March 29, 2019
Content marketing for lead generation
Many businesses treat content marketing as an afterthought in the composition of a broader digital marketing strategy. Understandably, the time and investment required to execute a content marketing strategy can often be considered a hassle. It’s no wonder why many marketers who are anxious to see immediate results turn to quick fixes such as short-term social media campaigns and PR blasts.
If you’re a marketer who has avoided thinking about implementing content marketing into your mix, perhaps the latest survey results by market research company Clutch will make you think twice. The survey argues that 82% of customers purchased a product or service from a company as a result of reading content published by that company online.
That’s a lot of people.
It’s true. Good content significantly influences peoples’ purchase decisions. And aside from the obvious outcomes of boosting revenue and sales, an effective content marketing strategy benefits businesses by improving their SEO and helping them move potential customers through the sales funnel. A content marketing strategy requires a long-term approach — but if you execute it well, you will reap rewards.
Your content marketing efforts shouldn’t be so obvious
Your customers encounter content marketing all the time. They’ve probably stumbled across one of your blog posts that someone shared on LinkedIn, they may have downloaded your free eBook on top-performing ecommerce emails, or perhaps they went down the YouTube rabbit hole and saw your video appear on the recommendations sidebar.
Customers have also become savvier in recognizing content marketing. In fact, the Clutch survey found that nearly 90% of customers were confident in their ability to recognize published web content as content marketing — and they’re now using a variety of cues to identify blatant content marketing efforts such as call-to-action prompts and overt in-copy sales pitches.
Nobody wants to be marketed to constantly. And brands who cannot understand this run the risk of fading as more customers switch off.
So how do you ensure your customers are paying attention to — and not running away from — your content marketing efforts? Start by putting yourself in their shoes. Your customers want to be informed and entertained, and they want to feel like they’re being listened to and understood.
Ultimately, your customers just want to be engaged.
The good news is that you can drive engagement in several different ways; appealing to your customer’s emotions, making small but powerful changes to your brand’s content experience, and tweaking your content are just a few examples to get you started.
Remember: any changes you make to your content marketing strategy should always be tracked and analyzed so you can see the fruits of your hard work. This Autopilot template shows you how you can measure how engaged your contacts are when they read your website content; this template can also be used to measure email engagement.
Turning a reader into a lead
Ultimately, your goal is to move potential customers through the sales funnel so they convert. Your customers are more likely to revisit a company’s website if they believed the content on it was useful and valuable (Clutch) — these are the customers you should be interested in. Not only do these customers value good content marketing efforts, but they’re also more likely to engage with a company after consuming its content.
Convert these engaged readers into leads by using the following lead nurturing template. Through a series of emails, this journey guides your readers down the sales funnel, prompting them to either engage with sales via a CRM such as Pipedrive or make a purchase.
The bottom line is this: savvy customers will always be aware that the piece of content they’re reading has been created for marketing purposes. However, ramping up the engagement, making impactful changes to your content strategy, and being transparent about your intentions will go a long, long way.
At the end of the day, customers appreciate brands that provide honest and high-quality content that directly address their concerns. Understand this, and your content marketing efforts are more likely to advance your customer through the sales funnel.