Create a Lead Generation Landing Page That Converts – Part 2

In our last post, we discussed exactly what a lead generation landing page is, as well as a few tips for improving conversions. 

If you’re finding that your conversion rates are low, despite receiving a lot of traffic, your landing page probably isn’t properly optimised. Creating an effective landing page isn’t as easy as just setting one up, unfortunately, and each element needs to work together. All of them also need to work towards your one main goal. 

Previously, we discussed creating a buyer persona, deciding on a lead magnet, eliminating distractions, having a benefit-driven headline and using the right imagery. Now, let’s jump into it. 

6 More Tips For Creating a Lead Generation Landing Page That Converts

6. Make Your Body Copy Enticing

Though the debate about whether landing pages should be long or short is still raging, the length really doesn’t matter too much. As long as your page effectively addresses your audience’s needs, you’re bound to have good conversion rates. According to Joanna Wiebe, founder of CopyHackers, “There’s no point in saying ‘long copy always beats short copy’… or ‘long copy doesn’t work on me’… or “web users will only tolerate short copy’…

Your landing page should be only as long as is necessary to convince users to take the desired action. You should also ensure that your copy matches their position in the buyer’s journey. Your buyer personas should help with that.

To make sure your copy is speaking directly to your target audience:

  • Use words you’d use in a real conversation and make sure to speak to readers in the first person
  • Keep your paragraphs as short as possible. Around 2 or 3 sentences per paragraph is a good start
  • Make use of subheadings, bolded words and bullet points to increase readability
  • Use white space to break up long blocks of text to make your copy easier to skim and digest

You can see a great example of enticing copy from the landing page of time-tracking app Noko. Their headline speaks to their audience’s biggest pain point, which is finding a time-tracking app that people actually want to use. Their body copy effectively explains the problem, as well as some of the benefits their customers see after solving that problem. Only then do they sell the software itself. 

Use enticing body copy for lead generation landing pages

For some more information, check out this case study from Amy Hoy, founder of Noko, on how she improved conversions by 240% by improving her landing page copy.

7. Keep Your Forms Simple

Just like you need to keep your landing page copy simple, any forms you choose should be simple too. While they need to provide all of the information you’ll need, you shouldn’t ask visitors for more than they’ll be willing to give. Your forms will also heavily depend on whatever goal you have set for your landing page. While both short and long forms can work equally well, there is a fine balance between asking for enough and asking for too much.  

The form length you choose should depend on what kind of leads you’re looking to generate. Are you looking to generate lots of potentially less-qualified leads, like for an email newsletter? Or maybe a small number of highly-qualified leads, such as those interested in free trials or coaching calls.

Whichever you choose, you should avoid discouraging your visitors from completing your form by only asking for the information you truly need. You can also make sure of checkboxes and dropdowns to make completing your form easier. Making use of optional fields also gives your users some flexibility. 

Make sure your form stands out from the rest of your page by using bold colours and a contrasting design. 

Design tool InVision has a wonderful form flow for their webinar signups. Guests select a date and time for the webinar they’d wish to attend. Only then are they shown the registration form. The registration form is straightforward, consisting of 3 compulsory fields for 1st and last names and email. There are also a few non-mandatory fields.

Use simple forms on your landing page

It’s a chic form, designed to maximise conversions.

8. Build Trust

Most online businesses don’t interact with their clients in person. This can make it more difficult to build strong relationships, which is unfortunate, given how important it is. People won’t buy from businesses they don’t trust, especially online. Therefore, more trust means more conversions, and conversions are customers.

There are a few ways that you can build trust on your lead generation landing page. You can make use of social proof, like testimonials from customers. These can definitely help to strengthen your messaging and prove to new visitors that your brand is trustworthy. 

If you do make use of testimonials, even something as small as adding a photo can do wonders. Adding the person’s face, or a photo of them enjoying your product or service can boost conversions. A good example of this is these testimonials from Bizzabo, an event planning service. 

Build trust with your audience to increase conversions

Another good way to create trust with guests and boost conversions is by being clear. Let your readers know that you will take care of their online safety by writing up a privacy policy and providing a link from each landing page.

9. Create an Enticing Call-to-Action

Your call-to-action is the single most important element on your lead generation landing page, and the language you use can have a dramatic effect on your conversion rate. Just like every other element, your CTA should speak directly to your audience, preferably in language similar to their own. Think about what they would think, and try to use words that they will connect with.

You should also avoid generic terms like “Click here” or “Sign up”. Try to make use of trigger words like “you” or “my”, as these can help increase conversions.

 Joanna Wiebe, expert copywriter and founder of CopyHackers, recommends that you don’t think of CTAs as a call to action. Rather, think of them like a call to value. A call to action amplifies the action of moving forward, a call to value emphasises the value a visitor will see by moving forward.

According to Joanna, “A call to value is best for people before they’ve decided to buy; it reinforces the value of the offering and works toward convincing the prospect. A call to action is best for people once they’ve decided to buy; they already understand the value, so it’s time to stop selling and just make it as frictionless as possible for them to give you their email addy or credit card deets.”

When crafting your CTA, make sure you’re not focussing on the action, e.g. “Download Our Free Conversion Guide”. Focus on the value your visitors will receive, e.g. tripling their subscriber count. Therefore, one CTA could be “Start Growing Your Subscribers Today”.

Online training site Treehouse does this extremely well, with their CTA of “Claim Your Free Trial”. Direct and reader focussed, it ticks all the right boxes. The word ‘claim’ also creates a sense of urgency. 

Use a strong CTA on your landing page

10. Keep Up With Your Marketing Funnel

Remember, your landing page is just the beginning step in your sales funnel. Once visitors register, make certain you are maximising your conversions by nurturing leads with drip campaigns.

For each new landing page you launch, make sure your marketing and sales funnel are still working for you. Make sure that any emails you’re sending are still up to date, and make sure that any new subscribers are entered into the right automation sequences. 

11. Measure Your Results and Make Improvements

No matter how long you’ve been doing this, there’s a good chance you won’t get your landing page right the first time. Even the most skilled copywriters and designers make some mistakes. Since you can’t make improvements blindly, make sure that every lead generation landing page is set up with analytics. 

While there are hundreds of different analytics tools out there, Google Analytics is the best choice for most online creators. A powerful tool, and  relatively easy to set up on your site, it even works with landing page builders. This way, you can set up conversion tracking on your landing pages in only a few clicks.

Remember, analytics are only valuable if they help you make better decisions and improve your conversions. Tools like Optimizely, VWO or Google Optimize make it easy to split test (or A/B test) different variations of your landing page. You can change headlines, imagery, long versus short copy, and calls-to-action to see which combinations bring the most conversions.

Boost Your Conversions Today with a Lead Generation Landing Page

Your lead generation landing page might be a superstar salesperson who works without rest, but improving performance still isn’t the easiest thing to do. It takes research, time, and experimentation (and sometimes a little luck) to create a lead generation landing page that converts.

But if you’re patient and persistent the results are worth the effort.

Create a Lead Generation Landing Page That Converts – Part 1

No matter what industry you’re in, you need at least one lead generation landing page. These pages do all the hard work of grabbing your audience’s attention, and convincing them to sign up for your offer. All in all, that’s a lot to ask for from just one page. 

