Can you convert leads with content marketing?
Isn’t that what using content marketing is all about?
You don’t have to take my word for it.
Let the experts at Demand Metric sway you:
“Content marketing generates 3 times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, but costs 62% less.”
Leads? For less? Now you’re speaking my language.
Any way you look at it, nearly everyone using social media is utilizing some form of low-cost content marketing.
However, some are doing it better than others.
Why is this?
The simple answer: the marketers who have a plan for converting leads with their content marketing efforts are winning the war.
It’s one thing to post for likes, retweets and shares.
It’s quite another to post with the intent of capturing leads and making that paper!
My guess is that nearly everyone would like to make money with their content marketing.
So, here are five ways you can use content to stuff your pipeline with potential prospects and, likely, leads.
1) Convert Leads With Content Marketing Through Education
Social media users are hungry for information.
Instead of selling them on your next bootcamp, your “amazing” product, or your “stellar” service, teach and educate about how your company can help with your potential prospect’s most problematic pain points.
People think if they’re not sell-sell-selling that they aren’t converting, but that’s not true.
Educational content — like a blog post or tip update — can very easily capture conversions by driving traffic to:
- Your website
- Download checklists, cheat sheets, and PDFs (in exchange for info)
- Sign up for webinars (in exchange for info), etc.
Use tools like Bit.ly to track your clicks or OptinMonster to create calls-to-action on your blog posts.
2) Convert Leads With Content Marketing And Smart Segmenting
Different products and services will be appealing to different people.
This means you need to focus on segmenting your audience, potential prospects, and then leads.
By creating diverse content for your assorted audience, you’ll be further ahead in the game.
I still can’t believe how many business are using one, giant list to send all of their emails.
Let this quote from Marketing Sherpa prove how WRONG this thinking is:
“4 out of 10 subscribers reported that they’ve marked emails as spam simply because they were irrelevant.”
And how segmenting can actually HELP your list:
“Emails that are segmented get as many as 50% more clicks than their counterparts.”
Ideas for segmenting:
- Segment by location
- Use the Facebook custom audience targeting
- Change your blog post titles on Twitter to target specific audiences (and use hashtags to match)
- ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY segment your email list
- Segment based on interests or behaviors
Please, for the love of all that is good and holy in marketing, select careful content and post accordingly by using your buyer personas and insider insights rather than sending one blanket message to EVERYONE.
3) Convert Leads With Content Marketing … Then Nurture Them!
So someone downloaded your eBook, now what?!
Just because they wanted your free info doesn’t mean they’re ready to buy.
At this point in the funnel, they’re a prospect, not a lead!
To move them through the rest of the funnel, make a plan to nurture this person.
Whether it’s personally, or through an automated marketing process, this is a MUST DO for converting more leads with content marketing.
- First things first, make sure your nurture campaign for your potential leads is in place before giving anything away for free.
- Every download won’t turn into a lead, but you can bet your bottom dollar that no prospects will convert if you’re not nurturing them through your pipeline.
- Most of us have lead capture content, but many of us are missing out on nurture content. Make sure you have enough content to fuel your entire pipeline.
4) Convert Leads With A Content Marketing Conversion Strategy
Is your website targeted for specific keyword searches?
What about your content?
Make sure you have landing pages where potential leads can input their info for capture (but give them some content in return!).
(We like to call that the “give to get“).
Tips for opt-in forms:
- Make sure forms are short and to the point
- Forms should tell the user exactly what they’re going to get by giving their info
- A good capture form should convert at 20%-40% of your total traffic
- (Here are 7 high-converting places to get email opt-ins)
5) Convert Leads With Content Marketing Tracking
What gets measured, gets done.
And smart marketers know they can’t prove success with their content marketing — or any marketing — without tracking prospects and leads through the pipeline.
How many people downloaded your content, filled out a form, or attended your webinar?
Track this information to find out which content efforts are paying off, or have the biggest ROI.
Look at your opt-in forms: Are they converting?
Where to go with your findings:
- Once you’ve got a firm grasp on which inbound marketing tactics are working best for you, create more of them!
- More amazing content = more qualified leads!
