Content marketing is a powerful strategy in today’s digital world. It’s regularly used by businesses of all sizes when they’re looking to boost themselves up in one way or another. While the topic of this chapter is lead generation and how content marketing can help your efforts, in the first two chapters, I covered the benefits of content marketing when your focus is SEO and brand. Feel free to check those earlier chapters out.
Now, where were we? That’s right, lead generation.
Website Lead Generation
Although it might be nice if they did, leads do not fall out of thin air. Filling your sales pipeline with leads isn’t an automatic process, and without a strategic approach, you run the risk of running low on leads – which, let’s be honest, isn’t very good for business. But you know what is good for business? A strategy focused on lead generation.
When it comes to generating leads with your website, it makes the most sense to have a few different opportunities for your website visitors to become leads. Before we get to the opportunities in greater detail, let’s talk about how a visitor becomes a lead.
How to Generate Leads
Basically, a website visitor becomes a lead when they fill out a form on your website that captures some of their information. That information can be used to market more directly toward them using their particular areas of interest and any relevant data you’re able to gather from them.
Depending on where or how a visitor becomes a lead (more on that in the next section) they oftentimes fall into two categories: marketing qualified (MQL) or sales qualified (SQL). SQLs are leads that are closer to becoming a customer, meaning it might be appropriate for one of your salespeople to reach out to them personally. On the other hand, MQLs are interested in your company and some of the information you have to offer, and with a little lead nurturing, they’re likely to become an SQL and then a customer.
How Content Supports Lead Generation
You probably noticed that the way a website visitor becomes a lead is by visiting your website, coming across a form offering something they want, and filling that form out. It’s at that moment when they fill out the form that you’ve generated a lead. So, what are they filling out the form for? Content.
Content is oftentimes the thing behind the form that website visitors want. And in order to get what they want, they’ll trade a bit of their information. You see, if you have helpful, educational content that speaks to the needs of your website visitors and ideal customers, you can position that content in ways that generate leads.
Getting MQLs from Content Marketing
Take a digital guide, for example. We put together our Facebook Ad Creation Guide, which gives step-by-step instructions on how to set up Facebook ads. It’s a beginner-friendly guide that anyone interested in Facebook ads could find useful. When a website visitor fills out the form to get this guide, they become an MQL. They’re probably not ready for a sales pitch, but they are interested in what we know and what we have to offer.
Getting SQLs from Content Marketing
Alternatively, if a website visitor fills out a form to download some content that’s about the services we provide or a case study on a branding project we completed, they’re more of an SQL. We know that they’re interested in seeing what we can do and what we have done for other clients. This lets us know that they might be ready to learn about what our services can do for their company.
And we’re able to know all that, just based on the type of content they were interested in trading their information for. Through strategic content marketing, each form on your website becomes an opportunity to generate leads. That’s how content marketing helps with lead generation.
My fire is fueled by the relationships I make, build, and cherish. I love hearing people’s stories, what makes them who they are, and where I fit into their lives. As the Creative Content Lead at Leighton Interactive, I'm a storyteller. I’m lucky that I can use my natural ability to help people find their voices, tell their stories, and reach their goals so their businesses can get results. Outside the office I get excited to find sunshine, consume iced coffee, work out, or add unique pieces of jewelry to my ever-growing collection. I also tell stories on behalf of my local AAF chapter, and serve as the Board's Past President.