There are a number of benefits involved when creating written content aimed at generating leads. You’ll increase traffic, significantly influence your bottom-line and generally be better poised to harness the power of your blog or website. Generating leads is similar to fishing alongside thousands of other people, hoping to reel in a profitable catch. You need the best bait and a unique style to ensure you find just what you are looking for.
Generating new leads is crucial to achieving success in business. A ‘lead’ refers to someone (from your target audience) who has shown an interest in the products or services provided by a company, while ‘lead generation’ is the process of finding the right target groups to sell to. Lead generation is a lot easier now, as a result of advancements in communication and technology. Putting out the right communication in the form of written content is one of the ways to generate leads. If you are wondering how to effectively channel this method, here’s how…
Focus On More than Just the Sale
It is understandable if you think, ‘This is weird, why shouldn’t I be totally consumed with getting my target audience to buy?’ especially because you are trying to generate leads, right? However, content that seems too ‘salesy’ can achieve the exact opposite of what you want and actually drive people away.
In order to effectively grow leads, your content (or at least a reasonable chunk of it) should be focused on providing information, being educational, solving problems for your readers and being generally helpful. It’s risky business to try and cram your content with sales pitches for products and services. Naturally, people detest the feeling that they are being forced or manipulated into making a purchase. Therefore, content that tries to ‘encourage’ people to buy, or seems to shove products or services down their throat with every paragraph, is going to turn them off.
Therefore, instead of putting all your focus on making sales, consider offering value to your reader. If you will teach your customer base something useful, you will become an authority in their eyes and the sales will subsequently follow.
Look Beyond Blogs
Blogs are one of the most effective ways to provide new content. Many businesses choose them to publish new content online, but there are some other effective methods that can help you engage with potential customers and generate leads. Consider white papers, eBooks and other forms of quality content, when trying to reach a wider audience. Visual content is more attractive to most people and has a higher possibility of gauging interest when you need it most. Whatever form of content you choose, they should be provided after your target has been presented with a form to help you collect useful information you can use later.
Call to Action (CTA)
A ‘Call to Action’ (known in the content writing community as a CTA) is probably one of the most important, yet commonly forgotten aspects of written content. Your content is not only aimed at providing useful information for your readers, but also at educating them about your company, service or product. It is important to always remember that many people who visited your site could benefit from your services or products.
You started your company because you believe in the power of what you offer as a means to change lives. Therefore, make sure that within each blog post and on each webpage, there is a button, link or direction for the customer to click or follow (that is easy to find) in order to learn more about what you have to offer. If your content is a blog post, then the CTA should be at the very end. Ensure that the call to action is relevant to the page where it is placed.
Provide Premium Content
Your written content is the main determinant of the success of your post, while everything else from frequency to length or graphics comes later. Premium content means more than scoring 100% in the spell-checks department or being grammatically on-point, even though those are also essential.
Therefore, a good post with those qualities will only count if it is first and foremost useful to your audience. Listen to your audience and learn what they want to read about, so that you are not just adding to the noise on the internet by uploading empty posts. Also, learn about the characteristics of quality content and ensure your posts are not lacking where it counts. In addition to ticking the right boxes that qualify great writing, remember to include high quality complementing graphics to support the main points of your post. This is important in order to lead viewers to click on your post via social media or on your landing page.
Provide Premium Content in Large Quantity
If you are looking to generate leads with written content, then you must write LOTS of useful content. One blog post a week or two in a month doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what you need in order to break through the fog of information available online and stand out. If you want to get people to your website or to your blog organically, and pile up leads from your content, you have to write as much as possible. Don’t be like many mistaken marketers, suffering under the assumption that one well-written blog post will start a forest fire of traffic leading to your site. It won’t. You’ll need to be writing regularly and consistently for an extended period of time. If you are personally unable to write every day, then find someone that can help. Creating content quickly is important, so find someone who can do the job quickly and efficiently. By the time you increase the quantity of high quality content on your site, you’ll start to enjoy the related benefits, including more quality leads.
Control Post Length
Many content marketers and SEO experts have long debated the ideal length of a blog post. When it comes to how long content should be, a good rule of thumb is to focus on the amount that your readers would find useful. Naturally, longer posts will have more detailed information, but sometimes the length doesn’t really matter. Content can be as short as 300 words or as long as 3000 words, and still be considered useful. Another important factor is length of titles and meta-descriptions. These can be any length, but search engines will usually cut them down when they surpass 160 characters, so this is important when crafting titles and so on.
Use Easy Language
Except when you are writing for professors and the like, business speak can easily kill the effect you are trying to create with content writing. You might impress some people, but you won’t successfully generate leads online. The internet isn’t a formal space, so formal writing will scarcely work online. Your readers will prefer content that is to the point, relatable and easy to comprehend. Confuse them and you might lose them. Therefore, when writing for an online audience, keep your tone carefully conversational. Try to break down your language and topics to a level that is easily digestible and relatable while maintaining relevance to your message.
Make It Interactive
There is a high demand for interactive content nowadays. Every day, both businesses and consumers come face to face with online content at a rate that is causing an eventual reduction in readers’ attention span. Fewer people have the time to read through a blog post or a white-paper the length of 2000 words. The time allocated to specific content is getting shorter and shorter, and it is necessary to grab and hold on to attention in a few short seconds. Today’s consumers therefore need interactive content that adds value and keeps them engaged. Interactive content such as quizzes or calculators can be used to maintain interest. For example, instead of a 1500-word post about how to pan a video campaign, an interactive calculator that offers an insight into the costs of video campaigns will be more effective. You can even use both. Interactive content has high share rates, and higher chances of going viral, which makes it ideal content material to use as a lead generation tool.
Make Use of Infographics
Infographics are part of interactive content, but are important and must therefore be emphasised. Marketers use infographic now 800% more often than in the past. Interactive infographics (which are a step up from the basic infographics of the past) are more effective as content tools to generate leads. Insert prominent CTA throughout, offering readers related content that can be sent via email. The email then becomes a lead capture opportunity. Also, remember to include a form at the header or footer of the infographic for visitors interested in engaging with you.
Content writing in order to generate leads is a marathon, not a sprint. It is difficult and takes time, requiring creativity, patience and the ability to write well. If you follow these nine ways, add in a tenth – consistency – and you’ll eventually be able to track quality leads from your content.