Smart content marketers know that going in with a clear plan is key to your success. Here, we will explain how to generate leads with your content marketing, step by step.
You’ve almost heard the old adage, “Content is King”. That’s because genuine content attracts an audience. With an audience, you can generate leads. And once you’ve captured those lead, you can promote your products and services to make sales.
By the end of this 7-step direct, you’ll have a clear strategy for creating content that generates leads and sales all the time.
Step 1: Research Your Customer Avatar
The first rule of genuine content is that it must demand to your ideal customer. If it doesn’t, it won’t be a focus for leads
Before you create a single part of the content, make sure that you have a bottomless accepting of your perfect customer. A great method to do this is with the customer avatar exercise.
Customer Avatar Exercise
A customer avatar is a full profile of your target customer. It’s an imaginary character, but it represents a real customer in your target market.
If you have a number of different target customers, you should create a customer avatar for everyone. This will help you to create content that appeals to the exact types of people you want to be a focus for as leads.
To create your customer avatar(s), write down the following information:
- Personal info– Name, age, gender, income, location, profession, etc.
- Values– What do they care about? What are their goals, hopes, dreams?
- Pain points– What do they effort with? What keeps them lying up at night?
- Favorite sources of info/activity– What blogs, magazines or books do they read? What are their favorite TV shows?
- Role in purchase process– Do they have the final say when it comes to purchasing your product, or do they have to ask a spouse, a parent or a boss?
- Objective to the sale– What are their main Objective of purchasing your product?
Step 2: Select Your Content Types
There is a different type of content, but some are more related to lead generation than others.
There are two primary types of content:
1) Traffic generating content
2) Lead generating content
Traffic Generating Content
Traffic generating content is essential for getting an eyeball on your website and growing your audience. You never generate leads without traffic.
Here are a few of the best types of content for traffic generation.
- Blog posts– this content type is a basic need for any content plan. Your blog is like your “hub”: all other types of content should increase traffic to your blog.
- Social media posts– these posts will help to increase traffic to your blog.
- Videos: YouTube is one of the second largest search engines. This is a great opportunity to increase organic traffic to your blog.
- Podcasts– you can support your guests to share their episode with their audience, and grow your personal in the process.
- Infographics– you can comprise these in blog posts to give confidence social sharing.
- Photos– All depending on your business, an image may be a type of content that you wish to use for increasing your audience.
- eBooks– listing free eBooks on Amazon is another best way to grow your audience and increase traffic to your site.
Lead Generating Content
Here are some of the best content types for generating business leads.
- Useful resources– these can be checklists of tools or list of resources.
- EBooks & Free Reports– these offer amazing educational.
- Webinars– webinars work actually well as lead magnets because of their high apparent value.
- Discounts & Coupons– just right if you have an eCommerce business. All you have to do is present a coupon code in the swap for an email address.
- Free Trial– if you sell software, you could give offer a free trial download.
- Quizzes– you could give offer a free quiz, but for your users to get their results when they’ll have to give you their email address.
- Mini-Course– this could be a sequence of emails or a series of videos explanation of how to do something.
- Free Challenge– if you help people to overcome an obstacle or get goals, you could offer a free challenge to accomplish one thing over a set phase of time.
Step 3: Choose Your Content sharing Channels
Your content plan is really starting to shape up now! You have a customer avatar, and you know which kinds of content you’ll create for them. In this step, we will decide where you will share out that content.
Although there are many different content sharing channels, they all boil down to two separate methods: organic and paid.
Organic Sharing Channels
Organic channels do not need any paid advertising, so they are really best for a low budget. Though, you can’t expect to get organic traffic right off the bat. Organic traffic takes a little bit of time, or still a few months, to get going.
These are the main organic sharing channels you have to select from.
- Search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.)
- Google Plus+
You don’t require using all of these– just selecting the channels where you know your customer avatar hangs out. If they don’t spend time there, don’t use individual’s channels!
Paid Sharing Channels
Paid channels require you to spend some budget on ads, however, they can get you traffic a lot earlier than organic methods. In many cases, all you have to do is buy a few ads and your traffic will be off to the race within a matter of hours!
Here are the main paid sharing channels that you’ll want to consider.
- Social media ads
- Google AdWords
- Native Ads
- Banner Ads
- Content discovery networks
Out of these paid sharing channels, I highly suggest trying out social media ads, and Facebook ads in particular. If your customer avatar is on Facebook, this type of ad has some exactly amazing targeting capability.
Step 4: Map out Your Content Strategy
Now that you have decided on your content types and sharing channels, it’s time to drag everything together into a unified content plan.
A good content plan maps out what content you will publish, by whom, and how repeatedly. How many days per week will you publish blog posts or articles? When will you give live webinars? How regularly do you plan to promote your content on social media? Which team members will be creating and sharing the content?
Also, you create an editorial column calendar to map out your blog posts and stay track of what’s coming down the pipe.
Step 5: Create an appealing Lead attraction
Remember how we said that a lead magnet is a non-negotiable component of any content marketing plan?
In order for your lead magnet to be effectual at generating leads, it must be totally irresistible to your customer avatar.
All appealing lead magnets have few characteristics in common. Let’s go more than those characteristics so your lead magnet can be really effectual at generating leads.
7 Characteristics of an appealing Lead Magnet
- It solves a real problem– if your lead magnet doesn’t solve a real problem that your customer avatar has, or if it doesn’t provide them something they really want, it won’t work at all. This is why we do the avatar exercise in step 1.
- It promises one quick win– your lead magnet ought to promise (and deliver) one quick win for your avatar. I
- It’s super specific– don’t make a lead magnet about the amazing general. The more specific you are about the advantage of your lead magnet, the better it will convert leads.
- It’s fast to digest– PDF checklists tend to convert really good because they are so fast and easy to digest.
- It’s high value– your lead magnet should have both high apparent value and high actual
- It’s immediately accessible– your lead magnet will work best if it is something that can be delivered right away. People love instant satisfaction.
- It demonstrates your knowledge or UVP– when someone consumes your lead magnet, it should demonstrate your knowledge or your unique value proposal. This helps turn leads into customers down the way.
Step 6: Write High-Converting Blog and Article Posts
Blog posts are a fixed part of any content marketing Strategy. Now that you have a lead magnet, it’s time to write some high-converting posts to create your audience and get eyeballs on your lead magnet.
7 Characteristics of High-Converting Blog and Articles Posts
For your blog and articles posts to be best at driving traffic and generating leads, they must few points the following.
- A really tempting headline– unless someone is really interested in your headline, they won’t read your post.
- Long-form Blog content–Long-form content ranks better in Google and get more social shares.
- Educational content– always do your best to be useful or educational.
- Relevant visuals– in most cases, your blog posts shouldn’t be text-only. People need to see some important visuals to help force the point home and make your posts more enjoyable to read.
- Your keywords– always are thinking about what keywords people are searching for and that use into your blog posts. If you desire your post to rank in Google, you ought to write it with an exact search query in mind.
- Links to high-quality resources– always ensure you link to other high-quality posts on the topic. This increases the value of your content, and Google will compensate you for it too.
- Links to connected posts on your own blog– you should also be interlinking your own blog posts. This also helps keep people reading your blog, and it helps your posts to get indexed by search engines.
Step 7: Optimize Your Blog for Lead Generation
The first thing you need to do to optimize your blog for lead generation is to add option forms for your lead magnet.
If you want to take it one step additional, you may also want to include a slide-in form that appears on the scroll. (These options are particularly important key if you have long-form content.)
Once you have those basic option forms installed on all your blog posts, you should track which posts are generating the most traffic and leads.