[Series] The Lead Generation Blueprint When Doing Content Marketing
Content marketing always should have a business objective.
Otherwise, it is just content and not content marketing.
There can be numerous objectives for content marketing such as brand awareness that 84% of B2B marketers are saying is their goal.
However, I want to talk specifically about generating leads from content marketing as this is what directly links to bottom-line KPI’s.
Many businesses underestimate content marketing as a lead generation tool, but it has been proven that 64% of B2B buyers have said that the content on a B2B website had a “significant impact” on their buying decision.
How does the content on your website portray your brand?
Would it persuade B2B buyers to buy?
If not, let me explain how to use content marketing to generate leads.
What Is Content Marketing
Image Source: Content Marketing Institute
Content marketing isn’t about posting anything and everything or throwing a few words together and hoping for the best.
To create a content marketing machine that will generate leads, you will need to research the audience you are writing to, create landing pages for your content, create content ideas that are of value and promote your content.
A study by HubSpot found that B2B companies who have consistently valuable content on their blog receive 67% more leads a month then B2B companies who don’t.
I bet 67% more leads a month sounds good to you doesn’t it?
Content marketing isn’t just about generating leads; you can also nurture leads by sending content to them through targeted emails.
Let’s get started on how to create a content marketing strategy that will generate leads, for now, though…
Knowing Who You’re Writing To
One of the first steps in creating a content marketing to generate leads is to know exactly who it is you are writing to.
To do this, you will need to create what we call, customer avatars, which are fictional characters you will create based on the traits, behaviours and demographics of your target audience.
You will need to know their pain points and their goals so that you can create content that will help resolve their paint points and achieve their goals.
For example, a B2B buyer may be searching for “how to plan a company fundraiser” and an event management company has a fully downloadable guide on how to plan a company fundraiser that solves answers the searcher’s question.
Create Landing Pages That Convert
Now that you know the pain points, goals, traits and behaviours of who you are writing to, it is time to start building landing page templates for your different types of valuable content.
Not all landing pages will generate leads with only 1 in 5 marketers being happy with their conversion rate, but that is something that falls under the conversion rate optimization umbrella.
For now, you want to build a landing page and to do that you must need the following:
- A compelling headline such as “The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Business Fundraiser”.
- A sub-heading that is relevant such as “Learn How to Plan The Perfect Fundraiser to Raise Funds”.
- A short description of about 3 to 4 sentences to explain what it is the user will get by filling out the content form.
- Positive signals such as reviews, brands you have worked with, testimonials and awards.
- A compelling CTA (call-to-action) that will direct a user to take the action you want them to take.
- A relevant image to show what the user will get if they submit their contact details. For example, a book with the cover of your eBook title.
- A contact form that asks for their name email address and any other information that is relevant for you to nurture leads.
- All of the above should (generally) be displayed above the fold.
Create Valuable Content
Image Source: MasterNewMedia
Now that you know who you are writing to and have built landing page templates, it is time to get started on the content itself.
One of the first things you need to decide on is how often you are going to publish.
The below is an average of how many times B2B marketers publish content:
- 16% publish daily
- 26% publish a couple of times a week
- 17% publish weekly
- 19% publish a couple of times a month
Once you have decided that, you need to start thinking of content ideas that are valuable and will generate leads.
A useful statistic to keep in mind is that 68% of B2B buyers said that they think getting rid of sales messages from content would improve the quality of it.
eBooks is a great way to generate leads and is no wonder that 34% of B2B marketers have adopted this content strategy.
An eBook is almost like creating an extremely lengthy blog post that you go into details a lot more such as a “Beginners Guide to Planning a Business Fundraiser”.
Once you have created your eBook that is filled with useful information that will truly help buyers, you will add the information to your landing page template where a B2B buyer can fill in their contact information to download their guide… and now you have a lead that you achieved using the content.
Another great way to generate leads is by hosting regular webinars that can have more of a human approach than the eBook.
Try and find an influencer in your industry that has an engaged email list so that you can reach a new and relevant audience with your webinar and also get promotional help from the influencer.
For B2B buyers to be able to attend the webinar, they must register or buy a ticket; either way you are collecting contact information.
Case studies are nothing new but the really do show buyers visiting your website that your product works and that you can do what you say you can do.
Create lengthy case studies that explain what the pain points and goals of customers were, how you resolved those issues and helped them achieve their goal, and what results your customers were seen.
While this piece of content doesn’t have a contact form to be able to read it, it will, however, instil trust in buyers who will want to find out more information about how you can do the same for them thus leading to them getting in contact.
According to Content Marketing Institute, a massive 73% of B2B marketers are now using video as part of their content marketing strategy with 63% saying that it is effective in generating leads.
Videos are a great way to showcase what users will receive once they have filled in a free trial form for example.
You can mention at the end of the video that to get all of these benefits free for 30 days, the user just has to fill in the form to the right of the video.
Whitepapers are something that has been around since the 90’s, but they are still as effective as ever when it comes to generating leads.
For white papers to generate leads, however, they must contain helpful information that will help readers with their pain points and goals, offer new ideas to readers that they have not thought of or heard of before, and well-researched data.
By offering all of this valuable information, you will be able to ‘gate’ the information so that users need to fill in their information to see the whitepaper.
If you’re in a line of business where offering a short online course would help your buyers then get to planning it.
For example, an events management company might do a short online course for business fundraising planning.
To register for these courses, users will need to give their contact information and will, therefore, become a lead.
While this option of content marketing takes more planning, it is a very popular method for businesses to learn from.
Promote Your Content
Image Source: BufferApp
Now that you have published your valuable content, it is time to start promoting it to attract attention.
One of the best ways to promote content is by social media and a recent study found that LinkedIn generates more B2B leads than Facebook and Twitter, but yet only 47% of B2B marketers are currently using to promote their content.
You can use LinkedIn to either create a long form post or short form post to direct your connections to your content, the more regular you are doing this, the most B2B buyers will see you as an industry leader and when it comes the time they need your services, they will contact you.
Your Content Should Be Driving Actions…
Creating and posting to a blog is one of the easiest things anyone can do however creating content than generate leads is not so easy, it takes the time to research, plan and optimize.
You can do this by creating valuable content that specifically reaches out to your target audiences pain points and business goal objectives.
What type of content has generated you the most leads?
Share your content marketing experiences by leaving your comments below.