Unfortunately, lead generation landing pages are easy to set up, but difficult to perfect. And there’s nothing worse than pouring your heart and soul into creating what you think is a great landing page, only to see a super high bounce rate. Seeing your hard-earned traffic leave the page without converting can be completely demoralising. 

Creating an effective lead generation landing page takes some finesse. There’s a fine line between providing enough information to tantalise leads, and completely overwhelming them. Each element on your page needs to work together flawlessly to successfully convert your visitors into leads.

Luckily, we have a few tips and tricks for optimising your lead generation landing page to boost your conversions. 

What is a Lead Generation Landing Page?

Though we hope that by now you’ll know what a landing page, there isn’t any harm in a little refresher. Generally speaking, landing pages come in two main flavours:

  • Click-through landing pages
  • Lead generation landing pages

In a nutshell, click-through landing pages are designed to qualify a visitor before they convert. They are there to ‘warm up’ your visitors before they make a purchase. They come in all shapes and sizes, and everything from product descriptions and white papers to case studies and blog posts work well as click-through landing pages. 

A lead generation landing page, on the other hand, is designed to generate leads. Shocking, I know. These are single-purpose pages, with only one goal – getting users to convert. Often, they offer something valuable in exchange for a visitor’s contact details. Ebooks, newsletters, white papers and case studies all make excellent ‘lead magnets’. 

Lead Generation Landing Pages Aren’t About Sales

A lead generation landing page isn’t designed to close any sales. That would kind of be like asking someone to marry you 10 minutes into the first date. However, while you may not be asking a user to pull out their wallet quite yet, you are asking for some kind of commitment. In this day and age, people don’t give away their contact information lightly. 

You’re still asking them to complete a transaction. Only, instead of exchanging money for goods or services, you’re asking them to exchange their contact details (and their permission for you to follow up with them) for some kind of offer or information. 

This initial transaction is a vital part of the sales process.

Now that you have a better understanding of what a lead generation landing page is, let’s talk about some of our tips and tricks for optimising your page’s conversion rates. 

12 Tips For Creating a Lead Generation Landing Page That Converts

No matter what industry you’re in, or what you’re generating leads for, the core elements of a lead generating landing page remain the same. According to Aaron Orendorff, VP of Marketing at Common Thread Collective:

The industry doesn’t really matter. What matters is that your landing page is written directly to real people with real problems in search of real solutions. At the end of the day, people are people. We all have universal desires as well as universal fears. It’s always about finding the pain — the hell — your audience is experiencing (right now). Leaning into that pain. Bringing it to life. And then delivering your solution as the answer — the heaven.

So obviously, being authentic and honest with your audience is key to improving conversion rates. Great in theory, but how do you put it into practice? 

1. Carefully Define Your Target Market

The first step to creating a killer lead generation landing page is to clearly define who you want to appeal to. Don’t make the mistake of trying to create a page that appeals to everyone. Maybe your business serves a wide audience, but your landing page should appeal to as narrow a group as possible. 

To begin, create a buyer persona, or ideal potential customer for the offer you’re creating. This way, you can make sure that each element on your page speaks directly to your audience. Obviously, this might mean that you’ll need multiple pages to appeal to all your different potential customers.

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2. Create a Relevant and Enticing Lead Magnet 

As we’ve mentioned before, people don’t like to give away their contact information for nothing. When planning your landing page, plan what you’re going to entice them with. Using the information you gathered for your buyer persona, decide what would be a valuable and relevant resource.

Free or low-cost trials do well, as do in-depth reports and white papers. 

According to GrooveHQ, trials had an 8.4% of visitor-to-trial conversion rate in a study of 712 small businesses.

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If you choose to go with a report, be aware that Contently found that many readers spend fewer than 30 seconds engaging with long blog posts. That’s tough when the average length for a downloadable is around 13 pages. Find an appropriate length for whatever downloadable resource you’re offering. Make sure that it’s valuable enough to entice visitors, but not so overwhelming that people don’t even bother reading it.

Neil Patel covers this well in his blog:

Brainstorm on the major pain points of your target market. Then, plug one into the Google Keyword Planner and ask it to deliver its number magic. Let’s suppose that I’m a fitness trainer and want to develop lead generation for selling a digital product. 

For help with finding the right subject for an eBook, I turn to the Keyword Planner. I enter ‘flat abs training’ and find long-tail keywords that I can use as subtopics for my PDF. Then, I offer it to my visitors and it should lead to improved conversion rates.

If you have multiple landing pages for different audience segments, you’ll also need to create multiple lead magnets to appeal to each segment. HubSpot is the king of this. They offer a wide variety of templates, tools and PDFs to attract the different types of customers that they target. 

By offering a valuable lead magnet to your customers, you’re relying on reciprocity. Users will feel compelled to give you their details if you’re offering them something they want. 

3. Only Have One Goal, and Eliminate All Other Distractions

Your landing page should have only one goal. Whether you want people to sign up for free trial, download an ebook or subscribe to your newsletter, that should be the only focus of your page. To improve conversion rates, this should also be the lowest amount of commitment a user will have to display on the path to becoming a paying customer. 

  • Some common goals for lead generation landing pages include:
  • Subscribing to your newsletter
  • Downloading a free ebook or whitepaper
  • Scheduling a call
  • Signing up for a webinar

Each element of your landing page should play some kind of role in moving visitors closer to achieving this goal. To do this, you need to eliminate all possible distractions, or other paths a user could take. If you want people to fill in a form to download your ebook, you shouldn’t also ask them to subscribe to your newsletter, or offer them 10% off their first purchase. This means removing all navigation and any outside links – including links to your social media.

We call this ‘forcing people into the funnel’. Basically, you need to give your visitors one option – fill in a form or leave. Navigation and links to social media just give users an opportunity to leave your landing page without converting. 

CrazyEgg does an excellent job of forcing people into the funnel. Their page guides visitors towards the goal of creating their first heat map, giving users only one option – enter their website’s URL or leave. 

Increase your landing page conversion with a single CTA

Aside from completing this goal, there’s nothing else for a user to do on the page, other than enjoy the pretty illustrations. 

4. Grab Attention with a Benefit-Driven Headline

According to research, you have about 15 seconds to grab a user’s attention once they hit your landing page. In those 15 seconds, you need to let them know exactly what you’re offering, and convince them that they need it. No small feat. You need to convince them immediately of how your offer will benefit them.

Though crafting benefit-driven, attention-grabbing headlines may sound like a difficult taks, it’s actually quite simple once you know the formula. Many of the best headlines follow the same three principles:

  • Ask a question related to your product or service
  • Promise the user some kind of value
  • Explain how they can reach their goals with the help of your product or service

SEO tool MOZ challenges users to “up their SEO game” by signing up for the software, creating an excellent example of a catchy and attention-grabbing headline. 

Use a strong headline to increase your conversions

5. Use Imagery That Reflects Your Offer

Human beings are extremely visual creatures. A user’s eye will take only 2.6 seconds to land on the area of your landing page which will most influence their first impression. And user’s spend around 5.9 seconds looking at a page’s main image.

Make sure you’re using good visuals to express the main crux of your page and offer. This also helps to build trust with your visitors. 

There’s a reason why so many marketers use high-quality, relevant visuals on their landing pages. Faces, especially, work wonders, and this is why Pat Flynn uses his signature and photo on his home page. 

The Long and Short of Content Marketing

You may have noticed that we talk about content marketing a lot. Really. A lot.

