Content is more useful than a lot of people realize. Too many companies spend time creating content but don’t do a whole lot to ensure that their content is useful and has an effect on their goals. Companies with this kind of approach aren’t doing content wrong, necessarily; they’re just not using content as well as they could (and, honestly, should).
The numbers back this up. Content marketing is used by the majority of marketers, but one of the biggest challenges for 61 percent of marketers around the world is generating traffic and leads. Your content is a perfect tool for this — but only when you’ve built a plan that works to use content for lead gen.
Content is versatile, and you can use it for many goals within your company. If consistently generating qualified leads is one of your goals, then here are five things you need to have in place in order to do exactly that:
1. An actual plan to use content for lead generation
To be able to use content for your lead gen goals, you need to have a crystal clear idea of how content actually works to attract, engage, and convert people in your audience. You can use the templates in this guide to generating leads with content if you need any help getting started.
Think about how you’re encouraging your marketing and sales teams to talk to each other. Are they collaborating on content that speaks to the needs of your target audience? Have you laid out a clear path from one piece of content to the next that brings each visitor closer to conversion? Are you using all the content tools you have available — like your PR team, your blog, your email — to make this goal a reality?
2. Helpful, useful content
If the content you’re creating isn’t helpful to your audience members, they’re not going to engage with your brand, let alone convert into a lead. Your goal should always be to help people with your content: address a pain point, answer a question, or help them get better at something.
You can do this with a variety of content, and content on your website and blog is a great start. But to really provide that extra education and help meet the needs of people who are coming to your site, consider producing longer-form, gated content, like reports, guides, and checklists.
Not only does this allow you to dive deeper and be even more helpful, but it also gives you the chance to collect valuable contact information about your audience members. The right gated content can reinforce your brand as a trustworthy resource and give you the chance to keep your audience members engaged over time.
3. Compelling landing pages
Now, if you’ve read any of my content or heard me speak anywhere, you’ve probably heard me say that your work isn’t done once you produce a piece of content. That’s true here, too. If you’re going to create gated content, then you’re going to need landing pages.
These are the pages where visitors trade their info for your content — so the stakes are pretty high. They’re just as important as the gated content itself, so don’t get lazy when you’re creating these pages. Create pages that compel visitors to take action, and ask for only the information you absolutely need to start effective follow-up communication.
4. Effective distribution and promotion plans
Of course, you can’t generate leads if nobody knows about the great content you’re creating. You need to get your brand and content in front of new people. Use any avenues you have to make this happen — share it on social media, contribute content to outside publications, invest in PR, leverage social promotion or Google Ads to promote the content. There are plenty of ways to get your content out there, so get creative.
5. Consistent contact and nurturing
One important thing to remember: Just because leads don’t show enthusiasm about your products or services right away doesn’t mean they won’t become customers at another time. Very, very few leads will be ready to buy right away, so make sure you’ve got a plan to keep your brand top of mind with those people.
Share content with them via personalized email campaigns, stay active on social media, and continue to be a resource for your audience members. Do what you can to build trust, and when they’re ready to buy, you’ll be the first person they call.
These five components are the building blocks for consistent lead generation with content marketing. Tailor each to fit your company and its needs, and you can start seeing your leads grow.
This article was originally posted on – https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnhall/2018/08/19/5-things-you-need-to-improve-your-lead-gen-and-grow-your-business/#247e663352af