Whether you’re struggling to generate leads for your new business, or aren’t happy with the current state of your profits, what I’m about to tell you now can breathe life into your business – provided that you follow these steps with consistency.
Regardless of the business model you follow, content is still king. If used intelligently, it can bring astounding results for your business.
In a world where new companies are emerging every day, it is the content that inspires and educates that will make your customers trust you.
In fact, 70% of consumers say they prefer getting to know a company via articles rather than ads. Business blogging is not an option, it has become a necessity. If you are consistently putting out valuable content, then skyrocketing leads are just a matter of time.
Step 1: Know who you’re selling to
The first thing that you need to do as you decide to increase your leads is to understand your target personas. Only a content marketing strategy that is focused and precise would bring excellent results to your business.
If you haven’t already spent time on developing your buyers’ personas, now is the time to do that.
To begin with, you need to focus on only one important persona that you want to attract to your business. Create content that this group of people would be interested in reading and sharing. Afterwards, you will go back and work on the second persona and so on.
Step 2: Conduct extensive market research
The importance of generating leads through content cannot be overemphasized, and the most important step in the process of developing quality leads is to conduct extensive market research.
That’s because the initial stage of product creation relies heavily on market research. In fact, research helps you find out whether your potential customers already exist in the market or not. You could either conduct your own research or leverage on previous market research done by other marketers that will help propel your business to reach wider audiences.
Keyword search is one powerful technique if you want to know whether or not customers will buy from you. Let’s say you are a chef in New York and want to attract prospects from around the city and beyond.
Here’s how you can find out what your prospects are looking for. Go to Google Adwords Keywords Planner, type in (for ex: culinary expert in New York) and click ‘Get Ideas’.
The results will give you a good idea of what your potential customers are looking for. This small insight will allow you to create content that answers the many questions and concerns of your target audience.
Step 3: Solve a problem
Now is the time to answer their questions and identify their needs – also referred to as your audience’s pain point. What is it that they are looking for which you can offer? How would your product improve the quality of their life? What are the questions that will arise in their minds as they begin searching for the answer to their problem?
All these questions will constitute the core of your content strategy. The answers will be disseminated through the different media platforms used by the variety of buyers that you are targeting.
There are two types of content that you should use on your website: gated and un-gated. The ‘About’ page and blogs should ideally provide answers to most of the basic questions that buyer may have.
Anything that goes beyond that, and delves into detail should require visitors to submit their email addresses – at the minimum – to access that content (gated content).
Step 4: Create conversion-focused landing pages
Unfortunately, most landing pages do not perform as well as they could. Here’s one example of a landing page that did perform well.
According to Econsultancy, 4 out of 5 marketers are dissatisfied with the performance of their landing pages. This means that over 80% marketers are not happy with the results their landing pages are producing.
As a marketer, you need to obsess over the tiny improvements in your landing pages that could reward you in dollars.
Here’s the anatomy of the perfect landing page. A good headline, interesting copy, testimonials, visible call-to-action button are some of the essential elements.
Here are some Landing Page best practices that you need to incorporate when you design yours.
Additionally, make sure that your landing page is really, really fast. In fact, a one second delay can decrease conversion rate by 7%, according to KISSmetrics.
Step 5: Content creation
When it comes to powerful content creation, it needs to be high-quality and data-driven to be truly effective. 9 out of 10 businesses say that they generate quality leads by providing content that targets a specific group of people.
How to identify content that users want?
The fact is that no company can be 100% sure about the content that their target market will devour. However, there are a number of metrics, which can help you steer away from generic and irrelevant content and focus on more tailored content.
According to CMI B2B Marketing Report, 62% of people feel good about companies that deliver customized content. Naturally, those same people are more likely to buy from a company whose expertise they trust.
The best way to generate more of what the readers would love to read is to see what they’re currently reading. One way to do that is to see which of your already-published posts are receiving the most likes, reads and views, and try to create more of those.
Another method is to get data through Google Analytics. Once you’re on the dashboard, click Behavior Tab> Site Content> All Pages>.
Or, you could simply ask your readers directly what they would like to read more of and then create more of what they want. This kind of feedback is invaluable.
Study and implement eye-catching headlines
Writing great headlines is a learned art. You, too, can master it. According to Copyblogger Media, “Your headline is the first, and perhaps only, impression you make on a prospective reader.”
8 out of 10 people will be captivated by a good headline, while only 2 will read further. Instead of coming up with your own headlines, study headlines written by people who really understand the psychology of the reader.
For one, online publications could be a great place to start. Websites such as entrepreneur.com, Forbes.com, inc.com and similar others will help you learn the craft. Or, you could also get started by looking at pages sitting at the top of Google results for your specific niche.
Add lots of data
You must already know that data-driven content can help you generate more qualified leads. But, from where can you get this data?
- a) You can use your own. Check your Google Analytics account to see the number of users and reviews that your page has generated. Also notice the ranking keywords, bounce rate, exit rate, new visitors vs. existing visitors – all of this can help you create your own content.
- b) You can use data generated by other people.
Finally, write in-depth content
Last but not the least, develop content, which is in-depth and covers all major aspects of the topic. We now know for a fact that Google ranks content that is detailed and data-driven much higher than content which is neither.
Step 6: Guest blogging
Let me tell you a secret: blogging allows you to be like Coca Cola.
The company uses other people’s platforms to sell their sugary drinks because they know that’s how they will sell. When a company intends to get a bigger market share, more customers, larger profits – it needs to apply the same strategy.
When your own platform isn’t big enough, you utilize other platforms with huge audiences with questions that we have answers to. By writing great content and distributing it to the right places you are reaching out to literally millions of new potential customers who would otherwise never know how awesome you or your product is.
A few years ago, the primary purpose of a guest blog was to get a link back to your website. However, today, guest blogging has become more than that. It allows you to come forward as an expert in your field, exposing you to bigger and newer audiences.
In this case, setalks.co is a great example. The company has grown from a small two-people team to a medium-sized company with a large number of clients from all over the world, without spending a dime on advertising. They’ve created their name in the industry through an extensive guest blogging strategy.
So many companies have benefited from guest blogging, and if you haven’t tried it already. You better start right away.
Here’s the ultimate guide to guest blogging to get you started.
Content marketing is by far the most effective way to create a customer-base that is loyal to your brand. But, in order to cut through all the noise of social media and blogging, you need to focus on producing content which gives your reader the answers that he is looking for.
When your content is stimulating, educational and inspirational, it is just a matter of time that your efforts will start reaping rewards. A word of caution here though; all of these efforts must be consistent and follow a schedule to be truly effective. If done with care, you will be pleasantly surprised to see the results.