There’s a very good reason for this. Content marketing just works – something we discuss in Creating an Effective Content Marketing Strategy for B2B Lead Generation:

Content marketing is a vital part of any B2B marketing strategy. Not only is it effective for generating new leads – it is also useful for nurturing warm leads into sales-readiness. It also contributes to the entire sales and marketing pipeline. The stats back this up. The average B2B customer consumes between three and five pieces of content before they engage with a sales rep. 96% of those buyers choose to do business with organisations who have provided them with relevant content throughout the buyer’s journey. So it’s clear that an effective content marketing strategy can have a dramatic impact on both lead generation and lead quality. 

But What is Content Marketing, Really?

This is definitely a subject we’ve covered frequently, but there’s no harm in covering it again. So what is content marketing? Well, The Content Marketing Institute explains it like this:

Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

Michelle Linn, also of the Content Marketing Institute, explains it even better with this awesome anecdote:

“When people ask what you do, does your response receive a quizzical look? “So, what is it exactly that you do,” they ask after you explain your job.

My husband was in this camp until he told me about a newsletter that covers trends affecting financial markets. He looks forward to receiving it each day. He explained that the newsletters didn’t have anything to do with the funds the broker was selling, but the information was solid and valuable – and it was useful research for the investments he makes.

“That’s content marketing,” I explained. It was an aha moment for my husband’s understanding of content marketing – content marketing is educational but is not about the products the company sells. The vendor offers such good information that you become loyal to the brand.”

Content marketing can generate three times more leads, with 62% less spend, than outbound marketing. 

All you have to do is search, “content marketing success stories”, and you’ll come across hundreds of examples. Probably my favourite of these is the story of John Deere. Because if I told you that the original content marketing came from a company who manufactures agricultural and forestry equipment, would you believe me? No? I’m not surprised.

But it’s true! 

John Deere – The Original Founder of Content Marketing 

While content marketing might have grown in popularity over the past decade, and the methods have definitely changed a bit, it seems that businesses have been using some form of content marketing since the 1800s. Nowadays, marketers use blogs, infographics and videos to educate and entertain their audiences, and drive traffic to their fancy landing pages. More than 100 years ago, marketers were also using content to drive business – they just did it in different ways.

1n 1985, John Deere started a magazine called The Furrow. We’ve spoken about it before. 

The Furrow was a magazine for farmers, in which the company published educational information. The content was aimed at teaching farmers to be better business owners. This is a quintessential example of content marketing.

Of course, there was no social media back in the 1800s. There were no blogs or websites. Most advertising venues just weren’t big enough to get their full message across. The only way to get this informational content to their users properly was through their magazine. 

John Deere has since adapted to the times though, and The Furrow is now also available online. Besides that, they also publish similar educational content on their Twitter and Facebook pages. The magazine is still available for print, and is published in a jaw-dropping 40 countries, in 12 languages. 

Is your mind blown? Mine sure is. 

<a href=”https://giphy.com/gifs/reaction-mood-SJX3gbZ2dbaEhU92Pu” /a>

So, John Deere was the original content marketer. 

There’s only one possible example of content marketing from before John Deere, and it’s debatable at best. There is a cave painting from 4200 B.C., which apparently loosely translates to “six ways a spear can save you from a wild boar”. Call me a sceptic, but I just don’t see Grug the Caveman taking time out of his busy schedule to give educational tips to his neanderthals.  

The Basics of Content Marketing

In How to Create a B2B Content Marketing Strategy, we discussed some of the questions you need to ask when creating a content strategy:

  • Who are you creating content for? 
  • What are the problems you are trying to solve?
  • What makes your content unique?
  • Which keywords do you want to be found for? 
  • What content types are you going to use? 
  • Do you have a CMS to create and publish content?
  • What channels will you use for promotion?
  • What are your main KPIs?
  • Do you have content you can repurpose to start with?

We also discussed Why Your Content Marketing Isn’t Working in Generate B2B Sales Leads with Content Marketing

Right now, more B2B companies are using content marketing than ever before. It’s definitely one of the most effective forms of marketing available today. Unfortunately, most businesses dive in head first, creating content randomly without first devising a strategy. Often, they’re blithely assuming that their audience wants to read endless blogs about their products or services, or watch 20-minute product tutorials and testimonial videos. As a result, many content marketing campaigns fall flat at the first hurdle. They fail to generate the leads businesses think they will.

There’s a simple reason for this. 

“Content without strategy is just stuff.” – Arjun Basu

The internet is a massive place, and there’s a ton of content out there. Some of it’s good, some isn’t. A lot of it is entirely out of data. So the main challenge in generating leads with content marketing becomes offering relevant, useful and helpful content that your audience actually wants to read.

Most people don’t have the time to read content that doesn’t answer their pertinent questions – especially in the B2B sector. The bitter truth is, they don’t care about your product or service. They also don’t care about your new office, or the latest office birthday. They want answers to their questions, and solutions to their problems.

Besides these basic mistakes, there are a few other reasons you could be failing to generate B2B sales leads with your content marketing:

  • Lack of detailed strategy
  • Lack of buyer personas
  • No clear goals or KPIs
  • Lack of creativity or differentiation
  • No promotional activity

In this digital age, there are few things that audiences want, besides the answers and solutions we mentioned above. They want product comparisons and accurate reviews, as well as pricing documents.

If you’re not offering any of the above, there’s a good chance that your visitors will just click away.

In Content Marketing Lead Generation Tactics That Work In 2019, we discussed Content Marketing Lead Generation Tactics That Work

There are a number of lead-generation tactics that have been proven to be incredibly successful in 2019. Here are some of these.

Lead Magnets

A ‘lead magnet’ is something (either an eBook, a PDF download, etc.) that is so enticing to your target audience that they feel that they have no choice but to give you their contact details in exchange for this download.

There are a few companies who do this very successfully, including Hubspot, who provides inbound marketing, sales, and service software. They produce a lot of eBooks on the subjects that their software takes care of. These downloads are well-designed and are packed with rich information that is informed by their subject-matter experts. These books are seen as highly valuable to those who know that they need to engage in digital marketing activities; however, they are unable to afford the software services that Hubspot offers. However, when their business starts to take off, and they can take up the software offering, Hubspot is the first place that they will go because they trust the company and the solution.

Optimise Your Blog

Having a blog on your website was one of the first content marketing tactics that businesses used. While content marketing has progressed in leaps and bounds since then, blogging remains one of the most effective lead generation tactics as search engine bots are easily able to crawl rich content easily.

Long-form content, which is well-researched,  performs better than shorter copy does. Ensure that your blog copy has the right number of keywords in it and make sure that these words occur naturally in your writing. Don’t keyword stuff your copy because, if you do this, Google could penalise your website and will be less likely to display it when users enter relevant search terms.

Vary the keywords that you use in your blogs. If you always rely on a single phrase, you could end up with keyword cannibalisation. Joshua Hardwick, who is the head of content at Ahrefs defines keyword cannibalisation as:

“ … when a single website unintentionally targets the same keyword across multiple posts or pages. Many SEOs believe that this “confuses” Google. In other words, they believe that it becomes difficult for Google to decipher which page (if any) should rank for a particular keyword. As a result, sometimes neither page will rank for the target keyword.”

Although you want your blog to rank for a specific keyword, don’t overuse the same iteration of the word. Use variants – such as different parts of speech – as well as long-tail keywords. Always keep in mind that the best pages are designed with the reader in mind and Google’s bots are programmed to consider this. Thus, you need to ensure that you tread carefully between keyword cannibalisation and correct optimisation.

