How does a business blog go about creating content that generates leads every time? Businesses need to constantly generate leads which convert first to prospects and then to sales if they are to make profits and remain solvent. A company which does not generate good leads is therefore a company in trouble. While Blogging will normally drive traffic to your site, it is not an automatic way to produce good leads. This will only happen when the content on the site is of a type that is carefully designed to result in leads. So, how can your blog cultivate casual blog guests into becoming actionable leads?
Lead generation in recent years has become a fine Art, balancing research, user experience design, analytics, content creation, and good old gut instincts, in order to get the crucial personal information that marketing teams require to build and sustain a customer base.
As web dynamics evolve, so do many things traditionally taken for granted in the past. At present, partly in response to the rise in cyber crime, users are more wary about handing over personal data, especially to websites they have no previous relationships with. Hence, the great importance today of content that generates leads in the operations of businesses.
It is no wonder then that many B2B marketers have frequently increased leads generation budgets, sometimes by as much as 50% from year to year. That outlay will most likely continue to the rise each year as it gets tougher to wean out vital personal information from wary web users.
Studies by WebDAM have shown that B2B advertisers who blog, consistently produce more leads than those who do not. Blogging is thus confirmed once more as a chief source for leads creation in business. Demand Metric states that content marketing generates as much as 3 times as many leads as traditional marketing approaches, but costs 62% less. The question then appears to center around the type and quality of content needed to convert those guests to prospects by providing self data.
The Main Issues
To recap, businesses must consistently put up content which creates leads. Web users on the other hand, owing to a number of factors which include the increase in cyber crime, are increasingly more reluctant to part with personal information. If businesses do not find a dependable methodology to solve this problem, it hints at strong risk for the companies.
Your company may be one of several companies, which are not altogether responding adequately to this threat. To start with, there is a singular lack of understanding on what constitutes content in this regard. Traditional notions of what is content may need redefinition to meet the new challenges head on. So, do you really grasp what content is, as far as leads generation goes?
Well, here’s the simple explanation. If it’s on online or on your site, and it helps you mine data or information about a user, it’s content to all intents and practical purposes. Yes, even if it is a pricelist.
Most organizations routinely pass up great opportunities for leads generation due to this fundamental lack of understanding as to what can constitute content. Naturally, if one cannot even grasp the basic meaning, it is doubtful whether subsequent creation and utilization of the same is even possible.
Due to this deficiency in information, companies are indeed producing content, but not receiving great results. Sadly, many business bloggers equate blogging with content marketing. While blogs can be a good part of this process, they are not always even the most effective segment of content marketing. What is the often seen final outcome? As leads generation budgets increase, commensurate leads decrease. This is a sorry state for any company.
The Way Out
A systematic approach can be created which streamlines the process of predictable leads generation. There are a number of steps to take in order to get there:
The primary question every business must answer is what a customer really wants. You must in effect put yourself in their shoes and probably their heads also. Do your market Research. Ask the right questions at the right forums. Research helps you determine the state of your sector and whether there is a demand for your product or service. It also helps you narrow down what is lacking in the competition’s inventory, which you need you can effectively meet.
Use a keywords based Research methodology. Keywords help you know what is currently important to your target customer, what they are searching for at the moment. Commercial Keywords especially are like a magic mirror which accurately predicts what your customers will buy eventually.
This is the style in demand-generation media marketing, which is targeted for greater insight into customer buying habits.
Also by asking questions and responding to the customer’s inquiries, you are significantly building your brand. You are placing your business as an authority in that particular niche, while garnering vital information about your prospects and their likely response to your product or service.
Armed with salient information of your prospects’ buying habits, you may then redesign your landing page in a way that optimizes the content there, and fast tracks the buying process. Cut to the chase. Your landing page must address primary motivations of your expected prospects.
The landing page must be structured with content that generates leads in an efficient way. One way to achieve this is by giving a reward in exchange for information such as personal data. This reward may, and does often take the form of valuable information contained in a gated or non-gated content arrangement. The prospect gets this info only after filling a form perhaps, which necessitates the provision of an email address.
Having prepared both your site and your product, you are then ready to create and place leads generating content in preparation to receiving your first prospects.
Optimizing Structure of Content to generate leads
First realize that content by itself is powerless to turn guests to prospects or leads. It has to be the right content, and by that I mean content structured to guide the user through every stage of the process, providing the vital stimulus, information, and evaluation tools that make the customer engaged enough finally to divulge information.
Content that generates leads must be arranged in a way that it services the 3 stages in the “Funnel” from top to bottom:
Stage 1: Awareness (Top of the Funnel)
The Guest must be brought into awareness of the problem. This is a wakeup call. Content at this stage must point this out as well as point out the solution, which is hopefully found in a service or product you offer or provide.
Stage 2: Evaluation (Middle of the Funnel)
Information having been given, the guest advances to the stage of critically evaluating such information. The credibility of the original information at the awareness stage will help a guest decide quicker at this stage. Also remember that other solutions exist outside of yours. What gives you an edge then over the competition? What propels the guest to the immediacy of action? You must have provided for this in stage 1.
