Lead generation is an important aspect of content marketing. Without lead generation, you’re basically just publishing and promoting content, hoping that people are going to buy or sign up for your products!
While this sometimes happens in real life, that is, some people will buy things on the spot, the truth is the majority won’t.
You need to have a lead capture system in place, so you can continue reminding your target audience that your brand exists. You can get in touch with them later on to share your news and updates, and to persuade them to move down your content marketing funnel.
The Content Marketing Funnel
Before I discuss the top 5 lead generation methods, let me share with you first what a content marketing funnel is, and why it’s so important in the overall scheme of your content marketing strategy.
Generally, a content marketing funnel has three broad levels:
- Awareness stage – this is when your target audience first becomes aware of your brand. They become your leads.
- Evaluation stage – this is where your lead evaluates whether your product or service is good for them or not. At this point, your lead turns into a prospect.
- Purchase stage – this is when your prospect decides to subscribe to your service or product. Your prospect finally becomes a customer.
When you plan out your content marketing strategy, your end goal is basically to put your brand in front of people who’ve no idea who you are and turn them into customers. Sounds like a pretty tall order, right? That’s because it really is, but it’s very much doable.
Content marketing is basically a numbers game. You want to get your brand in front of as many people as possible (belonging to your target audience, of course). This is because only a small percentage of your leads will turn into prospects, and an even smaller number of prospects will turn into customers.
Top 5 Ways To Generate Leads Quickly
So, here are the top techniques you can apply to help you generate leads quickly.
- Offer lead magnets
Lead magnets are one of the best ways to get people to sign up to your mailing list. You’ll often hear this mentioned in the online marketing community, “The money is in the list.” Many successful marketers stand by this saying. So, if you want people to subscribe to your list, you’re going to learn how to use lead magnets.
Now, technically lead magnets are ‘bribes.’ This is because you’re basically ‘bribing’ people to give up their contact details, such as their email addresses or phone numbers, in exchange for your lead magnet.
You can, of course, just put up a sign on your website asking people to enter their name and email address or any other info you want. However, people are going to ask, “Why should I give you my details?” or “What’s in it for me?”
And this is where the magic of lead magnets come in. When you offer people a ‘bribe’ they can’t resist, something so valuable and so useful to them, they’re going to be so much more willing to give up their contact info.
There are many kinds of lead magnets you can use. The most common ones you’d see on the Internet are downloadable eBooks, reports, white papers, checklists, etc.
To find out what the best lead magnet is for your brand, you may need to do some split testing. The important thing to note is that the best lead magnets answer people’s pain points. Ideally, it shouldn’t be something they can easily Google the answer to.
Go all out on your lead magnets. Make it valuable and rewarding enough, so that your audience will feel like they really have no choice but to give up their contact details!
2. Guest blogging
Guest blogging is a popular way of getting new people to learn more about your brand and your business. You’re essentially publishing your content on someone else’s website. You get instant exposure to highly targeted traffic, and you’re able to immediately expand your network (basically widening your content marketing funnel!).
Now, guest blogging may sound easy. But there’s a ton of work that happens behind the scenes. For instance, not all your target sites may accept guest posts. You would need to look for sites that are highly relevant to your own industry.
You need to have a good track record, too. This means you’re not going to get accepted as a guest blogger if no one knows who you are. So, you need to have published some valuable blog posts on your own site (or others) to even make other webmasters consider your request.
You can easily point them to your portfolio. From there, they can see for themselves if you got what it takes to contribute to their website.
When pitching your request to webmasters, you need to do your research. You should check if they have content guidelines. You also need to know what kind of content their audience likes. Think of yourself as someone who regularly writes for that site and cares for their audience.
Getting your guest post request approved is the hardest part. You’re probably not going to hear back from most of the sites you reach out to. But, once you get over that hump, and you start working on your content, then that’s where the real fun begins!
Some sites have strict editorial guides you need to follow. For instance, you can only use one link all throughout the post, or that it needs to have a certain number of words, or you can only link to your site via the author box.
You’d need to take all these into consideration, and figure out how you can write your content in such a way that people will be curious enough to want to know more about you. This will make people want to head on over to your site and become part of your community.
