With content marketing growing much more in demand for its uniqueness in attracting potential customers, many companies have begun to invest in marketing strategies for positive lead generation.
71% of B2B marketers use content marketing to generate leads
Why? Because content marketing generates 3 times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, but costs 62% less. It influences future purchases too.
However, nowadays more and more marketeers seem to be just filling content buckets thinking quantity is better than quality. Sadly, this is not always true. Sustainable quality content does require a marketing plan. In fact, 58% of European marketeers found their content to be much more effective with a strategy in place, according to a Smart Insights’ study.
So, here are ways to generate positive leads through content marketing:
Start with identifying your prospects
Targeting is a key component of all aspects of marketing. The planning of creating a lead generating content starts with figuring out what type of content is relevant and valuable to your readers.
Yes, cliché as it may sound, but having value to your content is what generates positive leads. But then again, how would you know that you are creating content that does address your customers’ issues and needs?
To be more effective at targeting, one of the first things any marketer needs to do is identify their buyer personas to determine who it is they should be marketing to. Buyer personas help you: define what kind of content you need; target the topics you should be writing about; set the tone, style, and delivery strategies for your content; and most importantly, understand where buyers get their information and how they want to consume it so your content gets to the right channel.
Create your buyer persona. A persona is essentially your representation of your ideal customers.
There are different ways to map your buyer persona. It can come in simple tabular form, or a sophisticated graphical representation. Customer demographics and behaviour, along with your own understanding of their motivations and challenges are among the elements you could use to identify and segment your customers.
Conducting interviews with your customers, or even including your sales and customer service when creating your buyer personas, is very helpful. You may send out surveys or do your own research. Through both methods, you should focus on identifying your customers’ background, job details, main sources of information - where your persona gets information, customer goals and his or her challenges and needs.
Map your customers’ buying stages. After you have identified your buyer persona, it is then time for mapping their buying process. You need to create a buying journey that will convert these personas into customers.
Know the elements of effective lead generating content
There are hundreds of content pieces across all modes of channels daily. However, not all achieve the ultimate goal of producing potential customers.
One of content marketers’ challenges is creating content strategies, especially choosing quality content that engages readers. Factors below increase your chances of attracting more people interested in your content.
Add visuals to your content
Research has brought to light that images attract the reader's attention. So if you could create visuals to support your message, do so. Such content when shared in social media channels lead to higher CTAs (call-to-action). It would be an added value to the content and could bring your content to a higher rank on the result pages of search engines.
Your views and opinion count
Adding your own views and perspectives increases the value and trust to your content. This is an efficient way to produce high-value content quickly.
Have a clear call to action (CTAs)
CTA is a part of your marketing message that should persuade people to act. Your standard CTA might ask the reader to subscribe to your blog, download another e-book, to sign up for a demo, or subscribe to your newsletter. You don’t want a lousy CTA. Regardless of what your request is, your CTAs must clearly define what you want your lead to do. It must stand out, signalling urgency and must be positioned in a prominent area of your page.
Choose good keywords
The keyword research is not a complex task, but it requires discipline and dedication. As mentioned, getting your content strategy to succeed, you should analyse very well what your target audience is looking for, only then you will attract visitors to your business content.
A suggestion is to focus on keywords or phrases of "long tail", despite having fewer amounts of monthly searches; it offers better results due to the high segmentation covered.
The content must be attractive enough to present your company as an expert
Successful content marketers know the importance of offering content for all tastes. These include: articles, images, videos, audios, e-mail, online and offline seminars, social content, among others. Give facts and survey results, trends, or analysis. In all sorts of content, they also know how to sound like subject-matter experts and this is what you should do, too.
Promote. Promote. Promote
Once you have created your content it is time to spread it. Currently, one of the best ways to present your publications is through social media. Thanks to them, your content can reach a lot of people quickly, which will position you and your brand as reference in your niche market.
But be systematic and strategic. Know what social media network is more convenient and effective for you to present your business. Remember that there are some platforms that can offer better opportunities than others; it all depends on the kind of content you are going to share. The key to promoting your content is consistency and engagement.
There is also e-mail marketing. A list of quality subscribers who read your content often is one of the most powerful tools to increase connections, build a good brand, build trust and create business opportunities. Thus, email marketing is one path of your strategy for promotion. Your e-mail template should be simple, mobile, and easy to handle. Your subject line should be descriptive, enticing, and leaves room for curiosity.
Optimise content landing pages
Content marketing is important, not only in spreading awareness of your brand but is also useful in obtaining a good, higher ranking in the search engine results.
Therefore, for your content to be able to contribute to your online presence and effectively generate potential leads, optimising your content’s landing page is the way to do it. Create an attractive headline, utilise keywords, don’t forget about your content aesthetics, etc. - all elements that would build trust to your page. Select the format that you think is best for your audience. Also, make sure that your content’s landing page is freely accessible and compatible to common online devices, such as smartphones, tablets or iPads.
Knowing more about your customers’ consumption habits will create a more complex need for useful content. This is why identifying your customer persona is where your content planning starts.
Once done, always work for educational and entertaining content, with an added value for your readers. Avoid mediocre and unfounded content at all cost because it might alienate your audience forever.
Lastly, it is not enough to just post on your website or blog, our focus here is content marketing, not advertising. That means making your content visible through search engine optimisation, social media sharing and doing email marketing. A steady stream of quality content can transform your business and generate sufficient demand and leads.
 Hubspot. “The ultimate list of marketing Statistics”