Content marketing is all the rage. And it makes sense to focus on adding interesting content to your website and social platforms not least since it means web visitors and search engines rate you more favourably. The end game is ultimately more sales but it isn’t as straightforward as ‘add content and generate leads’. We’ve certainly gained plenty of leads and won landmark clients as a direct consequence of our content marketing activity. But we’ve been doing it for some time and have over 150 blogs and other curated articles on our site.
So, whilst content marketing for lead generation is the ultimate aim, it may time some time to gain momentum and to work. Nowadays, you can’t ignore content if you want to drive inbound lead, retain prospect attention and increase credibility. If you consider your current situation, is poor content on your website hampering your lead generation? What do you do to drive inbound sales leads?
The answer to the question for our business is simple. Targeted and (hopefully) interesting content. We changed our website in June 2014 to a more search engine friendly WordPress site. At the same time, we amalgamated our blog with our site and focused on up-weighting the level of content on the site. In the 12 months since launch, we have had over 150 relevant leads directly via the website and a significant number of phone calls direct to our business where the prospect advised us they found us via our website, I have now stopped asking the question ‘where did you find us?’ You might consider around 12 leads per month relatively low. However, the incoming number was pretty much zero outside of referrals previously and many were from large companies needing telemarketing services. We converted some excellent business including household name companies. And for the princely sum of …… nothing!
Given this scenario, what’s my advice?
My advice is simple, build added value content on your site and point people at the content on all of the most appropriate social platforms. We know that search engines favour sites with regularly updated content and content that is relevant and keyword-rich. Clearly, keywords play a lesser role than in the past. However, if you want to find blogs about ‘content marketing’ it’s unlikely your article will feature high in search results if you don’t mention the phrase content marketing in the text and probably in the subject heading,
We know this works since the level of leads we receive is now significant and we’ve converted great business using this strategy.
Below are our 7 tips for effective content marketing for lead generation.
- Make sure your site is ready to accommodate good content. If your site was designed more than two years ago, maybe you need to think about a more modern site that is built with this in mind.
- Start writing content now. Don’t procrastinate. Increasingly, businesses will disappear from first-page search results if search engines don’t see fresh, relevant and interesting content. Make it a habit and put time aside to both research and write.
- Identify a writer. Maybe you’re not JK Rowling or William Shakespeare. If you don’t have the skills or the time to create interesting information in writing, find someone that can. Maybe one of your team can write. If not, the services of a decent copywriter won’t break the bank for one article per week. You’d ideally benefit from more but most small businesses don’t have the bandwidth to do more than one article each week.
- Post and distribute the content. It needs to go on your blog and across your social pages including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other channels such as Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and so on if your business lends itself to those channels, video, images and so on and if your customers use those media.
- Have a strategy. Who is your target market? Who is your content destined for? What challenges do they have with which your content can assist? How can you showcase what your business offers by the content you produce? Just producing content willy nilly is ill-advised and time and energy-sapping. So, have a clear strategy that focuses your efforts.
- Do your research. If you don’t have the knowledge, go and read what others in your field are talking about. It’ll give you some ideas for topics. There are plenty of blogs that you can access via LinkedIn or Twitter. You can set up Google alerts or use LinkedIn Pulse or some other source like Buzzfeed. There’s no excuse for not being able to identify topics for your content.
- Check your stats. You need to know the strategy is working. That comes from two main areas. The first is obvious. Relevant leads, enquiries and sales. But that won’t happen overnight and you need to be aware of that. The second is traffic. That’s across your website but also on social channels. For example, the number of views I get on my LinkedIn posts is growing. I’m not into the thousands yet but it contributes to my visibility and exposure. The more visibility and views you gain, the more opportunities will be forthcoming down the line.
Content marketing is not a quick fix even if you have money to invest. However, it has done a number of things for our business.
- Increased sales
- Increased enquiries from the right kinds of customer
- Gets us onto shortlists for which we would not have otherwise been considered
- Lowered barriers to conversion – my content makes us credible
- Increased our visibility
- Differentiated us from lower-skilled competition that doesn’t offer useful tips and content
- Protected our margins – showcasing our skills enables us to get better quality work at rates that are less likely to be compromised.
- We are consistently ranked highly on search engines for our keywords such as b2b telemarketing companies and b2b telemarketing London.
One final comment for any doubting Thomas’s out there. How much time does all this take? I drafted this on a flight from Aberdeen to Heathrow. It was my second blog post on the one hour flight. I write most of my articles on the train, at lunch or over breakfast. I select topics with which I’m familiar. I know that I should perhaps embellish my posts with more research.
There are some great blog posts written by experts in all manner of subjects that refer to empirical research and have screenshots and videos or links to research. Maybe my content falls down in that respect. However, I get positive feedback and my time is limited. I don’t have an army of researchers or a team to do this. I rely on little ol’ me. And I have a day job. If I allocate 1-2 hours per week to blogging, that has been enough for me to deliver around 1 blog each week and sometimes two. And that is sufficient to give me the level of enquiries and conversions to grow my business.
If you’d like to know more about how content marketing worked for GSA, give us a call or use the form on the site. if you’d like to have a chat about content marketing strategy or implementing a proper campaign, please contact our sister company The Sticky Communication Agency.
If you’d like to know how GSA Business Development can help generate growth for your business through telemarketing or book one of our new business development and marketing strategy workshops, contact us now on 0845 658 8192