Today, about 94% of B2B small businesses make use of content marketing in their digital marketing efforts. Despite its widespread adoption, many businesses struggle to effectively use content marketing for lead generation and maintaining profitability.
The US Bureau of Labour Statistics estimates that despite having a content marketing strategy, approximately 20% of these small businesses fail in their first year, an additional 45% during the first five years, and 70% during the first 10 years.
Clearly, a content marketing strategy is no magic wand that immediately solves all lead generation woes. However, when used properly, content marketing can be a powerful tool for lead generation.
This blog post will discuss how you can effectively use your content marketing efforts to drive leads and convert them into customers. We have prepared an ultimate content marketing guide and curated practical battle-tested steps guaranteed to help generate quality leads.
Lead Generation Through Content Marketing
What comes to mind when you hear the word “lead”?
You’re probably thinking of scenes from your favorite crime thriller where the detective is following a lead to solve the case. Lead generation through content marketing works in much the same way.
You create content that captures the attention of your target audience, and use it as a clue to help them find you.
A lead is a potential customer who has shown interest in your product or service. Any content marketing strategy aims to attract the right audience, engage them, and ultimately generate leads that can be converted into customers.
Imagine you own a skincare brand and have created a blog post about the benefits of using natural ingredients in skincare products. A reader who clicks on the article, reads it, subscribes to your newsletter, and finally makes a purchase can be considered a lead generated for your skincare brand through your content marketing efforts.
Therefore, lead generation through content marketing involves creating valuable and relevant content that attracts your target audience to your brand, provides solutions to their problems, and encourages them to take a desired action. Such action could include filling out a form, subscribing to your email list, or purchasing a product.
Benefits of a Lead-Generating Content Marketing Strategy
Apart from attracting and converting quality leads, a strong content marketing strategy can bring numerous benefits to your business. Here are some of the reasons why you should invest time and effort into creating a solid lead-generating content marketing plan:
Improved Brand Awareness and Credibility
By consistently producing high-quality content that addresses your audience’s needs and interests, you increase your chances of being seen as an industry expert in your niche market. This improves brand awareness and builds trust and credibility among your target audience, leading them to consider your brand when making purchasing decisions.
If you are a business owner or marketer, it is important to remember that leads can come from any source. However, the quality and relevance of your content will determine whether these leads are worth pursuing and converting into paying customers.
Increased Website Traffic
Creating valuable lead-generation content that speaks directly to your target audience allows you to attract more visitors to your website. This ultimately drives more traffic to your website and increases the likelihood of generating leads through your content marketing efforts.
Improved Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO has a significant impact on your website’s visibility and search rankings. By regularly producing high-quality, keyword-rich content, you improve the chances of your website appearing in the top search results on popular search engines like Google and Bing.
This means that when someone searches for terms related to your industry, there is a higher chance that they will come across your website and potentially convert into leads.
Increased Conversion Rates
Content marketing can also improve the overall user experience on your website by providing valuable information and solutions to their problems. This can lead to increased conversions as satisfied readers are more likely to purchase or take other desired actions on your website.
In today’s digital age, content can easily be shared across various online channels such as your website, social media platforms, and email. This allows you to expand your reach and attract a wider audience, potentially bringing in more leads for your business.
Compared to traditional marketing methods, content marketing can be more cost-effective. Once you have created your content, it can potentially bring in leads for a long period of time with minimal additional costs.
Steps to Generating Leads Through Content Marketing
Now that you understand the advantages of lead generation through content marketing, here are some practical steps to get started in your content marketing lead generation process:
Conduct Extensive Market Research
Before creating any content, it’s important to understand your target audience and their pain points clearly. Conduct market research through surveys, focus groups, or social listening to gather insights into their needs and interests. This will allow you to create more targeted and relevant content that speaks directly to them and encourages conversions.
In conducting your market research for a content marketing strategy that generates leads, we recommend using keyword research and paying attention to search intent.
