Regardless of your business type, whether B2B or B2C, you’ve probably heard about content marketing and lead nurturing.
More specifically, you may have recognized how excellent content marketing supports your lead nurturing goals. Here, we’ll look at why content marketing fits into your lead generation strategies, and how to capitalize on it.
Before we get started, remember the basic purpose of lead generation: driving people to engage with your business by encouraging them to take favorable actions, such as signing up for a newsletter or requesting a meeting. In this way, you are generating a “lead” towards a potential sale.
Content Marketing Lead Nurturing: How it Works
Lead nurturing engages a potential customer to increase the chances they make it to the buying stage. Bringing content marketing into the lead generation mix means you need to know what kind of material a viewer would want to see and understand how the content benefits them during the decision-making process.
Timing is also crucial for effective lead nurturing with content marketing. For example, if you try to entice a potential customer to download an in-depth product guide when they’ve only become aware of your company that day, they may get overwhelmed. Such detailed content would likely assist them when they get closer to the purchasing stage, though.
Applying content marketing to your lead marketing strategies means understanding what type of content is best for certain groups of people, and knowing when and how to deliver it to them. You cannot take an all-encompassing approach. Instead, you’ll excel by knowing that the most appropriate content for one group of possible buyers may not be right for another.
How Can Content Marketing Get More Leads?
Content marketing aligns with your lead nurturing strategy for several reasons. Firstly, it can help people perceive your company as an authority and thought leader, or well-equipped to educate them. Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs teamed up for a 2019 study that looked at lead generation tactics for the business-to-consumer (B2C) market.
It showed that 71% of respondents used educational content for lead nurturing. Then, 81% of those polled said that they strongly or somewhat agreed that their audience saw their companies as trusted and credible resources. So, if you focus on making content that educates, people could get the impression that your company is experienced and well-able to meet their needs.
Content marketing can also help you get more leads by raising the awareness people have about your company. If you consistently publish interesting content, people are more likely to take the step of finding out more about you. Relatedly, a steady stream of content can help people view your brand as relevant and up-to-date with current happenings.
Furthermore, content marketing can help you cater to what your visitors need and want. Typically, a company has both sales-qualified leads and marketing-qualified leads. The people in the second category are those who merely want some information about the business and may buy things later. But, sales-qualified leads are substantially closer to the purchasing point.
Now that you know why content marketing and lead marketing have such a clear connection, let’s go through some steps to help you iron out your process.
1. Develop Personas and Journeys for Each Customer
Creating buyer personas and the respective journeys for each of those customers is a fantastic way to ensure you create relevant content for them. Personas encompass aspects like demographics, behavioral characteristics and values. Those aspects combine to make fictional examples of potential or current customers.
Since the personas need to be as detailed and accurate as possible, consider talking to actual people who interact with your brand, or those who might. Most companies have 4-6 personas per line of business. Once you make those, it’s time to map out the journeys the personas would likely take.
Come up with the turning points that trigger them to move further along the path of making a purchase. Also, remember that the length of the journey differs depending on a customer’s needs and if they are the sole decision-maker.
2. Create a Content Calendar
A content calendar is your roadmap that determines what you publish and when. It should also specify which people at your company will produce the content, and which distribution methods you’ll use. One of the most common reasons why people work with content calendars is because they want to organize social media content.
Before getting too deep into the calendar-creation process, choose some goals and decide how content relates to them. Statistics show that marketers who set goals are 429% more likely to report success than people who don’t. Goal setting can also help you steer clear of common mistakes.
Since you’re learning about content marketing and lead nurturing now, think about setting goals associated with gaining a minimum number of new leads per month. Your content calendar should also break down the content into broad categories. You might have some blog posts, product promotions, seasonal material and so on.
3. Produce Great Content
The content you give to customers must be high-quality and intriguing enough to make people engage with it. According to a 2017 study published by Ascend2, 57% of the respondents said that downloaded content generated the highest conversion rates. You might offer people an ebook to download or a themed checklist.
Then, don’t forget about content that people don’t need to download. For example, a video people can stream is ideal for explaining a concept or showing how a product works. Or, infographics can help you highlight the main findings from a large study. Provided you have thorough and accurate buyer personas, figuring out what kind of content people want most should be fairly straightforward.
4. Make a Lead Magnet
A lead magnet represents content that your audience doesn’t want to miss. Moreover, lead magnets help persuade visitors because they give them free stuff. Resource guides, workbooks, webinars and case studies are some examples of irresistible lead magnets to try.
Additionally, a lead magnet is usually a type of long-form content that people get in exchange for giving their email addresses. Going back to what you learned about timing earlier, aim to present your lead magnet when your customers have had time to build up trust in your company and understand the value you provide.
5. Optimize Your Blog
Your blog is a content promotion vehicle that can also drive leads. For example, focus on topics that your readers will most likely care about, then position your company as having solutions to address pain points. You can also write blog posts associated with some of your supplementary content.
Then, craft calls to action that urge people to download the material. For example, you could say, “If you liked this post, explore the topic even more by downloading our new free ebook.”
If your schedule allows for adequate blog moderation, consider turning on public comments. Then, review the feedback frequently and use it to shape your future content creation strategies.
There is no single guaranteed-effective process to nurture more leads with content marketing. However, the suggestions here are solid starting points, and you can adapt them to your needs for even better results.