A good lead is invaluable.
Consistent, targeted lead generation can work wonders for a business.
Despite being aware of this, you know it’s not quite easy to get hold of a lead – let alone hundreds of them each month. You’ve probably run dozens of campaigns for your business or your clients, ending up with too few precious leads. Ever wondered why?
The times – they are a changin’. The traditional lead generation ideas are not just obsolete – they are getting more expensive by the day. In this post, we will discuss how a well-targeted content marketing campaign can be an effective, efficient and affordable lead generation vessel.
Before we get started, let’s define effective lead generation to establish a clearer picture of what we are trying to achieve.
What is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is the process of identifying, collecting and vetting potential customers, clients and users for your business. Not understanding this meaning is, quite often, the biggest culprit in the growth of a business. For example, collecting a large database of emails is just a part of lead generation – it never paints the complete picture.
As many as 63% of businesses noted in a recent HubSpot survey (visualised in the image above) that lead generation and marketing are among the biggest challenges they face.
If the leads you generate are high-quality to begin with, your lead generation campaigns will almost certainly be effective on all metrics. This is exactly where content marketing comes in as your very own, fully-customised and reliable lead generator.
Content Marketing as a Lead Generation Vessel
Data Source – HubSpot
Content marketing, at its heart, is a clearly-defined strategy to offer the potential customer real value. In most cases, this value is provided via information, expertise and advice. Content marketing is an enormously helpful tool in putting the name of your business out there, establishing authority, building connections and eventually, fuelling sales.
But what makes content marketing a driving force for a lead generation campaign?
The Quality of the Leads
Content marketing, when done right, brings a steady stream of potential customers directly to you. It’s no secret in marketing circles that inbound traffic is rich with ‘hot’ leads – an undeniable value proposition.
74% of businesses say that content marketing generates better converting leads than paid advertising.
If you ever need a single reason to build thorough, far-reaching and highly optimised content marketing campaigns to generate premium leads, this is it. Needless to say, high-quality leads convert much more easily.
More Control Over Conversion Rate Optimisation
While it’s true that metric analysis is the best way to gauge the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and lead generation efforts, the numbers can be daunting. Most marketing campaign ideas fall flat by the time you start optimising the conversion rate. With content marketing, however, conversion rate optimisation (CRO) becomes a metric you can actually control and not stay controlled by.
Having a good CRO is healthy for any marketing campaign on two fronts:
- It helps you make the most of your marketing budget by bringing more leads per traffic metric (unique visitors, page-views, sessions etc.)
- It tells you what users think of your website or blog in no uncertain terms.
More control over conversion rate optimisation is yet another reason why you can no longer afford to ignore content marketing as your primary lead gen machine.
The Intent-Content Symbiosis
Intent-based advertising programs – Google Ads (formerly AdWords) or Bing Ads – are successful for a reason. If there’s intent, there’s money to be made. The same idea works in favour of content marketing.
This relationship – what we call the Intent-Content Symbiosis – is a thing of beauty.
Let’s say you run a gourmet ground coffee supplies store in London. If a person looks up ‘best coffee shops in London’, the page will be full of advertisers that will eventually steal your lead. But if the same query changes to ‘how to brew Peruvian ground coffee’ and you have in place a well-written blog with related keywords, you will have a great chance of bringing this person onto your website, letting them know who you are and having them subscribe to your product newsletter. There – you have a valuable lead!
Making Every Single Penny Count
Splurging a good deal of money on marketing and lead generation campaigns to see little returns – you’ve probably been there, as have most businesses.
Content marketing has the power to put an end to marketing campaigns that are more hopeful than effective. Most marketing campaigns can be up only as long as you keep pouring the money in. Content marketing, on the other hand, can attract organic visitors (read: warm, pre-sold leads) in a way that’s nearly entirely passive. If your business is bootstrapped or your marketing budget is running low, content marketing gives you a way of keeping the leads coming in at much lower costs.
Generating leads via content marketing is 4x cheaper than paid advertising over 12-24 months.
Little upfront investments and more consistent, longer-lasting results – what’s not to like about this?
These immense benefits make content marketing the value-added advertising of the future. If you want to know how you, like countless businesses out there, can harness the power of content marketing to generate high-converting leads, you can request a proposal here.
Generating Leads with Content Marketing – A Short Case Study
Salesforce is one of the largest custom cloud solutions providers in the world. Given the scale of their operations, it was a mystery to many why their UK arm always found it difficult to on-board clients.
The plan they came up with was unassuming but incredibly effective.
Their content marketing team resorted to creating a series of promotional videos, tutorials, webinars, e-books, presentations and pretty much every type of content one could think of. The results were there to be seen. Within one year of deploying these campaigns, Salesforce UK generated over 10,000 leads, with 2500% higher social engagement. This, in an industry as competitive as theirs, is nothing short of a miracle!
The point to take home from this short example is just one – when it comes to generating leads that matter, content marketing is perhaps the best way there is.
A Five-Point Lead Generation Strategy Using Content Marketing
Now that we have established that content marketing has all you need to generate good leads, let’s discuss how you can build a strategy to achieve this.
1. Know Who Your Customers Are and Will Be
Knowing your ideal customer is important – you already know that if you’ve ever tried running paid ads. To use content marketing for lead generation, this knowledge can be a good starting point.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, just a few precise tweaks to the data you have will do just fine. Remember – content marketing isn’t about actually targetting customers. You want them to be attracted to your blog or the landing page (preferably organically). This is just to understand the mindset of your potential leads so that you can create suitable content assets.
- Prepare a broad sample size of existing customers.
- Carry out a detailed demographic analysis of this sample.
- Know where the leads will be coming from (referrers).
