5 Proven Ways to Generate Leads with Content Marketing
The word is out: Highly engaging content that informs and begs to be shared is scoring conversions and hooking leads. What kind of content? Everything from blog posts and social media to bylined articles, white papers, e-books, webinars, and podcasts — to name just a few. Successful lead-generation content has only one universal imperative: Value.
Your content strategy will be as unique as your business model, but some approaches are scoring high across the board. Here are some tips to help you take advantage of these approaches:
1. Build thought leadership
Content that propels you to the apex of your industry as a highly respected expert is a subtle but very powerful way to generate leads. Several kinds of content are suited to promoting thought leadership:
- Blogs: Short, sweet, and to the point, these little tidbits of content talk about a topical issue or trend, expounding on it in your voice and offering original insight from your company’s perspective.
- Bylined Articles: Longer than blog posts but shorter than e-books or white papers, these articles usually appear in trade publications or magazines with the byline of an executive at your company. They are educational and lack a self-serving perspective, but also make an important point and, like blog posts, contain original insight.
- E-books: E-books are shareable pieces of content that elucidate a particular technique, process, or product, whether generalized or belonging to your organization. They’re highly educational but can be written more casually than white papers.
- White Papers: White papers are the academic cousin of e-books. These documents are heavy on stats and pertinent information, and their primary mission is to educate readers.
- Newsletters: These are quick little updates on the goings-on in your company as well as items of interest from the broader industry. They give subscribers the feeling of being “in the know” and keep them up to date. That makes you their go-to source for the latest news.
2. The power of e-books and white papers
Along with being a way to build your reputation as a leader in your field, educational content like e-books and white papers can be especially high-value lead generators. How? Both are seen as having high inherent value, delivering more information in more detail than other formats. Couple their intrinsic value with the fact that you’re giving them away free, and suddenly customers are comfortable providing their contact info in order to download them. Newsletters can be another goldmine for content-drive lead generation by keeping current and potential customers up-to-date with breaking organizational news, interviews, articles, and other tempting tidbits about industry specific topics.
3. Wow them with a case study
Success stories based on actual customer experience carry a psychological wallop that far outweighs any promotional claims. Case studies explain exactly how a customer used your product or service and the specific solutions and/or benefits. Beyond telling stories that are inspiring, relevant, and engaging, case studies should focus on timely solutions and/or advantages that hold strong appeal for your target audience. A strong conclusion and final call-to-action may be important to lead generation, but never load a case study with sales-oriented language. Access to case studies can also be effectively used to capture contact information on your website or landing page.
4. Entice with webinars and podcasts
High-value webinars and podcasts can boost your image as a thought leader, but they’re another very effective way to capturing detailed contact information from potential customers or clients. In exchange for granting you permission to contact them, registrants expect to receive expert training, information, or real-world solutions — without ever leaving their office or home. The use of Q&A sessions and post-webinar surveys can deepen your insight into the interests and mindset of your target audience. Webinar recordings can be offered in a variety of ways, from follow-up emails to gateway landing pages and website enrichment. Best of all, they can often be distilled and polished into engaging articles and case studies that can then be used in additional lead-generating strategies.
5. Engage with social media
The fast-paced brevity and immense popularity of social media like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn Groups make them ideal for promoting such high-value, lead-generating content as case studies, white papers, and well-scripted brand videos. They provide insight into your followers’ interests, needs and concerns — information that helps guide you in developing relevant content — and they enable you to expand your audience exponentially.
Offer a steady stream of well-crafted, high-value tweets like flash updates on the latest industry news. Don’t forget to engage with your followers. Social media is ideal for nurturing customer intimacy, from “Thank you!” tweets to personal responses that give your company or organization a warm, real presence. But keep in mind that social media is only an opening line, so fan that spark of interest with content-driven landing page engagement strategies. Focus on creating value and deepening customer relationships — never use social media for sales pitches.
The bottom line when it comes to content-driven lead generation is this: Audiences are turning away from traditional advertising’s demand for their attention. They want brands to attract their attention and earn their trust by creating and providing value. Accomplish that, and they’ll happily offer their contact information in exchange. With content marketing, you gain by giving.
The writers and editors at Prose Media can help. We’ll create the content that delivers value for both you and your customers: compelling, engaging information for them, and quality leads for you. Sign up to gain access to our platform and get a free, no-obligation custom quote.