Is your website truly working for your business?
Are you getting any leads through your website?
Do you know how to generate leads through your website?
In general, are any leads you do get a good fit for your business?
If you answered ‘no’ to these questions, then this article is for you. This blog will give you ideas of what to put in place to help generate the right kind of leads in an organic and valuable way using content marketing.
Content marketing can help to generate better-qualified leads who are more likely to be a good fit for working together as well as helping and educating prospects through their buying decision.
In this article, we will cover:
- What is Content Marketing?
- Knowing Your Audience
- Driving Traffic to Your Website
- What Type of Content Can Generate Leads Online?
- Creating Awareness with Lead Magnets
- Share Your Content via Social Media
- Have Helpful Conversations
How to Generate Leads Through Your Website Using Content Marketing
What is Content Marketing?
If you’re looking for a definition of what Content Marketing actually is the guys at IMPACT explain it in a super simple way:
Content marketing is about information.
In other words, it’s the marketing of a business or brand through the sharing of educational, entertaining, or insightful information that will ultimately help readers improve their lives.
IMPACT also steer us to a more accurate and detailed description provided by the Content Marketing Institute:
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
In a nutshell, content marketing is a way of providing content to your audience which is truly helpful, relevant and informative. Not only will it help prospects through their buying decision and but beyond as they move closer to working with your business.
Publishing the right content for your audience acts as a natural filter to help a prospect know if you are a good fit for your company and vice versa.
Knowing Your Audience
Before deciding what type of content to produce, you need to understand the needs, frustrations and problems your clients and prospects have.
As Mark Schaefer writes in his article 31 Business Building Benefits of Buyer Personas “you cannot effectively market a product or service if you do not know who you are trying to communicate with”.
The content you produce must speak to the needs and the wants of the prospect. Keep your content too generalised and it will appeal to no-one. Produce specifically targeted content and it will appeal to the type of customer you are trying to attract. At the same time, it demonstrates your understanding of their needs and problems.
In John Espirian’s article, Pen Portraits: Understanding your ideal audience, John shares his advice when it comes to understanding your audience. He writes, “When you understand who this person is, you can write as though you were speaking directly to him or her. That leads to creating text that’s more believable, more real. And when it comes to marketing, writing that resonates with your readers will help you do more business.”
The more specific you can make your content towards the particular audience you serve, the more effective that content will become in building relationships and trust with prospects and ultimately have better quality conversions.
It is important not to worry about whether you will turn away business if someone does not fit your ‘ideal client avatar’, in fact it will have the opposite effect. Your buyer persona is something which is constantly changing but what is important to find out what problems they have and the help they need.
Driving Traffic to Your Website
In order to generate leads through your website, first of all, you must drive traffic to the website. In this article, I am going to focus on driving traffic organically to the website using content, specifically through blog content.
What is the no.1 way to find out information and answers to the questions you have?
Yup, that’s right. Google.
When we have a problem we need help with, most of us turn to Google to try and find the answer. So why do so many businesses not consider this in the marketing of their own website?
Marcus Sheridan author of They Ask You Answer, created a business philosophy which centres around the way a business communicates with their clients and prospects. Marcus writes about the importance of how businesses really need to understand what their customers and prospects are searching for, asking about, what they are feeling and thinking.
The blog on your company website is where the customer-focused content should be published. Effective content will answer what objections they have, what fears or worries they are experiencing and the objections to what is stopping them from buying. The more your content can allay fears, calm worries and create buyer confidence, the more likely consumers will be inclined to seek the services of your business when they are ready to buy.
What Type of Content Can Generate Leads Online?
Writing good quality content is a win-win for both your business and your prospects. Create content on your blog which is really worth the time and effort to read. Your blog content should:
1. Speak to your target audience
Make sure you research your target audience to understand their needs and struggles. Find out what their problems are and what questions they need answers to.
2. Don’t sell
Produce high quality, valuable content which informs and educates prospects to make an informed buying decision. Build trust and relationships with them so when they are ready to make a purchase, it will be a fully informed decision without buyer’s regret.
