Content Marketing for effective lead generation

Last month I had the pleasure of presenting my session on Content Marketing at the inaugural Print Community Forum held in Toronto. It was a lively discussion filled with lots of energy and great ideas from the group.

In its most simplistic form, content marketing literally means taking your content and marketing it. Sounds easy enough, right? If you have the right strategy in place and have properly identified your objectives and key success metrics, then yes. But if you haven’t, you will find yourself Content Marketingin a vicious cycle, with insufficient content to fill the engine.

In case you missed the event, I’ve compiled some highlights and tips to help you succeed in your content marketing efforts.

Know your objectives. Are you trying to generate new leads or nurture your pipeline to convert leads into opportunities into sales?

Know your audience. Remember, everyone ingests content differently. While one person devours a technical whitepaper, his/her colleague may prefer to watch a webinar. Having the right content, for the right person, is critical in nurturing the prospect so that they convert into a lead.

Identify existing content/assets. This includes: whitepapers, webinars, case studies, podcasts, online calculators, videos, etc.

Fill the content gaps. If you are heavy in one type of content (i.e. whitepapers), but light on others (i.e. case studies), start filling the gaps. Your goal should be to have at least two pieces of content for each type of asset.

Repurpose, repurpose, repurpose. Can you repurpose any of your existing content? Some ideas for this include:
• Take a case study and turn it into a webinar.
• Convert a webinar into a whitepaper.
• Take the Q&A from a webinar and turn it into an FAQ.

Ensure your content is well-written and well delivered. We are all trying to make do with the resources at hand. But if you’re sacrificing well-crafted content that stays on message and engages your audience, then you are, (pardon the expression), being penny wise and pound foolish. Invest in the resources to craft a beautifully-written document and you will be able to repurpose it (see point #5) for a variety of secondary deliverables.

Cross-Sell. When someone downloads a whitepaper, thank them and send them a link to a pre-recorded webinar of the same topic. Did they sign up for a webinar? Send them a case study. Try to have at least three pieces of content that focus on the same topic, in different formats so that your audience can consume it at various stages of the buying cycle (see #2).

Use your content to feed your social media engine. Pull out stats, quotes, etc. and tweet them. Then link to the source asset (webinar, whitepaper, case study, etc.). Make sure you are driving traffic back to your website and then tracking the downloads. This will help determine which audiences prefer which types of content.

Good luck. And remember, if your content isn’t delivering, perhaps it’s as simple as changing the title. It’s amazing how something as simple as that can make the difference between a successful campaign and a dud. Be bold and test different titles, subject lines, and even audiences. Finally, don’t be afraid to dust off content from a couple of years ago. If 70% of it is still relevant, it is far simpler to update the other 30% than to start from scratch.

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Joanne Gore

Joanne Gore is a B2B marketer who’s passionate about print and has spent the last three decades helping companies maximize their marketing and communications efforts. Founder of Joanne Gore Communications, she helps companies tell their story to a new generation of print and business buyers. Email: joanne@joannegorecommunications.com Follow her on Twitter: @joannegore121