Top 7 Lead-Generating Ideas for Your Content Marketing

A solid lead generation strategy features content in the awareness, research, consideration and buying stages of the consumer journey. With content, you can raise awareness of your products and highlight your solutions in ways that appeal to different audiences. Not to mention, the inbound links generated from well-optimized content guarantee a high return on investment.

Why content marketing

Content marketing has increased in importance over the last 10 years. In fact, recent statistics from google trends highlight the importance of content in lead generation.

content strategy

Figure 1: interest in content marketing has increased over time

Research from content marketing institute shows that most marketers are now using content marketing to attract an audience. When you have content, you will generate an audience and then nurture leads from that audience. On the contrary, if you don’t have content, it will be difficult to generate leads; without leads, you won’t make any sales.

That said, below is how to leverage content marketing to generate the most leads. Here are the tips for generating leads with content marketing.

1. Be clear on who you are writing for

For content marketing to attract leads, it should appeal to an ideal audience. Content that tries to appeal to everyone often misses its mark; it will end up attracting wrong leads or attract no leads at all. Therefore, before you even create content, ask yourself, “who I’m I writing for?”

This is where the customer persona comes in. A customer persona (or avatar) is a fictional profile of your target customers. You can create a customer persona by compiling information such as:

  • Biographical information- Such as gender, age, income and profession
  • Pain points- A problem they are trying to solve
  • Personal values- Their goals, what they care about, any objections they might have with your brand or industry
  • Interests- Such as magazines or publications they read or social media platforms they are on
  • Their role in the buying process- Do they have to seek permission or are they in control of their finances

Creating a great buyer persona takes a lot of research. You can talk to customers directly or use tools such as think with Google and survey gizmo, among others.

2. The audience first, lead generation next

Content serves two main purposes:

  • To generate traffic
  • To generate leads

Traffic comes before leads. Therefore, if there is no traffic heading to your website, you need to first create content that will make people want to visit your site. Great content for generating traffic includes:

  • Blog posts. These could be text, infographics, photos, videos or a combination of these.
  • Social media posts
  • Podcasts
  • eBooks

Once people start coming to your website, you can start converting them with lead generation content. This type of content,  also known as lead magnets, is an incentive that you give your audience so that they leave you their email address when they opt into your lead magnet. The incentive you give has to be helpful. For instance, an eBook, research reports, coupons, webinars, free trial, a course.

Your takeaway here should be two things:

  • If you don’t have an audience, first focus on creating content for generating traffic. Otherwise, your lead magnets will go to waste.
  • Choose a lead magnet that resounds with your audience. There is no point in giving a coupon if your audience would rather attend a webinar or take a course.

It can be difficult to keep track of all these content requirements. Invest in a premium marketing automation tool to ensure you never miss an opportunity to get your content in front of readers.

3. Choose Your Content Distribution Channels wisely

There are many content distribution channels out there, but all fall under:

Paid. This involves paying to get your content in front of audiences. Examples include social media ads and Google ads.

Organic. This doesn’t require any payment. You simply post your content and audiences will find it naturally or organically. You can do this on social media (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, among others) or post to your website.

Content distribution requires time and money. But not all channels are suitable for your brand, industry or audience type. As such, it is key to invest your time and money on the channels that will bring you the highest ROI. This boils back to the buyer persona. For instance, if your persona frequents Facebook, invest in Facebook ads and also do some organic content marketing on Facebook.

4. Make your lead magnets irresistible

It’s one thing to create a lead magnet, but it’s yet another to get customers to find it so irresistible that they want to give you their emails. An effective lead generation magnet should:

  • Solve a problem that your persona identifies with.
  • Deliver on its promise. If your persona is trying to achieve something, this should be clear right before they opt-in.
  • Be specific. People want to solve one problem at a time. If you make something too general, people may miss the point entirely.
  • Make for a quick read. For instance, a PDF checklist. The caveat here though is that if your persona likes detailed content, an eBook or short course may be a better lead magnet.
  • Offer a clear enough perceived value.
  • It should be accessible and provide instant gratification
  • It should validate your expertise

5. Write Blog Posts with a high conversion rate

Your content won’t convert if no one takes time to read. For your content to have a high conversion rate, ensure it has the following qualities:

  • The headline should be clear and appeal to readers. “How to” headlines, for instance, are effective because they tell the reader right from the beginning that the content will teach you how to solve a problem.
  • It addresses the topic in-depth. Write long-form content to achieve this objective.
  • It should be educational. Be true to your topic by offering the solution you promised.
  • Include visuals. They break the monotony of text and are easier to remember. Visuals should be relevant to your post.
  • Include keywords that will make your post rank better on search engines.
  • Link to authority websites to increase the credibility of your posts.
  • Link to posts on your blog to increase the time visitors spend on your side. Linking back to your own articles will also lead to better indexing on SERPs.

6. Include a call to action

Your content should tell your prospects what they need to do next. The standard way to place a call to action in your content is right after the conclusion. However, it’s normal with long-form content to include a call to action after every few paragraphs. For instance, if your content is “how to use software X to improve customer satisfaction”, inviting customers to “SIGN UP FOR YOUR FREE TRIAL” is important after you discuss a key feature in the middle of the article. After they see this call to action a few times, it will be hard for them to ignore it.

Your audience’s response to your call to action will also help you to further segment your audience for future content needs. For instance, if they don’t convert on the first read, then you’ll need to nurture them with more content. On the other hand, if they sign up for your trial, you can send them content that helps them to maximize their trial period.

If you target your content for each stage of the sales funnel, it will make the sales process a lot smoother. A lot of times, customers know what they are looking for; your content is just the additional push they need to purchase.

7. Add lead generation/opt-in forms

Once your prospects read your content and like your lead magnet, they will need a way to opt-in. They can do so by filling in a lead generation form (or opt-in form). Lead gen forms include the following:

  • Email sign up form. Place this on your website’s sidebar, on landing pages or have it pop up as your content scrolls.
  • Sales contact form. Some customers are ready to buy and all they want is to contact your sales team. Always include this form.
  • Exit intent form. This will should pop up whenever a visitor wants to exit your website.

The message that accompanies all these forms should be unique; your main aim is to get the visitor to fill in the form so that you can keep the engagement alive.

Your forms should be:

  • Straightforward
  • Include only the necessary fields. If the fields are too many, split them up in steps
  • Well branded and fit in with your website’s theme and design

Be sure to install analytics so that you can monitor all activity coming from each page and post through the lead generation forms.

Conclusion

Content marketing for b2b lead generation works. Marketers now understand this fact and they will continue to adopt it every year. However, for content marketing or any other lead generation strategies to succeed, they need the full buy-in and budgetary commitment from their companies. The most successful b2b marketers cite their company’s support for content marketing as an important factor in successful lead generation.

content strategy

Figure 2: Company support for content marketing leads to more success

Armed with this knowledge, content marketing should be one area that features in your budget request for your next quarter as you continue to lobby your executives to invest in more inbound marketing strategies.

Abbey Houston

Abbey Houston

Abbey Houston is a PR at https://www.unboundb2b.com/. She is a blogger, online marketer and loves to share with you the best stuff in sales and marketing. Follow Abbey on https://twitter.com/AbbeyHouston6/ .
Abbey Houston

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