Stage 3: Conversion (Bottom of the Funnel)
This is the moment the guest can become a good lead or choose to abort the entire process. The goal of digital marketers is to create a chain of content that definitely converts the guest to a lead, and then to a frequent purchaser.
Therefore you would need content that provides information, encouragement, doomsday scenarios and any other thing that helps in all three stages. In this regard, a comparative graph that pits your superior pricing mechanism against that of the competition is good content, perhaps for the middle or evaluation stage.
Having made your arguments for the problem in the first stage, the second and third stages should reinforce those arguments, while tilting opinion in favor of your firm. Generally in all stages, your content, if it is to successfully create leads should instruct, educate, entertain, reassure, and compel or inspire the prospect to action.
What specific content types are most effective for the stages of the Funnel? What are the common types of content that generates leads?
Whatever type of content you want to put up, ask yourself if you can incorporate it into a video. More and more users are showing a keen preference for videos to receive every kind of information, even if it is knowledge of a technical nature. Many people like the ease of visual learning. This is perhaps why YouTube is the second biggest search engine out there. Your video must be short, easy to follow and clearly audible. Go through the information you are providing in short basic steps. Also include a call to action at the end. Videos provide the personal touch which is of course always effective. We all know how we come to identify with people in Films or on Television. Video is powerful and you should use it.
Research reports are prime content. This is because they are valuable and take time and resources to produce. Research reports typically are high leads generating content for most businesses. They habitually display a huge conversion rate. People respond to Research reports for the salient fact that information contained in it is of benefit to the prospect, and may not be easily accessed otherwise, or only at great cost. Good Research reports usually outperform info-graphics as well as case studies in generating good leads.
Free Downloadable Resources
We all love to go to a site and find free resources which are available for hitch free downloads. Most prospects will not mind exchanging personal data for the opportunity to own a free valuable resource. Free downloads can take any form, but the process must be fast and efficient. Another good benefit to you is that once prospects identify your site as a constant source of good free stuff, you will most likely see frequent repeat guests, who in the long run become permanent members of your community.
This trust that is already in place provides a very conducive environment for frequent and loyal conversions. Also word of mouth may well naturally result from this loyal following.
You can also optimize your free content for Social Media by adding share buttons before or after the transactions. Free downloadable content must be based on customer research, and be of the type of content the prospect would usually be interested in.
EBooks continue to grow in popularity and are dominant in the leads generation content game. EBooks educate, instruct, inform and generally increase the prospect’s worth, so it is practical that they continue to receive the response they do. The right targeted prospect will usually not hesitate to give up information for the right EBook. EBooks must be carefully designed as to be extremely helpful, and yet allow room for follow up and feedback. The perfect EBook is one that fetches a paying customer.
Gated Content is valuable content restricted until some action required has been carried out. This action will normally be as simple as filling a form or subscribing to a newsletter or agreeing to take part in a survey. Gated content work according to an incentive styled methodology. Gated content can be of any type of content, but is usually of a rare and thus valuable quality. You must endeavor to make sure your offer is worth the required action, or at least is deemed so by the prospect. Make this process efficient as delays will lead to distrust very quickly. Therefore what you promise, you should deliver quickly.
It is a matter of personal judgment to decide when to restrict content or when to leave it openly accessible. Resentment has been known to arise on some occasions this method has been used. Consistently however, valuable content when restricted in some way has been found to be solid content that generates leads. Points to keep in mind when doing this:
Specify what customer is getting as well as what you expect. Don’t ask for an email address first, and then later add a few other details.
Make it short and simple. A one click method works just fine.
Make the content original and worth the trouble. Prospects will appreciate it.
Don’t take advantage. Keep the information you want as basic as possible. Don’t ask for what you will never need.
Products and services such as courses can be tested by your prospects on a trial basis. The offer of this is a dependable leads generation technique. It also gives you the opportunity for instant follow up, using the user’s experience as a motivating factor. Many sites require prospects to fill out credit card information before they can opt-in for a trial. This can be a deal breaker sometimes. The best option would be to trust your product or service, and provide a simple process requiring just a filled form containing basic contact information. Trials should be a no obligations, risk free exercise for it to work.
Whitepapers are the more serious versions of your basic EBook. Whitepapers tend to be academic inclined, more detailed and usually are some sort of a report. Whitepapers address a particular issue or problem, explore the challenges and proffer solutions. Whitepapers are good leads generating content due to the fact that people generally find them valuable on account of their greater detail.
Courses, tutorials and webinars are always good for leads creation because of the attraction people have for them, especially when it is free. You can quickly put together one of these in your own niche or get a pro to do so. They can be recorded or live. Live shows give you opportunity for invaluable real time bonding with customers.
Email series are opt-in email based information which is serialized, and structured into parts. They are limited to a number of emails which is specified, and are a great promotional tool besides being good for leads generation. Series are different from Email subscriptions which are continuous and long term.
The nature of technology driven business today demands that top players remain innovative and quickly responsive to the dynamism in their different industries. The vital necessity of companies to always present content that generates leads means that the process of content marketing must be constantly adaptive to user needs and wants. When the right leads generating content is in place, it significantly improves the company’s chances of remaining a top brand with a strong customer base.
More information about creating the right leads generating content is available at Romdale Digital Marketing Services. Give us a call today, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org