Final Thoughts

We talk about content marketing a lot, and there’s still so much more to say. Not only is an effective way of building awareness and trust with your audience, it’s also an excellent lead generation tool for B2B and B2C businesses.

Generate B2B Sales Leads with Content Marketing

Just by the fact that you’re reading this blog post, you should hopefully know that we are major proponents of content marketing, especially when you need to generate B2B sales leads . Content marketing works. While it’s not just as simple as slapping together a 600-word blog post twice a month, it’s an effective source of leads when done correctly.

According to the 2019 trends report released by The Content Marketing Institute, 78% of B2B marketers already make use of content marketing. The most successful of these have a well-documented content marketing strategy. Another study by MarketingProfs and ContentMarketing puts the number even higher, at 91%

On average, B2B marketers are spending up to  33% of their marketing budget on content marketing.

Unfortunately, having said this, not all marketers get it right, and executing your content marketing the wrong way can lead to frustration and mediocre results. In a study by CMI, only around 30% of B2B marketers claimed that their organisations effectively implemented content marketing.

Why is Content Marketing Important

Content is the foundation of a good and healthy website, and search engines like Google prioritise websites with a decent amount of content. SEO and lead generation are all about increasing time on page and building engagement. You can do this by following the EAT guidelines with your content. 

  • Expertise
  • Authority
  • Trust

By positioning yourself as an expert in your field, your content automatically gains more authority. The more authority your content has, the more your audience will trust you. In turn, having the trust of your audience is vital for improving your search rankings. 

Why is any of this important?

The top five results on the search engine results page (SERP) receive 67.6% of all clicks

How to Generate Leads through Content Marketing

Now that we’ve had a bit of an introduction, how do you actually generate B2B sales leads with content marketing? Content marketing is a wide field, with dozens of subfields. Here are just a few of the ways you can generate B2B sales leads with content marketing.

The Basics

  • Host a webinar. Choose a topic that should appeal to your target audience and host a webinar on that topic. Remember though, webinars are not the time to sell your product or service. They’re for informing your target audience about a topic they’re already interested in, or answering some of their questions. Webinars are a relatively low-cost way of getting your message in front of a large audience, and to generate a good amount of leads. 
  • Publish research reports. Using research reports as lead magnets can be a great source of leads, especially in the B2B sector. Most businesses know the value of research, so they’ll often be more than likely to share their contact information in exchange.
  • Publish videos. Videos are no doubt the content with the most current appeal, and the most viral potential. After all, Youtube is currently the second largest search engine in the world. If videos are not a part of your content marketing strategy, you’re losing out on one of the biggest sources of lead-generating content. 
  • Create blogs. Obviously, blogs are far and away the best form of content. As long as you do them right, blogs are more likely to appear on the SERP than any other type of content. Blogging effectively can allow you to dominate the SERP, build authority and gain recognition and trust from your target audience. 

Of course, all of these mediums can be used together. For instance, you can publish the results of a research paper on your blog. You could publish video snippets of your webinar to your Youtube channel. Announce your upcoming webinar on your blog. You can use each technique in tandem with the others. 

Why Your Content Marketing Isn’t Working

Right now, more B2B companies are using content marketing than ever before. It’s definitely one of the most effective forms of marketing available today. Unfortunately, most businesses dive in head first, creating content randomly without first devising a strategy. Often, they’re blithely assuming that their audience wants to read endless blogs about their products or services, or watch 20-minute product tutorials and testimonial videos. As a result, many content marketing campaigns fall flat at the first hurdle. They fail to generate the leads businesses think they will.

There’s a simple reason for this. 

“Content without strategy is just stuff.” – Arjun Basu

The internet is a massive place, and there’s a ton of content out there. Some of it’s good, some isn’t. A lot of it is entirely out of data. So the main challenge in generating leads with content marketing becomes offering relevant, useful and helpful content that your audience actually wants to read.

Most people don’t have the time to read content that doesn’t answer their pertinent questions – especially in the B2B sector. The bitter truth is, they don’t care about your product or service. They also don’t care about your new office, or the latest office birthday. They want answers to their questions, and solutions to their problems.

Besides these basic mistakes, there are a few other reasons you could be failing to generate B2B sales leads with your content marketing:
  • Lack of detailed strategy
  • Lack of buyer personas
  • No clear goals or KPIs
  • Lack of creativity or differentiation
  • No promotional activity

In this digital age, there are few things that audiences want, besides the answers and solutions we mentioned above. They want product comparisons and accurate reviews, as well as pricing documents.

If you’re not offering any of the above, there’s a good chance that your visitors will just click away.

Content Marketing Tips

If you want to generate B2B sales leads with content marketing, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Help People Do Their Jobs

Your B2B content should, above all else, be useful. Whereas B2C content can be either educational or humorous, the target audience in the B2B sector is on the job. They need to sell your solution to the people they work with. The easiest way to generate B2B sales leads with your content is to solve a problem that they’re having – make their jobs easier. 

You can do this by researching your audience, including the positions they’re likely to hold and the common problems they face. With these factors, you can start building a buyer persona (or multiple) and applying that persona to the content you create. 

As an example, when health information management company Ciox Health wanted to launch into a new market, they launched a six-part content series of informative and important information. This included a video, checklist and a listicle. 

generate B2B sales leads

This content provided legal firms with the information they needed to streamline the process of retrieving medical records. This campaign reached 1,884 potential prospects and achieved an Open Rate of 42.8% and a CTR of 14.5%. 

Deliver the Right Content at the Right Time

Though you might have created a great piece of content, and it might be getting good traffic, there’s no guarantee that the audience you’re attracting will be ready to make a purchase. Why? Maybe you’re delivering your content at the wrong time. If you’re not delivering content to your audience based on their position in the funnel, it’s unlikely that they will convert. 

Think about it like this. When you meet someone new, unless the stars have aligned, you don’t jump right into being best friends. Rather, you make a bit of small talk, and get to know each other over time. The same principle applies to content marketing. 

If your content isn’t converting, maybe it’s because you’re treating brand new acquaintances like old friends.

So, what’s the solution?

Create a segmented strategy with different goals for different content, making use of different buyer personas in varying stages of the funnel.

Gate Your Content

One of the most obvious ways to generate B2B sales leads with your content marketing is to gate it. Offer access to your content in exchange for the readers information – their name, email address and company, for example. This is something that HubSpot does particularly well. 

Of course, it won’t work for every piece of content, and it won’t work for every business. 

If you’re not sure which content is worth gating, here are some examples of the pieces of content which are considered most valuable:

  • Whitepapers and industry research
  • Exclusive eBooks
  • Expert-led training and webinars 

Don’t Forget About Social Media

Though we discussed social media at length in the previous post, it works especially well in conjunction with content marketing. Many B2B buyers have social media profiles, and by sharing links to your content, you can catch them in their down-time and ‘plant the seed’ in their mind. From social media, you can drive them to informative landing pages, or get them to engage with your content. 

Final Thoughts

Content marketing sometimes gets a bit of a bad rap in the B2B sector, but the truth is, it can be an amazing source of leads. The key to content marketing success is to know your audience. Know their problems, and the questions they have, and provide the answers and solutions they’re looking for. According to research by the Content Marketing Institute, 90% of the best-performing B2B companies are hyper-focussed on their audience’s informational needs. 

