Lead generation is the process of cultivating potential customers for your business. According to a report from HubSpot, 61% of marketers consider generating traffic and leads to be their biggest challenge.
When you rely on continuous conversions to keep your business growing the pressure of lead generation can seem overwhelming. It’s important to invest in quality lead generation so that you aren’t just pulling in any interest going.
If you’re a dog grooming parlour you don’t want to spend any time on reptile enthusiasts or cat owners for example.
The beauty of using content for lead generation is that you can work on optimising it constantly so that you are putting your best foot forward when you’re generating new leads.
We’re going to look at how to use content for lead generation, how to make that content more effective and tips to optimise lead generation strategy.
How do you use content for lead generation?
88% of B2B marketers use content marketing as a lead generation tactic(Content Marketing Institute)because content marketing generates three times as many prospects as outbound marketing, but costs 62% less (Demand Metric).
Read it again. Slowly.
Content marketing generates THREE TIMES as many prospects as outbound marketing and costs 62% less.
What content can we put out there to generate leads?
Blogs answer questions, they help people research and they encourage action. Since the beginning of the century, attention span has decreased by 33% (Time). This means that we need to work harder to be noticed and blogs are a wonderful way to do that. Offering consumable content through a blog helps your prospects make a decision and builds trust…if you can keep their attention for long enough!
Ebooks are pure value. This is basically an electronic book so it’s packed full of information for your prospects. If we’re looking back at our dog groomer here, they may put out an ebook on how to maintain grooming at home which includes trimming, nail clipping and washing in between grooming visits.
There is nothing more attractive to prospects than the promise of them learning a new skill they can implement to better their lives. Courses are a massive time investment for businesses but there is no reason they need to be dominating as you could easily do a 5 part video tutorial on dog training that would be lapped up by dog owners!
Trials or Demos
People love a freebie and if it’s a freebie where they can reap the rewards then even better! If you invite prospects to watch a demo or enjoy a free trial not only do they see the quality of your work but your relationship with them starts to flourish!
Sticking with our dog groomer, they might add free nail clipping to the first 3 groom sessions or send out a video showing their prospects how they carry out grooming from start to finish.
Hold a competition!
Competitions work really well for lead generation because not only do they teach you a lot about your audience, they also encourage active engagement with them and grow your reach. They also entice prospects to get involved and initiate relationships with potential customers.
Our dog groomer could host a ‘cutest dog’ competition on social media, get loads of new prospects involved and offer the winner a free groom. This kind of content is fuelled by the audience’s involvement which is a great way to generate fresh leads.
Checklists are quick and effective. They are really useful so will be snapped up and they don’t take that long to create. The possibilities are endless. Our dog groomer could offer valuable checklists such as:
- Top 10 things to remember when you take your dog on holiday
- Checklist to prepare your dog for bonfire night
- Tips to introduce a new puppy to your older dog
For dog owners, these checklists would push them to sign up to get this quality content for their sweet hounds.
Lead magnets come in many shapes and sizes. These can be anything from guides to toolkits to templates. Useful pieces of content that pull prospects in and will them to take action in the form of sharing their email address. An ideal opportunity to start trust building.
When you are thinking about creating a lead magnet, remember to invest in the follow up. Without this you are handing out free ice cream and then not benefiting from the prospect’s appreciation of that by continuing the conversation.
Learning opportunities are golden content. If you can put out a webinar about a specialist topic and share it with your network who shares it with their network then you have created an organic lead generation strategy that will pull new prospects in from all over.
Our dog groomer could do a webinar on the products she uses on her clients and why followed by a Q&A session. I would want to know my dog was getting the very best products!
A good case study is like a testimonial on steroids. If you have a client who has had wonderful success thanks to your service then take the time to write a case study and share it so that other people with the same problem come to you for the same success.
Deserve way more attention than they get compared to other content lead generation options. Landing pages push the prospect towards a decision with their value proposition, outline of benefits and consistent messaging.
Thinking back to how short people’s attention spans are, they could have had a great Ebook and then gotten distracted. The landing page refocuses them, reminds them and persuades them to sign up.
Make your content more effective for lead generation
Lead generation is our ultimate goal as businesses. We want to make sure that the content we put out there is playing it’s part in generating fresh leads.
How do we make our content more effective?
Knowing who your customers are will help you invigorate your content for them specifically. Marketing Sherpa state that 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales.
