Content marketing and lead generation are two very different things but complement each other.
Acquiring new and quality leads for your business can be tough and sometimes discouraging although you’re putting out a lot of effort.
Learning how to increase qualified leads through content marketing actually boils down to a few simple steps which we will discuss below.
When it comes to lead generation, content marketing is truly the most cost-effective means of attracting a potential customer or many.
It’s also one of the most efficient ways to generate leads into paying customers.
This is not surprising since content marketing is a way for you (as the marketer) to get your message out to your target audience, which is potential clients and customers.
But how do you actually kick off your lead generation machine through content marketing?
Read on for some tips on how to generate qualified leads through content marketing.
How to Increase Qualified Leads Through Content Marketing
1. Have Lead Magnets in Place
Lead magnets are exactly what they sound like – magnets that generate qualified leads.
Lead magnets are usually free pieces of high-quality content that you give away in exchange for contact information or an email address.
The goal of a lead magnet is to get people to provide you with their contact information (email, phone number) so that you can reach out to them later and sell them your products or services.
The most common types of lead magnets include eBooks, whitepapers, cheat sheets, checklists, infographics, and more.
These can be highly-produced pieces of content that showcase your company as an industry leader in a very specific area or something more basic like a list of helpful resources that can help people interested in your niche.
I’m sure you might have come across something like this:
“XX Ways to Land Clients for Your Social Media Marketing Agency FREE EBOOK”.
This is called a lead magnet in the lead generation jargon!
In order to get access to this free ebook, the reader will have to submit his/her email address.
And once this step is completed, we’ll say that a lead has been acquired.
However, this is only the beginning. It’s time to start nurturing this lead through email sequences until you make that reader a customer!
Imagine, having 500 visitors to one of your landing pages with a lead magnet and 25% of these 500 visitors download the eBook. That’s 125 emails with just one article. How powerful is this?
With that said, one of the most simple ways to generate leads through content marketing is by using lead magnets.
2. Create Content That Is Relevant to Your Target Audience
Topical relevance is a content marketing strategy that is being adopted by more and more marketers these days. And it’s a powerful strategy for so many reasons:
The most important thing is to understand your target audience and create content that is of value to them.
When you create content that is relevant to your target audience, you’re going to be able to speak directly to your customers, which helps build trust and credibility.
When someone is looking for information on a specific topic, it’s likely that they’re also in the market for a solution to that problem.
That’s where a lot of people miss the opportunity! They’ll create content about their product or service that doesn’t solve their customers’ problems.
Not only does creating audience-centric content help build trust and credibility but it can also boost your traffic and improve your rankings in the search engines.
This is because as you write content that is super relevant and helpful content that’s linkable, you’ll start to attract backlinks to that content.
For example, let’s say I want to write a blog post on “how to create a high-converting landing page”.
As I’m writing the article, I link out to other blogs and websites that I know my readers would find valuable.
We all know that Google loves content. But Google also loves authority and relevance, which is what topical relevance provides.
When you create content that speaks to your target audience, you are creating content that is relevant to their interests and proves its ability to put an end to their problems.
As a result, this content generates leads.
You’ll start to build a powerful network of industry-related links and you’ll be indirectly telling Google that your site is an authority in this space.
And there’s nothing that attracts the best leads more than being considered an authority in your niche.
The effort you’re putting in creating topically relevant articles will surely bring you to an expert level in the eyes of Google and your audience.
This will have a snowball effect and increase leads in the long run.
3. Build a Strong Relationship With Your Audience
Many new businesses tend to give their audience the cold shoulder. They don’t take the time to nurture their audience and build a relationship with them.
This is where you’ll see your qualified lead numbers getting lower and lower as people churn out of your funnel.
If you want to level up your lead generation game through content marketing, you need to build a strong relationship with your audience.
After all, a cold audience never converts right? Before you can build a relationship with your audience, you have to establish yourself as an authority in your niche.
And that’s where the “show, don’t tell” rule comes into play.
People don’t like hearing what they already know because it’s not new information. They get bored easily and move on to find the next piece of content.