Don’t limit yourself to just blogs. Find the type of content that works best for you and works best for your audience. For some, this may be online courses and webinars. For others, it may be whitepapers and other industry research. No matter what your strategy, put your audience’s needs first, and always be testing. 

The Benefits of High-Quality, Native English Content: Consistency Drives Your Brand Forward

The quality of a brand’s content can mean the difference between success and insignificance in the business to business (B2B) market. Content marketing has been shown to increase business success rates, and assists in growing brand awareness, encouraging audience engagement, and increasing sales.

However, it requires a deeper understanding of the relationship between quality content and audience response in order for a content marketing program to achieve success.

Why Creating Consistent Content is Valuable

Being consistent in brand messaging can contribute to the growth and success of any business. Understanding how best to portray a brand, and being consistent in that portrayal, ensures greater brand recognition and reliance.

The same can be said of content marketing. A brand’s content needs to be unique and identifiable in voice, style, and pitch. Consider easily recognisable jingles, and how successfully they are remembered and relied upon. Content consistency creates credibility and trust, strengthening reliability and building brand reputation. Inconsistent content can create a reputation of being unreliable and untrustworthy. A recent study by TechiPedia found that consistent brands are worth 20% more than competitors who aren’t consistent.

While research has shown the benefits of consistency in content creation, it can be difficult for a business to maintain consistency when scaling a campaign. For example, if a brand publishes content written by multiple content writers, how would they be able to ensure a consistent voice throughout all of the content? This is where content scoring can assist.

Content Scoring

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Conventional content metrics, such as page reviews, unique views, and social media traction can be reliable in determining audience size, distribution strategy, and SEO spend, however, they may struggle to indicate how quality can impact audience engagement. It can be argued, therefore, that consistent, high-quality, and engaging content impacts audience decision-making more than any other technique, because it takes into consideration audience interaction. It requires a holistic view of quality performance metrics to determine whether content marketing is providing good ROI. One particularly beneficial method used to assess quality is content scoring.

Content scoring is used to accurately assess and quantify the potential of content by monitoring how individual content pieces perform in the generation and conversion of leads. Content scoring, therefore, assists marketers to determine which type of content is more likely to generate and convert leads, which ultimately indicates which piece should be used. Content scoring is a reliable way to determine “engagement potential” before a piece is published, which saves time, effort, and money.

Why Content Scoring Is Crucial to Content Development

According to MarketingMag, content marketing is projected to be a $300 billion industry by 2019. Furthermore, content marketing accounts, on average, for 29% of B2B marketing budgets. As businesses continue to increase their content marketing budget, it is important to start incorporating content scoring metrics into your marketing campaign. Here are a few reasons as to how content scoring can help:

Increased audience retention.

High quality content can be a business asset. With the ability to create a positive experience for potential customers, it can aid in convincing them to return for further engagement, and potentially increase sales. It can be used to capture audience attention, and further drive brand recognition and trust. By using content scoring to measure content against your target audience, the content has a higher chance of capturing potential customers. Ultimately, content scoring helps to develop more engaging content to build a new audience, and retain the current one.

Improve content quality.

By improving the quality of your content, you can boost the success of your content marketing campaigns. The quality of your content is relative to your audience’s needs, so by understanding what your audience needs, you can offer more personalised content, which will better appeal to your intended market. Content improvement can be a gradual process, which requires consistent reevaluation with changes in audience response. This will help to improve on elements that matter most to your audience, thus making the engagement process more targeted to individuals. Content scoring can help to give a better understanding of your audience, how your content influences them, and how specific language use promotes action.

Better social media traction.

Content scoring can help businesses to address any potential shortfalls in their social media traction. Having followers does not automatically result in content that trends. Creating higher quality content that appeals to audiences can assist in getting it to trend, thus broadening its reach. In order to do this, you need to understand what your audience wants to see, and how they will engage with the content you intend to release. Social media traction is imperative to business success, as it widens your potential market and increases brand recognition.

How to Score Your Content

Content scoring helps to keep the marketing process objective, ensuring that content creators do not become despondent or uninspired. It gives these creators a formula to follow in order to create more engaging content.

To assist in scoring your content, we recommend using HubSpot tools. Here is how:

  • Establish scoring criteria – establish a base for your engagement metric that incorporates the greatest content impact. For example, pageviews or reshares.

  • Create a HubSpot campaign – After establishing the important metric, create a HubSpot campaign and include the successful content that meets your metric requirements. For example, if you decide that 1,000 pageviews is high performing, include all the content assets that meet this criteria.

  • Monitor content performance – Keep track of how well each new piece of content performs. As it meets your established criteria, include it to your marketing campaign. Continue to add content in order to build a sample of what high-performing content looks like.

  • Establish what works – Once your high-performing content is established, you can use it to better evaluate what makes your content perform. Patterns can be established within the content, which can then be replicated.

  • Follow the Recipe – Use the scoring process to establish a recipe for content success. If it needs to be changed later on, you can use content scoring to establish what is and isn’t working.

While these steps are rudimentary, they can assist in better understanding how content scoring can benefit your business. Automated tools, such as Atomic AI can help to make scoring more effective and efficient, by scoring content in more granular patterns.

Content Scoring is the Way to Go

Content scoring is an effective tool for businesses to use in order to keep their content consistent. Consistent content drives brand success, and increases customer reliance and conversion. By better understanding customer needs and expectations, your business will be able to better provide for their specific wants, thus cornering the market.

By using the tried-and-true recipe established by your content scoring, you have the potential to keep your brand moving forward, and remaining relevant in an ever changing market.

Why Business Blog Content is Important

Attention spans are shortening.

People are getting lazier.

Social media seems to be the only thing people have time for these days.

The popularity of visual content is growing by the second.

And it seems like your feed is filled with memes rather than a good read.

So, is blogging still as relevant as it used to be?

Should you, quite honestly, give a crap about keeping your blog going?

Here, have a truth bomb: YES. YOUR BLOG IS STILL THE KING OF CONTENT.

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Your Audience Needs to Be Able to Find You Wherever, Whenever

The digital ecosystem is constantly expanding. As a result, consumers’ expectations are growing daily too. Your audience wants to be able to interact with you on whatever channel they choose, at whatever time suits them. So, while they might encounter you on social media first, they’re probably going to head on over to your website at some point too.

Your blog is where they’ll go digging for more information. It’s where they’ll decide whether you know what you’re talking about or not. If your last post was added yonks ago, they’ll assume you no longer care enough to a) deliver value and b) maintain your image. Think of your blog as the pageant queen of your website. If you don’t keep adding hairspray, she’s going to start looking pretty disshevelled.

We live in an era where consumers tend to do a little extra research when they need to make a large or long term purchase. Your audience probably doesn’t make these decisions lightly, so you’d better have something good for them to read through when they need it.

Partner with influencers and guest bloggers if you have the chance. It helps to give your content more clout and makes your brand seem more relevant. After all, if other people are willing to invest time in your blog, you must be doing something right.

Your Social Media is a Hungry Beast and it Needs Food

At this point, you need to realise that your blog and social media efforts are way more than mere roommates. They don’t simply co-exist. Your social media feed is hungry for good content, and there’s no better place to source something your audience can sink their teeth into than your own blog.

