Many businesses question whether it is a direct connection when it comes to the relationship between content marketing and generating customers. That is, they wonder if content marketing, as effective as it is in accomplishing other goals – such as increasing brand awareness and boosting organic visibility – is really an effective tool that they can wield to bring in new leads and achieve measurable bottom-line results.
It is important to question any investment you make in your business. In fact, it is vital. You must also get the answers you need to proceed confidently – and a solid plan.
Is Content Marketing Cost-Effective for Bringing In Leads?
Is content marketing cost-effective for bringing in leads? Research shows that content marketing generates three times more leads than traditional marketing – and costs 62% less. More result + less spend = an avenue that should be front and center regarding your business’s overall marketing and advertising strategy.
Businesses spend an average of 7 - 10% of their total budget on marketing activities. These can include some big-ticket expenses, like TV ads, billboards, and newspaper spots. However, these forms of marketing are only as effective as the eyeballs they reach – the people flicking through the channels, the drivers sailing by, the remaining ones who still unfold the paper for their morning news. The reach can be small, the data hard to gather and track, and the content too easy to filter out.
Savvy companies spend up to 80% of their marketing budgets on digital content. While not completely ignoring more traditional “push” forms of marketing like those we’ve just mentioned, they focus on creating and disseminating content that will reach a far wider audience and that “pulls” them to the company.
Say a person has transitioned from the traditional office to a hybrid or remote model. They’re looking for space so they don’t have to meet clients in their living rooms! They search, they find a company with beautiful office and coworking spaces. They learn more. They click on a link to a blog with top 10 tips for working in a shared space. From there, they click over to a list of locations to find one near them. They move to a page on pricing… The shared office company has engaged them – has pulled them in with content. They’re not filtering out content that is pushed at them; rather they are seeking information out that is relevant to them.
This is the crux of content marketing – you deliver value in the form of compelling, accurate, authoritative content that builds relationships and trust. It also moves people through the buyer’s journey in a highly cost-effective way.
Now about the “how.” How do you leverage content marketing to generate leads?
Content Marketing & Generating Customers
One of the advantages of content and digital marketing is that you can reach a far wider audience, and you reach them on their terms. They can engage when and how they want. But another, equally powerful, benefit is that you can be highly selective. Targeting the right people at the right times is critical. If you are generating and capturing the wrong people, you likely will not convert and you will 100% waste resources.
So the first step of effective content marketing is not writing a blog post or article! It starts well before that:
- Create a Buyer Persona
To ensure you generate solid leads that have a better chance of converting into customers, start by creating a buyer persona. This is a fictional representation of your ideal customer. You will include relevant details, such as age, income level, gender (can include pronouns that your target audience prefers), location, goals, problems, solutions they need, decision-making ability (e.g. Are they the holder of the family budget? Do they have buying power in their company?)
Make it as detailed and full as possible. It should be as if you’re meeting a real person. In a way, you are: you’re meeting your future customers!
- Build Landing Pages That Convert
Landing pages are critical. They have one job: to convert visitors into leads. They have a form that allows you to capture their information in exchange for an offer, whether a free eBook, a complimentary consultation, or a discount on a product. Highly converting landing pages hyper-focus on usability. It should be completely seamless. You do not want any obstacles between the visitor and the completion of that call to action!
Speed also matters. Even a one-second delay in load time can reduce your conversion rate by 7%. Additionally, prioritize:
- Aesthetics. The page should be eye-catching and attractive while not distracting from the CTA.
- Headline. Grab visitors’ attention with a compelling headline. Make them want, need to fill out that form.
- Benefits in bullet form. Your visitors don’t want to wade through paragraphs – and you want them to stay focused on the CTA.
- Snippets of customer testimonials are placed strategically on the page.
- Offer the Right Bait
When we talk about “bait,” we mean something that entices a prospective customer. Something that they can’t help but go for. Bait or a lead magnet:
- Solves an immediate problem/challenge for your target audience
- Can be accessed immediately
Bait can take the form of ebooks, reports, whitepapers, webinars, videos, quizzes, courses, etc. But regardless, the goal is to persuade your target audience that you are the solution to their problem/challenge. And to prove it, you’re giving them this free, exclusive “prize.” Let’s look at an example:
You are a stylist, and you want to build up your client list. You want to appeal to prospects who will book your services. Your lead magnet could be a video tutorial that guides people through a good wash-and-go routine for natural hair, offer 5 ways to curl your hair with one iron, how to do the popular half-up-half-up knot, or 3 tips for the perfect “effortless” messy bun.
Whatever the topic, you are solving a problem or scratching an itch your target audience has, and you are doing it immediately. They can access the content now and even take the steps to get that gorgeous ‘do.
What’s important to your audience? What’s the bait that will entice them to bite into your brand?
These tips are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to content marketing and generating customers. To learn more, and to launch a strategy that will lead to measurable results, contact THAT Agency.