3. Target long-tail keywords
One of the foundations of a successful content marketing strategy is blogging. And when it comes to blogging, the longer and more valuable the content, the better it will be for your content’s SEO. When your content is SEO optimized, then you’ve got better chances of ranking high up on search engines.
It’s important to mention that keywords aren’t created equal. There are short keywords and long keywords. Short keywords are 1-2 words in length while long keywords have 3+ words.
As you can imagine, there are tons of competition for short-tail keywords. Normally, the sites that appear on the first page of Google search results are well-established sites with hundreds or thousands of other sites linking to them!
How do you think you can dethrone these authority sites when you’ve only been around for a few months or a few years, and you’ve only got a few backlinks to your site?
This is where long-tail keywords come in. When you target long keywords, you’re essentially going after keywords with lower search volumes but with far less competition, too.
This means you have better chances of ranking on the first page of search engines and your target audience finding their way to your website!
When choosing which long tail keywords to target, you need to consider the intent behind each keyword. There are 3 basic types of search intent:
- Navigational keywords – these are searches for a particular brand or website
- Informational keywords – these are searches for a specific type of information (not commercial in nature)
- Transactional keywords – these are searches where the user aims to carry out some commercial transactions
The most profitable types of keywords are, of course, transactional keywords. These are the keywords with commercial or buying intent behind them. Ideally, you want to target these types of keywords because these are the people who are ready to make a buying decision!
But, not everyone’s just waiting for the opportunity to buy or spend their money on some random product online. Rather, the vast majority of searches are those which are informational in nature.
For your content marketing strategy, you’re going to target both informational and transactional long-tail keywords. This is the best way to get the most number of search traffic to enter your marketing funnel and become your leads!
4. Customer-centric landing pages
The ultimate tool for lead generation is called a landing page. It’s basically just a single page whose main purpose is to get a visitor’s email address or other contact details. Lead magnets and landing pages work great together.
Your landing page would have a lead form where people can enter their name, email address, etc. Once they enter their details, they get access to the promised lead magnet.
It’s all very simple and straightforward in nature. But if you want your landing page to have good conversion rates, then you need to follow the tips below.
- It should have a killer call to action (CTA). Don’t just use a generic CTA button like ‘submit’ or ‘subscribe.’ It’s not 2012 anymore! If you want to convince people to sign up for your list, then you need to make it highly persuasive.
You can even use your lead magnet’s top benefit as your landing page’s CTA! Don’t be afraid to experiment. See what works best for your audience.
- Tell your leads exactly what they’re going to get. Don’t mince words and play coy here. Your landing page is your “this is it” moment. List down the reasons why they can’t pass up your lead magnet.
Tell them how it will benefit them and how it can change their lives or improve their businesses! Use powerful and persuasive words to convince people to follow your CTA.
- Use more than just text in your landing page. Text is powerful, but sometimes you need a visual medium to help sway people over to your side. If you can add a short, personal video to your landing page, do it. It will make it easier for people to relate to you and you’ll seem a lot more human.
- Design matters. If you don’t give your landing page design a thought, then you could be wasting your time. A badly-designed landing page can turn off visitors quickly, so make sure your landing page is visually appealing.
Only then will people actually read through your landing page copy and see if it’s something that’s right for them.
5. Leverage the power of video
There’s a reason why YouTube is the world’s second-biggest website. It’s because video is far easier to consume than text! And you don’t even need to invest thousands of dollars in high-end professional-grade video equipment. With just your smartphone camera, you can start filming yourself and making your brand known to the world.
There are so many places you can leverage the power of video. To get started, upload your videos to YouTube. Then you can insert your video link in your blog posts or on your landing pages. You can also link to it on your social media properties.
When you upload to YouTube, just make sure you add links to your website or your landing pages on the video’s description. You can also add annotations to the video itself to encourage people to visit your site.
The great thing about video is you can easily get creative with it! There are many places online where you can embed and share your videos. This means there are plenty of opportunities for people to know more about you and your business.
Lead generation should be at the forefront of your content marketing goals. If you don’t have a system in place to capture your leads, you could be wasting your entire content marketing campaign.
With the 5 techniques we’ve outlined in this short report, you’ll be much closer to achieving the success you’ve always dreamed of!