3 Content Marketing Strategies That Generate Qualified Leads

Not everyone everywhere is part of your target audience.

The estimated reading time for this post is 7 minutes

Every business wants more qualified leads created on or coming to their website. After all, it’s no longer true with websites that “if you build it, the right leads will come.” You have to “build it” then “make them come” to your site specifically.

But is everyone a qualified lead—one that your business has identified through research to the perfect customer for your business? Is every person on the street in your target audience where qualified leads live?

Today, to get qualified leads to your site, it’s no longer enough to be great at what you do, passionate about whom you serve or offer unique products or services and hope people will notice and buy from you. That’s not the internet of the second decade of the 21st century and “hope” alone has never been an effective marketing strategy.

You also don’t want the vanity numbers represented by old-school traffic counter at the bottom of a website. All website traffic is not good traffic. Your goal isn’t to drive any and everyone to your website.

Vanity numbers don’t generate the revenue that pays the bills. So, while there may be some people looking for services just like yours, you want that customer to buy from you, right?

You also want to work with your ideal clients, the ones where both you and the client win. Those clients get what they need from you and you get paid what you’re worth. Then, you receive great testimonials or referrals from them. Isn’t that your goal?

How do you attract qualified leads to your website?

To sell to your ideal clients, you have to attract the right people to your online offerings at the right time in their buyer process and convert them to customers. What gets qualified lead traffic to your site and keeps them there long enough to see why they should become paying customers? It’s outstanding content.

Your content must resonate with our ideal customer in a way that makes them stay on your site long enough to read as much as possible, develop trust in you and want to buy from you. That’s where content marketing becomes critical.

The content marketing process is pretty straightforward, though not entirely simple. It is a strategic marketing activity focused on consistently creating highly valuable, relatable, shareable content that you distribute to your highly-targeted audience to attract them and keep them focused on your brand.

Copy is about sales and is focused on your brand, its features and its goals. It's advertising. Click To Tweet

It is then distributed across the right digital platforms to attract and gain their interest in your offerings. Those people become leads that, depending on where they are in their buying process, you can convert into your clients (often over time).

Keep in mind, however, that marketing is about creating awareness of your brand and its offerings. It is not sales, which is the process that converts leads into clients.  

But, content marketing must be done correctly to create the marketing outcomes you want. Here are three ways to maximize your content marketing opportunities to achieve those goals.

Focus on your audience and their needs rather than your revenue targets

Your target audience is on channel WIIFM—“what’s in it for me?” So, don’t make yours a selfie site. Focus your content marketing on your audience’s needs, not on sending them a constant stream of sales pitches from you.

That’s advertising copy, not genuine content marketing. You always develop content marketing programs around how to meet your target lead’s needs and solve their pressing issues.

Content is about building relationships with your audience through useful information focused on their needs. It's educational. Click To Tweet

Certainly, it’s important to have lots of copy on your site that shows the features of your product or services and tells the story of your business in a compelling manner. But that’s brand-focused marketing or advertising. Authentic content marketing requires you to offer much the more immediately useful, valuable information tools.

That includes blog posts, ebooks, checklists, short email courses, free templates, calculators, resource lists, videos and infographics that can help your target audience start to address their pain points or achieve their desires.

Provide lots of this kind of content and you’ll develop a loyal base of visitors who make your business the go-to resource for the information they need. Once you win their confidence, many may become your buyers.

But, remember, there will always be those who won’t ever buy from you no matter what you offer. That’s why your content marketing strategy should one backed by a formal plan that includes detailed buyer personas of both those you want as clients and those you don’t. That way, you can use content to weed out the unqualified leads quickly on your way to your real buyers.

One final thought about this first aspect of a qualified lead-generating strategy. If you’re not a great strategic content writer, you should hire a professional. There are few things worse for your target leads to see than poorly written content. That is more likely to drive them to a competitor than make them your customer.

Let your visitors sample your wares

You’ve got to give away some of the store to show people that they can trust you. Show them that you know what you’re doing or that you’re an expert in your industry who has created the solution to their pressing problem.

Provide them with content that explains to them how to succeed to a limited extent, or even entirely, without your product or service. Sounds strange, right? It works.

Think about the times that it worked with you. Those free samples, complimentary services, webinars, articles, demonstrations, fully-functional trials, calculators, checklists and other free product and service offerings sold you on a brand. “Download a sample” on Kindle sells a lot of ebooks!

But, be genuine in your intent. Remember, you exist to help your customers win and be happy, not just to make the next sale. So, don’t design and promote content with the ulterior motive of “just closing the deal.”

Your intent will be as visible to your visitors as the smarmy sales tricks some bad internet marketers still use. And, that’s an outdated sales approach that backfires in an environment where you have multiple competitors offering alternatives to your business.

Have a working on-page and off page SEO strategy

Traditionally, experts told us that SEO is very hard and something you need to spend thousands of dollars a month to do. Traditional SEO is hard, and many big brands so spend thousands of dollars on it each month with good reason: it works when done correctly and based on current standards.

But, the methods used to achieve the same results with traditional SEO have changed dramatically and continue to change. It has become easier to incorporate keyword optimization into your content marketing strategy than ever before, even for the smallest enterprise

That’s because the focus now is the quality of your content not only strategies like backlinking, use of multiple keywords and guest blogging. That change is good because excellent, targeted, high-quality content on your site is necessary for success in a hyper-competitive online environment.

Start with strong on-page SEO. Write good content that focused on a single keyword or phrase like “business property insurance” or “corporate litigation.”

Then, write content about those subject that you make immediately useful, readily available and free. Next, add your off-page tactics like social media and email newsletters. Integrate offline marketing tactics like PR, event marketing and networking then tie those back to your content marketing strategy.

SEO may be easier to do for the average business owner, but it still will take some investment in time and education to make yours effective. (On WordPress, a plugin like Yoast will help, especially if you use its extensive educational resources to gain mastery).

But invest in both time and education; then, be patient because it can take months to succeed even if you’re using the best tactics.

Get Professional Help and Training to Get Started

These are just three of the important aspects of your content marketing strategy you should implement to maximize your efforts toward generating qualified leads for your business with content marketing.

There’s a lot you need to understand so get educated by investing in the right tools, free and paid, to learn. 

And, again, if you need help writing or producing aspects of your content marketing campaign, hire the right professionals. Taking these steps will have you driving the right traffic to your site relatively short order.

(c) 2014-2019. Dahna M. Chandler for Get Money Moxie, Inc., a division of Thrive Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced in whole or in part without express written permission of the author.

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