3. Types of content you can create
- Blog posts – your website should be the ‘hub’ where you drive the traffic to, so if you do have other content in different places, always reference them back to your website (or blog article if it’s specific to that topic)
- Videos – another great search engine is YouTube of course. Use YouTube to upload your videos to complement your blog and drive traffic to your website as well
- Podcasts – another way to bring valuable content to your audience either as a solo podcast or guest spots to bring their expertise to your audience.
All of these types of content can help drive traffic to your website as well as creating valuable content to share with your audience.
When writing a blog, careful attention should be paid to the structure of the blog content from a reader’s perspective and Google’s perspective. An overview of a typical blog post should include the following sections:
- Calls to Action
Ultimately, we write for our readers and not for search engines. However, a good blog structure is important for both.
Creating Awareness with Lead Magnets
Lead generating content is where you want to be able to give away helpful and valuable content in exchange for a prospect’s email address. It needs to be valuable enough for someone to want to give you their precious email address. Make it really clear at the outset on the landing page, what the lead magnet will give them, what kind of information they are going to receive and how it will benefit them.
When you create a lead magnet, it is important to nurture prospects through a series of emails afterwards and continue to provide value and insightful information to prospects. Email nurture is a way to build relationships and trust whilst giving prospects the help they need to start to clear the path towards the solution they seek and make their lives better.
Qualities of a Good Lead Magnet
- Provides relief that their problem could be solved
- Gives a quick win, something quick to action
- Is specific and concentrates on one thing
- Quick and easy to consume
- Be valuable so don’t hold back on what you give
- Instantly accessible
- Demonstrate your expertise without being salesy
Types of Lead Magnet
- A checklist
- A PDF download
- A toolkit or resource list
- A workbook
- A webinar
- An audio or video download
- A short free course
For a more in-depth read about what a lead magnet is and how all the moving parts work together you can read my article What is a Lead Magnet and Why Do You Need One on Your Website?
Lead Magnets and blog content align with the first stage of ‘awareness’ when a prospect is researching the potential solutions to the problem they think they have. As your prospects move through the different phases, different types of content will be more suitable. The four key stages prospects move through are:
Awareness > Interest > Consideration > Decision
BostonDigital produced this chart of the different types of content marketing which change as the prospect moves through each stage. As you will see, this article relates to the awareness phase where prospects only just become aware of your brand.
Share your Content via Social Media
To gain wider coverage of your content, in addition to appealing to search engines, distribute your content through social media. It’s important to focus on the social media channels where you know your target audience will be. It is better to focus and devote your energy to 1 or 2 channels rather than trying to be everywhere.
I see some companies sharing great content on their social media channels but there is no content coming from their website. Your own company content needs to start on the website and move outwards from there.
Have Helpful Conversations
I do what I do because I want to help people make the best of their websites and grow their businesses so they can help more people too. All the content you create for your online presence can be taken offline too. This means having helpful conversations and listening to the problems people have where you might know useful information to share with them, not necessarily for them to become a prospect for your own business but because you build relationships with other businesses based and trust and being helpful.
All the work you do to create your content in the first place will help you to be more informed, more knowledgeable, more credible and in turn, more helpful to others. People really do not like being sold to but they love having some helpful information to make their day better.
After reading this article, I hope you can see how using content marketing can really help you to start generating leads as well as starting conversations and building relationships.
You will have learned:
- What content marketing is
- How to get to know your audience
- How to drive traffic to your website
- What types of content can you produce
- How lead magnets create awareness
- Using social media
- How to have helpful conversations
To get started with your content journey or improve on what you have been doing so far, get to know your audience and find out the questions they really need to know the answers to.
If you need help with your website to make it more effective in generating leads with your content, then get in touch and see how I can help you. If you want to make improvements to your blog right now, then grab my Blog Guide and get started today.
Get the Blog Guide
Perfect your blog every time.
This guide will set you up for blog success. Comes with a handy checklist to sign off for each blog you publish.