Content Marketing for Lead Generation
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half,” said John Wanamaker. This problem may be solved with content marketing.
In fact, Content marketing can convert 30% more organic traffic into high quality sales leads (source: MarketingSherpa). Great content marketing will attract potentially high value customers, and these customers will come back for more.
This compares to more traditional advertising methods, where media planners will buy an audience assuming that an ad message will be received by a target audience, and this also assumes the paid message will compel users to act.
Content Marketing delivers on the strategy of ‘narrowcasting’ where brands focus on a smaller, core group of potential, high quality consumers. Afterall, you should be delivering your message to an audience that has already had contact with you – not a bought database.
Google for instance now heavily weights social sharing and link buzz, the more engaging and shareable your content is, the better your SEO rankings. Google will also heavily favour content it feels is relevant to its users, so your content has to be excellent.
Because good content will last a long time, your investment in content marketing will remain relevant for potentially many years. This is compared to a very expensive paid advertising campaign that may only last a few weeks, days or even minutes.
Content forms the basis of your social media strategy, without great content, your social media platforms are worthless and people will not follow or engage with your brand on Twitter, Facebook or any other social network. Content marketing materials should always be produced with social sharing and engagement in mind and social media user behaviour should influence your content streams and strategy.
Great Content marketing is useful for the target audience, it aims to help, inform, inspire and entertain- Content marketing is never a sales pitch or highly disruptive. The key is to produce great content to help your target audience achieve their goals and desires and to connect brand to individual in a meaningful, memorable way.
Content Marketing thought leader Jay Baer calls this ‘Youtility’ – that is always placing the customer first, even if it means referring your customer to competitors or businesses that have nothing to do with your industry.
Helping your current and potential customers first, and not even thinking of selling, will build trust, word-of-mouth and deliver high quality, long term customers, advocates and super fans.
Beyond the customer first aspect, content marketing promises to turn brands into publishers, entertainers and informers. Once again, it’s about educating, informing and solving their problems (benefits) and not selling.
Content Marketing using social media will also deliver on user generated content, linked to positive word-of-mouth sentiment, earned media and fan/advocate community building.
So in summary, good content marketing published in multiple places to an already qualified audience will narrow them down the sales funnel and give you maximised ROI.