Content marketing is a powerful lead-generation tool that almost every digital marketing expert uses.
In the Semrush State of Content Marketing 2022 Global Report, 97% of respondents admitted that content marketing was essential to their marketing strategy in 2021.
Further, 19% of respondents stated that they have fully developed a content marketing strategy, and 42% said they are working on their content marketing plan.
Marketers can use content marketing in several ways to generate leads. For example, they can publish keyword-targeted blogs to improve search engine ranking and reach potential leads.
Marketers can leverage gated content to build an email subscriber list. They can also educate and engage leads with content.
Content can attract leads however you want. If you are just getting started with content marketing and don’t know how to use it to drive maximum leads, we have a treat for you.
After consulting 10 content marketing professionals, we have listed the best 10 ways to use content marketing in lead generation. So, let’s see what experts have to say.
Be it a B2B or B2C content marketer; they have several ways to generate leads using content. Content marketing is a complete marketing strategy to attract, nurture and convert leads.
Every expert has a different take on using content to generate leads. So, based top 10 content marketers’ opinions, you can use content marketing in lead generation as follows:
Knowing your ideal customers helps you create lead-generating content. You can target customers’ pain points in your content.
You can provide information and helpful resources to your customers when you know what they want to read. It makes you a credible information source for your customers.
Moreover, you can appear in the organic search results by targeting keywords that your ideal customer is searching for online.
An effective content marketing strategy relies upon understanding who your ideal customer is, and creating content that helps them overcome their challenges and meet their business goals. When you consistently publish and distribute that kind of content, you become a trusted resource for the people who have found your content to be useful. Then, when they are looking for a new product or service, and you turn up in their searches, and as part of “best of” lists, they are already more inclined to consider you versus your competition.
Erika Heald is a content marketing expert and executive ghostwriter. As a consultant, she focuses on helping organizations define and document a content marketing strategy that drives lead generation and customer loyalty. Erika led and grew high-performance content marketing teams at Highwire PR, Anaplan, and Achievers. You can find her on her blog erikaheald.com or hosting the weekly #ContentChat Twitter chat on Mondays at 12 noon Pacific. You can connect with her on Twitter.
Take your time to do research before creating lead generation content. You must first research what your competitors are doing with their content marketing strategy.
It helps you see what is trending in the market and what more you can offer to your potential customers.
Apart from searching what other people are doing with their content, you must also see what they are not doing. It can help you bridge the gap with your content and seamlessly rank on search engines.
One good example of content you can create you improve lead generation is publishing statistical content for your industry. For example you can start doing a research in your industry about a trend or something you see as a hot topic. You can find out ideas, you can look up to numbers and you can get quotes from experts that later can help you get more exposure on your content.
With that research you can start creating content in different examples: writing a blog post, creating a video for Youtube, Facebook or Linkedin and you can pitch podcasters from your industry and ask them if they are interested in talking about that specific research. From that you can also use visual content to promote your research with slide desks, infographics and several social media graphics.
In that case your content is different, it’s credible and you don’t have to create ton of new content. All you have to do just repurpose this research in several new type of content. And the best thing is that the next year you can take this content and do an update with it.
This is an example we’ve done with several case studies. For example we worked with Andy Crestodina (www.orbitmedia.com) on a study called “The Visual Anatomy of a Blog Post” where we talked with more then 300 content creators and bloggers about what kind of visual do they use in their blog posts. The content got so much traction that several content creators started using Bannersnack (www.bannersnack.com) because they found valuable information in this case study.
Robert Katai is the content marketing manager of Bannersnack, a professional banner creation app for designers and marketers. His work was featured on Adweek, Entrepreneur, TNW, HubSpot, Content Marketing Institute and other places. He is also blogging on his personal website: www.robertkatai.com. You can connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.
How-to guides work best online because people search for problems or questions online. But unfortunately, how-to guides don’t work in every situation.
When you tell customers how they can solve their problem on their own, why would they use your services? In fact, it might lose you a potential client who was looking to outsource services from you.
Therefore, don’t just jump on creating how-to guides because everyone is doing it. First understand, whether this strategy will work for you or not.
My favorite way to use Content Marketing to improve lead generation is to destroy your prospects limiting beliefs. So many people make the mistake of creating a lot of “how-to” content. The problem with this is it’s like giving out band-aids to wounded people. They read your “how-to” content and feel they can solve their problems themselves. Yet, the reality is they cannot because they are not addressing, nor have awareness of why they are wounded in the first place. If they did, they would have healed it by now. So create content that helps them see what their real problem is and what is at stake if they don’t solve their real problem. And lastly, make sure you position your product or service as the thing that can help them solve their real problem.
