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This post was originally published on performancemarketer.com by Derek Miller
Content marketing is one of the most popular tactics for generating a stable flow of traffic and increase organic search results. However, most sites investing in content are doing so for a more purposeful reason than traffic alone.
Typically, content marketing is used to generate more visitors for the goal of increasing leads and sales. If you’re looking for content to increase your lead flow, then you may want to try the strategy below. CopyPress has perfected content marketing over the last six months to increase their lead flow by 300%.
Before I begin, let’s provide a little context if you’re not familiar with CopyPress. CopyPress is a content marketing company that focuses on creating content. Such as blog articles, infographics, whitepapers, interactives, and videos. They also focus on promoting content (outreach, influencer marketing, links).
We work with brands like Hipmunk, Airbnb, Uber, and Macy’s to create and promote branded content.
We provide a fully-managed offering. We have a creative community of over 300 certified and vetted writers, editors, designers, and developers. Also, an influencer and publisher inventory in the thousands.
The strategy we describe below is possible for any company across any industry. We’ve used our unique position and resources to perfect the approach and are prepared to scale it for any business sector.
This particular content strategy is built to generate email conversions to grow our lead list. We have a steady flow of leads through organic search, referrals, and other methods – but we wanted to build more targeted leads for offerings that we wanted to grow, i.e. our infographic sales.
To help follow the strategy, I’ll be including screenshots and examples based on one of our successful campaigns.
As mentioned above, our goal for one of our campaigns was to increase infographic leads. Infographics are still an incredible tool for outreach and link earning, as well as social media and onsite engagement. We believe we’re one of the best infographic design companies and want to highlight this offering.
Knowing our objective, we decided to pick the topic “How To Create Amazing Infographics.”
The topic is critical. The entire strategy hinges on what topic you pick. Try to make sure it resonates with your audience and matches one of your core competencies as a business. The more campaigns you run, the more likely you’ll need to branch out to peripheral topics, but for a start – pick something that is highly relevant.
After you pick a topic, the next step is to develop an email drip campaign. An email drip campaign is a series of relevant emails sent to users once they sign up for your email lists. These emails can trigger automatically once they give you their email. It follows that user through the entire sales funnel if necessary.
With regards to our strategy, we create a series of emails on the exact topic we’re covering before we launch the lead form. This means we must know the dates of our webinar and release of the whitepaper. Once these dates are sent, you need to set hard deadlines for the creatives to hit to be ready to launch. You want to match expectations, so it’s critical that the information in the drip emails match up with what they will receive.
These emails will be adjusted once the content is officially released. No longer will it provide an expected date, but it will simply provide the content or a link to it.
It’s important to set up ongoing emails with your drip. Don’t just send them the content and add them to a bulk email list. If they wanted to download the whitepaper on creating infographics, then set a series of infographic-specific emails to follow. We follow ours with discounts and other relevant offers that relate to our infographic creation product.
Below is an example of one of our infographic drip emails.
With your topic selected and drip campaign finished, the next step is to create a lead form on your website to start collecting emails around this specific idea. Our strategy has two gated forms of content (webinar and whitepaper), released one after the other – so you’ll want to create a lead form for both pieces.
The webinar form should discuss when the live webinar will be held and the whitepaper form should discuss when the whitepaper will be released. After both have occurred, the copy on each lead form should be updated to reflect the new information. In the example below, you can see that our webinar page has language saying the “webinar was already held.”
Create the lead form pages as quickly as possible. The longer you have the pages up, the more emails you can generate. We also create between 250-500 unique words on each lead form to describe why the person should sign up. These pages will live on your site indefinitely and will be used for outreach later, so make sure they reflect your brand and are user-friendly.
The next step in the process is to create the whitepaper. It’s important that you create the whitepaper first because it will be the foundation for the other types of content. Whitepapers should be well researched, thoroughly written, and provide actionable information for your target audience. If you can accomplish these three points, you’ll create a strong content asset that people will want to download, read, and share.
To create a great whitepaper, you need to blend research, writing, and design. Because CopyPress has a community of writers, editors, and designers, we are uniquely positioned to create whitepapers seamlessly.
If you’re trying to execute this strategy on your own, it’s important that you test your whitepaper writer, editor, and designer to make sure they understand the subject matter and can execute the project to your quality standards.
The example above shows you a look at the Amazing Infographics Whitepaper. We try to blend great copy with an eye-catching and easily scannable document. More than anything, it’s critical that the information in the whitepaper be engaging and loaded with data and valuable information.
