Generating leads by using content marketing
Companies trying to generate leads make all kinds of efforts to publicize their products and services. Finding an audience, via marketing organic or paid campaigns, and creating a leads pipeline, is the intent of every business.
Converting those leads into customers is next on the list. Having potential customers and prospects buy a product or service is the successful endpoint of the marketing and sales pipeline.
Lots of marketing efforts are invested by businesses in content marketing, namely the marketing strategy aimed at distributing consistent value content to attract and retain an audience. It is the hope that creating content would drive leads for your business, and they would later convert and generate revenues and profits.
Content may include a variety of items and channels, such as writing blog posts, featuring a landing page on a company's website, investing in social media content, creating and designing a marketing campaign, employing email marketing, researching case studies and so much more. The pieces of the content list are endless.
Then there is customer feedback which enables organizations to figure out how their marketing campaigns, content marketing strategy, and sales efforts have materialized. What customers think and say may help businesses better understand whether their lead-generating content is working.
So businesses perform content marketing strategies and actions in order to create lead generation. Then they measure the results of those actions by counting the amount of leads they received.
But they also track and analyze their customer feedback, since it is critical for their lead generation efforts. Businesses try to evaluate how customers perceive not only their brand, product, or service, but also their marketing and business efforts.
In the hope that a company's content marketing would generate traffic and leads, which later would be converted into paying customers, they need to constantly examine their customer feedback in order to learn what works and what doesn't.
To understand your target audience, generate more leads, and drive more sales, lots of data research is required. Content can be measured in both metrics but also qualitative data aspects, for a business to know accurately where it stands with its audience.
As all types of content must be tried and tested to contribute to the lead generation process, a company's research can point out the true great lead magnet content pieces which give the most value, from those content items that don't perform as good. A customer feedback analysis can greatly help to figure out the public sentiment and perception.
With today's artificial intelligence and machine learning, it is possible to track and measure every post and every online page for traffic and relevance. At the same time, businesses can measure and evaluate customer feedback in order to dig deeper into the opinions of their audience.
So generating great content in order to drive quality leads and users must be followed by data research and measurements of each content form and type.
Whether a blog post, a landing page, case studies, short videos, webinars, podcasts, or any other types of content, data analysis of each content item would show a company if it is helping the lead generation efforts or not.
The role of content marketing usually begins with a "trial and error" attitude on many occasions and can be streamlined and structured later according to data analysis of each content item. Then, based on customer feedback data analysis, companies can evaluate their contribution to the lead generation process.
Then companies can determine which content effort served as a lead magnet and which didn't. They can also perform a content upgrade and find new ways to target the audience and generate leads, create content that is more appealing to their potential leads and measure it for further conclusions and data analysis.
The leading features of successful content marketing
Content marketing prepared in order to generate leads and eventually increase sales takes place on multiple channels and in every form and shape possible. Posts on the company's blog, for example, as well as landing pages on the site are aimed at driving visitors to learn about the brand.
Readers, or as the company likes to call them potential users and prospects, are invited also to the business social pages for yet more content and value. Content can also be found on review boards, forums, and communities, as it is generated mainly by the target audience and brand users, while the company responds to posts and comments as they appear.
Marketing campaigns and paid advertising also contain content aimed at generating leads and increasing brand awareness. Case study stories on the site, search engines' articles, blog posts, and other related content materials are all created in order to bring in more potential customers.
But what are the key elements and features found at the heart of all of those blog posts and other valuable content pieces that a company creates? How does a business handle its content marketing initiatives, whether free or paid, on all content channels and in every form possible?
Here are the main ingredients of content marketing pieces, in general, that every company uses. Creating great content along these lines, in order to generate leads and prospects for future sales and revenues, makes up for a business' content marketing strategy.
1. Target your existing customers
While every business would claim to treat existing as well as new consumers equally, many refer to the Pareto principle as their guideline. By that principle, 80% of a business's future revenues will come out of the company's 20% most loyal customers.
Therefore, in order to understand your target audience, managers are advised to prioritize and appeal to their existing consumers first. That includes, for example, offering them special deals and carrying out content marketing pieces with them on the company's mind.
