Do you regularly blog for your business?
And have you been wondering how to generate leads from your efforts? Then you’re not alone.
Eighty-five percent of content marketers say their number one goal is to generate new leads. But unfortunately, only 30 percent consider their efforts effective. It’s a harsh truth. A business blog can be a great source of leads and customers, but it takes more than just publishing great content to attract them.
In this post I’ll give you an overview of three different approaches to generating leads with content. Ready? Let’s do it!
1. Offer a Lead Magnet
I agree, in the broad sense, pretty much everything you offer prospects in return for their email address and other personal details is a lead magnet.
However, here I want to focus on a specific type of lead – materials you offer for your prospects for download:
- Free tools
- Email courses
A lot of companies are doing this, but it’s still not working for many of them, so let’s concentrate on the criteria your downloadable resources should meet:
Focus on a specific target audience
There is always a chance that your product or service helps a number of different client groups solve all their problems. But in reality, this is probably not the case. For your lead generation campaign to bring the biggest result, you should only focus on one specific customer segment.
Promise a solution to a very specific problem customers have
For your prospects to want to download your magnet, it must offer them a lot of practical value. It must promise to help overcome a specific problem or teach them something new.
Try to look at it from the customers’ perspective: there are millions of different ways of and sources for getting interesting content and finding answers to their questions – blogs, books, social media groups, forums. There’s simply no need to give someone personal data in exchange for information. So the value of your lead magnet should outweigh any possible doubts in the benefit of sharing personal information.
Make your lead magnet easily obtainable within minutes
Signing up for a lead magnet is an emotional decision. As a result, your prospects will expect instant gratification. Therefore, you need to ensure that they can obtain your lead magnet within minutes of signing up. Don’t fall short of users’ expectations, when you’ve just taken the first step towards future cooperation.
How do you pick the best lead magnet topic?
We’ve already discussed that a lead magnet must promise to help overcome your audience’s specific problems. So the question remains: how do you find out what that problem is?
Here are a couple of ways:
Start by reviewing your support or customer service tickets. They might reveal what problems your customers are experiencing on a regular basis.
Talk to your sales people (or review your sales inquiries). Find out what problems your prospects face when they begin looking for your products or services.
Also, monitor what questions your target audience asks on Quora. Using this Q&A site is the best way to get inside your prospects’ minds and identify what information they lack and what would entice them to sign up.
Taking into account everything we discussed above, imagine that a user comes to you with a problem, asking you a direct question, and you have nothing to say – of course, there is no way this person will ever come to you again for your advice or your service.
But with the lead magnet content situation, it’s even more serious – you’re offering help and promising a high level of expertise. So be sure that you are answering the right questions for the right targeted audience.
Landing page creation
Once you have decided on a lead magnet, you need to set up a landing page offering information about it and convincing prospects of its value. This is also where prospects should be able to sign up and download your resource.
And then, you need to drive traffic to that landing page!
Social media promotion, newsletters, your blog – there are plenty of channels to use for your landing page promotion. One of my personal favorites – including a banner to landing page underneath each blog post related to the topic of your lead magnet. Here’s an example of a call to action that Hubspot uses to attract blog visitors to their lead magnet’s landing page:
Anyone who reads your blog post has already shown interest in the topic and will probably be interested in your e-book.
You should also optimize your landing page for specific keywords prospects might use when researching the problem your lead magnet solves.
Finally, you need to monitor your landing page’s performance to determine if your efforts bring it closer to the target market.
A tool to use for that is SEMrush’s Position Tracking Landing Page report, which allows you to monitor every landing page on your site and see for what keywords it currently ranks for.
By clicking on each landing page in the list, you can also get a detailed list of all the keywords it ranks for, its performance and its projected traffic.
2. Run a Webinar
Hosting webinars grants you authority, gets your name out there and confirms how knowledgeable you are on a particular topic. It’s a fantastic lead generation platform!
Just think about it. Most of us are too busy to dedicate time to things we don’t care about. But that also means that anyone who signs up for your webinar has confirmed their interest in your topic and signals a potential need for your product or service.
From my point of view, there is just one key to generating leads with webinars: your topic. The success of your webinar will depend on what you’re going to cover during your presentation. Just like with lead magnets, the most effective webinars promise the audience knowledge that will help them overcome a particular problem or improve their professional or personal lives.
We’ve noticed that your webinar don’t even have to be ‘promotional’ or include a lot of information about your product or service. Your audience will attend to learn and find a way to solve their problem, so if you provide a comprehensive explanation of your topic, people will trust in your level of expertise. And when people trust you, there is no need to convince them to buy. A simple mention of your service or product will work as well as a whole webinar dedicated to it.
3. Offer Quizzes
The previous two methods rely heavily on educating the audience. But what about lead generation leads with some fun?
From the early guessing games we played as kids to pub trivia and Internet knowledge tests, quizzes have been part of our lives almost from the beginning.
And perhaps because of their sentimental value, many of us have a strong positive attitude towards them (something that might also explain why a well-designed quiz can generate an incredible 50 percent sign up rate).
When we discussed webinars and e-books, we mentioned that people are interested in these types of content because they already have a need they want to satisfy. With quizzes, however, the situation is exactly the opposite. Users don’t need a special reason to take part in one, they’re just looking for some fun and entertainment. And that’s the best thing about quizzes! You can reach quite a wide audience, because quizzes will work even for users with minimal initial interest.
This factor, however, mandates a special approach to quizzes promotion. Let me explain. Every time I scroll through my Facebook feed, I think about how many points of view that have nothing to do with marketing we consume every day. In the end, we just want to be entertained and perhaps kill a couple of minutes in the subway.
The best channel for your quizzes is social media – that’s for sure. And this is a perfect example of entertaining content turning out to be profitable from a marketing perspective.
Ed Couchman, Facebook’s head of agency relations, shared a great observation during his last talk at the Content Marketing Summit:
“People aren’t searching for stuff on their phone anymore. They’re discovering content and finding things out for the first time.” Source
Although here he was specifically talking about mobile experience, I think this observation can be applied to desktop behavior, when we are talking about entertainment content.
A quiz is a type of “content” your users won’t be searching for – you have to be the one who makes it appear in their newsfeed. So before promoting your quiz, think about a proper paid social campaign, invest time and effort in your quiz’s design, and consider a proper call to action that will resonate with users and make your quiz stand out.
Business blogging can help your company attract new leads and customers, but it’ll take more than just regularly publishing great content to attract them.
You’ll also need to launch a lead generation campaign offering visitors something of value in return for their email address.