Gathering warm, quality leads is never an easy feat but great content can definitely help to make it happen. Carefully curated content should attract your audience, showcase your offering and convince them that your product is worth their investment. But content that misses the mark can leave your audience confused about what it is you do, dismissive of your offering or even leaving with a negative perception of your brand.
So, what can you do to ensure your content helps, rather than hinders, your next lead generation campaign? Here are our top tips:
Use audience research to inform your lead generation content planning
Getting to know your audience is a great first step when planning lead generation activity. Look to understand what makes your audience tick – what do they search for, what challenges are they facing and how could your brand work for them? By developing an understanding of your audience you’ll be able to create content that is relevant to them, offers value and as a result supports lead generation.
Ready to start researching your audience? Have a read of Amy’s blog explaining how to use psychographic, demographic and behavioural data. Or read this piece with tips on using forums for audience research.
Armed with fresh insights into your target audience, begin planning your content by thinking about how you will meet this audience at various touchpoints on their journey with your brand. You’ll need content that makes your audience first aware of your brand, content that then nurtures them into considering your offering and content that helps them to convert. The content you create will need to be surfaced via a variety of channels, to make sure it reaches your audiences at the right time. We’ve got a great blog detailing the buyer’s journey here, with lots of ideas on the different channels you might want to use.
The research you’ve completed will also help you to segment your audience – and that, in turn, will make it easier to reach buyers with content that’s highly relevant to them. Think about how you could divide your audience into groups with common interests; for example, if you’re a B2B brand could you segment your audience depending on job title or industry? If you’re a B2C brand, what about using similar interests or demographic data to segment your audience?
Once you’ve divided up your audience into more manageable chunks, think about what content would be most relevant to each segment.
Personalise where you can and make marketing automation your friend
Use personalisation where possible to help your brand resonate with your audience and foster a relationship with them.
Personalise email marketing with a first name in the salutation; analyse content that individuals have previously engaged with to inform what content you target them with going forwards; create different landing pages that will be targeted at different segments of your audience with messaging that will uniquely resonate with them. There are lots of ways you can personalise your content – but it will likely rely on your lead generation campaign capturing data at some point; you’ll need to have captured the individual’s name to be able to use it in a personalised email!
The thought of personalising content for every person being targeted in a lead generation campaign may feel daunting, or downright impossible – but thankfully that’s where marketing automation can come to the rescue. Software can help you to automatically personalise content depending on varying criteria. For example, you can specify that an email includes a certain article if the person receiving the email marketing has previously expressed an interest in a particular product. Marketing automation takes away time-consuming processes but allows you to reach your audience in a meaningful – and personalised – way.
There are some instances where you may even want to focus on creating individual pieces of content that are entirely personalised towards each high-value target (most commonly in B2B lead generation campaigns). This is referred to as account based marketing (ABM).
Experiment with different messaging
Don’t stand still with your lead generation content. Once you’ve launched a campaign, monitor how it’s performing and where your content is attracting and engaging your audience. Is the landing page you’ve created converting in the way you wanted it to? Are people clicking on the social media ads you’ve launched at the rate you were expecting? Have your emails been seeing higher rates of unsubscribes than you had allowed for when setting your campaign KPIs? Assess how your lead generation content is performing and make changes as you go. This may mean experimenting with different messaging, imagery and call-to-actions.
You’ll need to make sure you’re continuously measuring your campaigns to see where improvements could be made to your content. To enable you to do this, make sure you’ve set KPIs for your content so you can see if it’s hitting the targets you’ve set – and the targets you need to meet for your lead generation campaign to be a success.
Prioritise quality over quantity
It can be easy to assume that a lead generation campaign will demand lots and lots of content – and that can be true but you need to ensure you have the resource available to create the content to the high standard reflective of your brand.
If you feel you don’t have the resource to create the volume of content needed for a campaign, perhaps consider breaking it down – look at how you could target one or two audience segments to begin with. That way you can focus on creating content that is highly relevant, suitable for each stage of the buyer’s journey and afford the time to adapt that content as your campaign runs. You’ll see much better lead generation from content that is carefully curated and adapted to the audience, than thin content that fails to position your brand in a positive light.
For more advice on creating quality content, you might want to follow E-A-T guidelines – and we’ve got a blog to get you started.
Content should be the bread and butter of your lead generation activity, so it’s worthwhile getting it right. Content will feed through each channel you use in your campaigns – from email marketing to online advertising – and the right messaging will help you to capture your audience at each stage of their journey. If you want to find out more about creating a winning lead generation strategy, get in touch with the Media Matters team. Or if you’re looking for a little more inspiration, have a read of: 21 Marketing Tips to Maximise Lead Generation.