When you’re an entrepreneur or you’re in the business to business (B2B) industry, content marketing can be the ultimate tool to drive quality leads. I’ve been using it to establish my credibility and showcase my expertise in digital marketing for the past few years. As a result, I’ve landed contracts with several reputable clients and been invited to both national and international speaking events.
With the right approach, content marketing could work for you too. Here are a few tips to help you improve lead generation using content marketing.
1. Create Content That Attracts The Right People — And Helps Them
Keyword research has always been a crucial part of content marketing because you want your content to be visible in search results so that the right people can find it. So, determine which keywords your audience members are likely to use in their search queries, and create relevant content based on them.
You can get profitable keyword suggestions using the Google Keyword Planner tool or an alternative like KeywordTool.io. There’s also SpyFu, which allows you to see the top keywords for which your competitors are ranking and how many clicks they’re getting.
While using the right keywords can help you attract your target audience, make sure you’re putting the informational needs of your audience first. A report by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs found that 90% of the top-performing B2B content marketers do exactly this. Use platforms like AnswerThePublic or Kparser to search for common questions people are asking or common keywords people are using to search for information about certain topics. This can help you come up with topic ideas that can help your target audience. I also use BuzzSumo to discover top-performing content in my niche that I could improve upon.
2. Publish Case Studies To Establish Your Value
Case studies are one of the best ways to clearly exhibit your skills and your ability to produce results, which can help you generate interest in your services. You could create case studies of your own business or website or those of your clients. Publish them on your own site or submit them as guest posts on a reputable site.
I’ve published a few case study blog posts on my site and gotten some published on other businesses’ blogs. Make sure your case studies are as detailed as possible and that they clearly outline your goals, challenges, approaches and results.
3. Provide Free Resources In Exchange For Contact Information
I’ve found that one of the best ways to get more leads is by offering valuable resources or products in exchange for contact information. A lot of B2B audiences are more than willing to provide you with their email address if you’re giving them something that they need or want in exchange.
For example, I’ve been able to add several hundred new contacts to my mailing list by offering valuable e-books for free. Create e-books that thoroughly discuss some of the topics you specialize in. Then, write blog posts that touch on these topics to generate initial interest, and encourage readers to download the free e-book for a more comprehensive guide.
4. Partner With Influential Content Creators
One of the biggest challenges that startups and new entrepreneurs face in content marketing is their limited reach. Since they usually don’t have many people in their networks, it can be a bit difficult to aggressively promote their content at this stage. That’s why I recommend leveraging the reach of content creators in your industry who are already influential.
Ask these content creators if they’d be willing to share your content with their networks. This will give your content more visibility and help you attract more leads. Understand, though, that they may not be willing to share your content unless they find it particularly relevant and valuable to their own audience. So make sure you carefully choose influencers to reach out to.
To improve your chances of winning these content creators over, offer to feature them in your content. Conduct interviews, create roundup posts (where you feature other content creators’ answers to questions you pose) or cover their stories so they’re more likely to share your content.
You can find influential content creators using platforms like Influence.co. Just select the relevant categories to discover potential influencers to partner with. To get an idea of their relevance and content quality, you can even examine their audience demographics, past partnerships and Instagram content using the platform.
BuzzSumo’s influencer discovery feature is another great way to retrieve valuable stats about potential influencers. You can see how much authority their websites have, how often their posts are shared, their following size and more.
5. Host Or Participate In Podcasts And Webinars To Reach New Interest Groups
Not everyone likes to read. If you want to generate more leads, you may have to cater to the audience group that’s not interested in blog posts or e-books. Make the most of other content formats by hosting or participating in podcasts and webinars.
When you’re hosting, you can invite industry influencers as guests to attract an even bigger audience. If you’re a guest on someone else’s podcast or webinar, you can attract their established audience and turn them into leads.
According to the previously cited CMI and MarketingProfs report, podcasts are among the most effective types of content during the early stages of the buyer’s journey. Webinars can be effective in the early stage as well, but they’re much more effective during the middle stage.
I’ve had the honor of being invited to be a guest on webinars hosted by several reputable brands. I’ve also hosted and been a part of several high-authority podcasts. All of this has helped me attract many high-quality leads.
There are tons of other ways you can leverage content marketing to improve lead generation. In my experience, what matters most is catering to your audience’s informational needs. This can provide you with a strong foundation to attract and nurture high-quality leads for your business.