Lack of nurture is the main cause for this. If your ideal customers actively engage with videos but barely clicks through to blogs then focus on videos. Know your customers so you can make their experience relevant.
Rule of one
The rule of one means that you are always writing for ONE.
ONE reader, big idea, promise and offer.
Write copy targeted at the 20-35% of your traffic. These are your best prospects. Your content will become much clearer when you write for your best prospects. Focus on them, shower them with benefits, make a powerful promise and make an offer that was designed for them.
Awareness for lead generation
Structure content around awareness. Your content must meet your prospect where they are in their thought process. Writing at the solution aware even when they are unaware will be a complete waste of words – they just won’t convert.
Read up about awareness here and then identifywhere your visitors are in their awareness journey. Content for lead generation changes entirely by being on their level. Where your prospect is in their journey should dictate both type and length of content.
Let’s remind ourselves of our dog groomer, they are pushing their content towards ‘dog beauty’ when their customers are searching for ‘dog groomer’ and ‘dog grooming’. They are missing out on potential leads because they haven’t done their keyword research.
It is so critical that we know what our customers are looking for so we are right there with what they need. You can read more about keywords here.
Diversify your content. Keep it exciting and interesting. Push yourself and attract new leads. Change how you get content out there, host an online event, post some videos, do some blogging. We live in the consumerism age and people want to know everything before they commit to a purchase.
Using video on a landing page can increase conversion by as much as 86% (eyeview)
Impulse buyers have their place but loyal customers want to know that you are the expert, you can offer them what they need and that you will keep on engaging with them after purchase. Revitalise your content!
Segment for lead generation
Personalisation wins every time. Our dog groomer has a lovely list of contacts and they are segmented into large dog owners and small dog owners. They’ve done this to create personalised content that their customers will want to share.
For example, the dog groomer offers £5 off the next groom session if you refer a new dog owner to their parlour. They can personalise this offer for the dog size, type, loyalty etc which will make the owner feel valued and more likely to share this with fellow dog owners.
Make it easy to opt in
Create bonus content prospects can’t ignore. As soon as they land on your website offer a piece of content that gives them instant gratification. Keep it intentional, for example: “support your dog through fireworks” put up around Guy Fawkes day.
You don’t want them to think twice about opting in to hear more about it. Make it super easy.
Don’t just put out what you think is going to be valuable for your prospects. Answer their questions. Find out what your target audience wants to know and provide the answers throughout your content.
In an ideal world you want them to land on your page and never need to go anywhere else for the expert knowledge they’re so eager for.
Data for lead generation
Google Analytics is your friend. Understanding page views, time spent on page, average pages per session, returning visitors and goal conversion rate you will have the information you need to create content that is being consumed.
Cold hard data can support and drive your strategy and help you optimise your content for lead generation.
SEO for lead generation
Search engine optimization is improving websites to get them higher up in the search engine. These rankings are decided by the search engine algorithm. There are multiple parts to effective holistic SEO but we’re looking at content in particular.
Google’s mission is to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible for all. The content guidelines for SEO are that the content:
- Is easy to read
- Has 1-2% keyword population throughout text
- Shows that keywords are used at different locations
Good content is one of the core pillars in a SEO strategy because it improves user experience and distinguishes you from other competitors.
High quality SEO content has three demands. It needs to be:
An easy way to optimise your content for lead generation is to make it SEO friendly.
Effective conversion paths and lead generation
You can’t just throw a bunch of content together and pray for lead generation to kick off. You need to establish effective conversion paths.
What is the call to action? Does it push the prospect to take action? Is it strong enough to move them to act?
If not – make it better.
The thank you page. Does it offer sharing options? Is it promoting more content?
If not, why not? This is a perfect opportunity to appreciate your prospect and give them even more fodder.
Follow up email – does it encourage engagement? Is it personal? This is an ideal opportunity to elevate your content and get that generated lead to convert.
Shine up your copy by adding in social proof.
It’s all well and good having personal and engaging content for lead generation but people trust other people. Make sure to highlight success stories and let your customers content generate leads for your business too.
In conclusion, we know what lead generation is and we’ve looked at how we can use content for lead generation. We’ve also worked out the best ways to optimise your content to bring in more leads.
These tools can be taken and implemented by you for your business starting right now.
Invest in your content, bring in better quality leads and convert more.
Join the Academy
Get your marketing into shape with the help of our Ninja expertise, and join a community of go getters in the Marketing Automation Academy!