- Have acute insights into the online behaviour of this demographic.
- Forecast the objections to the conversion – what is likely to make them exit your website?
- Build the visitor’s journey map.
2. Develop Your Content Strategy
Developing a thorough content strategy is a step that many, many content marketers overlook. Having a well-defined content strategy in place is not just necessary – it’s indispensable. We have compiled everything you need to know about developing a custom content strategy in this blog post.
Some points to note in this regard are:
- Define your mission – effective lead generation, in this case.
- Outline your goals – weekly/monthly inbound traffic, leads and conversion rate optimisation
- Choose content types and channels.
- Create a content calendar – Managing content creation, delivery and optimisation
3. Create, Deliver and Amplify Content
At this stage, you will reach what we call the ultimate content marketing bottleneck. We have come across countless businesses who create a couple of blogs and hope for the best – it’s just not enough. You need to create content consistently and have it reach the right people at right times.
All successful content marketing campaigns have one thing in common – consistency over a long period of time.
Content that converts has the following qualities:
- It addresses a common pain-point with a reasonable solution. Continuing our example of the gourmet coffee shop, a visitor with the question ‘What is light roast coffee?’ should find their way to your blog post ‘10 Health Benefits of Peruvian Light Roast Coffee Every Coffee Person Needs to Know’.
- It’s full of valuable information and has no intrusive plugs. Remember once again – our aim here is to generate leads, not to clock a sale.
- It holds good production values.
- It, in no way, looks like a blatant advert for your business.
- It is SEO-perfect – you need the customers to find you, not the other way around.
Of course, these are just the basic criteria – the waters of content creation run much deeper. Hinged on dozens of metrics, creating content – as we noted – is in itself the most daunting prospect here. Much the reason why, we – at Connect London – have developed a bespoke content creation system that helps you benefit from the services of some of the most experienced copywriters, editors and marketing wizards out there.
4. Equip Your Website/Blog with a Powerful Lead Magnet
It sounds easy, but this is another tricky part.
A lead magnet is the extension of your content or the content itself (see an example in the image above). Here’s how it works:
- Your content attracts a visitor.
- The visitor is impressed with the content.
- You offer something of even greater value (gated content) in exchange for their information.
You need to be absolutely on your toes while creating your website, blog and the landing page. While there are loads of easy-to-integrate lead capture and reporting solutions out there, it’s always a good idea to have a team of developers prepare a custom solution.
A good lead magnet:
- Doesn’t obstruct or undermine your content
- Is fully optimised to the scheme of your website and content
- Flies under the radar but is easy to spot and act on
- Is easy to access – immediate downloads, instant login access, free trials, free quotes, to name a few.
- Answers a question, solves a problem, offers something unique and valuable – essentially rewards the visitor’s efforts
- Compels social sharing
- Lets the lead know that you’re good at what you do!
5. Collect and Curate the Leads
If your content marketing campaign functions like clockwork, the system will capture all the leads as they arrive. But that’s not the end of the campaign.
The next part is to launch analytics and curate the leads. This essentially involves vetting the useless leads (yes, some people do enter random names and email addresses!) to end up with a fully curated set of leads you can market your products and services to.
5 Lead Generation Tactics with Supporting Content Marketing Examples
Now is the time to put ourselves in some real-life scenarios. Let’s see how 5 common lead generation ideas can be coupled with creative content marketing strategies.
Your lead generation and marketing campaigns can certainly draw some inspiration from these.
1. A Gourmet Coffee Shop
- Goal – Generate local leads for a gourmet coffee shop
- Content idea – An authority blog post discussing what fair-trade coffee is
- Target – Local coffee-enthusiasts with an active interest in global trade
- Lead magnet – A free eBook (The Coffee Map of the World – A Visual Tour of Coffee Estates Around the World)
2. A Dedicated Record-Keeping Software for Hospitals
- Goal – Generate location-agnostic leads for a software company
- Content idea – A detailed case study with proven benefits and cost savings
- Target – Hospitals and medical professionals
- Lead magnet – A free one-hour consultation followed by a sales presentation
3. A New Educational Toy for Kids
- Goal – Create awareness, generate social proof, capture leads
- Content idea – A shareable guest/paid blog post by a working mom
- Target – Parents with children aged 4-8
- Lead magnet – An interactive flash game to demo the product
4. A Finance Broker for Start-ups
- Goal – Generate high-quality leads
- Content idea – Multiple blog posts, articles, how-to guides and checklists
- Target – Start-ups looking for loans
- Lead magnet – A free, instant loan quote
5. A Boutique Custom Jewellery Maker
- Goal – Improving brand awareness and targeted lead generation
- Content idea – Highly visual blog posts, articles and photo-guides
- Target – Men and women interested in custom ‘name’ jewellery
- Lead magnet – A giveaway/coupon competition optimised for lead generation
Content Marketing Makes Your Lead Generation Ideas Work
Content, as the cliché goes, is the undisputed king of the internet.
In times when the biggest names across industries rely on content marketing, there’s no reason why you, your business or your clients should take the back seat. The opportunity to be heard, seen and noticed is out there – all you need to do is grab it. A content marketing campaign worth its salt has a lot to offer – efficient, effective and affordable implementation of a wide range of lead generation ideas is certainly one of them.
Generating leads isn’t a breeze anymore, neither is content marketing. The competition is only going to go up, and the real challenge for businesses is to stay on top of all the chaos.
Having helped numerous businesses reap the rewards of bespoke content marketing strategies and high-quality, actionable, SEO-streamlined content, we – at Connect London – take pride in being at the forefront of this content-fuelled paradigm shift. To know more about our content marketing services, click here. Alternatively, you can get in touch with us to discuss your requirements.