To fuel your lead generation campaigns your organization must create high quality content, and in this video marketing expert Dayna Rothman will show you how to build that content.
- [Instructor] Creating high-quality content will be the fuel for all of your lead generation programs. So this video we go through how to actually build that content in order to attract your incoming leads. To get heard through all of the noise online, and it's incredibly noisy out there, you need to create high-value content to fuel all of your lead generation campaigns. For every lead generation campaign that you're doing, you're communicating with buyers on different channels, and all of your buyers will be in different states of the purchase process.
So they might just be learning about your company right then, or they might be further along. You have to make sure that you are creating content that will help drive them through the entire buyer journey. And content needs to be interesting and creative. It needs to really attract those leads, and that's why creating content is really the fuel for every program that you're going to run on every channel. So here's a definition of content marketing from the Content Marketing Institute, Content marketing is the strategy of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience, with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
What are the key attributes of content marketing? According to Heidi Cohen, a content marketing expert and influencer, there are various things that embody the idea of content marketing today. So first your content marketing should embody the product or firm's core brand elements, so your content should reflect the look and feel of your company, the way that your company sounds. Essentially think of it as the first line of communication that a buyer finds before finding your company. Make sure you use a variety of media formats in your content marketing, such as text, video, photos, audio, and infographics in order to tell your story.
Remember that not all of your buyers would like to receive content in the same way. Some people prefer reading ebooks or articles. Other prefer watching video. You want to make sure that you provide your buyers a variety of different types of formats so there's a lot available for them to choose from. Content marketing can be consumed by a variety of devices, such as desktop computers, smartphones, and tablets. So you need to make sure that you're thinking through device when you're thinking through what content you create.
If your viewers and buyers are mostly consuming your content on devices like a smartphone, you need to make sure that the content is appropriate for that device. So in other words, something like a very long ebook wouldn't work as well as, say, a video on somebody's smartphone. Your content marketing should be distributed through a brand's owned properties, like your website, social media platforms, and other third-party vendors. So thinking through things like content syndication and other third parties that you can promote your content on their websites.
And content marketing provides measurable results through use of calls to action. For all the content that you create and as you send it out in your lead generation programs, there will always be a call to action to download or to watch that piece of content. Because of that CTA, you can actually have a very measurable content strategy which really helps you through determining what content is right for which lead generation program. Overall, content marketing helps you with a variety of different things. It helps with brand preference and drives purchases.
If you're showing value and education in the content that you're providing, your buyers are way more likely to look towards your company when they're trying to make a purchase. Content marketing is the fuel for all of your lead generation programs, as I've said, whether you're distributing content on email, social media, through advertising. By putting a high-quality piece of content behind those offers, you have a much better chance of a lead converting and reading and finding out about your company. Content marketing also helps build prospect and customer loyalty.
So by providing your prospects valuable content that helps them in their day-to-day job, that really enables you to create that relationship and that loyalty and brand preference. Content marketing helps position your brand as a thought leader in your space. So because you're creating content that is educational about certain topics, you can automatically become more of a thought leader in your space, and the more content you create that is educational and less salesy, the more your brand'll be seen as someone that really knows their stuff.
Content marketing helps with search engine optimization and social validation. So as Google algorithms get even more complex in determining what people are searching for, having real authentic content on your website will help make you be seen on this Google search results. So the more content that you have that actually is authentically speaking about what your company does, the more Google will see that as really the source of education for that topic. And then for social validation, the more content you have and the more places that you share that on social, and then you'll get that network effect of people that are downloading your content, sharing it with their networks.
And then content marketing will automatically generate higher-quality leads because you are providing something of value in exchange for them giving their information over. But the key to effective content marketing is to focus on thought leadership over hard selling. Remember, this is a buyer journey, and often, especially through your lead generation programs, when people are coming into your system, they may not have ever heard of your company. So you want to make sure you move them through the funnel in a very natural way, and that's where the idea of thought leadership comes in.
So what is thought leadership? According to Jon Miller, CEO of Engagio and cofounder of Marketo, thought leadership consists of ideas that require attention and that offer guidance or clarity about a certain topic. Thought leadership needs to be educational and provocative at times. So what's the difference between thought leadership and promotional content? So let's take a look. So thought leadership, first and foremost, is educational. Again, you are providing value to your prospect that is beyond just what your product sells.