Making Use of Keyword Research
Part of your market research should involve identifying the keywords or search terms your target audience will likely use when looking for solutions to their problems. Using keywords is an effective way to understand your target audience’s interests. Commercial keywords specifically reveal what your prospects are interested in buying.
Incorporating these keywords into your content will improve its chances of appearing in search engine results, potentially bringing in more leads for your business. This can be done through keyword research tools such as Google Ads Keyword Planner or SEMrush.
Let’s say you own a catering business. Your target audience may use keywords such as “catering for weddings” or “corporate event catering.” Including these terms in your blog posts, website pages, or social media content can improve the chances of attracting leads interested in your services.
The idea is to find exactly what your leads are searching for and then use those terms in your content to attract them to your brand.
To use Google Ads Keyword Planner, simply enter your chosen keywords, and the tool will provide data on volumes, competition, and suggested variations. SEMrush also offers this functionality and additional insights such as related keywords and top-ranking pages for each keyword.
Paying Attention to Search Intent
In addition to identifying the right keywords, it’s important to understand the intent behind a search query. The search intent refers to the purpose behind a person’s search and the type of result they are looking for. This can range from informational (e.g., “how to plan a wedding”) to navigational (e.g., “wedding catering near me”) or commercial (e.g., “affordable wedding catering services”).
For example, if someone searches for “how to remove coffee stains from carpet,” they may just be looking for information on stain removal techniques. In this case, a blog post offering tips on removing various stains would be appropriate.
However, if someone searches for “carpet cleaning services,” they may be ready to hire a professional. In this case, including pricing information and showcasing your experience would likely be more effective in converting them into a lead.
Creating content that matches the intent behind a search query will make it more likely for your website to appear in search engine results, bringing in potential leads who are already interested in purchasing your products or services.
Understanding search intent allows you to create content that directly addresses the needs and interests of your target audience, improving its chances of converting into leads.
Going back to our catering example, someone searching for “catering menus” may have the intention of looking for menu options to choose from. In this case, including images or PDF downloads of sample menus on your website would likely be more effective in converting them into a lead than a blog post about the benefits of catering.
To better understand search intent, consider using a tool like SEMrush’s Keyword Magic Tool, which offers insights on related keywords and their search intent.
Conducting market research and creating targeted content addressing keywords and search intent lies at the heart of using content marketing to generate leads for your business.
Develop a Buyer (Customer) Persona
Another important aspect of lead generation through content marketing is creating buyer or customer personas. A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. It is a research-based profile that includes demographic information, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals.
Developing a buyer persona can help you create more targeted and personalized content that speaks directly to the needs and interests of your target audience.
To create a buyer persona, start by gathering data on your existing customers through surveys, interviews, or social media research. From there, identify common characteristics such as age, occupation, pain points, challenges they face in relation to your industry, and how they prefer to receive information (social media platforms, email newsletters, etc.).
A clear understanding of your target audience will make creating relevant and valuable content that attracts them to your brand easier.
Consider conducting surveys and interviews with current customers to gather information on their demographics, goals, pain points, and how they found out about your business. This can also be supplemented with secondary research on industry trends and changes in consumer behavior.
When creating content, refer back to your buyer persona to ensure that it appeals to their interests and addresses their pain points.
Specifically, in building a buyer persona, the details you need are classified into:
This would include details such as name, gender, age, profession, location, marital status, and education.
What problems or difficulties does your buyer persona face in relation to your industry? How can your products or services provide a solution to their challenges?
What are the overall goals and motivations of your buyer persona? How do they define success in their personal and professional lives?
Values or Ambitions
This refers to the values, beliefs, and principles that guide the behavior of your buyer persona.
How does your buyer persona prefer to receive information or communicate? Are they active on social media platforms, or do they prefer email newsletters? This information can also determine the most effective channels for lead generation and communication with your target audience.
Answering these questions and creating a detailed buyer persona can help guide your content marketing strategy and ensure that you are creating valuable and targeted content for your target audience. Ultimately, this will lead to more effective lead generation for your business.