Spend some time coming up with seriously juicy blog posts – including images and video whenever possible. Then take what you’ve created and split it into easily digestible, bite-sized pieces that you can roll out on social media. Fresh content keeps your audience interested. And if they want to spend some time scrolling through something longer, they’ll know your blog is the place to go.

Blogs Are the Key to Value Transactions

When typing up your new blog posts, you need to realise that there’s a value exchange happening between you and your audience. Readers are exchanging their time (and their “share buttons”) for quality content. Whether your blog is informative, educational, emotional, uplifting, or inspirational, you need to give people a reason to keep reading.

Your Blog Supports Your SEO Strategy

You’ve heard this before. In fact, you’ve probably heard it a hundred times. Your blog exists not only to provide value to your website’s visitors but also to feed the SEO machine. Solid blogging with sound keywords can help your business rank incredibly well from an SEO standpoint.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you should start keyword stuffing indiscriminately. That would make your content unreadable. Ain’t nobody got time for that. If your content pleases your readers, it’ll please the Google gods too.

You Can Involve Your Audience in the Story-Telling Process

People love a good story. We’re all emotional beings, after all. Well, most of us, anyway. And nothing makes a story better than being IN IT.

Use your social media to encourage interaction from your audience. Whether you’re conducting a survey, running a “best photo comp” or whether you’re asking people to share their experiences, chances are at least a few people will bite. Use their stories on your blog. Feature them. Tag them. Make them feel important. They’ll share your content for sure.

By the next time you ask for social interaction, you’ll probably notice more people on board. Lather, rinse, repeat.

This Time, Peer Pressure Counts

Everyone’s doing it. The blogging bandwagon is a big one. Your competitors are probably out there blogging up a storm. Can you really afford not to do the same?

The key here is to be better in some way. Stand out. Take a refreshing stance.

Are your competitors only blogging about their products/services? Show your audience that you care more about providing valuable information.

Are your competitors blogging up a serious snooze fest? Dig deep and provide something a edgier.

Blog away folks. Blog away good.

Using Repurposed Content Multiply Your Reach

It’s a fact of our modern lives that there isn’t enough time to do the things that we want to do. If you’re a business owner, the temptation is to work more in your business as opposed to on your business. This is because doing the work yourself is more ‘comfortable’ than teaching other people how to do it, and trusting them to do it well. You know how to do the work and are practiced in it. Being the boss is a new kettle of fish and it’s going to take time for you to learn how to manage your workflows and marketing correctly while, at the same time, getting the work done.

You Can’t Neglect Your Marketing

One thing that is fatal to the success of any business is thinking that you can neglect your marketing. This is because if people see that your business is no longer saying anything, they’ll assume that the company has gone under.  Lauran Donovan had this to say about the importance of social media: “Facebook Advertising offers an array of features to target precise groups of people—including your competitors’ customers. It’s possible to target ads toward people who search for specific keywords or who visit specific websites (such as your competitors’ sites). Your competition may be trying to poach your audience through targeted messaging.

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If you’re the owner of a business that is just getting going, chances are excellent that you are wearing multiple hats – such as employee, finance, HR and CEO. The thought of adding another one – CMO – may make you feel like you’re going to spiral out of control.

Before you decide that you’re going to pack up because you can’t cope any longer, there are two things that you need to know:

1. Effectively marketing your business doesn’t mean that you need to be pushing out three articles a day and twice as many social media posts on your chosen platforms. If you’re a one-man-(or woman)-show, it’s impossible to generate this amount of new content daily.

This means that you need to be strategic about the content that you generate and you also need to be truthful – to yourself – about the time that you have to dedicate to marketing. For example, if you can only realistically spend one hour a week on getting your company’s messaging out there, make the most of this hour that you can.

One type of handy tool that can assist you with maintaining your social media presence is social media automation tools like  Hootsuite and Buffer. If we were to take the example in the previous paragraph of only being able to spend an hour per week on marketing, use that hour to set up posts for the next week – using Hootsuite – that will go off when you schedule them. In this way, you’re maximising your time and getting the best possible marketing ROI.

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2. Google penalises you if it sees that you have poor quality content on your website. By ‘poor quality’ we’re referring to content that is full of grammatical errors and typos and is copied – word for word – from another website.

This means that the content that you generate for your website and other online platforms need to be original, well-thought-out and meticulously checked. This type of content takes time to create – time that you, as an entrepreneur, probably don’t have.

The solution to this may not necessarily be that you have to forgo sleep to be able to write these articles. The answer to having fresh content on your site – while still maintaining quality – is content repurposing.

What is content repurposing?

Hubspot offers the following, very useful, example to illustrate what content repurposing is:

 “When you repurpose a piece of content … you’re doing one of two things (or both): changing the format of the content, and/or changing the target audience for the content. Examples of changing the format include turning a series of blog posts into an ebook, or taking important content from a webinar and placing it in an easy-to-consume infographic. Examples of changing the content for the audience might include starting with an ebook originally intended for, say, SMBs, and restructuring/rewording it to apply to a new business type.”

Repurposing a piece of content is not just about publishing a piece of content on a different platform or adding more content into that particular piece. It’s about taking that piece of content and transforming it for a different audience and/or into a different format.

For example, if you have a blog post that is doing exceptionally well, you could:

  • Create a PowerPoint presentation from it and upload this onto Slideshare. Celebrated digital marketer, Neil Patel, says that over 80% of Slideshare’s 70 million visitors who come to the site monthly are directed from targeted search. This means that using this platform offers an excellent opportunity to raise brand awareness.
  • From this same blog post, you could extract information to make an infographic and submit this to Instagram and Pinterest.
  • You could also write a video script from the blog post, turn it into a video and put it onto YouTube. This social media platform is well-known as the second-largest ‘search engine’ next to Google – so having a presence here is vital for your business to be found online.
  • You could rip the audio from your video and create a podcast which you could also submit to YouTube. Instead of uploading a video, you’ll choose a background image for your audio and upload it.

There are a lot more ways in which you can repurpose the content on your site. This takes the pressure off you and ensures that your marketing remains up to date while not eating into your time unnecessarily.

Is Content Repurposing a Good Idea?

The question of whether or not to repurpose content has surfaced, and resurfaced (pun intended), a number of times in the digital sphere. The biggest concern lies in the fear that little to no initiative or originality  goes into repurposing old content. According to Chris Brogan, marketing genius and author, the act of content repurposing is a sign of laziness.

A quick history leading up to content repurposing

At first glance, it doesn’t inspire much dialogue. In unpacking the grandiose act of repurposing old content, it is best to establish the proper meaning of the term.

Let’s go back in time. To be more precise, let’s go to 28 September, 1928.

It’s a cold Friday morning in London. Alexander Fleming, scientist extraordinaire, is busy cleaning out petri dishes he had been using to test the effects of bacteria on. However, in cleaning his work station, he finds a spot of mold growth, around which there is no evidence of bacteria.

This was the birth of penicillin. Eventually it would become a range of antibacterial drugs, and a metaphorical pot of gold for pharmaceutical companies the world over.

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Fast forward to 1954 and we find the interesting story of Teflon. Back in 1938, Roy Plunkett made an accidental discovery when he cut open a canister of tetrafluoroethylene, only to find that the gas had reacted with the iron in the canister’s shell and created polymerized polytetrafluoroethylene. While DuPont laboratories knew this waxy, water-repellent, non-stick substance had to be useful, it wasn’t until the wife of French engineer, Marc Grégoire, asked her husband to coat her cookware with this amazing PTFE that it’s true use had been discovered.