It's customer first, so understanding what your customer's pain points are, what your customer's day-to-day job looks like, and creating content that speaks to those pain points, that speaks to their day-to-day. Thought leadership provides actionable insights for your buyers in the form of best practices, so that once a prospect has completed reading your content asset, they might be able to go back to their office and actually implement some of your suggestions. And then thought leadership is useful beyond your product, so speaking about topics that are beyond just the core aspects of your product.
So what is promotional content? And there is a time and a place for promotional content, of course. However, you do need to make sure that promotional content is sent to your prospects when they're further down your sales funnel. So promotional content is sales-oriented. So as you're creating this type of content, you are trying to close a deal. These could be things like data sheets or customer testimonials. Promotional content is company first. So in contrast to thought leadership, which thinks about the customer's pain points first, promotional content is really putting your company out there and providing your prospect information about what your company does.
Promotional content provides details about the product. So this is feature-function. And then promotional content is generally specific to the product itself, again, like a data sheet or a customer testimonial or some type of ROI calculator on your specific product. When you're thinking about these two types of content, thought leadership versus promotional, thought leadership should be served to your prospects when they're in the beginning of their journey, and then promotional content should be served to your prospects towards the end.
So think through types of content like articles, blog posts, case studies, cheat sheets, ebooks, infographics, interactive websites, podcasts, reports, slideshows, surveys, different templates, videos, of course, and webinars. So this is not a complete list of content. There is a multitude of additional formats that your content can take, but the idea here is that you don't have to be pigeonholed into simply an ebook. There are a lot of additional things and additional forms that your content can take for your programs.
The other thing to remember is to create your content to be highly visual so you can stand out from the crowd. It doesn't matter if you're creating a visual piece of infographic or video. Even an ebook can have some interesting visuals so that it's easier for the reader to get through a longer piece of content. This will make you stand out from the crowd and be interesting. And make sure that you're thinking through how to slice and dice your content so that one asset becomes many assets. So this is a key tactic, especially if you have a smaller team.
Content takes a long time to create. You might not have tons of writers or a large team to be creating all these different types of content. So you need to think about how are you taking that one piece of content marketing and make it last longer so that you can use it in more programs. There's actually a lot of different ways that you can repackage one piece of content to be effective over time and to be more evergreen. Communication with your lead generation program execution team is critical for the success of your content.
So once a content piece is created, it's not enough to just publish it and just let it go. The idea is that your content marketing team needs to be in constant communication with your program managers to be successful with their content. The key to driving leads with content is through channel distribution, so that's why this type of communication is really critical. You can't just publish something and let it sit. So how do you communicate with your program execution team? So what are the things that you should do so that as you're creating those different pieces of content, your lead-gen team can think through, okay, this content piece is coming, and now I have to create a program for it.
Keep an updated editorial calendar of publishing dates. So make sure there is somewhere documented and written, that your content team is keeping up to date, that has what's being published and when. Meet biweekly or weekly with the program team. It's always a good idea to have your content teams and program teams meet to actually discuss live what's coming out and what the promotion plans are. Your content team should provide recommendations on how to use the content in programs. There's nobody closer to the content than the people creating the content.
So it's critical that there is that type of communication between content and programs, where the content team is providing those types of recommendations on messaging and channel. Your content team should also provide a messaging document that includes key messaging on what the piece is about, the persona, as well as the buying stage. This type of communication will only increase the success of your lead generation program, and you'll be able to much more rapidly deploy the type of programs you need for growth. All in all, the content program will be that critical foundation for all of your lead generation programs and success.
By having a really solid content marketing plan with content that maps to each buying stage, and with proper communication between your creative content team and your program execution team, you can carry out your lead generation plan with success.
- Identifying funnel stages
- Defining key goals and metrics
- Deciding on an approach
- Building a lead generation plan and a team
- Aligning with stakeholders
- Choosing a lead generation technology
- Building attractive content
- Generating leads with blogs and social media
- Creating an SEO strategy
- Tracking ad performance
- Increasing visibility through events
- Using paid ads and direct mail
- Qualifying leads
- Measuring campaign effectiveness