Once a company finds its existing clients' sticking points, by also creating content that would help give them more value and present how the company cares for them, they can drive the business forward. They can also recommend the products and services to new consumers and help drive in even more revenues for the company.
So if a business is able to target its existing audience, by also offering them value through great content, it can achieve increased retention and more revenues as well as possibly use the consumers' power to influence potential clients.
Great blog posts with interesting viewpoints and value, for example, or free trial offers via well-designed content pieces, can create and maintain consumer loyalty for the brand. An existing audience, if treated properly and with the right use of content marketing, can help a business a lot.
2. Offer value
Value means a lot of different things to consumers. There are always free giveaways and special discounts for existing users, but value can be interpreted and offered on several other levels as well.
Great customer service, for instance, helps a company maintain a good brand reputation and increase retention. A marketing campaign involving help for good causes can also show that the company has more to offer than just selling its products.
Also, great content such as value posts on the company's website, with tips and other helpful post advice can keep the consumers happy and satisfied. And happy consumers are likely to continue remaining paying consumers.
Free content, whether in a post format on a blog or on a social media page, and engagement and reactions to it from the audience, can serve as a basis for creating a community and strengthening relationships with the current users. Forums and communities are great in maintaining existing consumers but also can help to generate leads and target the next customer.
Value is also mentioned in relation to customer-obsessed companies. These are companies that care about their audience non-stop and keep improving their already great service and products.
Converting new prospects and increasing revenues are made easier for these types of organizations, as their customer-obsessed brand reputation carries forward their name. Their lead generation efforts, thanks to their consumer efforts, serve as a lead magnet by themselves, helping drive in more and more income.
Another way to give value is to create content that serves as a lead magnet. Lead magnets are content pieces that potential consumers are looking for, such as checklists for solving problems or cheat sheets that provide step-by-step guidelines for specific processes.
Lead magnets can appear inside a landing page or on a social media post or inside the company's blog. When visitors to the website stumble upon such content, especially if they find it useful, then the chances of them returning increase. So not only does traffic to your site increase, the items published there become potential lead-generating content.
3. Do storytelling
The art of storytelling proves itself time after time when trying to generate leads. It is the creativity, words' magic, and story content feature that appeal to current as well as potential consumers together.
Saying the right words in order to drive new leads and perfecting the content's style and tone is what storytellers do. Stories sell products.
People are attracted to stories with interesting viewpoints, as well as content that carries either a moral or a lesson to take away from, so leading an audience through stories can help connect people to a company.
It is many times the story behind the brand that sells it to the masses. Generating it and delivering it to your audience is a true work of content marketing art.
So a lead magnet on a landing page, a blog post, paid ads or social media texts are all good places to create and do storytelling, in the effort to engage your audience and prospects.
4. Get customer feedback
Getting feedback from your consumers is relevant for all of the company's teams, and that includes the marketing department as well. Since the entire brand content is generated within the marketing team, analyzing the consumer's feedback is key to figuring out if the content plan is working and delivering results.
Reactions to blog posts, both as measured by the number of likes and shares, but also via comments, can tell if a company's content is effective. Such engagements are key to figuring out the consumer's voice.
Social media activities, a landing page call to action, an invitation to chat on the website, or any other efforts to create content can all be viewed and judged by the traffic and reaction they help generate.
Readers of a brand's content are called to engage with the company in a variety of ways. The more a company manages to engage its consumers, whether on its site, social media posts and pages, paid channels, or any other marketing content pieces, the greater the likelihood of such users buying its products.
5. Measure content by increased revenues
Converting readers into consumers, by using informational pieces, is done in order to increase revenues. By the same token, all of your lead generation content can be measured for its effectiveness and contribution to the bottom-line revenue stream.
The necessary features for creating lead generation
There are several things to consider when trying to create a content marketing strategy aimed at generating leads.
While doing research and collecting relevant data is an ongoing process when trying to figure out who your consumers are and how your product can appeal to them, the following features are necessary when creating lead generation actions.
Talk to your customers
Getting to know your consumers can help a company learn how to serve them more accurately and what are the right messages to include in the lead generation process. Knowing them means talking to them, if not literally then at least by communicating with them on different channels.
