4 Ways to Use a Content Strategy to Generate Leads
You have so many hats to wear as a small business owner, entrepreneur, or freelancer. There are essential tasks to take care of your current clientele. Add more tasks to generate leads and secure new clients. Of course, that never-ending to-do list and stack of paperwork aren’t going to process themselves.
Then we come to content marketing. You need to establish an effective content strategy and then remain consistent.
The only way to effectively balance your many hats is to establish strategies that maximize content ROI. You want to generate content that connects with your audience while generating as many leads as possible. Not just any leads, but well-targeted leads that are likely to turn into paying customers.
The right content strategy will ensure you focus on the most effective types of content for the most relevant platforms. Keep reading for six ways to create a content strategy that doesn’t just create more work for you.
What is a Content Strategy?
A content strategy is a guide that ensures the content you create aligns with your goals. It stops you from creating content randomly and hoping it delivers results. Instead, you create content that is highly likely to bring in leads. Well-planned content can also help you turn leads into paying customers.
Your content strategy requires you to think in advance about the following elements of content marketing and more:
- SEO keywords
- Target audience
- Content length
- Content format
- Incorporation of images, video, infographics
- Content purpose
- Long- and short-term goals
- Brand awareness
- Competition analysis
- Backlinking tactics
- Traffic generation
The more detail you put into your content strategy, the more likely it is to help you achieve goals.
How Content Generates Leads – The Big Picture
Your content helps generate leads by answering questions and providing valuable information. When that content reaches your target audience, you gain their trust. They connect with you through shared interests and stories of your own success. When they’re ready to buy products or sign up for services, they’re likely to think about you.
You may also show some members of your target market what they don’t already know they need. Your content can enlighten and inform people who don’t yet know why they need you. You can’t show up in their living rooms at 5 a.m. for a personal conversation. What you can do is talk to them at any time of the day or night through your content.
Content marketing is an indirect sales tactic. It allows you to communicate in a natural way that doesn’t feel like pressure or manipulation. You can meet your audience where they are and help them progress on their journeys. As you generate leads, you have the chance of becoming a part of their journey.
4 Ways to Generate Leads with a Content Strategy
Now that you know how great content can generate leads, how do you make it work? We have four content tips to help you create an effective strategy.
Identify Your Message & Call to Action
What do you want your readers to know? What do you want them to do after reading your content?
Answer those questions for every piece of content before you start writing. Make sure your content provides the right information to lead readers toward your call to action.
Some potential calls to action include:
- Sign up for our newsletter
- Download our free report
- Call us
- Fill out our contact form online
When someone leaves their email in exchange for a free report, you generate a lead. The same goes for any other action you call your readers to perform.
Create Lead Generation Content
The intention behind your content is to generate leads. That means you should create types of content that appeal to people actively looking for solutions. You want your content to help them understand what you offer and how it compares to competitors.
Content designed to retain existing clients will miss the mark. So will content designed to raise awareness about a problem. You will have other content aimed at those intents. Everything you create for lead generation should cater to potential clients actively seeking solutions to a known problem.
Some of the best types of lead generation content include:
- Case studies
- Buying guides
- Product comparisons & reviews
- Customer testimonials
- Informational videos
- Solutions blog posts
Invest in a Quality Lead Magnet
Lead magnets are special pieces of content that you give away in exchange for an email address. That address is golden because it allows you to contact that lead through email marketing. Those messages can lead to more extensive contact, and eventually, a sale or recruitment.
What forms can a lead magnet take? You have many options, including:
- Detailed reports
- Printables (schedules, planners, calendars, worksheets, etc.)
- Email or video courses
- Tool or starter kits
Anything deemed valuable by your target market can work as a lead magnet.
Extend a Challenge
How do you transition occasional content viewers into quality leads? One option is to create a challenge that leads viewers to the immediate need for your products or services. The challenge includes tasks or activities that participants can accomplish on their own, but they’re targeted to your end goal.
For example, pretend you have a dog training business. You know some of your regular content viewers need your services. Some have dropped their email addresses for your lead magnet. Others comment on your social media posts with questions.
You want your challenge to open the door to more meaningful contact with those people. You create a three-step guide that teaches a basic skill. The lessons are designed to show participants what their dogs can do with the right training. That may make some of the more eager to sign up for lessons or a more detailed guide for home lessons.
Starting an Effective Content Marketing Strategy
If you aren’t concerned with maximizing content ROI, you don’t need a strategy. You can produce content that makes you happy and enjoy interacting with followers. If you have a business to grow or a reputation to support, then the strategy is critical.
The first step is to analyze the effectiveness of your current content. If you’re just starting out with no content, learn the needs of your target audience first. Take it one step at a time. When you find something that works, keep your eye out for the next step.