In a world awash with new marketing buzzwords, ‘content’ is one that refuses to go away.
As they say, content is king.
But what does that mean exactly?
Content marketing can be defined as an inbound marketing strategy that focuses on the creation, publication, and distribution of new collateral in order to attract traffic and high-value leads to your business.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing and generates three times the amount of leads.
88% of B2B marketers say content marketing strategies constitute an integral component of their overall marketing mix, adding that conversion rates are nearly six times higher than competing businesses who don’t utilize this strategy.
By effectively leveraging content marketing, brands can help build a chord with their target personas and cultivate customer loyalty.
High-value content evokes a strong emotional connection with potential customers. And the more authentic a brand is perceived to be, the stronger its brand recall and loyalty.
91 percent of consumers say they recommend brands they trust to friends and family. 62 percent exhibited clear intent to purchase from such brands.
How can you use content marketing to get more leads?
1. Spend time researching your customer
What’s the point of attracting a boatload of new traffic to your site if it doesn’t actually convert into actual sales?
If content marketing isn’t contributing to your bottom line, then metrics such as increased pageviews and engagement are simply for vanity.
Content marketing must attract qualified leads who are actively considering your product.
One of the ways you can filter through all the fluff is to spend time honing in on your target consumer and understanding their problems.
Here are a few things to take into consideration:
- Biographical details: What’s your consumer’s age, gender, income level, profession?
- Aspirations: What do they want to achieve in the next 5 years?
- Problems: Where do they struggle and how can you help them?
- Content: What blogs, magazines, or industry publications do they currently read?
- Timeline: When do they plan on making a purchase and will they consult with someone else first?
Documentation is key. To help you get started, you should learn about all critical elements of a business buyer persona, and use this customer avatar worksheet developed by Digital Marketer to accelerate the process.
Once you’ve zeroed in on your buyer persona, it’ll be much easier to create content that appeals to them directly and leverages the right keywords, messaging, content topics, and conversion offers.
2. Invest in the right kind of content
The kind of content you push out must reflect the buyer journey.
For demand & MQL generation, you’re looking at content that serves top of the funnel users.
- Blog posts
- Social media posts
An important thing to keep in mind is that the content must reflect your brand values and therefore your tone.
If you’re an enterprise IT company selling products in the data storage and server management niche, then posting memes on your social media feeds probably won’t have the desired impact.
You’ll want to take it a step further and grow your SQLs by capturing things like contact details so that your sales team can follow up with tangible data.
The types of content that work in the interest and consideration stage are:
- Training videos
- Case studies
- Product Webinars
These types of content can help show your target customers how other users benefitted from your product or service.
You can leverage actual, real-world examples of how your solution tackled an existing problem and the resulting impact it had on another organization’s profitability or operations.
3. Distribution is as important as production
What’s the point of creating all this high-quality content if it’s not reaching your audience?
Distributing your content on the right channels should be as much of a priority as the effort it takes to produce it in the first place.
There are three ways of approaching this:
- Owned channels
- Earned channels
- Paid channels
Owned channels refer to the digital properties that are completely managed by you. These are your website, company blog, and social media feeds.
Posting your content on these mediums isn’t dependent on a third-party. Make sure they’re updated regularly and don’t follow an ad-hoc approach, i.e. don’t post when you feel like it but adhere to a content calendar.
Earned channels entail media mentions from newspapers, industry blogs, or influencers in your industry. These require a bit more effort but the value they provide can be game-changing.
Think about it: if you’re a startup that’s trying to scale a new cybersecurity product, you’re still very new to the market: why should your potential customers trust you?
This problem can be solved in one fell swoop simply with a profile on a leading publication such as TechCrunch or The Next Web. Such publications have millions of monthly visitors and are recognized as reputable, trustworthy sources of news and analysis. Of course, these are the the big players, but you can also get great results from writeup in a local or industry-specific publication.
If you convince a writer to cover your new company, you’re instantly leveraging both the traffic and the trust associated with the publication. This can go a long way in firming up visibility and referral leads.
Paid channels refer to performance marketing campaigns that can drive traffic to your site via targeted keywords.
If you’re having difficulty ranking organically for your preferred keyword searches then a paid media campaign can propel you to the top of the search results.
This will cost a bit of money but the ROI on it could be significant.
Content marketing is an iterative process. You’ll be testing and optimizing on a daily basis in order to make it work.
The strategies outlined in this post aren’t a one-size-fits-all approach but should put your business on the right footing to start attracting qualified leads as soon as possible.