This is why it’s so important to utilize the show, don’t tell rule in your content creation.
To show, not tell is to communicate the message through example, illustration, or story.
It’s about giving value and showing how your audience can get something out of it.
This means you have to take the time to research your audience and ask some key questions like:
This will help you create content that solves their problems in an entertaining way.
You’re now speaking directly to your customers and you’ll be able to build a relationship with them over time.
4. Don’t Underestimate Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is a powerful technique when it comes to lead generation.
Many marketers do it for the sole purpose of getting a great backlink from an authoritative site but many marketers including me do it for lead generation purposes.
Guest blogging or guest posting is a common content marketing strategy that many marketers implement.
And for a very good reason. By publishing blog posts on other websites, you can reach a lot of people who might not have read your site otherwise.
But you can’t just post an article on another website and expect to get quality traffic.
You need to give back to the article that you’re asked to write by giving them value.
This will help establish you as an authority in your niche and create high-quality links back to your site over time.
When it comes to guest blogging, it’s best to guest post on authoritative sites that receive a lots of traffic already.
Otherwise, you won’t see the results you’re looking for.
And when I say authoritative sites, I’m talking about sites with 100K+ visitors per month.
These are the types of websites that can help you increase the number of new and targeted leads and ultimately grow your business.
Also, remember that you should be guest posting on sites that have the same audience as you.
For instance, don’t try to guest post on every business blog out there just because they receive millions of organic traffic every month.
Keep in mind that we are talking here about qualified leads!
And to attract them, you want to guest post on sites that have a pretty similar audience as you.
5. Use Visuals to Attract
Can visual elements in a blog post or video contribute to a successful lead generation campaign?
Hell yes, and it’s proven that marketing campaigns convert leads better when visual elements are being used.
Visually appealing content can hook a visitor more than a simple block of text.
According to Visme, people are 30% more likely to purchase faster when prompted by visuals.
When you have high-quality content with catchy images, it’s easier for someone to build connections with your content, knowing that your visuals are appealing to them.
Now, if you’re not the best at creating visually appealing graphics or videos, don’t worry!
There are many tools online that can help you create a visual masterpiece for your business.
One amazing tool for this purpose is Visme.
It makes it easy for anyone to create stunning infographics and presentations without having to go through any design skillsets or programs.
So, don’t forget to incorporate this element into each piece of content you create and publish.
By adding a visual flare to your valuable content, you’re actually increasing the chances of someone engaging with your content, downloading something from your site, and ultimately becoming a qualified lead for your business.
6. Create an Online Documentation Center
A lot of B2B marketers don’t know how to structure and build their documentation center.
The most common mistake that many businesses make is that they don’t build an online documentation center.
Don’t make this mistake because when you do, it may lead to a potential loss of leads over time.
A documentation center is basically a digital library that contains all of your company’s resources.
It has all the information and marketing assets that you want to display to your customers so they can easily access them.
This includes all of your educational materials, technical guides, case studies, presentation slides, and more.
You can’t just present your customers with information and expect them to take action.
You need to show them how you’re solving their problems and offer them value.
This way, they’ll be more likely to take action after reading your business content and ultimately become great leads for your business.
To build this documentation center, you have to start providing valuable resources that solve a problem that your target audience has.
You can’t just come up with random stuff just because you think it’s a good idea; it has to be something that’s neutral or something that exists in the industry already.
The best way to do this is by talking to your customers, sending them surveys, and learn more about their pain points.
7. Conduct a Survey
Surveys are simply fantastic and “ROI-ful” when it comes to lead generation and for good reasons!
I absolutely love and recommend conducting a survey to determine exactly what content your target audience loves and hates.
This will help you gather loads of valuable information on what kinds of topics people want to learn more about.
You can then use this information to create the exact kind of in-depth article that resonates with your customers and attract them further into your funnel.
When it comes to surveys, you can create them in two ways.
You can either use a software to build and conduct your own surveys online or you can hire a survey provider to handle everything for you.
A great tool for this purpose is SurveyMonkey. I love using this tool because it’s really easy to use, not expensive, and has lots of add-ons that you can buy as well.