While the Kellogg-brothers observed that wheat off-cuts and leftovers would lead to corn flakes, naval engineer Richard T. James, found that the springs used to stabilize sensitive maritime equipment made a fun toy, which was eventually called the Slinky.

For those who dislike history, you can read on from here.

What exactly is content repurposing?

The accidental discoveries mentioned above, are prime examples of the most basic repurposing of material. They may not have been intentional, but each discovery was still finding a new purpose for something which previously had an entirely different purpose, or had been rendered purposeless. So, in bringing it back to the technological age, where well-written evergreen content suddenly has value, you have to be able to spot an opportunity.

I completely agree that punting old, unaltered content, does not show much inventiveness, or even resourcefulness. While Ted Rubin, a leading social marketing strategist, believes that “if your content is good, you should be able to ride it until the wheels come off,” I am sure he didn’t mean basic repeating of content.

In the manufacturing world, repurposing means that an item had undergone some change, or had at least been removed from a completed product and become a product on its own. By this measure it would be safe to say that taking old content and effectively turning it into new content, is content repurposing. Seeing an opportunity to rework content, is definitely not an indication of laziness. It is brazen initiative. More often than not, it is also memorable.

One might even go as far as viewing the resizing of current content as repurposing. This would mean turning a longer piece into smaller bits and sending it out on platforms where content consumption is faster and more demanding.

In the same vein, even adding a backlink and redirecting traffic to old content that is still relevant could also be seen as repurposing old content. But don’t ever copy, paste and repost. That is just lazy. And you WILL be found out.

An example in newsjacking

I have found the best examples of repurposing coming up during successful newsjacking efforts. For those who don’t know, newsjacking is the art and science of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story to elegantly promote your content or your ideas. This can obviously backfire if done too hastily or too blatantly.

Here is a hypothetical scenario to illustrate what would be good repurposing of content:

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Looking at the picture, let’s assume the burger on display was prepared and photographed long before the thought of Trump running for President had even entered into anyone’s mind. It wasn’t, but play along for the sake of making a point.

Let’s further assume that this content was initially intended for a campaign to promote Gourmet Burger Kitchen’s biggest burger ever or its first rump burger. And then Trump happened. Someone in the marketing department sees the play between rump and Trump, and they jump on it.

If this had been the case (and I’m sure it was not the case), would it have been any less effective or any less brilliant? Most certainly not! While still marketing the same company in a similar manner, the content has been completely repurposed. It worked because it was current, tongue-in-cheek and catchy.

Conclusion

In 1996 Bill Gates had the insight to say, “Content is king.” That statement has proved to be true many times over. Content turns into lead generation, which, if used accurately, turns into sales. Reworked old content can be used (or reused) to lead a potential customer down the sales funnel.

So, if content really is king, does it not make sense to put as much effort into repurposing content as you did in creating it the first time around? In this manner, content repurposing is definitely a good idea.

In a content-driven age where speed to market is of paramount importance, there is a huge advantage in out-of-the-box thinking. The one who spots an opportunity in repurposing old content successfully will be worth his or her weight in gold.

Developing a Content Marketing Strategy

Any business looking to increase sales needs to implement a proper content marketing strategy. But hold on, what does this mean? Aren’t content marketing strategies the same thing as content strategies, or content plans? In short, no. There are subtle differences between the three, and your understanding of them can greatly impact how you use them. So we’ll explore these differences to showcase the benefits of having a proper content marketing strategy, and give some advice on the best ways in which to develop said strategy.

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Content Marketing Strategy Looking at the fundamentals, a content marketing strategy is the “why”, the “who”, and the “how” behind your actions. You use it to consider why you are creating content, who you are helping by providing said content, and how you will be able to help them, as opposed to your competitors. Content marketing is mainly used to grow an audience, potentially resulting in increased revenue, lower costs, and better customers.

Content Strategy

So your content strategy is a different beast entirely. It has more to do with how you create and publish content, rather than how you market it. You can use your content strategy to plan and develop useful and usable content, so as to avoid publishing irrelevant information. Content strategies tend to go further than content marketing strategies, as they have more to do with business management and operation than with marketing and sales.

Content Plan

Unlike the previous two, a content plan is about pure tactics. It sets out the exact ways in which you will go about executing your strategy, and dictates who on your team will be handling specific tasks. Your content marketing strategy must always come before you start to develop your content plan, otherwise, you will be running before you learn to walk. Your plan should always include key topic areas you wish to cover, specific content you wish to create, and when and how you will share said content. Always make room for calls to action, as they are vital for successful marketing.

Is a Content Marketing Strategy Really Important?

Well, yes, it is. Annual research has shown that a documented content marketing strategy provides a greater chance of successful content marketing. Effective strategies significantly lower the challenges faced within every area of content marketing, and increase effectiveness when dealing with social media and content marketing tactics. Furthermore, a well thought out strategy gives more weight to the importance of content marketing, thus increasing the need for a higher marketing budget.

What to Include in a Content Marketing Strategy

Your content marketing strategy is the skeleton of your business and customer needs. It outlines a detailed plan on how you will use content in order to address the needs established in your strategy. Your strategy is always unique to your business, but here are some fundamentals to consider, as they may help you along the way:

  1. Your business case – With a focus on innovation, you need to communicate the reasons behind creating content, the various risks that may arise, and your outlook for success. If you plan correctly, you are more likely to have executive support, and leeway on mistakes, while you develop the right strategy for your business.
  2. Your business plan – Your content marketing business plan should cover the goals you will set for the content program itself. You should highlight the unique value your content is offering, and explain in detail your company’s business model. Make sure to set out any potential obstacles you may face, and expected opportunities that may arise from the execution of your plan.
  3. Your audience personas and content maps – Use this opportunity to describe your target audience in detail, listing their needs and what the cycle of content engagement may look like. Include a detailed plan for the type of content you will use throughout the conversion journey, so as to better prepare for meeting your goals.
  4. Your brand story – Your story is the written evidence of how you will characterise your content marketing , specifically looking at the ideas and messages you will communicate to your audience, and how these messages are different to those of your competitors. You should explain how you see the market landscape changing once you share your brand story with your target audience.
  5. Your channel plan – Building your brand through various platforms is essential. Your plan should include how you intend to market yourself and your story on these platforms, by providing your criteria, processes, and objectives for each one. You should further plan to connect the various platforms in order to create a cohesive online identity, to increase brand awareness and reliability, which ultimately promotes customer conversion.
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Should Other Teams or Departments Read My Content Marketing Strategy?

A business that operates with a transparency policy is more likely to run smoother and more effectively. We recommend that everyone in the business has access to your content marketing strategy, even if they are not involved in the content marketing process. This ensures that no wires get crossed along the way. This is particularly beneficial for larger companies, so as to avoid miscommunication, to limit duplicated efforts, and to keep teams focused on the same goals. However, new businesses can also benefit from transparency, as their content teams will have more definitive guidelines to work with, especially if any of the content creation or distribution is outsourced. The way in which you communicate your content marketing strategy will depend entirely on how things are done in your business. Some organisations will share the full document, while others will develop targeted summaries in line with the specific departments. It is important to consider internal policy, and how the content will affect the person reading it.   When Should the Content Marketing Strategy be Updated? While most business planning requires consistency, which is needed in some parts of the strategy, some areas will need to adapt to changes in the market. The areas that should stay consistent include your mission and business goals. These areas so important, that they should be at the forefront of every content decision you make. Why not include them as part of your task acceptance criteria? 