Communication with consumers can take form in a variety of ways. When the organization posts on social media or publishes blog posts, then track reactions to such pieces, the data accumulates and can present interesting facts about the consumers.
Answering customer emails is another example of a communication channel which enables a company to track consumer reactions and talk back to them while also learning what they like or don't like.
Align marketing and sales efforts
The sales team and the marketing team must search for the right messaging to deliver to prospects. The main messages must be aligned across all media channels, be it the site, social media pages, blog, search engine articles, etc.
Delivering clear and focused messages increases the chances of succeeding in selling the company's products and services since consumers are informed in a unified way about what to expect. Then there is the research required to measure if such messaging is effective and delivers results.
Target your customers
Research must lead to finding the right buyer persona or even to locating several personas. Once a company figures out its target audience, then the right messaging can be prepared in order to start the lead generation process.
Deciding on the right messaging and putting them in lead magnets is the next step. Then, measuring the results brought by every lead magnet can show if the messaging works.
Prepare your lead profile
Demographics, buying habits, and desired consumer types are some of the ingredients that make up the building of the lead profile. Each organization must search for and examine a variety of parameters in order to prepare the optimal lead profile, or even several profiles, before starting to publish or advertise content.
Plan your lead generation process
The lead generation process combines the "what do a company say" (messaging) with "where do we say" (distribution channels, both paid and organic). In order to generate leads, these two factors must go together.
There are of course budget concerns, but they must align with the priorities managers set for themselves in the effort to generate leads.
The planning must come after the thorough lead profile preparation. When measuring each marketing channel's performance, changes and optimization can take place.
Sometimes a content upgrade is called for, depending on the results and data from the previous content efforts. The need to search and create better content is a constant concern for companies, and the content results can tell them what works and what needs improvement.
Mix your tactical operations
Marketers usually mix their distribution channels and tactical operations. Never putting all of their eggs in one basket, meaning not relying on one channel or tactic only, they place content on a variety of platforms.
This enables businesses to have different channels work together simultaneously as well as a test as many opportunities as possible. That way, prospects meet the company's content in many different places and are given various ways by which to be exposed to the content messaging and ideas.
Blog posts, lead magnets, organic and paid social ads as well as public relations articles and releases are among the tools companies use in order to publicize and sell themselves. Traffic to and engagements with these efforts determine whether a company manages to increase its customer base, and eventually, its income.
Nurture your leads with value
As consumers are bombarded with ads and messaging on many different platforms, each company aims to differentiate itself from the rest of its competition by giving valuations. This can be carried out by free gifts or discounts, but also by the ability of companies to create information that is compelling and exciting.
Special posts on the website or on social media, or lead magnets with important and helpful content on a landing page can interest consumers and bring them closer to the company's products and services.
Measurement of the content's performance, on each channel and platform, will determine just how valuable it was, as determined by the consumers' reactions to it.
The nurturing of leads, through continuously creating informational pieces, in an ongoing process. Consumers need different time frames by which to be convinced to purchase a product, so constantly offering them exciting pieces of information is key.
How to generate leads by employing content marketing
Efficient marketers know that the best way to attract leads is by creating valuable content. The old "Content is king" saying still holds today.
According to a DemandMetric report, content marketing generates three times as many leads as traditional marketing tactics. So in order to generate leads, a company must put emphasis on several tactical moves.
There are four major tactics to achieve that:
1. Target specific personas
Determining the buyer persona (or personas) and focusing on how to market the company's products and services is the first key tactic. Potential consumers are defined and characterized in the hope of finding them later as quality leads.
Once the target audience is established, the messaging can be more directly prepared in order to reach them. Creating and generating great and fitting types of informational materials can only succeed once a company manages to define its prospects profile.
The language on landing pages, blog posts, or paid advertisements is written in accordance with the understanding of what this buyer persona needs and wants.
2. Create engaging content
A company tries to create as compelling content as possible, but it is up to the consumers to judge if such materials are interesting and attract them to convert into purchasing the company's products.
An organization can measure the attractiveness of its publicized output by numbers, such as the amount of visitors flocking to its website, reactions to blog page items, or the number of likes and shares social media posts garner.
