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Establishing trust is a major aspect of the lead-generation experience. Customers want to know that you personify the best option in your industry, offer modern services, and lend support during your partnership with them. Failure to convey any of these aspects can result in lost sales and commissions for your competition. Indeed, many companies are turning to content marketing to increase lead generation. Knowledge is power, and knowledge itself can instill a sense of security and trust within your customer base. Follow these five tips to make the most of your content and bring in new leads.
Image via Flickr by Kristina B
One of the easiest ways to use blogging for lead generation is to answer your customers’ questions. According to Google, almost 20 percent of search queries are voice searches. With these searches, people ask long-form questions to Siri or Cortana instead of speaking in a jumble of keywords. This capability offers a great blogging opportunity for marketers with a conversational tone.
Create a list of potential questions and worries your customers have and create blog posts answering them. This list can cover any issue: “Why is my car leaking fluid?” “How do I fire a remote employee?” Answering these questions thoroughly is a great way to drive new traffic to your blog or website, while bringing the customer into the awareness phase of the purchase path. After all, your lead-generation efforts are going to stall if you don’t have a steady flow of new traffic to your site each day.
Most case studies follow a similar formula: The customer has a problem, the business brainstorms solutions, and the customer is happy. This formula works because it provides transparency into the company’s processes and instills a sense of trust with the customer.
First, the problem description allows potential sales leads to feel a sense of unity with the customer in the case study. Both case study subject and lead weren’t getting enough sales, couldn’t scale their process, or struggled to manage employees. This problem description lets your leads know that you’ve seen that situation before and can handle a challenge.
Next, the solution and execution process highlights how you tackle a problem and work with a customer. People don’t want to feel like they’re getting a cookie-cutter solution, and your case study shows time and care put into every customer interaction. A case study also proves your ability to solve complex problems that are specific to their situations.
Finally, the case study produces results. Provide data about how your product solved problems to turn the qualitative story into quantitative data.
Along with case studies, webinars offer great opportunities to connect with potential leads and highlight your problem-solving skills.
Hosting a webinar doesn’t have to be complex. You can simply broadcast a Google Hangout that gets recorded to YouTube for future use. Answer queries within the broadcast or at the end with Twitter questions.
Pick a webinar topic and use the first half to review industry news around the subject, best practices, and company solutions. Like the case study, a webinar is your opportunity to showcase your problem-solving ability and expertise. Then, open up the floor for comments and questions specific to the topic. Potential lead candidates who feel like they have specific problems can ask for advice, and you can offer solutions for how you would solve their problems. In all likelihood, they’re talking to multiple companies about their issues, but the webinar is an opportunity for you to stand out with a distinctive solution.
Webinars also create opportunities to show your brand personality. You can highlight the people who work there, what you find funny, and how you handle stressful environments. Having a positive client-vendor relationship is an important factor for many customers, and they want to see what working with you will be like.
While blogging is great for organic traffic and establishing your blog as an expert resource, white papers create opportunities for outreach, backlinks, and influencer sharing.
Your white paper should be something the industry has never seen before, such as an original study on customer challenges or an in-depth look at an unexplored topic. Countless influencers create content, and you don’t want your white paper to get swept under the rug as old news.
If you’re able to create something new and exciting, the internet community will respond. Social media will offer the first wave of traffic through shares and retweets, and then influencers will continue linking to your white paper as a source.
White papers tend to have a longer shelf life than short-form content such as blogs and case studies, which means you need to create a marketing strategy around long-term success. How many links do you want three months after the content’s launch? How many influencers do you want mentioning it after six weeks? By setting this strategy, you can make sure you get the most out of your white paper long after it’s been published.
Along with white papers, e-books can allow you to capture email leads and bring potential customers deeper into the sales funnel.
You’ll find pros and cons to gating your content — or asking for a customer’s contact information in exchange for sharing an e-book — but one of the top pros is measuring lead-generation return on investment (ROI). Within a few weeks, you can see whether and how an e-book has grown your email list and your leads, and you can measure the average customer conversion rate from both email marketing and direct sales. Can you see why many companies want to create e-books to improve lead generation?
All of these digital media assets work to answer customer questions and resolve their problems. When you keep their needs in mind with the content that you create, establishing trust that generates leads will soon follow.