On the other hand, you will do well to review and update various aspects of your strategy as time goes on. You need to remember that marketing is never stagnant, and you need to change those areas of your strategy that are no longer relevant. In order to remain on target, consider revising your channel strategy, core topics, and team processes on an annual basis, or as needed – especially if your business is growing.

Developing the Right Content Marketing Strategy for You

In developing your content marketing strategy, it is important to understand why, how, and who will be benefiting from the end result. A thorough plan should include all the relevant details that may affect content considerations, and how the target audience may receive and engage with your brand. A transparent ‘honesty policy’ will help your business to better understand your content marketing strategy, and to work in accordance with the content marketing goals. So when you are getting ready to tackle your content marketing strategy, or to review and change it, why not see what we can do to help?

10 Advantages of Outsourcing Content Creation

One of the latest business debates appears to be centred around whether or not outsourcing is better than in-house work – especially when it comes to content creation. In order to weigh in on this topic, we need to understand how outsourcing works, and the advantages it can bring to the table.

Like any specialist, outsourced content creators are best viewed as an investment for the future of a business. It can be daunting to give control of a specific project to a third party. However, it is a minor sacrifice to make when considering the benefits that come from this kind of business relationship. Here are some advantages to outsourcing that may sway the debate.

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  1. Saving Costs
    It is far from a secret that businesses are created to make money. It would make sense, therefore, for a business to do what it can to keep costs low, and in turn, increase turnover. Outsourcing of projects has a simple knock-on effect. It saves you the cost of employing people full-time for the same job, and providing all the employee benefits related to the job. Furthermore, during peak times of the year, the business does not need to hire seasonal workers in order to keep up with demand. Temporary workers and full time staff can require specialised training that often results in cost to the company, and time taken off to do the training. Thankfully, outsourced specialists are already trained to do the job and, therefore, do not require the business to invest further than the actual work itself.

    By outsourcing content creation to outsource partners, you are able to be more flexible with the money that would have been spent on in-house employees. It frees up the budget for more important office investments – such as a new office coffee machine, perhaps? If your business is looking to enter a new market, or be more experimental in how they approach content, outsourcing is a way to maintain current projects in-house, while allowing the outsource partners to take on the more creative projects. That way, if you decide to go in a different direction, you will not have lost valuable time on necessary work, and the cost of the experiment will be low.

  1. Multitasking and Fast Turnaround Times
    Simply put, outsourcing saves time. The majority of outsourcing partners have quick turnaround times, often completing small to medium sized projects within a week. What could potentially take an in-house employee longer to complete, due to a build-up of other projects, will take an outsource partner a shorter time. Freeing up time on smaller content projects will leave the in-house employees with more time to complete the more important aspects of their work.

    Multitasking is another benefit of using outsourcing. With outsourcing firms employing a multitude of talented people, you can outsource multiple projects to the firm, without concern for when and how it will be completed. What may take one in-house employee longer to complete, can be done by multiple outsourced creators, saving you time and effort.

  1. Experience and Expertise
    It would make sense, in any type of business, to hire a person who is best suited to the job. This can be difficult, however, when hiring of new employees is not an option. This is where outsourcing is a good choice. Outsource firms offer employees with extensive knowledge and experience in a multitude of fields, meaning that you are able to hand-pick the best person for the job. There is no need, therefore, to worry about hiring new people, or training current employees. The expert you need is right at your fingertips. Furthermore, outsourced content creators are inclined to keep up to date with the latest trends and practices, in order to remain relevant in the industry. This is a major benefit for your business, as it means that the work you will receive will be current and on trend.
  1. No More Burn-Out
    Trying to keep up to date with market trends, content preferences, and how best to use content, while still creating the content itself, can be taxing on anyone. It makes it difficult to remain excited about the content you use, and in turn, about the general operation of the business. Outsourcing is an easy answer to this problem. Outsourced creators can take away the monotonous aspects of content creating, and leave you to complete the more important, and often more exciting tasks. Maintaining enthusiasm for your work can increase productivity, and overall job satisfaction. This is important for any business, as happy employees work better for longer, and are less likely to seek other employment.
  1. Higher Return on Investment
    Outsourcing content creation often helps a business to get more online traffic, more engaged readers, and more leads. The people employed by outsourcing firms are experts in how to use content to get more traffic, and how to manipulate content for search engine use. By using outsourced partners, your business can become more visible online, thereby encouraging new readers, and increasing potential customers. Furthermore, the more readers you get, the more likely it will be for a search engine to trust and promote your site, which further increases online presence, attracting more clients in perpetuity.
  1. Maintain a Strong Content Marketing Strategy
    Due to the fact that outsource firms know and understand how best to use content marketing, they can assist to strength, or even create, an effective content marketing strategy for your business. These firms have extensive industry knowledge and experience, making them well-versed in which types of content are best suited to marketing, and the potential they may have of increasing audience engagement. Furthermore, they are able to analyse and evaluate content performance, and use this information to determine what should or should not be changed to get better results.
    Outsource firms have all the relevant tools and skills to best determine where and how marketing strategies perform well, and how they should be implemented for the best possible outcome.

  1. Gain a Trusted Partner
    Choosing the correct outsourcing partner can lead to a strong, dependable business relationship. Trustworthy partners can make a difference for any business, particularly when it comes to marketing. Building a relationship with your outsource partner will allow for them to establish how your business operates, and how best to create content suited to your needs. They will be able to help you make the most out of your content, and potentially assist in growing your business too. Often, outsource partners become an extension of your in-house team (minus all the drawbacks) and assist to increase your capacity. Dependable partners create dependable work – it is that simple.
  1. Greater Content Reach
    Many outsource partners are masters of social media. They are able to ensure that your content reaches more people, quickly and effectively. Content creators for these firms are experts at call-to-action content and understand the psychology behind this type of marketing. Furthermore, the best firms often share your content within their own networks, increasing your visibility, and word-of-mouth dependability. 

  2. Greater Content Reach
    Many outsource partners are masters of social media. They are able to ensure that your content reaches more people, quickly and effectively. Content creators for these firms are experts at call-to-action content and understand the psychology behind this type of marketing. Furthermore, the best firms often share your content within their own networks, increasing your visibility, and word-of-mouth dependability. 
  1. Create a Wider Range of Content
    As mentioned previously, outsourcing content creation allows for creativity and freedom to experiment with different types of content. This experimentation allows your business to find the best possible type of content, or to branch out into a new form of content.

    Outsourcing relieves the stress of sending current employees on training for new types of content creation, particularly if you don’t know whether or not said content is right for your business. Keeping current employees up-to-date with the ever changing content trends can be costly. This is why it is best to outsource this kind of work, as the firms are always on top of the trends.

    In the event that you are not sure which form of content is best for your business, outsource partners are able to assess your needs and recommend the best type of content.

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Are We Still Debating?
Taking into consideration all the advantages of outsourcing content creation, it becomes more difficult to see why businesses are still debating whether or not to use these firms. From lower costs and increased productivity, to greater reliability and expertise, outsourcing is quickly becoming a business necessity. So perhaps it is time to stop debating, start saving, and go find that new office coffee machine.