If you’re looking for one of the best ways to generate leads for your organization, look no further than content marketing.
Demand Metric revealed that content marketing generates 3 times as many leads as traditional marketing. And costs 62% less.Content marketing generates 3X as many leads as traditional marketing. Click To Tweet
Having said this, executing content marketing the wrong way will lead to poor results and frustration. For instance, in a study by CMI, only 30% of B2B marketers say their organizations are effective at content marketing.
In this post, I’m going to show you 6 effective ways you can start implementing today to generate leads with content marketing.
Step 1: Create a buyer persona
Capturing the wrong leads is as bad as capturing no leads. In fact, it’s probably worse because you’ll waste your resources on a lead that’s unlikely to be your customer.
Therefore, when I talk about generating leads, I mean generating the right leads. And to do this, you need to specify the type of people you want as your leads.
A buyer persona is a fictional document that contains the details of your ideal customer. Some of these details are their:
- Solutions they’re looking for
- Decision-making ability
RELATED PODCAST: How to Create Customer Personas for Your B2B Marketing
This buyer persona should contain as many details as possible. Having buyer personas make your content focused on attracting these type of people.
Of course, you can have a few buyer personas depending on the products you sell or services you offer. You can use the Facebook Audience Insights tool in the Facebook Ads Manager to find more details about your ideal audience.
Step 2: Leverage content syndication
Having valuable content on your company blog can bring in many leads for your business.
But what if you have an obscure blog that nobody reads? Then the great content that you’ve put a lot of effort in would massively underperform. A way out of this challenge is content syndication.
What is content syndication?
Content syndication is the process of having your content on third-party sites that are more popular than yours and reach a much bigger audience.
You get exposure for your content and the third-party website gets free content they can use to satisfy their audience. When you syndicate your content aimed at capturing leads to a website with your ideal audience, it’s a massive opportunity to capture many more leads.
In fact, that’s the service that companies Netline offer. They syndicate your content in their B2B lead generation networks to improve lead acquisition by targeting potential leads.
And even better, it’s performance-based, which means you only pay for the leads you acquire.
But what about the big issue of duplicate content?
Of course, this is a valid worry. But most syndication networks use canonical tags to tell search engines that your website content is the preferred version and should get the SEO equity. This eliminates the possibility of attracting a penalty.
Step 3: Provide lead magnets and content upgrades
Nowadays, people are reluctant to share their contact information because their inboxes are already full of junk.
To capture that lead, you have to first provide value. And that’s the function of lead magnets. They help to solve a problem for your audience and serve as an incentive for visitors to release their personal details.
Some types of content that can serve as lead magnets for your content marketing campaigns are:
What are the characteristics for effective lead magnets?
- They solve an immediate problem for your audience
- They’re short enough to be used immediately
- They’re accessible immediately to your lead
- They solve a specific problem
See an example of a lead magnet from OptinMonster:
This offer aims to solve a specific problem which is to convert abandoning visitors.
Another similar concept is the content upgrade. Content upgrades are pieces of content offered to a page visitor that are relevant to the page content.
Technically, they’re lead magnets. But they usually generate even higher conversions because they’re related to what the visitor is presently reading
In some cases, this could just be a PDF copy of the page or another format of the page content that readers can keep for future reference.
What type of results can you get from content upgrades?
In a Google rankings factor blog post, blogger Brian Dean implemented a content upgrade and achieved a 785.01% increase in conversions within a month.
Step 4: Improve your landing pages
When you consider that most single landing pages are built specifically to capture leads, then creating them without thought means you’re essentially throwing your leads away. There are best practices you need to follow to ensure you optimize your landing pages for high conversion.
Let’s consider some of them:
Remove the navigation bar
One of the major mistakes marketers make is that they distract their landing page visitors from converting, and present many opportunities for visitors to click away from their landing page without converting.
A landing page visitor should only have two options: either to close the page or convert.
By removing the navigation bar from its landing page, Yuppiechef increased signups by 100%.
Make the CTA button visible
The color of your CTA button needs to stand out on the landing page. Since you want visitors to click it, let it grab their attention with contrast.
Run A/B tests
No landing page is perfect. Therefore, you need to constantly test to improve your conversions.
You can test different elements on your page and track their effects on conversions. Some page elements to test are:
- Page copy
- Call to action
- Number of form fields
It’s important to note while testing, you should only test a single element at a time. This helps you to track the changes affecting your conversions.
Check out this landing page:
It was then optimized to look like this to improve conversions:
This led to a 1,250% increase in conversion rates for the landing page.
Step 5: Use guest blogging to capture leads
Guest blogging is a valuable activity to improve brand awareness and gain quality backlinks. However, one advantage that most people fail to take is capturing leads through guest posts.
You may ask: how can I do that?
Most websites allow you to leave a link in your author bio after a guest post. You can leave a link to a landing page by promising a lead magnet to your guest post readers rather than a link to your home page. The key here is to make your lead magnet relevant to your guest post.
At the end of the guest post, there’s a link to his free email course.
When you click on this link, you’re transferred to a landing page where you need to submit your details before you can begin the first lesson.
You can also share the link in the body of your post where it is relevant.
And depending on the website you’re writing a guest post, you can even add your content upgrade in the body of your post.
See an example by CoSchedule founder, Garrett Moon on one of his guest posts:
Step 6: Target long-tail keywords with the right intent
If you run a small to mid-size business, then targeting long-tail keywords is the way to go. First of all, it’s easy to detect these keywords’ intent.
Secondly, there’s low competition for them. You can use a tool like SEMrush to carry out keyword research. This will help you to find the long-tail keywords a potential lead might use in search engines:
After finding them, you should create your content to target these keywords. Furthermore, you should optimize your page for this keyword. This involves adding the keyword to parts of your page like:
- First few paragraphs
- Image alt text
- Image name
After doing this, create long-form content that provides the solution your visitor is looking for. When you bring in visitors from search engines, you can then use lead magnets, exit-intent pop-ups, or other lead capture tactics to capture their details.
Michael Karp created a 4400-word post to target the keyword “how to fly a quadcopter.”
From the page traffic, he used a pop-up which converted at 5.12% and a content upgrade lead box which converted 20 – 50% of people who clicked on it.
The first major step to gaining a customer is to capture qualified leads.
With a few tweaks to your content marketing strategy using the tactics in this post, you’re well on your way to turn your content marketing to a lead-generation machine.