How does content marketing generate leads?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you will have heard the hype surrounding content marketing. What might be less clear, however, is why exactly you need to be doing it.

As with most forms of marketing, measuring the ROI on campaigns can be tricky, which makes it tough for many small and medium-sized businesses to justify the spend.

If you are smart about it, however, we believe that content marketing can generate a tangible return in the form of what matters most, leads. Read on to discover the benefits and specifically how these benefits drive leads:

Content marketing drives traffic to your website

Leads generated by: Conversions, enquiry forms on landing pages, sign ups.

Think about the queries your customers might enter into Google, then answer these with useful and insightful content. In this content, where appropriate, link to relevant landing pages that offer your product as the solution.

Content marketing and SEO go hand in hand, and SEO remains as one of the most tangible sources of leads for many businesses. To rank on Google, you need content that utilises relevant keywords, links to your site from quality sites, technical optimisation (e.g. keyword-rich tagging) and consistent output. This is what content marketing is all about – it uses keywords, introduces links, improves the user experience and requires consistency. Do all this properly, and you’ll see your rankings on the search engines improve significantly over time. This increase in traffic will lead to more people contacting you about your services and signing up for your content (such as blog posts and email newsletters).

Content marketing builds brand awareness

Leads generated by: Potential customers becoming aware of your company and thinking of you when they have a requirement.

No matter how big your company is, branding is very important and can help build trust and confidence from your customers.

Content marketing is one of the most powerful branding tools at your disposal. Over 50% of marketers who create and distribute content say it has increased their brand visibility. Content acts as a branding platform, giving you a way to develop your own unique voice and communicate with your target audience. Through your content, you can present your guiding principles and solidify your value proposition, giving readers the information they want to know while showing your company in a positive light.

One excellent example of a company using content marketing for effective branding is the social media management system Hootsuite. The company aims to be fun, informal and easily accessible, and their content helps them achieve this, with blog posts such as ‘Five secrets to success from Santa, the ultimate entrepreneur‘ and ‘How to ask for things on social media‘. Their parody of the Game of Thrones opening speaks to their millennial tech-savvy target audience, many of which will be fans of the show and enjoy the way Hootsuite links it to all their favourite social media platforms. This kind of positive branding will lead to more people becoming interested in your business, with them turning into leads when they follow or like your social media pages or sign up for your emails.

Take a look at Innocent Drinks’ brand story for another good example of branding done right.

Content marketing increases readership and subscribers

Leads generated by: Readers turning into subscribers, creating opportunities for you to sell to them through social media and email marketing.

If you’re creating top-quality content, you’ll begin to gain a readership. These readers will most likely find your content through search engines, social media, paid advertisements or links from other sites. In fact, research shows that 71% of people are more likely to buy from a brand they follow on social media. So you need to be producing content and sharing that, along with other relevant content from third parties, on your social media pages.

With an increased readership comes an increase in subscribers – AKA leads. High-quality content keeps readers coming back for more, so more of them will sign up for blog post notifications and newsletters. You can utilise these leads to make sales, by sending them product or service offers that are relevant to them and emailing them special deals. It’s vital to avoid spamming your subscribers though, as it will undo some of the work you’ve done and damage your reputation. Check out Simply Business’s fantastic guide to email marketing if you’re wondering where to start.

Content marketing builds trust and authority

Leads generated by: Increasing trust in your brand and improving your reputation, leading to more people engaging with your social media accounts, increased enquiries and more subscribers.

If you are consistently producing great content, readers will return to your site and you will begin to gain their trust and build authority in your field. As well as attracting visitors to your site, this should also peak influencer and related companies’ interest. This can only mean good things for your business, as word of mouth should result in even more new leads from people joining your mailing list, asking about your services and joining the conversation on social media.

Authority and SEO go hand in hand. As your brand becomes more well-known and respected, Google will pick up on this with the increase in links, social media mentions and traffic, and push your site up the SERPs. Building authority will take time and effort, but it’ll be worth it in the end.

In a nutshell: Content marketing helps your business to reach more people

You’ll see that there’s a common trend with all the above points: they revolve around more people becoming aware of your business. And as the saying goes, “any publicity is good publicity”. With content marketing, you can enjoy all the benefits of traditional advertising and more with a much smaller outlay. You can use blog posts, infographics, videos, photos and social media to get information related to your company’s services out there, and wait for the increased number of visitors to start converting into leads. There’s no need to pump out content for the sake of it though; quality is much more important than quantity, so focus on content that will provide real value and insight to your visitors without being ‘salesy’.

Don’t underestimate the many benefits of regular, quality content for your company. As well as generating leads, research indicates that content marketing costs approximately 62% less than traditional marketing methods – who can say no to that?

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