Generating Leads with Content

You’ve probably heard the phrase “content is king.” In fact, you might even be producing content by the boatload because, well, everybody says content is important, and if everybody else is doing it, then you should be, too.

What’s really important about content, though, is something that many companies completely overlook. The most important thing about content is really just one thing: does it generate leads that you can convert
to sales?

More Content = More Leads

Think of digital content—blog posts, white papers, case studies, eBooks, landing page campaigns, etc.—as bread crumbs. The more content you create and publish that’s relevant to your customers and prospects—whether on your own website, social media channel, blog or as a guest blogger somewhere else—the larger the trail you leave across the Internet. And that means that prospective customers have a greater chance of finding you and being interested enough to visit your website where, if you’re smart, you’ll interest them enough to capture a lead.

So what’s the golden number when it comes to the amount of content you create? The sky’s pretty much the limit, but here are some benchmarks identified by HubSpot in their 2013 State of Inbound Marketing Report.

» Company websites should have a minimum of 400 indexed pages.

» Company websites should include a minimum of 31 landing pages.

Blogging is important because each blog post you publish is another page of content that search engines can index. Landing pages are important because that’s how you can convert someone from a looker to a lead, by offering them something of value in exchange for their contact information.

Another tip? Blogging regularly is a great way to not only boost the effectiveness of your corporate website, it’s also a way to extend your digital reach. Create content for your own blog and look for opportunities to contribute guest blogs on other companies’ sites that might serve a similar demographic, which extends your reach and exposure to other audiences exponentially.

Remember that instead of creating content that merely focuses on how great you are and why customers should use your services, think about your customers. Create content that helps them. What problems do they have? What are they thinking about? What resources do they need? Use the answers to those questions to frame your content strategy. By establishing yourself as a trusted industry resource, customers and prospects will feel more comfortable buying from you. Sound warm and fuzzy? It is. People like buying from people (and businesses) they like and trust.

Marketers: Lead Generation Is A Priority. Is It Yours?

A recent study of B2B marketers by Holger Shulze revealed some interesting findings about their content marketing priorities. At the top of the list? Using a content marketing strategy for lead generation, followed by thought leadership and brand awareness. What’s especially interesting is that more B2B marketers were focused on lead generation in 2012 as opposed to 2011—and we expect those numbers to continue to increase.

Just what is it about content that makes it such an effective lead-generation tool? Think of content as an extension of your sales and marketing efforts. It’s business development, pure and simple. And that’s why content that’s focused on your customers is so important. After all, your sales strategy isn’t just about trumpeting the benefits of your company and why you’re so great, right? It’s about delivering a targeted message that attracts and entices your customers to put you at the top of their list—and that’s exactly what your content can do, too.

You’ve Generated Leads. Now What?

The more relevant content you create, the more leads you’ll generate. Try experimenting with a landing page that delivers an ebook, report or white paper in exchange for visitors sharing their contact information.  Give them something of value, something that they need, and they’ll gladly give you their information.

Be sure you make it easy for your site visitors to sign up for your email newsletter or corporate blog and remember to always give them value. Resist the urge to talk about yourself, and focus on them instead. Customers are turned off and quickly tune out spammy, egocentric, sales-y messaging. Focus instead on customer-centric messaging with your content marketing and it will pay you back in spades, I promise.