Anthony John Amyx is a Free Spirit, Husband, Entrepreneur and Life & Business Coach For Entrepreneurs and Experts.He has been featured on CNN, BusinessInsider and CreativeLive and has been a mentor to some of Forbes Top Social Media Influencers. Hubspot even named him as one of the Top Business Coaches of 2019. You can connect with him on Facebook and Twitter
Consistency is a key to generate quality leads. You must create consistent content across all your content marketing channels to stay connected with your potential customers.
Every marketing channel algorithm prefers consistency and quantity. For example, if you want to publish blog posts on your website, publish at least 2-3 blogs a week. Publishing a blog once a month can not drive results.
Having a pretty site is not enough to attract more leads. You must publish new content regularly. Start by making a profile of your target audience. Who are the people that will buy your products or services? For example, if you sell toys then your potential clients are young mothers.
After you’ve identified some important things about your clients (age, profession, hobbies, marital status, health, etc.) then try to see what needs and issues they have. People are always searching for a solution to a problem. Find out what are these problems by doing keyword research. A tool I recommend is Ahrefs.
The next step is to choose a topic, research it in-depth, and write a fantastic article about it. You must back up your enough with proves such as case studies, surveys, or experiments.
Before publishing the post, you must optimize your blog for lead generations. There are some nice plugins, some free, others premium, that offer an opt-in box. You need to offer something to your readers in order for them to subscribe to your email list.
The best thing you could do is to include a content upgrade in your post. Add a special offer that you made precisely for this post. The freebie can be a checklist, a guide, a 3 days course, a discount, etc. The conversion rate will be much higher.
Minuca Elena is a freelance writer specializing in creating expert roundups. Her posts provide quality content, draw huge traffic and get backlinks. She also helps bloggers connect with influencers. You can connect with her on Twitter and visit her website.
Apart from your internal content marketing strategy, external content also plays an important role in building your brand credibility. From your customer testimonials to social media comments, every content related to your business impacts your digital presence.
Therefore, you must keep tabs on your user-generated and employee-generated content to drive full value from your content marketing efforts.
Content marketing becomes a much more manageable beast when you understand that content is anything created by, for and/or about your brand. This means everything from ads to customer reviews and testimonials, blog posts, emails and word of mouth, to name a few. The folks who would become your customers will make the time to check you out well before they decide to do business with you.
These are my three must haves for opening the doors for more business.
Also, keep in mind that the best leads come from folks who personally know and have vetted you. Creating amazing content they can share and promote is a huge boon.
Ronell Smith is a digital content strategist helping brands do amazing things with content, including growing their audience, increasing qualified web traffic to their websites and outwit the competition. You can connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.
Stuffing high-performing keywords in your content isn’t sufficient SEO effort. Google now uses intent to rank your content.
It means Google crawlers check how much value your content can provide to readers rather than how many keywords your content contains.
Breakdown keyword intent, in addition to straight SEO opportunities, to really improve lead generation. Tailor your content to speak to decision makers who are actively looking for a business solution.
Google rankings don’t necessarily correlate to leads. Go beyond traffic insights to create content for targeted lead generation. Pull the right people into your marketing funnel to really affect lead metrics.
Get personal. Understand your readers’ motivation, goals, and pain points to tailor your writing. Keep it educational and valuable, warming up leads for further engagement down the funnel.
Set up clear expectations for when leads become customers. Improve retention with streamlined communication throughout the entire customer experience. Focus on efforts beyond lead generation (like trial, demo, or conversion rates), then work backwards to hone in on the needs of this specific audience
Melissa is a content marketer at Groove (https://www.groovehq.com/blog/). Her background spans running customer support and experience at startups to running script changes on live TV shows. Her goal is to help businesses grow by offering practical and actionable ways to improve overall customer experience. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.
Content marketing can help with different objectives like link building, improving SEO score and so on. But, if you want to generate leads with your content, your content efforts must only focus on lead generation.
Based on the lead generation stages, you must create content that can inform, aware, educate and retain leads on your website.
The first and most important thing you have to do is to decide you will focus your content marketing efforts *exclusively* on lead generation. This extreme focus is fundamental for success because of content marketing efforts tend to get scaterred or stakeholders tend to expect they cover everything from branding to link building, SEO, and, of course, lead gen.
With that in mind, content marketing for lead generation is most effective when based on thorough, in-depth customer development. Without customer interviews, surveys, and even direct customer observation, content marketers will, at best, create mirage content (as Grow & Convert calls it) that looks and feels right but doesn’t generate any leads.
