should be your focus area. On the other hand, if Twitter works best for you, then focus your energies there. Remember, the more you understand your target audience’s psyche and reading habits, the better you can create and market content, and drive lead generation.
4. Data-backed content pieces
At its core, content is purposed to gain the trust of the audience. And trust is the key to customer lifetime value. The way to establish trust is by ensuring your content is accurate, and backed by facts and data. Even better if you can leverage an industry leader and their existing respect and authority. Consider content published and distributed by Gartner. Along with picking content topics that are trending, they’re also backed by facts and statistics which make them credible.
5. Widen your content sourcing horizons
Having your writers do most of the heavy lifting is to be expected. But it’s short-sighted to stop there. It’s time to widen your horizon!
Having guest bloggers aboard is an old, yet effective, tactic. Plus, it allows you to lend their credibility. Also, ask your employees from various departments to pitch in, or at least have input into content.
The reason this technique is great is because it serves as a two-way street. It not only helps increase volume but gets fresh minds and ideas into your content. Many organizations, including VWO, have realized that some of these efforts have more merit than others, especially in the long run.
6. Personalize your content marketing
Using the same pieces of content to cater to every audience segment is an old-school approach. Personalization boosts the effectiveness of every marketing tactic you use. It appeals to the minds of individuals, making them feel cared for and unique. It ultimately compels them to take action and enter your conversion funnel.
Personalization can be as simple or as complex as you decide. It may be just the reader’s first name in the email, or the whole website experience—it’s up to you. Online giants such as Uberflip helps businesses centralize their content to create personalized experiences for all their marketing programs. And don’t hard sell your products at the wrong moment. Instead, be more tactical about it. Enjoy this great example!
7. Make it visual
Copywriting may be the backbone of effective content, but don’t underestimate the power of images to impact the reader. Whether still or moving, imagery boosts the power of your message and helps it to cut through.
But what forms of visual content are best for generating leads? Let’s dig a little deeper here!
- Educational videos: Product or service video content with talking heads may be a dime a dozen. But educating the viewer serves as the gold standard of great videos, especially when embedded on landing pages. They do demand some extra effort, but when done well, they can make even the most complex of topics interesting and engaging.
- Interactive infographics: The value of infographics is far more than just visual snacking. They condense a lot of information into an easily digestible format that is useful and shareable by the reader. They also add credibility to your brand and when tagged correctly can help your website to rank highly in image search engines.
- Illustrated summaries: Another great visual content marketing format is the illustrated summary. The basic idea behind illustrated summaries is to convey impressions or ideas from a lengthy document, for instance, a white paper, and turn the main points into a visual summary. Marketo used an illustrated summary to describe its’ Dreamforce event back in 2012. Here’s a glimpse.
As a content marketer, the one thing to keep in mind is: always align your content strategy with your ultimate goals and your target audience’s needs. This way, every piece of content will return value to your business, add to your ROI and deliver you the leads your brand needs. Further, always keep testing and optimizing lead generation tactics you use to maximize effectiveness of your CRO efforts.