Note: Even though you finish the whitepaper first, you will not publish it until after the webinar.
With all the research completed and whitepaper started, you can begin creating an infographic on the same topic. The information, data, and content of the whitepaper provides context and a framework for your infographic. This eliminates a lot of the work that is involved with researching the infographic topic.
You don’t need to finish step 3 before starting step 4. But you should definitely wait until you have the first draft of the whitepaper copy. To ensure that the two pieces of content are relatively consistent.
Creating an infographic on the same topic of the whitepaper is a great way to recycle subject matter and stretch the ROI. We have a team of designers in our community who specialize in infographic creation, so our ability to create amazing infographics is streamlined. If you don’t have designers on hand that you’ve used in the past, you may want to hire a company like CopyPress or utilize a creative marketplace to find and vet infographic designers.
Infographics are still a valuable asset for content marketers. There are some bad infographics on the internet, but if you’re able to devote the time and resources to creating a good one, you can see amazing results with strategic outreach and user engagement. For this strategy, we use the infographic in our outreach to drive links and downloads to our whitepaper.
Below is a small excerpt of our Amazing Infographics Infographic. You can see the entire infographic here.
Once you have your whitepaper and infographic complete, you can launch your webinar. We launch our webinars the day before we release the whitepaper. This helps us create more buzz and excitement for the whitepaper, which is released directly following a live webinar on the same topic.
The webinar can be live or pre-recorded, whichever works best with your schedule. We typical host ours live because we also allow for an interactive Q&A session at the end of the webinar. This increases the user engagement and helps diversify our content more than with what is covered in the whitepaper.
The subject matter discussed in the webinar follows the whitepaper and infographic directly. We actually slice up the infographic points that we plan to discuss in the webinar and put it into a SlideShare presentation.
Regardless of how you structure the webinar, the important thing to remember is that all the work is done already. You’ve done it already with the research and writing of the whitepaper and infographic. The webinar is simply a different form of the same information.
By this point in the process, all the content is created, and the only goal now is to generate as many downloads as possible. Great content won’t survive on its own; it requires strategic promotion and outreach to drive meaningful, targeted traffic.
To do this, we focus our promotion on infographic syndication. Since we created the infographic using data from the whitepaper, we strive to get a resource link back to the whitepaper with our syndicated post. Since both assets are high-quality and resourceful, most publishers are completely open to this. Backlinks to our whitepaper signup page will increase downloads and also help to improve our organic search ranking for that topic.
Even if they don’t allow us to include a link, simply getting our infographic on the site with our brand mention is an excellent way to increase awareness of our offering and company.
We have a very methodical approach to outreach and syndication. We first look for publishers who have written or published content similar to our topic. Buzzsumo or Ahrefs are great resources to find what sites have published on a topic before.
Once we have a list of sites that fit our topic, we find the best contact from that site to reach out to. Usually, you can find contact information via their website, LinkedIn, or a quick Google search. We always try to find a person and not a generic email. We then add the person’s name and email to the site list we created.
We then reach out to the contact with a templated email that says something along the lines of:
CopyPress just launched a whitepaper “How to Create Amazing Infographics, ” and we’re reaching out to publishers like [Website Name] to help raise awareness.
We are offering publishers a free infographic (view here) and custom introduction (which we’ll write for you) in the hopes that we can increase the downloads of our whitepaper.
Are you interested?”
This outreach strategy is transparent about our intentions – we want to give you an infographic to publish in exchange for promotion of our whitepaper.
We average about a 20% response rate on our pitches and an 85% acceptance rate on submitted infographics.
When working with our syndicated posts, we offer to write a custom introduction. This gives us the opportunity to include our whitepaper link in the text naturally while dictating the quality of the intro on their website. We find this tactic helpful because it adds more value to the publisher and gives us a certain level of control to the context.
As we develop these publisher relationships, we always consider the long-term value. Many of the publishers we worked with on our first syndication project are still syndicating infographics today. That’s because we’re able to provide them with unique and valuable content on a consistent basis. These relationships help increase downloads and help our organic search rankings.
This strategy has helped CopyPress grow our lead funnel and convert some amazing new clients. But, it’s not perfect and will continue to change as we move forward. We’ve iterated steps and processes many times, and as you start to do it yourself, you’ll find ways to tweak it based on your needs.
Use the guideline above as a blueprint for leveraging content to increase lead flow. You can find examples of our webinars, whitepapers, and infographics via our resources page and if you want to talk to the CopyPress team about customizing this strategy for your business, feel free to reach out to us directly.