I highly recommend tackling highly specific needs customers have and working on MOFU and BOFU assets, which, for lead generation, are more important than TOFU content.
Case studies, playbooks, whitepapers, solution briefs – I’ve found these types of MOFU content to be the most helpful because they bridge the gap between industry know-how and the product/service’s benefits in a way that serves real-world customer needs.
To recap, I’d like to emphasize it all starts with focus on lead gen as a core objective. Once that’s set, a deep-dive into the customer development process will reveal the type of content to create, the topics customers are interested in, and the channels and formats they prefer to consume it.
Andra is a freelance content marketer who helps cybersecurity, privacy, and AI companies grow organically with focused and impactful assets. She’s also the host of How do you know? – a podcast that helps listeners learn how to make better decisions. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Content marketing is a great way to grab potential leads’ attention. But, nobody likes to engage with content pieces that you have created 10 years ago. Neither search engines nor people tend to click on links that were created a few years back.
Therefore, you need to frequently produce fresh content. In addition, you can update information into your old content to make it more time relevant.
Content marketing is a great opportunity to generate new leads. Ideally, you will leverage your content to pique the interest of visitors on your site. Your content should be able to help them solve a problem.
While your content should be enough to get them pointed in the right direction of solving their problem, a great way to turn them into leads is to offer a relevant content upgrade that directly relates to the topic of the content.
For example, it could be a downloadable checklist, swipe file, spreadsheet, ebook, etc.
Basically something that is enticing enough to get them to give up their information. And from there you can nurture these leads into clients/customers.
Since 2003, Chris Makara has developed a broad digital marketing background with a focus on SEO, Social Media, Automation and Analytics. He is the founder of Bulkly, a social media automation tool for individuals and small businesses. You can connect with him on Twitter.
You have to streamline your entire marketing efforts to drive marketing qualified leads from your content. You must align your content and lead generation efforts with your business objectives and go-to marketing plan.
Moreover, you also need to streamline your sales model with content to score leads, and target hot accounts.
Firstly, you need to align your content & lead gen efforts with your business objectives and go-to-market model. If you have a high-touch, sales-assisted model then it’s about gathering information to be used in lead scoring and that your sales team can use further down the line. With a low-touch self-serve sales model then it’s about providing content that will seamlessly guide people towards a product-related conversion point.
Either way, your responsibility to your audience is to provide high-value content that helps them improve in their job and develop their skills or knowledge. The bar for content quality is increasing all the time, and combined with the rise of brand, we’ll see some alternative forms of content in future such as original video series, talk shows, and new podcast formats for example. Even though value adding content will always be needed, I think content marketing will also be more entertainment-driven in future.
Gating your content is the primary way to improve lead gen, but the quality you need to deliver to justify that is much higher now than it’s ever been before.
Edward Ford is Marketing Director at Supermetrics, host of The Growth Hub Podcast, and loves to geek out on all things B2B SaaS marketing. To get in touch, follow him on Twitter.
Don’t just create content targeting your potential customers. You must focus on a broader spectrum and create content that can help a larger audience.
It can enable you to target different audience groups that might not be on your radar at the moment. You must focus on providing quality information to your readers; everything else can take second place.
We like to provide content to help everyone, not just our current customers. This way, we establish ourselves within our industry, and hopefully help ourselves become top of mine when people are considering our type of software. Plus, by offering more elaborate and generalized content within your industry, you have a better chance of reaching further audiences – as more search engines are likely to pick up your content.
Our blog is strictly insightful information, while we have a separate resource center for brand specific documentation. Keeping these types of content separate have proven to be beneficial for us. As our blog can serve and be helpful for anyone who may land on it, even those who are not customers.
We also promote our content on multiple social platforms. We’ve also found it beneficial to tag the brands or people we have mentioned within the article. This allows their audiences to also see us, thus allowing us to have more eyes on us as those individuals often retweet and share the article as well.
Another thing we have found to be helpful in lead generation is to write about topics related to us. So for example, we are a referral software, but we also write about other types of rewards programs, as we can share our knowledge within those types of related fields.
Megan Mosley is the marketing specialist at Referral Rock, where they believe every business has the potential to increase their word of mouth. When she’s not working, she enjoys sipping on coffee and hanging out with her family.
These expert opinions on lead generation content marketing must have opened your eyes. You can now clearly see how each content piece works to drive potential leads to your funnel.
Therefore, you need to pay attention to each and every content element that impacts your brand.
Don’t know how to create a lead generating content marketing strategy?
Then, no need to worry. You can consult the UnboundB2B team to help you use correct content marketing strategies to generate high qualified leads.