You’ve heard that content is king. But does your content actually deliver quality leads? According to a State of Inbound report, generating leads and traffic was the biggest challenge for most businesses.
One of their biggest problems is their content doesn’t necessarily convert into quality leads that they can bank on. If this is you, you are not alone. You may be familiar with the basic process of using content marketing for lead generation but in this post, I will share seven simple yet powerful content marketing strategies to double your lead generation.
Let’s dive into it.
1. Review the Message on Your Homepage
Chances are that a large portion of the traffic going to your website will find themselves on your homepage, and it’s usually the first page that they visit. While the percentage of sideways traffic – traffic that comes in through a page that isn’t the homepage – is increasing, a good homepage with a message that speaks directly to your target audience is still vitally important.
For example, Nick Eubanks increased traffic to his site to 100,000 visitors a month, most of which went to his homepage.
Copyhackers worked on improving the homepage copy of Sweatblocks. The two homepage variants they produced provided more conversions from paid traffic than the original. In fact they got a paid lift of 49% and 46% compared to the control homepage. So the message on your homepage can make a difference to your lead generation efforts.
Look at Freshbooks. The homepage is easy to consume with clear messaging. The section above the fold covers three essential components of their messaging.
These are questions that most visitors would ask when they visit the Freshbooks site for the first time.
- What is it? – Small Business Accounting Software That Makes Billing Painless
- What’s the benefit? – Spend less time on accounting and more time doing the work you love.
- How do I get it? – Via the green button with a call to action: “Get Started for Free”
So, ensuring that your homepage communicates clearly and eliminates noise is critical to attracting the right sort of audience.
How do you do this?
Here are a few tips to help:
- Your homepage should be easy to digest and to the point.
- It should link to deeper, more fleshed-out pages on your site in case readers want to learn more, and it should also contain multiple CTAs in case a visitor wants to sign up for your offer without visiting another page.
- Design is important on your homepage, and short, powerful content should be supplemented with great images and graphics.
2. Use Dynamic CTAs with Downloadable Content
Dynamic CTAs allow you to automatically adjust the message of the CTA based on the individual visitor by using the information you have compiled in your lead database. Compared to static CTAs these personalized dynamic CTAs work exceptionally well. For example, HubSpot started using dynamic CTAs, and over a 12-month period, they noticed that dynamic CTAs targeted to the user converted 42% better than static CTAs.
Grammarly, for example, personalizes their CTA based on which browser you are using, directing you to download the Grammarly plug-in for the appropriate browser.
Check out their site to see a dynamic CTA in action.
So, how can you add dynamic CTAs to your content?
- Building a dynamic CTA will require some coding capabilities unless you use a no-code application builder designed for creating dynamic CTAs like ConvertFlow. For WordPress sites check this post for an alternative solution that will require some coding.
- Once you’ve determined how to build a dynamic CTA, examine the various types of visitors that come to your site. You could, for example, check your Google Analytics to get an idea of how best to segment visitors based on the data you have available.
- Create a list of CTAs personally targeted at each segment you come up with and enter them into your dynamic CTA program.
- Link all of the CTAs back to a compelling downloadable offer that requires the visitor to enter their email address to access.
3. Link to Webinars Within Your Content
Effective lead generation is all about having a compelling offer, and webinars are hot right now. In fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute, 58% of marketers use webinars for lead generation. If you want to convince more visitors to hand over their contact info, offering them access to a webinar is a great way to do it.
Neil Patel at KISSmetrics was able to generate 16,394 new leads using webinars. In fact the site uses KISSmetrics as a way to grow their audience and potential leads by featuring the next upcoming webinar near each blog post as they did with this one.
So how do you link to webinars within your content?
- The first step is to host high quality webinars using a platform visitors are familiar with such as GoToWebinar.
- If your content relates to the webinar topic then it is a good place to link to the webinar. Place the link where it seems natural and where a reader is likely to see it after they are invested in what your content is saying. In other words, your blog posts help build trust and your webinars improve the relationship by providing more value to your audience. For example, Uberflip does this toward the end of some of their posts as in the one below.
How do you get people to register?
- Create enough curiosity about your content to make your audience want to know more and so they click through to sign up for your webinar.
- Hold live webinars to encourage visitors to register, and link to the registration page using CTAs sprinkled throughout your content.
4. Use Strong Verbs in Headlines to Draw Attention
Eight out of ten people will click your headline if it catches their attention. When you are writing blog posts, it’s the headline that is going to show up in the search results and it’s the headline that is going to show up when you share the post on your social media channels. Using strong verbs can only help with creating better headlines that attract attention. How?
A strong verb creates a detailed picture in the reader’s mind and conveys a high degree of meaning as well. It also connects the subject to the action in a sentence. In a fast- paced world where attention is hard to come by, strong verbs can help.
For example in the copy Apple uses for its iPhone 7 they use the following line:
“So whether you’re listening to music, watching videos, or making speakerphone calls, iPhone 7 lets you crank it up. Way, way up.”
Headings are the bait that gets a reader’s attention, and strong verbs make that bait more tantalizing. When writing your headings, make sure you are writing them in active voice and using strong verbs that will spark interest in your readers. For example, consider the following headlines without the strong verbs that have been highlighted in bold:
- 24 Tweets About Food That Will Make All Aussies Laugh
- Feature Property Sells in Record Time
- Retirement Age Brings New Opportunities
They would appear weak.
So how do you distinguish between strong verbs and weak verbs?
