Growth Marketer Academy: Episode 10 – Content Marketing For Lead Generation
Content marketing can be tough.
When it comes to using content to generate leads in a business to business environment, it requires a very specific approach.
It’s just like Field of Dreams, right? If you write it, they will come…
I wish! It requires a magic blend of great writing, engaging, helpful content, and timely promotion.
And we’re here to tell you how to craft this “magic” blend of content marketing that generates leads in today’s saturated online environment.
Write Content to Speak to Your Lead
How do you know what they’re interested in?
- Go back to the personas you created
- Fine tune your personas
- Focus on their pain points
- Brainstorm content that will focus on those pain points.
These aren’t long-form ads, but you need to use your ads & keyword knowledge to decide on your topic.
By now you’ve been stalking your leads on Facebook, right?
Consider the details you’ve learned
What are your specific leads talking about?
Let’s say that you sell business liability insurance.
Potential lead = a CFO
He’s focused on cost-related issues
- Potential costs of a lawsuit without coverage vs. with coverage
Some potential topics would be:
- The most expensive lawsuits companies face
*this would ideally be specific to the industry that you’re targeting
- How much deductible can my company afford?
Position Yourself As the Expert Helper With Your Content
Drive traffic to content instead of the product page
Be the provider of information.
Don’t try to sell your product or service.
Think of skincare and makeup companies like Sephora
They provide a library of how-to tutorials.
If you’re constantly going to their site to learn
- how to apply eyeliner
- how to create nail art
You’re going to grow to trust their product recommendations
You’ll go to their store/associates for advice
You’ll likely buy your next lipstick from them with their assistance.
Build this trust with your potential customer.
Make them comfortable with you being helpful, not a perpetual salesman
You’ll be the expert they think of when that relevant pain point strikes.
Andrea was looking for an attorney to file some trademark paperwork.
She first searched online for things like:
“File national service trademark renewal”
Identified those firms that had written easy to follow tips or provided relevant information
That info showed her she didn’t have time to do it herself
She contacted the attorney that she felt had given her the most pertinent and helpful information
That attorney seemed most likely to be able to effectively communicate throughout the process.
Tips to determine trending topics in your vertical:
- Use Buzzsumo
Type in your keyword
It will show you # of shares socially for most popular content
Paid service will let you see links, estimated traffic, other important data
- Go to the forums, chat pages and industry Facebook groups that your leads are frequenting
Look at what topics are trending
What questions are your potential customers looking for answers to?
- Is there an industry-specific newsletter or site that your lead goes to for industry-specific news and information?
- Look for what topics they’re focusing on
- Use their research and resources to save you some time and effort figuring out what your lead is looking for
Create lead magnets tied to the content
Value adds like checklists, tools lists or expanded guides
Make sure it’s interesting (not just a long narrative)
Mix it up with visuals (relevant images)
Graphs & charts
Write to Your Platform/Reader
Instagram and Pinterest posts need to be image heavy
Mirror style of other posted content.
- Are articles written conversationally with lots of humor? Mimic that voice.
- Are articles statistic-heavy with detailed text and minimal images? Break out your inner-engineer.
Don’t babble on about your loves/interests/personal anecdotes. This isn’t your personal blog
What if you aren’t a writer? – Finding a copywriter
Go to ProBlogger
Look at the bloggers currently writing in your vertical
Get an idea of what people are paying for work in your vertical
Payment is typically calculated by word
Don’t be the cheapest job out there.
Aim to pay at least mid to high range for your vertical to attract decent candidates.
- Post an ad on Problogger’s Job Board
Free to post a job.
You can pay to make it a “featured” job.
- This may speed the process
- You’ll likely get more candidates
- Candidates will apply
- Review samples of their work
Look for those with a style similar to the site you’re creating content for
Note their “voice” and how they layout their work
Ask the ones you like to:
- Provide 10 topics (ideally with headlines) on the subject or vertical you provide.
If you aren’t sure:
Give them a site to model content on
A site you’d live yours to be like
Give them a couple of sample articles you like
For those that gave you the best topics/headlines:
- Choose your favorite topic that they supplied and have them write you an intro and conclusion paragraph
*this lets you weed out the “I don’t work for free” people
They’re likely to be harder to work with.
Identify those candidates willing to go to the effort to really apply for the job.
You should now have 2-3 top candidates.
- Pay them $20-30 each to write out a detailed outline for the whole piece.
If images are important, have them provide several sample images
Have them place them in the piece
*so you can see where they’d include them
Also, note how they source them.
Once the content is written, you will need to promote the piece
- You can look for ProBlogger candidates that know how to promote content
You COULD make that one of your requirements for your candidate.
- You could go to Buzzsumo
Pay to see who is linking to similar content
Try to promote your content organically.
- Easiest: run ads to the content.
You’ll most likely use PPC through Facebook and Google
If your target lead frequents a different forum or site, look for opportunities to place ads to the content there.
Content marketing isn’t about direct sales. It’s a long game.
Present yourself as the expert in your field, share helpful information. You’re selling your skills without selling anything at all.
Exactly. When they figure out they need your product or service, you won’t have to sell them – they’ll come to you
No cold calls. No salesman tactics.
Just leads that are ready to buy.