In this industry, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype of content generation, volume marketing, and business promotion. And, yes, these are all important facets of today’s online business community, but a crucial feature of the digital marketing process that can occasionally get lost in the shuffle is how you turn all of this work and research into actual, viable lead generation. After all, that is the real goal.
Coming up with engaging blog posts on popular topics and getting them in front of as many people as possible is extremely important, often very difficult and, when done well, can be an art form unto itself. But if all that traffic doesn’t result in tangible leads, more business, and increased profits then, ultimately, what was the point?
When it comes to lead generation, content is king. Obviously, you need to cover timely topics and provide information that gets people to your site, reading your material. But you also need them to read your content and then think, “That was great, it gave me a lot to consider. I need to talk to them directly to find out more about how I should be doing x, y, z.” That is the point where you turn terrific content into real results. With that clear end goal in mind, here are a number of strategies to employ to make your content effective at providing leads:
The first step in turning content into leads is boosting your traffic. If nobody sees your content, well, it doesn’t really matter how riveting or ground-breaking it is. You need to develop a comprehensive strategy that shares links to the landing page in a wide variety of locations – blog entries, guest posts, digital ads, social media content, promotional emails, etc. The links need to be included in appropriate ways that will vary with each different format, but always offer something intriguing to the person reading it, and you already know a little bit about what that person is interested in based on the page they are reading at that time. With that is your starting point, then the trick is to expand the web of information and contacts from there.
Gated content requires users to share personal information in order to gain access. This trade-off of contact information for content is a basic component of turning traffic into leads. Of course, there is also a lot of content on the internet that does not require anything of the user, so what you are offering needs to be both unique and compelling. But if you are successful, having visitors share even the basics, such as name and email address, is an excellent starting point, since it gives you the ability to contact them on your schedule and share future content.
Engaging Landing Page
In order to gain the information you are looking for, there needs to be a format for collecting it, and the request has to appear before the user gets to where they eventually want to go. However, it is important that the first page the potential customer sees is more than just a form. It should offer enough information to suggest how much value they could gain by accessing the site, while still very clearly outlining the process that needs to be followed. Being too vague or too pushy will either scare people off or lead to a bunch of users who aren’t actually interested in what they signed up for.
For people to bother sharing information to access content, the content itself needs to be special. Since they can’t get to it just yet, it also needs to be described in a clear and captivating manner. It is important to address a topic that is not easily found elsewhere, and it is a good idea for marketing to collaborate with sales in order to choose topics that clients truly care about.
Lead Management Strategy
Ok, now you’ve generated a bunch of traffic, all offering up personal contact information. Next, you need to make sure you make the best use of this important info. It may seem obvious, but a key step that is sometimes undervalued is turning this information into actual leads. You need to have a concrete process in place for contacting people, following up on the leads and eventually turning them into business. The strategy should include a detailed contact schedule as well as a specific plan for the content that will be shared with them at each step in the process. Once again, your sales team should have valuable insight into the types of content that will best turn leads into clients.
Just because your company has always focused on a particular style of content, such as lists or how-to articles, doesn’t mean you can’t learn new tricks. Study marketing strategies within your area of expertise to see if there are other methods that could be successful. Help videos, best practices, quizzes, customer testimonials, worksheets, case studies, templates, and success stories are just some of the ways you can diversify your content and look for ways to connect with your target audience.
Of course, as with all marketing and business strategies, balance and collaboration are key. While every area of a digital business has its own focus and knowledge base, there is always going to be overlap, especially with respect to marketing. Soliciting opinions from all sectors of your business ensures you cover a broad base of perspectives. From there your goal is to build a detailed profile of your ideal user, and then model all your content in ways that will most effectively attract and engage them.
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