Lead generation has long been an important task in marketing departments, but the strategy for developing qualified leads has changed dramatically in recent years. Consumers are spending more time researching products and services online before they become sales ready, but it’s still up to you to communicate with them as early as possible.
Content marketing works wonders for reaching out to consumers who want information, but aren’t quite sold on your products. Marketo defines content marketing as “the creation and sharing of content for the purpose of promoting a product or service.” This type of marketing builds trust by equipping the prospects with information that will help them make the right purchase choice. Building trust can help solve a major challenge facing B2B marketers: reducing the fear of making a poor choice, which creates a substantial risk for most would-be buyers.
Content marketing can take many forms, including:
- Case Studies
- Product Data Sheets
- Online Courses
Great content is relevant to your reader and your company. It should answer a question or solve a problem for the reader, and it should use testimonials or metrics to avoid coming across as biased. Most importantly, effective content will excite and inspire the reader to seek additional information about your company and products.
So, you’ve written content that gives your readers the information they need to make a purchase decision—now what? Your content can’t do its job unless people see it and, hopefully, share it. To generate awareness for your content, try these seven tips:
- Consider which promotional channels will work best for reaching your target market. Channels to consider include Google AdWords, social media, events, email campaigns, newsletter sponsorships, and more.
- Use news releases by either mentioning your content in another release or by writing one specifically to announce your latest case study, online course schedule, etc.
- Contact key bloggers, analysts, and other influencers, and ask them to share your content with their followers.
- Spread the word on your own social media channels, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Digg, and more.
- Use your company blog to provide a preview of your content so that readers know what they’ll get upfront. For example, share key takeaways on your blog so readers can get a taste of your eBook without having to fill out a form to find out.
- Create a banner ad about your new content for the homepage of your website, and be sure to link your content’s landing page with the rest of your site.
- Test different ads and landing page copy to get the best ROI for any search marketing campaigns you launch, and especially to tweak your copy for the best download rate.
For tips on creating an effective landing page that will encourage the most downloads or signups, check out this recent article I wrote on the topic. An effective content marketing strategy, coupled with landing pages that get results, will have you generating more qualified leads in no time!
Image courtesy of creative design agency Arrae.Google+