Choose the Type of Content that Suits Your Buyer Persona
Once you have a clear idea of your buyer persona and their interests, motivations, and behavior patterns, you can start creating content that appeals to them. There are tons of content types available, and for a profitable return on investments, you must choose a content type that resonates with your audience.
In addition to selecting a content type that aligns with your buyer persona’s interests, it is also important to consider the formats that they prefer. As previously mentioned in the buyer persona section, consider their technology usage and communication preferences when choosing a format for your content.
Some examples of content types include:
Blog posts are a great way to provide valuable and informative content while also incorporating keywords for improved search engine optimization. They are important for lead generation because they can drive traffic to your website, establish thought leadership in your industry, and position your brand as a go-to resource for information.
Video content is a popular and engaging format that can showcase your products or services, provide tutorials or demonstrations, or share company updates. It’s important to consider the technical capabilities of your target audience when creating video content – while some may prefer high-quality videos with advanced editing and graphics, others may prefer simpler videos that are easily accessible on mobile devices.
Social media Posts
Social media platforms have become integral in content marketing strategies because of their reach and ability to target specific audiences. According to DataReportal, there are currently 4.7 billion active social media users worldwide, representing more than half of the world. Utilizing social media for content marketing can improve lead generation by increasing brand awareness and directing traffic to your website or landing pages.
eBooks or Whitepapers
Offering downloadable resources such as eBooks or whitepapers can provide in-depth information on a specific topic, and collect valuable contact information from leads interested in the offered resources.
Ultimately, creating valuable and targeted content will attract potential customers and drive them through the sales funnel, ultimately leading to successful lead generation for your business.
Podcasts are a great way to provide valuable information in an easily consumable format for on-the-go audiences. They can also assist in positioning your brand as a go-to resource for industry insights.
Infographics are a visually appealing way to present information and data in an easily digestible format. They can also be shared across multiple platforms, increasing the reach of your content and potentially generating leads from a wider audience.
Statistics from Hubspot reveal that there are 4 billion daily email users, with over 306 billion emails sent and received daily. Email newsletters provide a direct line of communication with your audience and can be used to showcase new blog posts, promote offers or promotions, or share company updates. They can also be personalized for different audience segments based on their interests and behavior patterns.
Webinars are a great way to provide valuable information in a live format while collecting contact information from interested leads. They can also be repurposed into downloadable resources or video content for continued lead-generation efforts.
It’s important to consider the technical capabilities of your target audience when hosting a webinar. While some may have access to advanced technology, others prefer a simpler format that can be accessed through mobile devices.
Sharing case studies showcasing successful projects or partnerships with clients is a great way to establish credibility and trust with potential leads. They also provide valuable insight into how your products or services can positively impact specific industries or businesses.
When creating content for lead generation, it’s important to understand the needs and interests of your target audience and choose formats that will best capture their attention and drive them toward becoming customers. By consistently producing valuable content in various formats, you can attract potential leads and ultimately drive successful lead generation for your business.
Create Content Worth Engaging With
To create content that stands out and attracts leads, it’s important to focus on quality over quantity. This means producing content that is well-written, informative, and engaging. Doing so will attract potential customers and position your brand as a thought leader in your industry.
It’s also important to stay current on industry trends and tailor your content accordingly. This can be achieved by regularly conducting audience and market research and staying up-to-date on the latest news in your industry. You’ll also appeal to a wider range of leads and increase the likelihood of successful lead generation.
Consider utilizing various formats for your content, as discussed above. This keeps your content varied and visually appealing and allows different audiences to consume it in a way that best suits their preferences.
Creating valuable content is crucial for successful lead generation through content marketing. By consistently producing high-quality and targeted content, you can attract potential customers and drive them through the sales funnel toward conversion.
The average individual is bombarded with information today, ranging from advertisements to blog posts and social media updates. Standing out from the noise and capturing the attention of potential leads can be challenging, but producing valuable content is key to successful lead generation through content marketing.
Promote Your Content
In addition to creating high-quality content, it’s important to promote it effectively to generate leads. Creating brilliant and impactful content is only useful if the right audience sees it. This is where content promotion comes into play.
