January 29, 2020 Share

CMA Shares “Best Content Marketing Methods to Use for Lead Generation”

All businesses—from large corporations to small businesses—would benefit from content marketing. This type of marketing doesn’t overtly promote a brand. Instead, it’s aimed to spark interest in a business’s products or services through the sharing of informational content such as social media posts, blog posts and videos. In order to get a return on investment, your content marketing strategy must be linked to lead generation.

Many prominent organizations in the world are using content marketing for promotion including Microsoft, Cisco Systems, P&G and John Deere, according to the Content Marketing Institute annual survey. Small businesses and one-person shops around the world also use this marketing method because it works.

Lead generation follows this path:

  • Discovery – Visitor finds your business through your marketing efforts including an advertisement, article, blog, video, email, social media platform or website.
  • Call to action (CTA) – Visitor clicks a link off your website, social media platform, email, etc.
  • Lead information capture – CTA takes the visitor to a landing page, intended to obtain lead information to be swapped for some type of offer such as content, more information or discount.

Keep this path in mind, as you examine the following best content marketing methods to use for lead generation:

Know your target customer

Conduct research to get to know your target customer. Then, you can create a customer avatar. Smart content marketing strategies start with the customer. You must understand who they are, as well as their psychographics, demographics, buying behaviors and pain points. Building a customer avatar, also known as a buyer persona, is crucial in determining key messages, target audience, types of content, how the lead is captured and next steps.

Produce great content

If you want to increase organic traffic and generate leads, you must deliver consistent, high quality content. This type of traffic is unpaid and generated by users who find your website after using search engines. You can drive traffic by peppering keywords, along with inbound and outbound links, throughout your content. Attributes of great content include being well written, containing your key messages, connecting your value proposition to your target audience’s needs and basing it on the buyer’s journey (awareness, consideration and decision), to name a few.

Types of content comprise blog posts, infographics, video content, news, case studies, webinars, checklist and white papers. Think about which ones will be most effective in speaking to your target audience, depending on where they are in the buying cycle and how they consume information.

Offer an alluring lead magnet

Entice people and capture email addresses, by providing good incentives. A top lead magnet idea is to give a content upgrade, which is a piece of bonus content that matches the topic of a particular article in your blog. The bonus content should be very useful. For example, if the purpose of your blog post is to educate by offering ways to build a social media content calendar, the bonus content could be a free social media calendar template. Supply this expanded information for download, through a lead capture form.

Produce high converting landing pages

Landing pages are web pages that are intended to inspire the visitor to take an action. These pages can include anything from registering for an event, to signing up to receive an email newsletter or blog. This is an effective way to collect email addresses, which is critical to the success of a content marketing campaign. Be sure the landing pages contain a strong and single CTA.

Promote content

In addition to public relations, digital marketing and social media, one of the best ways to promote your content is through email marketing. Email marketing is a cost-effective way to communicate, get your message in front of your target audience and generate potential leads. When a process is in place to promote content, it’s easier to convert them from a prospect to a customer, especially if there’s a clear CTA, to improve click through rates. The more clicks could equal more website traffic, and ultimately increase customers.

Content Marketing Lead Generation Case Study

Amerlux, an independent LED lighting manufacturer, retained CMA to build relationships with architects, lighting designers, design-build firms, facility managers, manufacturer’s reps, electrical contractors and city managers. The goal of the content marketing campaign was to generate marketing qualified sales leads, by deepening brand involvement through original content that builds commitment.

CMA developed a complex, 90-piece “owned” media campaign, through blog posts that spoke specifically to different audiences at different phases of the buying cycle. The blog-writing campaign positioned Amerlux as the solution to various problems directly or indirectly involving LED lighting. Blog angles ranged from smart cities and dark sky light pollution, to less street crime, safer college campuses and bigger bottom lines through energy conservation.

The content was presented in the different formats below, to create a richer experience to a wider audience:

  • Buyer’s Journey – The majority of the yearlong campaign included blog posts that appealed to specific audiences. CMA framed the content to match different stages of the buyer’s journey.
  • News – To add diverse content and build reputation, CMA wrote breaking-news blogs.
  • Social Proof – To support the “Decision” stage, several case studies were published that clearly identified the situation, problem, action and outcome.
  • Short-Form Guides – To support the “Awareness” stage, CMA created short-form guides to take a deeper dive on interesting topics and solutions.

Campaign results:

  • Drove 14,508 to Amerlux.com.
  • Drove 9,838 individuals to “Locate Your Sales Rep” page on Amerlux.com.
  • Motivated 348 individuals to provide their email addresses as part of Lead Gen campaign.
  • Compelled Amerlux visitors to invest 371 hours consuming Amerlux’s blog content.

To close, content marketing is a new form of advertising. Unlike traditional advertising, however, content marketing provides “nurturing” that builds your brand’s relationship with customers and prospects.

With any business relationship, there are three important dates:

  • The day a potential customer heard about your brand.
  • The day a potential customer bought something from your brand.
  • The day a customer bought something else from your brand (i.e. repeat business).

Everything that happens between those milestones is called “nurturing”, which is why content marketing is so important in a digital world. Adding a lead generation component steers prospects down the sales funnel faster.

Do you want to learn more? Contact us today, to start the conversation.

CMA is a full-service communications, marketing and association management firm, which has provided its clients with award-winning and proven results for more than 30 years. To drive ROI, it utilizes its strategic solutions including branding, digital marketing, web and mobile app development, social media, public relations, advertising, collateral, association management, event planningpublications, and advertising sales. Visit CMAsolutions.com and follow @CMAresults on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.