How to Maximize Lead Generation With Content Marketing
How to Maximize Lead Generation With Content Marketing
Danny Shepherd, CO-CEO • Intero Digital • September 24, 2021
Marketers wear a lot of hats. You might be responsible for elevating your company’s brand; building an engaged audience; managing communities on social media; creating and distributing content; and sharing your company’s story, products, and services with the right people.
At the end of the day, though, you’ve probably been held accountable to the same metric most marketers are: qualified leads generated.
Fortunately, like many aspects of your marketing team’s responsibilities, generating qualified leads is much easier with high-quality content.
The thing about content, though, is that it’s so versatile that brands usually believe that creating just any content will work to achieve their goals. In reality, reaching a specific audience and achieving a specific goal require specific types of content. To generate high-quality leads, you’ll need to develop a plan that uses certain types of content that complement one another to bring you closer to your goal.
Read on to discover what makes content marketing an effective strategy for generating leads, including what types of content fuel a lead generation strategy, the tools that make it work, the metrics that demonstrate ROI, and the insider secrets that can maximize success.
How to Generate Leads With Content Marketing
The right kinds of content can create a funnel of opportunities for your company. It begins with content published outside of your website, which engages new prospective customers and helps you build trust with them. That content can guide interested readers to your website, where various relevant, educational resources can convert visitors into leads who are primed for your messaging via email nurture campaigns.
An excellent lead generation strategy draws in leads who:
- Trust your brand and the content you produce.
- Have a pain point they’d like to solve.
- Need something only your company offers.
Compelling content for generating leads should be:
- Exclusive, original, and high-quality.
- Useful for helping or completely solving audience pain points.
- Well-designed and engaging.
Your audience should be able to access your content via:
- Online publications and media outlets your audience trusts.
- Your company website and blog.
- Clear and compelling landing pages.
Content That Fuels a Lead Generation Strategy
Content plays a big role in helping your company generate more leads. From attracting likely site engagements to converting, nurturing, and delivering warm leads to help your sales team, lead generation through content marketing can create a funnel of consistent opportunities for your company.
The secret lies in crafting and publishing the proper types of content for your audience and then using all that great content in a more comprehensive strategy to drive more site visits, convert leads, and nurture leads throughout their journey.
Let’s take a look at the distinct types of content you’ll need to make your lead generation content marketing strategy the most effective.
- Guest-contributed articles
This is content bylined by your company’s internal experts that offers original insights, research, and opinions. It’s then contributed to specific publications in your industry that your audience reads and trusts.
- Press mentions
A press mention refers to a mention of you or your company in the press. While it’s content published in an outside publication, it’s not content that anyone within your company bylines. Press mentions are references to your company by journalists, contributors, influencers, etc., that provide your audience members with third-party validation that they can trust you.This off-site content helps you reach and engage a new audience. And when the media you earn also includes links to the media you own, you can create a direct path for audience members to visit your site to learn more about you and what you have to offer.
- On-site content
As the name indicates, this is content that lives on your website. It includes all the blog posts, case studies, infographics, and other helpful resources your company creates to educate your audience and communicate what you do.
- Gated content
This is exclusive, high-value content on your site that’s housed behind a form on a landing page. Your audience members can download your gated content in exchange for some of their personal information, like an email address. This allows you to deliver that content and then continue to nurture leads with even more relevant content over time (if they opt in to receive emails from you).Not only does your on-site content offer more education surrounding the topics your readers are interested in, but it also keeps your visitor engagement high, reinforces your position as a helpful resource, and allows your visitors to convert into leads.
- Email drip campaigns
Triggered by a specific action on your site, email drip campaigns help you deliver specific content to specific leads at particular times. The ability to customize the content and timing of these campaigns enables you to educate and nurture your leads throughout their unique decision-making process.
- Email newsletters
These newsletters package your best content and deliver it directly to your audience members’ inboxes. Newsletters are a powerful way to continue driving traffic to your website and promote valuable gated resources.
- Social media
If your audience is on social media, your company should be, too. Social media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram are excellent tools for consistently sharing content that engages your audience members where they are online and drives them to high-converting content on your site.
Let’s Get Technical: The Tools and Tech of Lead Gen
Content is essential for lead generation — but it doesn’t work independently. If you want to convert your site visitors into leads, deliver those leads to your sales team, and demonstrate ROI, there are a few tools you’ll need.
