19, 2020

6 min read

The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.

The following excerpt is from The Content Marketing Handbook by Robert W. Bly. Buy it now on Amazon | Barnes & Noble or click here to buy it direct from us and SAVE 60% in this book if you use code MARKET2021 by 04/03/21.

What makes successful B2B and B2C content marketing campaigns for lead generation? There are 10 key steps.

Step 1: Define the target group and their information needs

In the B2B space, to define the target audience or readership, you need to know the industry, company size and prospect title, responsibilities, training and level of knowledge in the topic you have chosen, and the way in which they are addressing your Use product type in your company. You should also think about the information needs of prospects at the stage of the buying process when you reach them.

Step 2: create a strategic or useful content plan

A strategic content plan is one where publishing and distributing the content solves a marketing problem. A useful content plan disseminates information that is of value to the prospect in their job but is not a selling point for your product or service. For example, a computer reseller can offer prospective customers and customers a special report on how to prevent data loss or hackers, malware and viruses. This type of actionable information does not specifically speed up the steps in the sales cycle or sell the prospect to the reseller or their solutions. But the interested party will appreciate the free tips and will get back the favor by viewing the reseller in a more favorable light. It creates goodwill and creates the impression that you are an expert in your field.

Related Topics: 9 Ways Your Content Marketing Can Generate Leads and Close Sales

Step 3: Choose a format or medium for your lead magnet

Content can be presented in many formats and media, and your choice can make a big difference in the success of your content marketing campaign.

There are many other options besides downloadable white papers or reports. You can:

  • Offer a free webinar, online course, podcast, infographic, or poster.
  • Post a video on your website or on YouTube.
  • Submit an audio CD or DVD.
  • Load useful data and content onto a USB stick.

The key is to think beyond a downloadable report or white paper. Alternative media often attract more attention because they are less widespread.

Step 4: create a great title for your lead magnet

Perhaps the biggest factor that determines whether potential customers will request your free content is the title of your guiding magnet. The aim is to grab the potential customer's attention, arouse interest and curiosity, and force them to request the lead magnet.

Step 5: research, organize, and write the content

The amount of research you need to do depends on your knowledge of the subject. But even if you know the subject well, you should do outside research to expand your knowledge of the subject with facts, figures, and ideas that are outside of your own.

After collecting your content, think about how to organize and present the material. Sometimes, of course, the content dictates a certain organizational scheme, e.g. B. the alphabetical or chronological order. At other times, something as simple as a numbered list might do. Or you can choose a Q&A format like on a website FAQ page.

Finally, write your document. When the document is ready, edit it to make it tighter, clearer, and better. Then have a professional proofreader go over it.

Step 6: create a landing page to download the lead magnet

A landing page is a separate website on which the interested party can request the free piece of bait or lead magnet. On a properly designed, effective landing page, there are only two options: request the free lead magnet or leave it. Therefore, the conversion rate – the percentage of visitors who fill out and submit your form – is much higher on dedicated landing pages than on homepages or other websites.

Step 7: drive traffic to your landing page

How can you drive traffic to your website without using up your available money in a few weeks? There are seven inexpensive ways to get traffic to your website: serving Google ads through affiliate marketing, participating in co-registration popups, buying ads hosted on the web, email marketing, buying ads online, or going viral Marketing by adding an address to your outbound marketing email messages that read "Please forward this email to your friends so they can enjoy this special offer."

There are many other inexpensive ways to get traffic to your website, including postcards, sales letters, print ads, blogs, ads or posts on social media, webinars, or podcasts.

Related: The 7 Rules for Writing Compelling Technical Content

Step 8: fulfill requests

When a prospect requests the lead magnet, you need to deliver electronic lead magnets such as PDF downloads within seconds or minutes. Physical lead magnets such as books or DVDs should be shipped within 24 to 48 hours.

Step 9: follow up

While opinions vary, I would like to require prospects to provide both their phone number and email address so that sales reps can follow up.

Step 10: Make an appointment or an interview

Often, marketers need to be reminded that the ultimate goal of content marketing is not to share information, but to sell something. Finally, you need to take the next step in the sales process by making an appointment – either in person or by phone – with the prospect for a face-to-face sale.

If you've followed steps one through nine correctly, you will have an advantage in this sale for several reasons. First, by offering a lead magnet, you got more leads and therefore more sales dates. The more appointments you have, the more sales you will make.

Second, a well-written white paper or other lead magnet can let potential customers know before the sale date. So by the time you have the first conversation with them, they are already predisposed to buy your product.

Third, good content can anticipate and answer the most common objections that potential customers are likely to have. If objections are raised and answered before the first sales pitch, the conversation can focus on positives, as the negatives have already been addressed and dismissed.

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