Share

By Rachael Balsillie

Before you can start selling to your audience, you need to know who your ideal customer is, where they are, and what they will buy. Download our proven Customer Avatar Worksheet now and get clear on who you’re selling to.

(Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on the Shopify Partners blog. Read the original post here.)

Whether you’re an affiliate marketer, web developer, or agency, content creation is a topic that touches all entrepreneurs and businesses. Whether it’s via an email newsletter, social media campaign, or blog post, most modern-day businesses have turned to content-driven marketing as a means of advertising and growing their businesses.

Content creation is a topic that touches all entrepreneurs and businesses.

But is the content you’re sharing actually having a direct impact on the success of your business? Is it actually helping you to meet the business goals you’ve set for this quarter?

While PR and business awareness campaigns are important, most small businesses and entrepreneurs are predominantly focused on sales and scaling their business — therefore content built around generating leads is the most impactful form of marketing they can invest in.

By creating lead-generating content, you can easily measure the success and direct impact of your marketing efforts, while also building up a steady flow of business, which is something all business owners can agree is a great thing.

With all this in mind, read on for three tips on how to create content that will generate leads to keep your business growing.

1. Develop and Share Valuable, Targeted Content

how to generate leads: target

Sharing information and insights is a great way to generate leads. Investing in building and distributing high-quality, informative content will help demonstrate your knowledge and skill set as a business. This will, in turn, help you establish your business as an expert in your field.

People naturally turn to a subject-matter expert when they’re looking to learn about a specific topic, and when it comes to product or service recommendations, that expert will appear to be more reliable than the average Joe. People want to do business with experts.

How do you go about developing high-quality, informative, lead-driving content?

Firstly, there are a few key things to keep in mind:

  • Audience
  • SEO
  • Content format

In order to develop valuable, targeted content, you need to have a very specific audience in mind. Defining your audience sets the tone for what content you will create, the keywords you will optimize for, and the format or medium in which your content is delivered.

To define your audience, you’ll need to create a buyer persona (aka a customer avatar). Reviewing past clients and contacts in your database will help give some insight into who you’re writing for and selling services to. Answering questions about their background, demographics, and personality identifiers will help round out the picture of who your target audience is.

Keep both your target audience and your overall business goals top of mind as you’re generating your keyword list.

Once you’ve defined your audience, figuring out which keywords to optimize for is a much simpler task.

Keep both your target audience and your overall business goals top of mind as you’re generating your keyword list. This will help you generate a list broad enough to appeal to a sizeable audience while ensuring that the audience you attract fits with your business goals.

Finally, informative, lead-driving content goes well beyond a typical blog post — think more along the lines of a…

  • White paper
  • Infographic
  • eBook
  • Video course

This type of content is typically gated or requires a download, so people have to provide their email in exchange for access. Sharing content in this format provides you with the contact information of all the potential customers who followed through on your call-to-action (CTA), therefore making them highly qualified leads.

2. Maintain a Strong Content Strategy Across All Channels

how to generate leads: channels

Content plays a very important role in generating leads for an online business. Consumers are largely turned off by traditional forms of advertising, and businesses find traditional marketing increasingly less effective with each passing year.

Content is king when it comes to digital marketing; it’s all about attracting and engaging your target audience by developing and distributing messaging that is both relevant and valuable to them.

In order to achieve this goal, you first need to develop a content strategy to ensure the messaging you’re sharing with your audience ties back to your business goals and bolsters your business’ overall mission.

Why?

Well, without a strategy to back up the content you’re sharing, you will likely fall into the trap of focusing on short-term, sporadic tactics, rather than aligning to your overall business goal. The messaging across your marketing channels becomes disjointed and your audience becomes less-targeted and therefore confused.

With a loosely defined audience and incoherent messaging, your CTAs will fall on deaf ears and fewer readers will turn into leads and customers.

The solution — a strong content strategy.

As Shopify Affiliate Coordinator Yasmin Alameddine explains, a content strategy is a tangible but iterative plan that enables you to “provide the right content, to the right audience, at the right time, with the right goals.”

The “right” goal, is to not only align with but also bolster your business’ overall mission.

“The ‘right’ goal, is to not only align with but also bolster your business’ overall mission,” Yasmin adds. It provides a framework for planning, developing, and distributing quality content that will attract and engage potential customers.

In order to develop a content strategy, you’ll need to define your business goals to set the stage for the rest of the strategy development. Basing your content strategy on your business goals will ensure that your content is always first serving the most important needs of your business, and focused on helping you achieve success.

Following that you’ll need to…

  • Define your audience
  • Target keyword list
  • And test what content format works best for your audience

3. Implement Clear CTAs in All Content

how to generate leads: call to action

If your goal is to generate leads, then you need to ensure the content you’re sharing is action-oriented. Whatever format you choose, whether it’s a blog post, email newsletter, or video, you need to tell your readers what you want them to do next.

The valuable content you’ve created and shared is the persuasive setup to your CTA. Your audience will already be primed to your message and goals, so you can show them an offer that they can’t refuse.

Here are several key factors to keep in mind when creating a CTA:

  • Make your CTAs obvious and easy to find — You don’t want your audience digging for the next step. Make responding to your request as simple as possible for them by placing them in clear, conspicuous spots.
  • Create a sense of urgency — Remind your readers to follow up immediately, rather than delaying and letting them eventually forget to respond to your CTA.
  • Ensure your CTA is action and benefit-oriented — Too often, basic CTAs like ”click here” or “download now” just sound like work and often create a mental block to following through. Ensure your CTA reflects the benefit your audience will receive by answering your CTA, therefore making it much more inviting to your prospective leads. Something more along the lines of “Give Me More Insights” or “Get The eBook Now” is much more appealing.
  • Limit to one CTA — The more choices or options that an audience has to deliberate, the more confused and indecisive they will become, and the less likely they are to respond to your request. Keep to fewer choices, and your audience will be less confused and therefore more likely to follow your CTA.

Strong CTAs are essential to the lead generation process. Without them, your audience will engage with your content and then leave.

Create Content that Helps You Grow Your Business

Time is money for small business owners, freelancers, and agencies. When entrepreneurs are deciding between tasks, it’s usually based on what can have the most impact with the least amount of effort.

Ensuring that your marketing goes beyond PR and business awareness campaigns, and is focused on attracting leads to become new customers does exactly that.

Lead generating content can help to ensure a steady flow of new business and is crucial to your business’ success.

(NOTE: Before you can start selling to your audience, you need to know who your ideal customer is, where they are, and what they will buy. Download our proven Customer Avatar Worksheet now and get clear on who you’re selling to.)

Download our proven Customer Avatar Worksheet to get clear on who you’re selling to

By Rachael Balsillie

Sourced from DIGITAL MARKETER