If you were to ask a few different marketers, what are some of the best ways to generate business leads in 2021, no doubt the majority of them would mention content marketing.
Online content plays a much bigger role in the consumer journey now, than it did a few years ago. The internet has become an authoritative source of information for buyers and an avenue for marketers to advertise their products. A 2019 study demonstrated that 81% of consumers do online research before heading to the shop to purchase a product. With coronavirus forcing businesses to go digital, and consumers having less opportunity to shop in physical stores, there is a greater reliance on content marketing to satisfy the customer at several different touchpoints.
Similarly, Ofcom 2020 stats show that adults in the UK are spending a record 4 hours a day online, which demonstrates an increase of one hour since 2018. Marketers can use this data to their advantage by moving their target audience down the sales funnel with the use of high-quality, value-adding content that triggers the desired action and is then distributed via channels that offer a high return on investment.
There is no doubt that content marketing is paramount if you’re looking to reach your target audience and build trust relationships with them while adapting to the increasingly more digital “new normal”. Those relationships cultivated through the process of building up your online authority with interactive content, as well as having a carefully planned content strategy that supports your business’s goals are going to help you generate leads with content marketing. In this article, we will guide you through our 7-step guide on how to do this. To apply what you learn in this article, download our Content Marketing Strategy template and follow along!
WHAT IS LEAD-GENERATING CONTENT MARKETING?
Developing and maintaining a competitive advantage that helps the business generate leads and convert them into sales and loyal customers is the main concern of digital marketers. By applying different processes they create a brand image and develop online authority that helps to attract and convert web visitors into leads.
Lead-generating content marketing often refers specifically to digital content and is a strategic marketing approach dedicated to the creation and distribution of valuable, relevant and consistent online content that attracts and retains a specific type of audience. Some lead-generating content, such as coupons, can drive profitable customer action when delivered to the customer at the right time.
At GLO, our content marketing specialists can attest to the fact that generating leads with digital content marketing can be a very successful online marketing strategy when supported by intelligent use and analysis of data. You can easily support your content marketing decisions with data gathered with Google Search Console and Google Analytics, which are both easy to add to your website.
One thing that’s undeniable when you want to successfully generate leads with content marketing is that you need a strategy. As the founder of Content Marketing Institute (CMI), Jay Baer says, “A content marketing strategy is not a nice-to-have, it’s a requirement.”
In this article, we will guide you through the process of writing your content marketing strategy for lead generation so that you can take your customers from the top of the funnel through to conversion. We’ve created a handy Content Marketing Strategy booklet with templates and an interactive Content Calendar to make it easy for you to develop your complete content strategy.
REASONS TO ADD CONTENT MARKETING TO YOUR LEAD GENERATION STRATEGY
Apart from the customers demanding more online content in order to complete their research prior to making their final purchase, and people generally spending more time online, there are other reasons why you may consider adding content marketing to your lead generation strategy.
Content marketing is a form of ‘softer’ selling where you aim to provide a load of value to your web visitors before asking them to subscribe or pushing for a sale more aggressively. It adheres to the ‘Jab Jab Jab Right Hook’ idea, famously coined by Gary Vaynerchuk. This slower approach to marketing to your potential customers works well in the online space as a jab’s content aims to engage and trigger an emotional response while a right hook’s content aims to sell and self-promote. This 3:1 ratio strikes the perfect balance between the two and helps you to avoid a counterproductive result that too many right hooks could easily lead to – let’s be honest, no one likes to be constantly sold to!
Data collected by HubSpot further validates this, showing that 96% of first-time website visitors are not ready to purchase and prefer to carry out their research to compare against the competition. You want to be able to provide them enough ‘jabbing’ content to build up their trust in your business before going in for the right hook.
Promoting products or services to your target audience with the use of interactive content, not only meets their research needs but also has shown to be 3 times more efficient in generating leads, as compared to outbound marketing. Furthermore, 72% of companies surveyed confirm that content marketing increases the number of leads in their business.
Smart allocation of resources with a focus on avenues that generate the best ROI is what most businesses look for. Content marketing can provide this long-term. According to HubSpot, 1 out of 10 blog posts demonstrates a “compounding” quality, meaning that organic search steadily increases traffic to these posts over time. Even big brands, such as Coca-Cola have in recent years recognised the power of creating digital content and are now shifting the majority of their resources towards content marketing and away from TV advertising.
We are not suggesting you follow the big dogs and do what the likes of Coca-Cola are doing – your budget might not stretch that far. But even for those businesses with smaller budgets content marketing doesn’t have to be something that they get to do someday in the future.
A lot of the time when something is successful we assume it’s also pricey. Here’s the surprise! Demand Metric estimated that content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing techniques. Learning how to generate leads with content marketing is something that even small businesses can invest in right now.
A lot of the time, those trying to generate leads with content marketing for the first time, find that it’s a time-consuming activity. For those short on time, outsourcing to content marketing agencies can be a better solution and one that may potentially result in much better results. Take one of our clients as an example – after our content marketing team took over Eagle Training’s blog management, we were able to achieve top first page rankings in Google for some of the topics that their target audience was interested in.
Whether you’re going to try to generate leads with content marketing yourself or hand it over to a specialist team, below we dive deep into the steps we believe should be taken to start generating leads through content marketing.
About the author:
GLO is an award-winning full-service digital marketing agency, delivering insight-led, results-driven services on a holistic basis. We’ve made it our mission to cultivate interactive digital experiences that excite and inspire. Our in-house specialists work as an extension of businesses and brands, using a bespoke process from the start to the end of your project, ensuring 100% satisfaction, every time.