If you’re looking for an additional way to increase qualified leads through a content strategy, think about surveys, quizzes, polls, and other interactive pieces.
This is because they facilitate interaction and engagement with your audience, which will make them more likely to stick around and take action after reading your content.
Therefore, start creating and conducting surveys to find out what your existing customers like, so you can then create content that will resonate with them better and boost your chances of conversion.
8. Use Strong Call-to-Actions
Call-to-action buttons or texts can sometimes look annoying to a certain type of reader but that shouldn’t stop you because they are an amazing way to increase your qualified leads without much effort.
However, they should not be too intrusive, and they need to be engaging enough to get your visitors to take action.
You should definitely consider including a call-to-action in every piece of content that you publish.
But if we’re talking about CTA buttons, keep in mind that you don’t want to use generic words like “click here,” “read more” or “learn more” because these can be boring and mundane for your readers so avoid it.
Be more creative about your call-to-actions and use simple action words so your readers aren’t confused.
Putting bold CTAs in prominent places inside of your content can actually increase the number of leads you generate online.
But before you start using them everywhere, there are a few things that you need to make sure you have in place first.
First, have an opt-in form on your website with a strong call-to-action CTA that tells potential subscribers what they will get if they subscribe to your list.
Then, make sure your opt-in is relevant and compelling. You don’t want people to leave your site because the opt-in form is too long or the language is bad.
You also need to make sure that your landing page is set up properly and has a strong CTA as well.
Many B2B marketers fail to pay attention to this with their landing pages, which is why they don’t get the results they want from their content.
Make sure your landing page has a compelling headline and strong CTA buttons readers can’t help but click.
A few call-to-actions you can use are:
9. Use Email Marketing
Building an email list should be one of your main priorities when it comes to lead generation and sales.
If you really want to increase leads then you have to make sure that you have email marketing in place.
Email has been and will always be one of the best digital marketing channels to increase conversions because the email list is yours and you have control over it.
While your email subscribers won’t convert the next day they signed up, having their email in your possession is a powerful marketing tool for your business.
For instance, you can send regular valuable emails and in these emails, you can motivate them to click on a landing page, another blog post (who knows he/she can convert over there), etc…
Building a relationship with your email subscribers and nurturing them with extremely valuable content is what will bring in more leads over the long term.
It’s also a great way to connect with your readers, build trust and gain authority.
If you want to ask for customer feedback or for customer reviews, it makes sense to use email marketing as your sales channel because it gives you the chance to engage your readers with more valuable content than just buying products through a website.
10. Use Social Media
Last but not least, you can always use social media as an additional way to increase your qualified leads.
With social media, you can engage with your audience and encourage them to follow you so that they can start learning more and get interested in buying your products or services.
Social media is very useful in increasing customer engagement and it can be a great way to introduce new content to your readers.
You shouldn’t simply use social media for this purpose either.
You should use it as a tool for making more connections and building trust and authority with your customers because there are many benefits of this approach when it comes to bringing in more leads.
First, social media is a great way to increase brand awareness because by connecting with your audience through posting engaging content, you will give them an idea of what you are like and what you can offer.
It’s also a great way to get the word out about your products and services because the more people know about you, the more likely they are to take action.
Through social media marketing, you can bring new customers into your fold without spending much money.
However, you should have a great content marketing strategy and lots of patience before you can start seeing results.
I hope this article has been able to show you how to increase qualified leads through content marketing.
Depending on your digital marketing needs or content marketing goals, you can apply 2-3 of the above strategies to start the process of acquiring more leads.
Spend time creating the best blog post that is valuable, interesting, and contains strong call-to-actions that will entice the readers to take action and become quality leads.
After a bit of time and effort, you will be able to observe signs that whether the strategies are working or not.
Keep track and monitor your KPIs to see whether you are leading to qualified sales by using content marketing.
In conclusion, the strategy of converting visitors into leads is not as complex as it seems.
You just have to understand what your audience’s looking for in your content, how you can accompany them in their customer journey, what type of content will cater best to their expectations, and so on.