What has the greatest impact on customer decision-making? High-quality, consistent, relevant content. It is that important. When executed effectively, content marketing raises brand awareness, establishes authority in your space, generates leads, increases conversions, aids audience retention, boosts search engine visibility and performance, and turns customers into brand advocates.
That’s quite a return on your investment. But let’s focus on one critical aspect: using content marketing to improve your leads. We’re not talking just about quantity; we are talking about quality.
How Content Marketing Impacts Your Sales Funnel
One of the primary goals on marketers’ minds when it comes to content is generating more – and better – leads. How does a robust collection of blog posts, articles, whitepapers, ebooks, infographics, webinars, videos, etc., do this? People who interact with and consume your created content are more likely to buy from you.
Why? Think about it like this: someone in your target audience is looking for information about planning their estate. They want to “get their affairs in order,” so to speak, and ensure that their assets are protected, their financial status secure, their future covered, and their heirs provided for. But they haven’t the vaguest idea of how to do all of this!
Not so uncommon; it is an area that most of us don’t like to think about. It is also an area of the law that is highly complex. What type of trust do you need? How should you be structured so your wishes are honored? How do you plan financially for the future should you need care?
It’s mind-boggling. So they turn to the source with the answer: Google. A top result is a law firm that specializes in estate planning. On that site are blog posts and articles describing different types of trusts, the best way to leave property upon death, the inheritance rights of spouses and children, which assets go through probate, and so on. They can access very real, practical answers to their many questions.
Great. But how does this translate into more high-quality leads? They were lost at sea, and you helped them find solid ground. Through your relevant content, you have already provided free value to them, so you have accelerated the building of trust.
Not to mention establishing your authority and expertise in this space. The prospective customer/client already has a level of familiarity with your brand, and we tend to go with options that we know.
Hubspot’s Lindsay Kolowich says, “Content is a great way to guide users to a landing page. Typically, you create content to provide visitors with useful, free information.
You can include CTAs anywhere in your content – inline, bottom-of-post, in the hero, or even on the side panel. The more delighted visitors are with your content, the more likely they will click your call-to-action and move onto your landing page.”
This is how content marketing impacts your sales funnel: it pushes people further down and closer to the goal of making a purchase or securing your services.
5 Tips for Using Content Marketing to Improve Your Leads
When using content marketing to improve your leads:
- Know Your Target Audience Inside And Out. If you don’t know exactly who you are trying to reach, you risk casting too wide a net and letting the big fish (great customers) go. Extensive research and the creation of buyer personas are critical. Talk to customers and ask them questions. Conduct online and competitive research. Don’t scrimp on this step. It is a big one.
- Promote Your Content. The best content in the world is ineffective unless you promote it – and people consume it. Content marketing is not “set it and forget it.” Use social platforms, of course, but you can also leverage content syndication channels with help from your marketing partner.
- Focus on the Right Channels. Where are your potential customers? (You should know this from tip #1!). Whether it’s LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc., use these platforms strategically to promote your content and engage people in conversations around their challenges, needs, goals, and solutions you offer.
- GREAT CONTENT. Seems obvious! But make sure your content is solid, reliable, and accurate. Choose relevant topics (trending) for your target audience and use analytics and data to boost credibility.
- Leverage Visual Content. Non-text content is a great way to engage your audience. Videos, infographics, interactive infographics, illustrations, and other visual assets are gold. They are not only attention-grabbing but they are also easily digested and engaging to web users who are always on the go.
There are, of course, endless tips and tactics for using content marketing to improve your leads. The point is to do so strategically and with your overarching goals in mind. With the right approach, you can improve both the quantity and – more importantly – the quality of your leads.