Before you start creating content and expecting results, make sure you’ve got the following tools in place:
- A website with a blog
What good is your content if you have no place to put it? The look and feel of your website are essential factors in how your content is received. If your site and blog look outdated, poorly maintained, and inconsistent, readers won’t trust your content. But when your site is easy to navigate, your blog is full of useful content, and your offers are convincing, the probability of converting visitors is higher.
- Access to your website’s analytics
To measure your results, you’ll need insight into the performance of each of your blog posts, including the number of views, the number of call-to-action clicks, conversion rates, and so much more. Beyond your blog, you need access to your entire website’s analytics. This will allow you to assess how well your sitewide content is performing and provide clues as to how you can optimize your conversion rates across your website.
- A marketing automation system
To increase the number of leads you’re generating, you must cover as much ground as possible with your marketing efforts. That’s where automation systems come in. A marketing automation system allows you to automate specific tasks, ensuring your leads are nurtured with the right content and your team has plenty of time for more dynamic marketing activities.
- A customer relationship management system
A good CRM will enable you to keep track of every interaction you have with a lead. This helps teams align their marketing and sales efforts and ensures nobody falls through the cracks.
Essential Metrics to Help You Monitor Progress
Once you have everything in place, you’ll want to measure the progress of your content regularly. While page views and CTA clicks are good metrics, they’re not the only ways to measure the success of your website’s lead generation performance.
- Clickbacks to your site
This metric measures the number of visitors who click through to your website from other websites. Your guest-contributed articles and press mentions can contribute to this metric. Clickbacks, measured via referral traffic, usually demonstrate that folks have found your helpful off-site content and would like to engage more with your offerings and website.
- Lead conversions
Lead conversions give precious insight into how successfully targeted your content is. If you’re generating many leads but very few are becoming clients, your content might be misleading or unclear about what you do and who you serve. On the flip side, if you’re generating only a few leads and they’re almost all becoming customers, you might benefit from broadening your focus a bit.
- Average lead score
To evaluate lead quality, marketers should create a checklist or scoring system based on the types of customers they wish to attract. If you consistently consider each lead with an objective scoring system, you’ll be able to assess the quality of leads coming through the site and the areas in which leads are consistently lacking. If any of your leads have similar weak points, develop content to combat this.
- On-site analytics and engagement
When you publish content on your website, you can utilize your analytics to monitor its performance — and even make tweaks over time to improve. Look to metrics like time on site, bounce rate, and finish rate to see what pieces of content keep reader engagement high on-site, and use conversion rate metrics to monitor which content led visitors to take specific actions on your site.
4 Ways to Maximize Your Lead Generation Results
With the right content and technology in place, your lead generation strategy has a solid foundation. Still, generating traffic and leads remains one of the biggest challenges, and overcoming it might require more than a foundation alone. To maximize your success, you need to build on that foundation. The tactics below can help you make the most of your efforts and effectively grow your lead generation strategy over time.
1. Focus on organic distribution.
Sharing your content on social media is among the easiest ways to start the distribution process. Fuel your marketing efforts, engage your followers, and attract leads to your content with constant updates on the platforms where your visitors are engaging the most.
2. Utilize paid amplification and distribution.
Paid distribution is a powerful strategy to boost your reach among targeted, qualified website visitors who are beyond your organic network. Targeted amplification via social media, Google Ads, influencers, and beyond can help you deliver your content to potential leads and increase your ROI.
3. Optimize your content for search.
With the internet right at their fingertips, prospective customers are turning to mobile search engines to access the information they need to find solutions for their pain points. Investing in search engine optimization can help those potential leads find your solutions instead of competitors’ services.
A technical website audit can help you ensure your website is set up to give every piece of content a chance to be found by search engines. And keyword research can help you provide a better understanding of what exactly your audience is looking for, where your competitors rank, and how you can optimize your content to drive traffic and leads to your website consistently.
4. Diversify your gated content.
Gated content can be highly effective for generating leads, but the proverbial well can dry up if you’re not careful. Make sure to offer a diverse array of gated content. This will enable you to reach many audience members at various points throughout the buyer’s journey. Some might respond well to a checklist or evaluation tool, while others might prefer a detailed guide for more education first.
Variety isn’t limited only to types of gated content — it also applies to the topics you cover. Developing various gated resources can allow you to link back to other specific, relevant pieces of content, such as blog posts. Take advantage of those opportunities when they arise.