Leads are the bane of every B2B marketer’s existence. In an age where buyer attention spans are spread thin, it’s getting harder to convince audiences to stay engaged with your company for the long-haul. Your conversion funnel risks becoming a leaky bucket as a result. So how do you run a tighter ship to improve the efficiency of your lead gen program?
The answer is in the subtleties. Here are 3 subtle yet impactful ways to generate more leads from your content marketing.
1) Create Targeted, Segment-Specific Content
Personalization is one of the most promising areas of marketing today. When it comes to mass-market broadcasting strategies, digital audiences are simply ‘over it.’ Instead, they want user experiences that are tailored to their exact needs.
But few companies have the resources and infrastructure in place to create a true, personal experience. Launching a comprehensive personalization requires resources for implementation and maintenance. This type of investment may make sense for your company—or it may not.
Regardless, an impactful (and safe) first step that you can take is to personalize your content. Here’s a structured plan to help you get started:
- Identify your highest value customer segments
- Figure out what they’re interested in learning about
- Do some research to figure out what content gaps exist in the market
- Find areas of opportunity for your company to develop a voice
The approach above will have the added benefit of helping you develop a long-tail SEO strategy, naturally. Figure out questions that your target customer is asking: most likely, they’re also googling these phrases. Answer these questions on your blog. Become visible in your niche along the way.
So now let’s close the loop. What happens when you create targeted, segment-specific content that happens to be optimized for SEO, too?
You’ll develop a focused audience base that perceives your company as a trusted resource. As your content continues to solve more of their pain points, they’ll develop a rapport with your company. They’ll sign-up for your email list, test out your products, and consult you before venturing elsewhere.
For an example of a company that excels in targeting its audience with relevant content, take a look at Zapier.
The SaaS company, reaching developers and product managers, run a blog that gives a new twist to an age-old topic: productivity. Rather than taking a generic approach, however, the company publishes tips that are developer and product manager centric. By reading the blog, you’ll learn how to simplify tasks in your everyday life. It’s content that makes your life better. Why wouldn’t you subscribe? And why wouldn’t you consider using this company’s products?
2) Offer a Free Resource that Audiences Will Want to Use
Having trouble getting your readers to download your ebooks and case studies?
The harsh reality is that your audiences probably don’t want them. Perhaps they’re too busy to read a dense ebook. Or maybe the topic just doesn’t interest them. Regardless of the case, you’ll need to revisit the drawing board.
If you’re thinking of giving away a free resource, created something that your customers would want and is related to your conversion funnel. Some ideas, beyond ebooks, one pagers, and case studies include:
- Helpful templates, like this scheduling sheet from When I Work, a company that creates software for managing employee shifts.
- Educational resources to help tackle a personal or business challenge like this online course checklist from Teachable.
- Courses or certifications that can add value to someone’s career, like this example from marketing software company HubSpot.
Not sure what to develop? Don’t throw darts in the dark. Instead, aim to solve a pain point or challenge that might be causing friction to your target audience. When you take the steps to ensure that there is a clear use case for your lead magnet, you’ll see more downloads.
3) Refine Your Traffic Acquisition Strategy
On-site optimization is only part of the lead generation equation. In addition to ensuring that you’re delivering the right value proposition, you need to make sure that you’re targeting the right audiences with your messaging. If you’re talking to the wrong crowd, no message—no matter how insightful, powerful, or true—will win them over.
Take the time to refine your traffic acquisition strategy and always make sure that your marketing funnel is spot on. You have more resources available at your disposal than ever before: many different tools and technologies are emerging to help marketers connect with their audiences in an authentic and engaging way. Here are a few ideas for resources that you can use:
- Use platforms with sophisticated audience targeting features like Facebook. Customize your offering for the exact audience that you want to reach.
- Segment your subscriber list by persona. Target all of your marketing, from your content to your web copy, to the exact audiences that you’re aiming to reach.
- Write guest blog posts on niche industry sites. Tell your story in a compelling way so that you reach audiences who care about learning about your brand.
Continue optimizing your campaign for your target audiences. When you speak to their needs spot-on, you’ll be more likely to convert them. Along the way, make sure that you cover your bases by offering:
- A compelling value proposition that makes your audiences want to engage with your company.
- An emotional appeal that speaks to your audience’s deepest needs or pain points. Pique their curiosity, and offer up a solution.
- Strong visuals and imagery that differentiate your brand. Be memorable so that your followers continue to engage with your company when you follow up with them with interesting marketing messaging in the future.
The hidden story behind the story of this blog post? Think through your conversion funnel, and make sure that you set your audience up with a continuous process from discovery through conversion. Focus on being a guide and leading your target audience through a great experience. Conversions to leads—and customers—will happen naturally.