Content marketing sits at the heart of a modern digital marketing strategy, serving as an incredibly powerful and versatile tool. Brands that try to get by without it typically struggle to get any recognition. Ads increasingly get ignored or are rapidly forgotten, but the content is always in demand. What’s more, content also has all the lead generation power of ads but with a lot more flexibility. That means you can get quite creative in how you use it to drive traffic.
There is a problem, though, and it’s a massive one. Because almost every brand with any ambition is putting time and money into content marketing, it’s a very crowded area. Knowing that your content might not get that many chances to catch the eye, you need to ensure that it’s highly actionable and ready to bring in high-quality leads.
To that end, we’re going to look at 5 lead generation tips that can help you get more from your future content (and even existing content capable of returning more value). Let’s begin:
1. Focus on Your Best Pieces
Output can easily feel like a matter of priority when you look at the relentless pace of the digital marketing world. Every second of every day brings new posts, and you get the most attention with a fresh piece, so surely you need as many fresh pieces as possible. Well, that doesn’t work. Fresh is certainly useful, but it’s far more important for a piece to be excellent — and you’re not going to achieve excellence if you’re trying to get as many pieces written as possible.
The best way to proceed, then, is to narrow your focus to your best pieces. Pick out the highest-quality posts from your current lineup, and refine your creative process so you only start working on pieces likely to be well above average for digital media (you can maintain diversity in the types of content you create, of course — just be more discerning with the specific briefs). Sure, the freshness won’t last long, but you’ll mitigate that with ongoing promotion and SEO work to establish those pieces as fixtures in relevant search results.
2. Sort Out Your Traffic Attribution
Shaping your pieces of content into effective lead generators is going to be an iterative process: you’ll make some improvements, see how they work, then make more improvements (more on this later). Note that the second step, because it’s absolutely key. If you don’t know how much relevant traffic your content is driving, you can’t assess it, and can’t make informed changes.
Where many businesses (and individuals) go wrong is in failing to achieve marketing attribution. It’s all about putting tracking in place to make it clear where your leads are coming from, which means choosing a suitable tracking suite to implement (it’s key for productivity).
That customer you just picked up — how did they reach your site? Was it from one of your marketing emails? Was it from a particular blog post? If you can’t tell the difference, then you might as well not bother with anything else here, because you’ll be working in the dark.
3. Rework or Collate Old Content
If you’ve been in business for some time, you’ve likely built up a solid content collection, with posts spanning years. Realistically, most of that content won’t be serving many purposes at this stage. Digital content tends to have a limited shelf-life — new posts get a lot of attention, then people move on to even newer posts. But that doesn’t mean your old content is worthless.
Firstly, you have the option of reworking old pieces. You can tweak them (restructuring them, perhaps, or adding high-resolution images to modernize them) or you can update them (adding and removing parts to make them accurate and useful for today’s readers). Secondly, you can collate pieces: for instance, merge several old pieces on similar topics into one big piece, add an intro and outro, and you have a “new” resource for very little effort.
4. Clear Up Your CTAs
You can have a fantastic piece of content that offers a lot of value, but if you want it to generate leads, it needs to be fundamentally actionable. That’s what the CTA (call to action) is for: it’s the part that presents an opportunity to do something and motivates the reader to take that path. Sign up for the newsletter. Place your order. Get in touch. Without it, you’re sunk.
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of great content out there that features either weak CTAs or no CTAs at all, with the writers concentrating on providing value but forgetting to ask for any in return. Take a close look at your content and think about how effectively it drives action — do you have enough CTAs? Are they in the right places? Are they worded and presented well? If not, you need to make some major changes.
5. Keep Running A/B Tests
A/B testing is a simple but invaluable practice: you take two versions of something (in this case, a piece of content) and alternate them to see which one performs better. There are so many variables that can be adjusted, but unless you know the direct impact of a particular change, you can’t know whether it’s worthwhile. The attribution we touched upon earlier is about comparing different pieces, but this is about comparing different versions of the same piece.
Since you’re putting all your effort into selected high-quality pieces, you need them to be as good as they can be. A fractional increase in quality can make a big difference over time, after all. By making a commitment to frequently running A/B tests, you can ensure that your content never stops improving — and the consistent updates (whether minor or major) will reassure Google that your website is active and thus worth linking to.
Over To You…
If you’re going to the trouble of creating content, you should get maximum value from it, and that means generating hyper-relevant leads on a steady basis. The 5 tips we’ve looked at here should help you do just that, so give them a try.