Have you set a goal to use content marketing for lead generation?

With the disruption of the pandemic, the new year is going to see some of the long-term effects. You can expect postponing or canceling of many in-person events for the near future — at least.

With fewer marketing resources, many small businesses like yours are taking the time to focus on content marketing for lead generation. As a business, you should continue producing high-quality content that your audiences will love. That means you are going to have to work harder to compete with your own content marketing efforts.

In this article, I’m going to cover the steps your small business should take for a successful content marketing campaign.

Pull Together a Content Strategy RoadMap

The first thing you need for a successful content marketing campaign is a good overall content strategy or “roadmap”. Having a documented content marketing strategy is the biggest predictor of your success in content marketing.

According to an article in SmartInsights, 69% of B2B marketers have a documented content strategy.

percentage of B2B marketers with a documented content strategy

What’s Included in a Content Marketing Strategy RoadMap?

A comprehensive content marketing strategy will consist of:

You need to speak to your target audience and speak to the topics and pain points they have. This is the content they will be seeking out and reading!

Here are a few trusted content marketing strategy templates you can check out:

content marketing roadmap

Content Marketing Strategy Example

Here’s a content marketing strategy example that might help make it more real for you.

Let’s use a rental property agency as our example. In order to use your content to attract these property owners to your website, you would create helpful content around topics they are most interested in.

What are your content marketing goals?

Your first step is to determine what you would like to achieve with a clearly defined goal or set of goals. For example:

  • Gain more followers on social media,
  • Generate more leads on your website
  • Stay within a specific budget

The most important thing is to make sure your marketing teams know how to follow through with your content strategy

What does your ideal customer want to know?

Your content goal is to attract these property owners to your website,

Make a list of all the questions and information that your customer might want to know. In our rental property example these might include:

  • What are typical problems related to rent collection?
  • How do you screen tenants?
  • What’s a legal eviction process.

Ultimately, a great content strategy will align your business goals with those of your audience. In the process, you’ll be able to create and promote content that your audience loves while maximizing your return on investment (ROI). With a deeper understanding of who you’re marketing to, you can develop content that carries prospects from the top of the funnel all the way to a sale with minimal drop-offs along the way.

Should I Use In-House Writers or Outsourced Writers To Create Content?

a group of people brainstorming on content creation

With your content marketing strategy in place, you might be wondering how you’re going to create all this content? Should you use internal team members, hire in-house writers, use an agency or outsource your content to freelancers? It’s a big decision.

Your choice will depend on your budget, the amount of time you’re willing to spend on hiring an in-house team, and the kind of flexibility you’re looking for when it comes to scaling. In many cases, outsourcing is ideal because it frees up resources on your end that you can then redirect toward other aspects of marketing or growing your business.

After the pandemic, remote working has become almost more of a standard, and you can find and hire freelancers on sites like Upwork to name a few.

Here is a great content creation comparison chart that might help you decide

content creation comparison chart
Content Creation Comparison Chart via Zerys

Set a Baseline for Conversion Statistics

Content marketing is more of a long term game. So, you want to measure these strategies and results in the long run, not for a few weeks or months.

Your first step is to develop a Conversion model that can help you measure the success of your content marketing campaigns. Otherwise, you may not know exactly how much to spend on your strategies based on the results you want.

With a budget in mind, make some predictions around ROI and conversions that you expect. Throughout the year, you can compare your actual ROI to those predictions. This will help you identify areas of improvement and adjust your strategies.

Use and Leverage Content Marketing Tools

a busy desktop featuring a computer, keyboard

In addition to an in-depth strategy and in-house or outsourced content writers, you will need to have the best tools to help you produce, publish, curate, and monitor the performance of your content.

Having the best content tools will give your teams what they need to succeed, but you may not have to worry about this aspect if you outsource content to a digital marketing agency, which will likely have the tools needed to get the job done right.

Make sure your team has access to content publishing platforms, content management systems (CMSs), analytics tools, and other technology that can help your strategies excel.

Including each of these ingredients in your content marketing campaigns will help you flourish in 2021 and beyond. If you can invest the time, money, and effort that content marketing demands, you’ll be well-equipped to stay ahead of competitors and give your audiences what they want.

What to Do Next – Start Today

In this article, I’ve provided a 10,000 foot view of using content marketing for lead generation. I know that it can seem overwhelming because there are so many moving parts. Don’t let that stop you from starting a content marketing strategy to generate leads for your business.

Keep it simple. Focus on your ideal customer and what questions they might have about your product or service. Then create content that answers those questions.

Make it Easy for Customers to Contact You

Everything is content. And that includes your contact information.

Make sure your company phone number, email and contact information is clearly visible; at the top of the page, in the footer, on a contact us page and anywhere else you can fit it in.

Don’t forget to include contact forms or ways for visitors to sign up for your newsletter or a free download.

After all, what’s the point of creating a content marketing strategy if it doesn’t generate leads?