The idea is to get your content in front of potential leads and drive them to take action, such as subscribing to your email list or purchasing a product. Content promotion can be categorized into the following headings:
Share your content on various social media channels, including industry-relevant groups and forums. You can pay for promotions on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to increase visibility among potential leads. According to Social Media Examiner, using relevant hashtags on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram can also increase the reach of your content.
Utilize email marketing campaigns to promote your content to subscribers or targeted leads. Include calls-to-action to drive conversions and track the success of your campaigns using metrics such as open rate and click-through rate.
We recommend including links to your content in email newsletters or blasting it out to your subscriber list. Personalize the messaging for different audience segments based on their past interactions with your brand and interests.
Reach a wider audience by publishing content on other websites, particularly those within your industry. This can also help establish credibility and trust with potential leads and drive traffic back to your website.
Utilize paid advertising to increase the visibility of your content and drive traffic to your website. This can include options such as Google Ads and native advertising on websites. Depending on your budget and the reach you’re hoping to achieve, you might have to pay between a few dollars to thousands.
Usually, you are charged based on the number of clicks or impressions, so carefully consider your targeting options and budget before diving into paid advertising.
Influencer marketing is simply leveraging the influence of industry leaders and social media influencers to promote your content. This can include sharing your content on their channels, collaborating on a piece of content, or having them mention your brand in a post or video. This can help increase trust and credibility among potential leads who already view the influencer as a trusted source within the industry.
Use Content Syndication
Content syndication involves sharing your content on third-party websites and can increase the reach of your content and drive traffic back to your website. This can include options such as republishing blog posts on LinkedIn or utilizing targeted advertising campaigns on platforms such as Outbrain.
It is easy to confuse content syndication with guest blogging, but they are not the same. Guest blogging involves creating original content for another website, while content syndication republishes existing content on third-party websites.
Some of the most popular platforms that perform best for content syndication include Medium, Outbrain, Slideshare, Quora, Reddit, Taboola, Facebook Business, LinkedIn, Tumblr, etc
Develop Interesting Lead Magnet
A lead magnet is a valuable offer, such as a free ebook or webinar, used to attract potential leads and capture their contact information. This allows businesses to follow up with leads and drive them toward conversion.
Developing an interesting lead magnet related to your industry can help attract potential customers and generate successful lead generation through content marketing. Consider creating a quiz, offering a downloadable resource, or providing access to exclusive content.
Some interesting lead-generation ideas you can consider include:
Checklists are valuable for potential leads as they provide clear, actionable steps to achieve a desired outcome. Consider creating checklists related to your industry or product/service, such as a home-buying checklist or a social media content calendar.
Templates can save potential customers time and effort in completing tasks related to your industry. Offer templates such as a resume builder, budget spreadsheet, or social media content calendar.
Research trending topics related to your industry and offer an in-depth report as a lead magnet. This can demonstrate expertise in your field while providing valuable information to potential leads.
Look into offering recipe lead magnets if your business is in the food or beverage industry. This can showcase your product while providing a valuable resource for potential customers.
Provide potential leads with examples and case studies of successful work related to your industry. This can inspire them to use your product or services and demonstrate the value they can provide. Offering actionable examples can also establish credibility and trust with potential leads.
eBooks or Whitepapers
Compile useful information related to your industry into a downloadable ebook or whitepaper. The content should provide value and address potential leads’ pain points or problems. What sets an ebook or whitepaper apart from a blog post is the depth and breadth of information it can provide.
Host an educational webinar related to your industry and offer it as a lead magnet. This can help establish authority in your field while providing valuable information to qualified leads. Alternatively, consider offering access to a past webinar recording as a lead magnet.
Offer potential leads a demonstration of your product or service. This can showcase the value and benefits while allowing leads to experience it firsthand. Businesses can attract potential customers and successfully generate leads through content marketing by offering a valuable lead magnet.
Additionally, consistently providing valuable content can help establish credibility and trust with qualified leads, leading to successful conversion.
