Is Content King or How to Use It to Generate Leads
November 15th, 2016
Many have heard the concept “Content is king” but not many businesses use its potential to the maximum.
Statistics says that only 76% of the B2B companies have a content marketing strategy, while everyone agrees that high-quality content is one of the easiest and economically efficient ways to attract target audience and convert them into clients. And actually, the business model doesn’t matter in this regard because a wise implementation of content marketing strategies is equally important for B2B, B2C, and other companies.
Smart lead-generating content marketing strategy (CMS) will require you to clearly understand your customer and offer the content that fits his / her needs and demands, so that your content will be read, bookmarked, shared, and re-read again.
Target audience research is the first step in creating your content marketing strategy. (Granted, this step is usually done even before CMS creation because you were creating your product with particular audience in mind already.)
Fundamental questions for defining your target audience:
How old are they? (This is one of the vital questions since it will define the way your audience perceives the information - whether they are Millenials, which are used to online media, or if they are older generation, who prefer reading newspapers they have subscribed to.)
Where do they live? (Depending on your business’ nature, this question may be either critical - if you are a local business, like a coffee shop, or it might be of little relevance.)
What is their gender? (With genders becoming slightly confused, this is a tricky question, but still, it would be a good idea to understand what audience to appeal to, mainly - even if you think of which color scheme to choose).
Where do they get their information? (Like we mentioned above, this can partly depend on their age and habits, but also on other factors. If you have a beauty app, then perhaps your potential customers subscribe to beauty magazines, or if you have a gaming app, your users would more likely see an ad in the app store, etc.)
One way to analyze your target audience is by keyword analysis. For example, you can use Google AdWords Keyword Planner which has an “Ideas” section that allows companies to find appropriate keywords that represent their business. Also, typing the business field and location, such as “outsourcing software development in Ukraine,” you can also get a list of recommended keywords and estimated the number of people to whom this topic might be of interest.
By creating content that answers the questions your audience has, you create the conditions for those who are looking for solutions to become your potential lead.
To make content marketing work and direct traffic to your landing pages, you have to create appropriate content. There are various types of content specific for each company. However, there are also universal content formats that can be used to attract customers.
Case studies are used to demonstrate the benefits of a product the company offers. These case studies (especially if set in a storytelling format or are supported with graphic elements) can “educate” the client, providing him a sound reason to want / need the company’s product.
Case study: a process or record of research in the development of a particular person, group, or situation over a period.
At the same time, case studies should not be overly directed at selling. It should be a story of how a company was able to find a solution, what challenges have been overcome, and how this product (or service) can help other people succeed.
Some people prefer to read the text, and there are who respond better to visual aids. As we mentioned above, graphic elements add even more credibility to the textual component. Use photos, illustrations, infographics, and graphs to visualize your ideas. Also, this would help to make your content shareable across the social networks.
Tips for writing a good case study:
Think of your ideal customer and write about something s/he can relate to
Use real numbers in your research to generate trust
Try different formats, combining visual aids and text, appealing to different types of learners
Share the entire story from beginning to the end (even if something went wrong)
Format your information so that it is easy to read (short paragraphs, lists, images, quotes, etc.)
Webinars or interactive courses are another effective way to generate leads using the content. Giving users the ability to gain knowledge in a convenient format on any device, you provide them with an easy way to understand your concepts and the essence of your product.
Webinar: a seminar conducted over the Internet.
Researching the topic is one of the most important steps in creating a successful workshop / webinar. Study what’s “out there” already to develop an interesting and useful seminar for your listeners and potential customers. Explore what is available already, check what improvements can be made in others’ webinars, and create a webinar that stands head and shoulders above all.
The webinar has to focus on solving only one problem for your audience, and the level of details vary depending on your audience’s preparation and level of knowledge.
A useful feature of webinars is the registration form. When people sign up for your event, you get access to your potential customers’ emails and these are the people who are interested in what you want to say, therefore, a part of your target audience.
Many experts believe that video is where the content marketing is headed. Cisco’s experts believe that by 2017, 69% of all consumer Internet traffic will be generated by video content. Therefore, it would be smart to be prepared for that age and already think strategically about it.
READ MORE: How to Create a Startup Video on a Shoestring Budget
The video is a simple and affordable way to provide the user with a wealth of information at the same time in a “digestible” and visual format. Also, videos are very convenient and easy to share on social networks, where your content has a chance to become “viral” (i.e. spread among numerous people like a wildfire… but without hurting anyone, preferably.)
In some cases, the video is the most efficient way to communicate the idea to the audience because other means and ways don’t fully convey the ideas.
“If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a million.”
Manuals, instructions, and practical tips
This type of content can solve several problems at once. On the one hand, it promotes the company’s services or products and positions the company as an expert in the field, on the other hand - it gives clear answers to customers’ questions of interest. These practical instructions provide necessary background information to give a reply to a specific request the customers had.
You can offer user manuals, guides, tips collections, and other content, which increases the value of the product / service / website in the eyes of your users. Use charts, graphics, screenshots, and images to make the information more visually informative, and memorable. Furthermore, manuals often use the form of infographics.
Besides the abovementioned content, you can also create manuals in the form of e-books, building your potential customers database when you ask for the emails.
Content Promotion in social networks
Any strategy that uses content to attract leads to your business would not be complete without an effective social media marketing campaign.
Distribution of content via social media can be compared to a chain reaction: the company shares information with its customers and users and they, in turn, share it with their friends and followers. Regardless of the area in which the business operates, this type of communication is the key element in the promotion of content and lead generation.
READ MORE: Small Business Benefits from Social Media Integration
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Need help with your web or mobile project development & marketing?