How can your small business generate leads with content marketing? A recent study by the CMO Council reports that marketers are making some major mistakes when it comes to content marketing. Here’s a closer look at what you might be doing wrong—and how you can use content to get more leads.
- Develop the right kind of content. Content that you can use to obtain a prospect’s contact information, such as a whitepaper or eBook, is the most effective in generating leads. These longer-form content items are perceived as more valuable, so users are willing to provide their information in return.
- Make sure your content is relevant. Relevant content solves a problem or fills a need. However, the survey found 44 percent of marketers are not producing content that’s relevant for their audience. Listen to your customers and prospects using social media, ratings and review sites, and customer surveys. What do they want and need? What questions, problems or frustrations do they have that your content can provide answers to?
- Customize your content for different audiences. Forty-eight percent of marketers fail to do this, according to the survey. Segment your audience into different subgroups and develop different content for each. For instance, men and women, B2B or B2C customers, or customers at different life stages may buy different products or services and have different needs.
- Use the right distribution channels. Know where your target customers spend most of their time online, and reach out to them there. Thirty-nine percent of marketers in the study fail to do this. What blogs, websites, social networks and LinkedIn groups do your customers frequent? What influencers do they listen to? Targeting your distribution appropriately will also help you avoid the mistake 43 percent of marketers make: failing to reach the appropriate decision makers with their content.
- Include a call to action. When someone signs up for your email newsletter, downloads a whitepaper or otherwise interacts with your content, take them to a “Thank You” page that includes a call to action. Keep it super simple, with no other content on the page, so users know exactly what you want them to do.
- Measure results. Measuring the leads generated by content marketing is essential to improving your strategy. But don’t just measure the total leads—drill down to the details, such as what types of content produce the most leads, what distribution channel’s leads convert most often and so on.
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Karen Axelton is Chief Content Officer of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her company’s blog at SmallBizDaily.com.