How to Generate More Sales Leads With Content Marketing
Generating returns from invasive marketing – such as adverts – is an outdated approach. Customers don’t want to be interrupted. Adverts get ignored; unless they stand out, they’ve become background noise, regardless of the channel.
Increasingly, customers want to engage with brands on their terms. Social media marketing is one-way brands have adapted to changing consumer habits. Customer service is at the heart of an effective, social media strategy. Be helpful, friendly and engaging online; make a positive impression, build trust, and answer questions.
Everything you do should contribute to sales and marketing goals, without coming across as a pushy, overly-friendly shop assistant. And whatever you do, try and avoid an epic social media fail, like some of these brands!
Interacting with customers on social media is great for so many things, from getting to know who your target customer is, to product testing – even providing amazing customer service. Engagement is paramount. Listen to what your customer are telling you, talk to them, not at them. Brand loyalty is huge on social, if you invest time cultivating your online community – create and curate great content for them – this is what brings people back time and time again; because you add value to their timeline.
But what if you want to take that relationship with the customer to the next level? How do you sell them something without coming across as a pushy shop assistant? You need their permission. Most transactions start in customers inboxes – where average ROI is 3800% – whether you are making B2B or B2C sales. If you want their email, you need to give them something first.
Content: The Gateway to Conversions
Content marketing has grown in popularity over the last ten years, with content generating 3 times as many leads as other marketing channels, according to Oracle research. Many of the world’s best-known brands have long-since started to “think like a publisher”, thereby giving social media a much-needed boost with engaging, informative and interactive content marketing techniques.
Content covers everything from blogs to eBooks, white papers to webinars. There is no one-size-fits-all approach: it depends on your brand, market and audience. Before launching a content marketing campaign, you need to consider the following:
- Who’s the audience? Having a clear understanding of the audience informs the style, tone, and topic.
- What are the aims of your content marketing strategy? Educate, inform, improve brand name recognition, generate sales, increase web traffic?
- How does this fit into your marketing mix? Skilled content agencies and writers can produce all the content you need, but this should be a component of an active marketing campaign.
Content generates more leads, cheaper – over 31% cheaper – than paid search advertising. People trust content, but only when it adds value (articles aren’t 1000 word sales pitches); only if they can gain some knowledge, or simply be entertained, are they happy to hand over an email address. This usually involves a two-step process. Give them something easily digestible to start with, such as articles, blogs, webinars, or an infographic; and then publish an in-depth piece, such as an eBook. Now is the time, when, in exchange for an eBook, more people will give you an email.
With this, you have the key to a profitable, long-term relationship with a customer. Working together, content, social and email marketing is a powerful sales and marketing strategy, one that many successful brands have used to create inbound funnels that have directly increased conversion and revenues.