Quizzes or Assessments
Quizzes and assessments can provide valuable information or insights to potential leads while also allowing businesses to gather key information about the lead. You can offer a personality quiz related to your industry or an assessment to determine potential leads’ needs and pain points.
Discounts or Special Offers
Offering discounts or special offers can attract potential leads and incentivize them to provide their contact information. This can also lead to conversions as the lead takes advantage of the offer.
Businesses can attract potential leads and drive lead generation through content marketing by offering valuable lead magnets. Find out what type of offer would appeal to your target audience and provide value for them in exchange for their contact information.
Build High-Converting Landing Pages and Optimize Them for SEO
Landing pages are specific web pages designed to convert leads, often through a form or call-to-action. It is important to optimize these pages for search engines by including relevant keywords and compelling content to attract potential customers.
Make sure the design of your landing pages is visually appealing and easy to navigate. Also, look into A/B testing elements, such as headlines or call-to-action language, to see what works best for your audience.
Avoid cluttering the page with too many forms or links, and clarify the desired action. The purpose of the landing page is to convert leads, so guide them towards that action and make it as easy as possible for them to take it.
Have a Catchy CTA Button on your Landing Page
Your call-to-action button should stand out on the page and incentivize potential leads to take action. Try using power words and persuasive language, such as “Get My Discount” or “Download Now.”
One way to look at the CTA button is to offer value in exchange for the lead’s contact information. For example, if you are offering a free ebook download, make sure to communicate the value of that offer on the CTA button.
Determine Your Distribution Channels
To effectively generate leads through content marketing, businesses must consider how to distribute their content. This can include social media platforms, email marketing, paid advertising, or offline methods such as events or networking.
The best approach is to determine where your target audience spends their time and prioritize those distribution channels. For example, if your target audience is young professionals, social media platforms such as LinkedIn may be a good place to distribute content.
Additionally, businesses can partner with industry influencers or thought leaders to amplify their content and reach a larger audience. This can also help establish credibility and trust with potential leads.
Track Lead Generation Results
It is important for businesses to track the results of their lead generation efforts to determine what is working and where there may be room for improvement.
This can include tracking website traffic, lead conversions, and the sources of those conversions. Consider using a marketing automation tool or analytics platform to track and analyze this data.
By regularly assessing the effectiveness of your lead generation strategies, you can make adjustments as needed and improve your overall results.
Failing to track results can result in wasted time and resources on tactics that may not be successful. You really do not want to invest your time and effort into something that is not generating leads for your business.
Overall, lead generation through content marketing can be a successful strategy for businesses if they offer valuable content, optimize their landing pages, have a catchy call-to-action button, determine the right distribution channels, and track their results. By following these tips, businesses can drive leads and see a positive return on their efforts.
We’re rooting for you as you work towards improving your lead generation strategy! Good luck.
Frequently Asked Questions on Lead Generation with Content Marketing
A market lead is a potential customer who has expressed interest in a business’s products or services. Lead generation refers to the strategies and tactics used to attract and convert these leads.
An example of a lead in marketing could be someone who has filled out a form on a company’s website to receive a free ebook or signed up for a newsletter. The company can then use this information to nurture the lead and potentially convert them into customers.
Content marketing, which involves creating and distributing valuable content to attract and engage a target audience, can be used for lead generation by offering lead magnets, such as ebooks or webinars, in exchange for the contact information of potential customers.
Some ways to track lead generation results include tracking website traffic, lead conversions, and the sources of those conversions. Businesses can also use marketing automation tools or analytics platforms to track and analyze this data.
It really depends on the industry and target audience, but some popular content types for lead generation include offering downloadable resources such as ebooks or whitepapers, hosting webinars, or creating gated content such as a membership site. It’s important to consider what will provide value to potential leads and incentivize
Lead generation is a subset of marketing. Marketing includes all activities and tactics used to attract, engage, and convert customers. At the same time, lead generation specifically refers to the strategies and tactics used to attract quality leads and gather their contact information. This can be used for further marketing efforts, such as nurturing those qualified leads toward conversion.