There is no clear distinction. It is up to you, the writer, to decide how strong you’d like your verbs to be. For example, “run” is stronger than “go” because it indicates how someone has moved. Other options like “jog,” “walk,” and “shuffle” also indicate how a person moved. The most appropriate choice will need to be made by the author.
5. Capture Leads Before They Leave
Popups have a bad reputation, which leads many marketers to instinctively avoid them. When it comes to exit intent popups, though, the fact is that they work. Regardless of how you feel about exit intent popups, research shows that they can save as much as 10-15% of your site visitors that would otherwise be lost. That’s a big increase in leads for little effort at all.
Startup Vitamins for example shows the following popup to first time visitors who attempt to leave a webpage. This is especially effective as it covers the entire page, while providing a simple offer with a clear call to action.
So how can you make the most of your popups?
Consider incorporating the following tips:
- Use bold designs that grab attention and showcase your marketing message.
- Use actionable headlines that are clear about their intent and offer visitors something to spur them into taking action.
- When creating exit intent popups, the key is to present a compelling offer in as few words as possible. Remember, visitors at this stage are preparing to leave your site, and their patience for reading through large blocks of text is going to be at a minimum. Present your offer in no more than a line or two, make it compelling, and let the popup do its work.
- Provide a clear call to action.
- Try to incorporate elements of urgency, scarcity, and exclusivity in your offer by making it a one-time offer or adding a countdown timer.
6. Share Case Studies
For B2B marketing, case studies are some of the most effective pieces of content that you can present your visitors. “Will it work?” is the number one question on the minds of most people considering your services. Case studies help answer that question by providing visitors detailed examples of how your product/service has helped other businesses just like theirs.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, marketers surveyed found case studies to be the third most effective B2B tactic, making it well-worth exploring as part of your content marketing and lead generation strategy.
Apptio invests in their case studies by creating a library for them from various industries and providing various formats by which their audience can digest the content. They get clients to participate in teaser videos and also provide longer-form text-based options for their audience. Their case study on the Royal Bank of Scotland is just one example.
So how can you craft your own case studies to increase your lead generation?
Effective case studies require the cooperation and participation of satisfied clients. They also require you to carefully discuss beforehand what information you are allowed to share and what information the client would prefer that you keep confidential.
If you can get these details ironed out, though, all you have to do is tell an engaging story about how your product or services helped the client, using data and stats to back up your claims, and making use of quotes directly from the client whenever you can.
Assuming you have many satisfied clients to choose from, you should be able to find some who are willing to work with you to create a case study, especially if you agree to offer them some form of incentive such as a discount on their next purchase.
Consider the following tips as you go through the process of creating case studies:
- Write about someone that your desired customers can relate to.
- Make them easy to find on your site and share via social media with scheduling tools like Blog2Social.
- Tell the story from start to finish, stating who the customer is, what their goals and problems were, what action you took to help them, and what result was achieved.
- Format the case study so it is easy to read.
- Provide real numbers and facts.
- Talk about specific strategies.
- Try different formats such as story format, Q&A format, or interview format.
- Repurpose your text-based case studies into other forms such as Slideshares, podcasts, videos, etc. to appeal to people with different learning styles.
7. Use Multi-Touch Campaigns with Interactive Content
Keeping visitors entertained and engaged is more difficult now than ever before. The attention span of the average person online is at an all-time low, and while ordinary content may keep them interested if it is engaging enough, interactive content is a lot more likely to hold their attention.
Interactive content also forces visitors to more carefully consider what it is that they are reading rather than skimming through it without really absorbing the message. If they are going to answer questions or otherwise interact with the content, they’ve got to understand what it is they are reading. This makes the message of your content more effective.
For reasons like this, Kapost found that interactive content generates twice as many leads as passive content, and according to Leadquizzes, Annmarie generated $200,000 and 20,258 leads in two months from the same amount of traffic with an interactive quiz.
One of the most high-profile examples of interactive content and its effectiveness is the most read article on the New York Times site in 2013, which was a quiz, not a groundbreaking news article.
So how can you craft interactive content for your audience?
Creating interactive content is becoming easier thanks to a wide range of tools and applications that allow you to embed quizzes, games, and more within your content. The key is to make the interactive portion of your content tie in seamlessly with the written portion so that the finished product is polished and consistent.
The following steps will help in creating your interactive content:
- Be clear about the objectives you wish to achieve at each stage of your sales funnel.
- Decide on content types and themes for each stage. In other words, you need to understand your audience’s interests in various subjects and themes and choose those that will resonate well with them.
- Go beyond the standard lead form and consider collecting information about your audience through your content. In other words, ask questions related to your theme.
- Making the interactive portion of your content relevant to the written portion also increases the likelihood that the written content will be read rather than skipped over in favor of the interactive content.
- In the final piece of interactive material, you include in your content, there should be a signup form where the reader is able to give you his/her email address in exchange for an offer. Since they will have become used to interacting with the content throughout the post, they will be more likely to provide you with their email address at this point.
- Connect your interactive content with your integrative marketing solution such as email marketing software or CRM.
Content marketing as a lead generation strategy has been proven to be a powerful way to convert more of your website’s visitors into qualified leads. For it to work, though, you’ve got to create content that is specifically tailored for the purpose of capturing leads.
By creating content that captures the attention of people who visit your site, highlights compelling offers, and gives visitors a reason to want to learn more about your products and services, you can start converting more visitors into leads, perhaps even doubling your lead generation.
This guest post was written by Vinay Koshy, founder of Sproutworth.