Other than traffic numbers, tracking and analyzing consumer reactions to such related content from all over the open web can tell the company a whole lot more. It can show how such content is being perceived and what consumers think about it.
3. Mix your content distribution networks
Distribution channels offer plenty of opportunities to generate leads and reach potential consumers, so companies usually try them all. If one or two channels don't deliver, maybe the other ones will.
Traffic measurements, as well as content evaluations, can show companies what works for them and what doesn't in terms of distribution. The numbers tell an important part of the story.
Then they can always search for the most efficient ways to reach buyers, form decisions according to the results, and continue to create lead generation pieces.
4. Use content pieces as lead magnets
Content marketing pieces can serve as lead magnets, whether on landing pages or in paid advertisements. They usually showcase valuable information to consumers, with the aim of luring them to engage with the company and later buy its products.
A lead magnet can be offered free to consumers in return for their email address, and once they share it, the company can begin nurturing them by emailing them specific special offers.
Traffic for a lead magnet is easy to measure, for open rates and engagements. And if the traffic results are unsatisfactory, a company can always create a more engaging content marketing piece.
Affogata analyzes your customer feedback for improving lead generation
Affogata delivers companies tracking and analysis of their consumer's voice which enables them to measure and take real-time actionable insights.
The vast amounts of consumer data are tracked and analyzed in minutes, allowing managers to know exactly where they stand with their consumers and make the next necessary decisions.
Being a cross-organizational platform, specific data is collected for marketing teams as well. Such data enables them to measure the results of their lead-generating published efforts.
Customer data as well as traffic analysis for their campaigns and other actions can tell them where they succeed and where there is still room for improvement.
Then there is an additional analysis of the competition, letting marketers figure out what consumers are saying about the rival products and brands.
From customer feedback to actionable insights
Consumers discuss products, services, and companies online all the time. It is the ability to track and analyze their opinions and comments that help companies figure out their true voice, and as a result, offer improvements.
Once the unstructured millions of data points are collected, the AI-powered platform is able to structure and organize the intel. That enables companies to understand the consumer's voice in a natural and unfiltered way.
Unlike survey data or a focus group's results, the consumer feedback platform plays out as a tracker of a giant public poll. It is constantly collecting feedback data from all over the open web and then analyzing it for actionable insights.
Companies taking action from consumer insights can rest assured that they keep intact with market trends, with their competition but mainly with their own clients. Actionable insights from analyzed data guarantee higher chances of future market success.
Quantity matters, but so is quality
Measuring traffic to your site and knowing how long visitors stayed on each page is one of many quantitative metrics companies use. Traffic measurements also are registered for likes and shares on social media pages.
But all that gives an organization only a partial picture of its operations.
Such traffic intel adds up with the revenue figures, to present the company's full picture from the numbers side. But this is only one part of that picture.
Behind the traffic numbers, there is the consumer's voice which requires analysis and can offer many key insights regarding their engagement with the company's products and services.
The consumer's voice is a collection of their entire real-time open web mentions and comments. By tracking it constantly, and then analyzing it for insights, companies can learn how their products are perceived by consumers.
Analysis of the consumer's voice complements the numbers achieved, as it verbally highlights what works in a product and what needs improvement. While a "like" and a "share" are always nice to have, it is key for businesses to create a better understanding of what consumers actually think about the products.
Quantity traffic numbers tell companies what happened. Quality analysis, that is the conclusions drawn from what consumers say, gives companies the "why it happened". Both are key and present the full market situation a company finds itself in.
Content marketing, lead generation, and consumer feedback go together. You simply can't have one without the others.
Generating leads in order to persuade them to buy a company's products is done by the use of a variety of informational efforts. Then, measurement of each effort takes place, to see what works and what doesn't.
The role of consumer feedback, the third element in this equation, plays out in the importance of tracking and analyzing it so that companies can better figure out their lead generation efforts as well as their promotional tasks.
Once the consumer's voice is figured out, the lead generation efforts, as well as the lead-generating content outputs, can be improved and optimized.
This cycle never stops, but if companies are wise to invest in it constantly, they can increase their chances of success in their markets.