Ramp Up Lead Generation With These 3 Content Marketing Strategies

May 24, 2015

12:00 pm

As a thriving company, customers are your lifeblood. You need them in order to survive, so you should capitalize on every relevant marketing channel to draw in leads.

Tying ROI to marketing activities has been a longstanding challenge. But advanced analytics tools are virtually eliminating the guesswork by allowing marketers to track leads at amazing levels of detail. Now, they can follow leads throughout the buying journey to measure the dollar value associated with every single campaign.

Modern tracking and analytics programs are some of the best tools in your wheelhouse, but don’t forget to apply them to content creation. People are searching for information in your particular industry, and they crave content that explains it in a way people with average — or below average — tech knowledge can understand. And that search for knowledge is the perfect time to collect some leads.

3 Ways to Generate and Track Leads Through Content

Content as a lead generation tool is largely underestimated. If done right, it can act as a built-in filter, a natural way to draw people in, or a soft ask. It can even save marketing dollars. Rev up your content marketing and lead generation efforts by applying these three strategies:

1. Figure out what people are searching for. Most people read content because they’re trying to solve a problem. The more questions you answer through your content, the more people you can bring in through organic search channels and convert into leads. Let’s say you provide a real-time bidding platform for ad agencies. First, your potential client searches for “best RTB strategies,” then he finds your recent blog post on the topic. It’s that simple.

By knowing what your potential customers want to learn, you can develop content they’re actually searching for. Using the Google AdWords Keyword Planner is a great way to get started. Marketers typically use this tool to plan paid search campaigns, but you can use it to see what keywords your target audience is interested in and develop content around those topics.

2. Put a lead-capturing system in place. If lead generation is your objective, you can position your call to action as a natural next step by including a form to download your latest whitepaper at the end of a relevant article. If your article and call to action don’t pertain to readers, they’ll leave without filling anything out. On the other hand, if the article and call to action prompt visitors to learn more about the given subject matter, they’ll fill out the form, and your content will have qualified your leads for you.

Great content can funnel traffic to your site, but it’s your job to actually turn those visitors into leads. At a minimum, have a subscription option for your blog. Better yet, put your best long-form content behind a lead-capture form. Another great addition is an exit-intent pop-up that delivers one more marketing message as people leave your site. This strategy has increased our lead capture rate by 2.4 percent.

3. Don’t be afraid to promote via paid channels. Paid channels can be effective tools for boosting lead generation, and you’re already saving money by using inbound marketing. In fact, according to HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2014-2015, you can generate leads through inbound marketing at a fraction of the cost of outbound leads, regardless of your company size.

Sponsoring posts on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter; using paid search and display ads; and amplifying content through channels such as Outbrain, Taboola, and Adblade are simple ways to get more people to your site. To streamline and better organize these efforts, use a content distribution template along with a solid lead-capturing system to attract even more leads.

Generic contact forms are a thing of the past. Modernize your lead generation techniques with compelling whitepapers, e-books, or a library of articles that pique people’s interest and encourage them to respond to a soft ask.

Potential customers are much more likely to fill out a form because they aren’t committing to a call or asking for a quote; they’re just performing their due diligence. But you can slot them as leads in your system at the same time. Compelling educational content creates organic connections and qualifies leads in a way that no other strategy can replicate: by making you a knowledge asset before potential clients even realize they need you.

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Don Broekelmann is the executive vice president of brand management for Influence & Co., a content marketing agency that specializes in expertise extraction and knowledge management that are used to fuel marketing efforts.

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