Lead generation through content marketing is like going to Siberia. Everyone knows where it is but only a few manage to reach there and even lesser manage to survive it. That being said, today content marketing is the ‘in thing’ among b2b marketers as they scramble to develop a comprehensive content marketing plan for their business.
A good quality content marketing plan helps businesses establish two things:
- A thought leadership platform
- Generate qualified business leads from their prospects
In this article, we shall explore the second point of how to generate business leads through high quality content marketing. But first a quick look at what content marketing is all about for the uninitiated.
Content marketing is promoting content that your prospects would like to read, view or share with others and that which they would value. The content that is created has to be off value to the prospect if it is to be taken seriously repeatedly. The higher the value, the greater the propensity for the originator of the content to establish a thought leadership positioning and the higher the likelihood of generating good quality business leads.
So what are the rules that you could follow to have a going content marketing program within your firm to generate business leads? Take a look at the 5 rules that we followed at Agencyonnet.
Content could be text, visuals (infographics) or in video format. But the key thing is to deliver value.
Rule 1: Set your objective clearly.
At Agencyonnet, we began our content marketing efforts a couple of months ago with the above two objectives- establish a thought leadership position as the marketplace that understood Small Business Marketing and to develop quality leads that could be converted into customers for our marketplace.
The second objective that we laid out was that our content marketing efforts should result in generating business leads either through people voluntarily downloading our content or writing into us.
Rule 2: Create content that has value
To ensure that your content is appreciated, it has to have value. Value can be established by the number of people who read or view your content and the follow through action that they take. The follow through action could be in terms of a) subscribing to your content b) commenting on your content c) sharing your content on their social media network.
Determining value of content calls for understanding who the recipient of your content should be and designing content for him.
Our target prospect for our content marketing was clearly the SME enterprise business owner and/or the marketing head in SME organization who we felt would love to gain knowledge on all aspects of marketing in a simple manner. Our research had indicated that most people while having skills in one or two disciplines of marketing were fairly un-skilled on other marketing aspects. Our labs or blog section was aimed at improving their knowledge levels by equipping our prospects with a series of articles, white papers and videos (we are yet to launch this!) that would help him gain knowledge and through this establish ourselves as the premier knowledge partner for him.
At the time of going to press (as they say in the publishing business), we had successfully created a series of articles on different aspects of marketing, advertising and digital marketing. We also launched a couple of whitepapers and are working on launching our video content blog in a few months.
Rule 3: Promote and Promote
You could have the greatest article or blog on earth but it would fail if no one knew about it. Promoting your content is as critical as creating it. A good content marketing agency would help in both areas. Of course promoting anything costs money.
When we took on the task of promoting our various content, we took a conscious call not to promote our content using advertising money. Instead we chose to use social media and third parties to help promote our content. Here’s what we did:-
- We promoted it aggressively across Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, G+ communities and Twitter and Quora.
- We had all our employees make sure that their network was exposed to our content.
- We sent out weekly emailer to our database showcasing our weekly content updates.
- We had our content carried by third party publishers free of cost. Yes, good content will be carried by others!
- We ensured that every piece of content was additionally pumped up on our CEO’s LinkedIn Post to give added coverage. The tendency of people searching our CEO’s or senior people in organizations is high and we knew that this would give us added exposure.
It’s been 8 weeks since we launched our first attempt at content marketing. Despite none of the team being content marketers themselves, but by applying the fundamentals of marketing we were able to achieve significant headway in the 8 weeks.
- Our blog articles today account for over 60% of our site visitors. Many of our site visitors who come to read our articles subsequently visit and register themselves.
- Our unique site visitors to conversions (registrants) is averaging 1.5% every week.
- Over 125 visitors have downloaded our two white papers till date. 90% of them fall into the category of Business Owner or Marketing Head.
- 5 clients, one of which came from Malawi, read our content and subsequently put up a brief on our platform.
8 weeks is a short period of time to consider the program a success, but the direction is significant, considering that no money has been spent till now on promoting the content. As we gain deeper knowledge about our audience and improve on our content both in terms of format and delivery, these numbers would be sure to go up.
If you are an SME in the b2b business and do not have a content marketing plan as of yet for your business, it’s time to start thinking of developing and implementing one. At Agencyonnet, we help businesses power their marketing for business growth. Talk to our team of marketing experts to help structure, plan and implement content marketing initiative for your business