How to Generate More Leads through Content Marketing?
There is no denying that content marketing is still one of the most powerful strategies B2B and B2C marketers use to get more traffic and conversions. Demandmetric estimates that content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing techniques, while it generates at least 3 times as many leads.
And lead generation isn't only a big challenge for sales and marketing teams, it is also considered to be the ultimate goal of content marketing. Thus, all marketing and sales experts thrive to create content that is engaging and acts as a lead magnet for your business. The key to success lies in combining both elements successfully.
Source - Hubspot
Creating high-quality, engaging content will generate more awareness and drive more traffic to your website. However, it will be fruitless if you do not convert your visitors into potential buyers. Depending on the platforms you use and the type of content you provide, there are different strategies that can be employed in order to capture these valuable leads.
This is exactly what will make the difference between a potential conversion and a customer that is driven away by annoying pop ups. Moreover, comment sections or call to actions at the end of your blog or social media posts can be a useful tool to capture leads, but their rate of effectiveness is quite questionable in most cases.
So, how can you provide high-quality content in an original way and capture those valuable contact details effectively?
In this post we’ll discuss three ingenious ways to capture leads by making your through content more engaging: interactive content, gated visual content and direct prospect engagement.
1. Interactive Content: Calculators and Quizzes
One of the clearest trends in inbound marketing for 2017 is the need for interactive content. Consumers and businesses are bombarded everyday with constant online content, which is reducing the overall attention span and the time we allocate to specific content. Few people have the time to read a blog or a 2000-words white paper. And the ones who actually start reading it, will rarely make it to the last paragraphs. Nowadays, your content must attract and retain the prospects’ attention. This is where interactive experiences like quizzes or calculator play a revolutionary role.
Today, consumers are looking for interactive content that adds value and keeps them engaged. Surfing along a video company website, what would attract you the most: a simple contact form at the end of the page, a newsletter subscription after a long blog or an interactive calculator that offers you insights on the costs of your next video campaign? The latter, of course. Quizzes and calculators provide instant gratification and deliver personalized results for your prospects. Besides, they have an amazing sharing and virality potential, which also makes them ideal content material for social media channels.
Source - Outgrow
You might be asking yourself: sure, interactive experiences can be appealing, but how would it bring me those leads I am looking for?
If a prospect made it to the end of your quiz or calculator, he or she is probably eager to view the results and would be happy to share a name and email address in return. However, you must keep this information requests to a minimum, since the more information you ask, the more likely they are to abandon the form. Furthermore, if you elaborate your quiz cleverly, the same answers provided by the prospects can help you better segment and classify your acquired leads. And don’t forget to nurture your leads once they have provided their contact data; a simple thank you email with their results can be the first step.
2. Gated Visual Content: White Papers vs. Presentations and Videos
Variety is the key ingredient in the recipe for your content marketing success. Just as you expect diversity in your life and in the content you consume, so do your potential customers. So, what other kinds of content can you offer that do not go unnoticed? Being punctual is vital, so again, you want to share engaging content that does not consume too much of the prospect’s time.
A great way of doing this is by using visual material such as presentations or videos. According to Jake Wengroff, the former Global Director of Social Media Strategy and Research for Frost & Sullivan, SlideShare generated thousands of qualified leads every year for his company and thus increased the ROI by at least 50 times. There is no arguing that presentations and videos are among the most powerful content media in 2017.
A common way many marketers use to attract leads is by sharing educational white papers that not only generate awareness on customer needs, but also help prospect consider potential solutions offered by the business. However, the problem with such white papers is that they are usually extensive pieces of information that complex and time consuming. Thus, an informational video or presentation which provides the same content in a more visual and direct way can provide much better results.
Once again, you have your prospects’ attention, but what about lead generation? Two words: gated content. You might be picturing the freemium models used by many blogs and newspapers that allow you to view a limited number of articles per month. This usually results in annoyed customers and drives potential leads away. Gated content, however, works quite differently.
There are many tools out there that allow you to gate your presentation or video content in exchange for your prospect’s contact details. If they have watched your content so far, they are clearly interested in the material and would easily provide an email address to continue viewing. This way, you can create visual and engaging content that just as white papers, educates your prospects and guides them towards diverse solutions you provide for their needs. A great way of guiding your potential customers along their Buyer’s Journey. And don’t forget: placing a strategic call to action at the end of your presentation or video might even result in some first buyers.
3. Direct Prospect Engagement: Webinars and Contests
Finally, there is a third way through which you can interact with your customers proactively and generate countless leads in the process: engaging directly with them. I am not talking about cold calls and emails or door to door selling. Those are outdated strategies that will hardly bring the same success rate. Direct engagement refers to a content strategy where business and prospect participate jointly from the first until the last step. In this sense, there are two main strategies that have cemented their success in the last years: contests and webinars.
User generated content is on the rise in 2017 and contests are one of the best examples for it. There are hundreds of ways companies are doing this, from picture contests on Instagram, to prize contests for participating in surveys. The company provides the concept while users provide the content. From the lead generation perspective, you should look to create a contest that attracts adequate leads for your business. Thus, the diverse topics, questions, and even prizes should be oriented towards this specific target group. Create an attractive contest and you can be sure hundreds of leads will be providing their contact details to participate.
Webinars are yet another successful marketing tool used to engage directly with prospects. In a joint B2B content marketing study, The Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs revealed how webinars are the second most successful content strategy, only behind live events. However, live events require major organization, which results in huge resource investments. On the other hand, webinars are easy to schedule and organize and can provide educational content to prospects that register for the event. Thus, a webinar with the adequate content acts as a powerful lead magnet for your business.
Source - Marketing Profs
The content strategy you select to generate leads will depend on the channels you currently use and your target audience. A contest or a quiz might be more suited for the B2C field while a webinar or a sales presentation for a B2B case. Experimenting and combining different strategies will help you find the ideal one for your company. The best of it all is that you will be generating leads automatically through your content. Just make sure your content focuses specifically on your prospects , is responsive, and not too intrusive. The results will then speak by themselves. Happy prospecting!
About the Author
Michael Steinberg is the Head of Business Development at Beamium, a platform to capture leads and smart statistics through online presentations. Graduated from the Master in Business Administration and Technology at the Technical University in Munich, he has worked with various start-ups in Germany and Latin America focusing on the business development, online marketing and social entrepreneurship fields.