Your homework: Take a look at the five tips above and compare them to your inbound marketing or content marketing efforts.
Are you doing each of the above? If not, why?
Have anything you’d add to the list? Let me know in the comments below!
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I think segmenting your email list is one of the most underutilized functions of email when it comes to nurturing, converting and tracking.
I’ve worked as a sales associate selling luxury fender covers at an annual boating fair. After my first day, I figured there were three kinds of prospects:
1) The posh customer; they want to show off their boat and pay a little extra to invest in something unique and classy. They’d pay on the spot if it were an option.
2) The rational doubter; they understand that our luxury made-to-order product pays off over the years, but are initially drawn to our (lower margin) mass-produced option. They ask a lot of questions and will walk around the fair discussion the options with their spouse.
3) The critic; they like the stuff, but especially when they can really compare it themselves, feel all the material themselves, and they feel your helpfulness is a bit pushy, no matter how charming you smile. They’ll come to their own conclusions at their own pace, thank you very much.
When things are laid out this obvious, you start to understand how to (not) talk to each customer, and when exactly to jump in. I think the three classes above also translate to online prospects, but for some reason, a lot of business owners will lose their sales wits and, as you pointed out, treat everyone alike (and probably like they’re all the cash-coughing easy ones), scaring off the rest.
I think you make an excellent point in segmenting your email list, but really, the segmenting should stretch across every bit of content you’re putting out there. That’s why you keep publishing different kinds of content in the first place. To me, it’s the segmenting that ties your whole post together. The combination of segmenting and content marketing is incredibly powerful, and internet marketing has made it very easy to scale.
Great advice, Bas! I can certainly tell that you have a keen mind when it comes to marketing — and I hope others are reading your thoughtful comments.
Sales is hard. I am not the best sales person. I’m trying to work on that in 2015. But when you put marketing theories into practice with sales, it sure does make a lot of sense … and make things a lot easier.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that you said segmenting goes beyond the email list. I think you should write about that! I would read it, bookmark it, and share it to the moon and back. 😉 Thanks for always sharing your wisdom with us.
Great points as always Brooke. There are many (not all) marketers that want to take, take, take and if they do give, they give something that’s not worth the effort in the first place. If you really want to take advantage of a “give to get” relationship, you have to be willing to give the good stuff and not the left over funk at the bottom of the barrel. As Jay Baer says, “What if your marketing was so helpful that people would theoretically pay you for it?”
I actually laughed out loud at your “left over funk at the bottom of the barrel” line, Josh! Whoooooo doggie I would love to out a few peeps here who share the same, tired, done-a-million times a day (on their sites and others’)content and then can’t figure out why it’s not converting (that’s okay! we’ll just discount stuff!). Yikes. That whole evil business cycle scares the crap outta me and I want to you find me and slap me if you ever see me doing it. 🙂
That said, THANKS for stopping by! And hey, congrats on the new gig!
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I really appreciate your article….
Using content marketing is the best thing to generate leads for your business, if done the right way. The article provides an in-depth analysis of the components that contribute toward that goal. Thanks for your thought-provoking analysis. These five points that you shared are helpful….Keep posting this valuable information….
Have a nice day!!!!!
Hiii, Jeannairon! Thanks for the kind words. I really appreciate you taking the time to leave us a comment. 🙂
I think online/digital marketing and advertising is the best way to go today for targeted and fast results – especially social media advertising…
katejohnson recently posted…SEO checklist to improve your rankings
Indeed. Thanks, Kate! We certainly will. 🙂
I really appreciate your article…keep sharing Social media has become a vital business tool for business people to advertise their products and increase their sales. The more present a business is on social media, the more familiar it becomes among customers. Thanks for sharing with us your thoughts…
Jeannairon recently posted…SEO checklist to improve your rankings
You bet, Jeannairon!
I used to hop on North America Content Marketing Institute website to keep myself updated with the new strategies required to follow in order to do right content marketing for my business.
But it’s true that now I have another source that is ‘this website’ from where I can get quality stuff.
Thanks! Keep sharing!
Thank you for the kind words! 🙂