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“But I never wanted to become a publisher,” says Joe Business Owner, “I just wanted to keep selling these widgets – it’s what I do best.” My apologies, Mr. B.O., but in today’s digital world, your potential widget buyers are looking for information long before they commit to buying what you’re peddling.
Where do they go? Online, of course. So it’s gonna be a lot harder for you to compete when your widget competition is publishing articles about the benefits of widgets and producing videos showing potential customers how to use said widgets.
Today’s thriving small businesses understand the power of great content and they also understand the unfortunate reality that on top of everything you already do, it’s your job to be a publisher too. Growing a business in the digital age demands it.
This isn’t about volume. It’s about quality, providing content specific to your ideal customers and drawing them to you. Done right, content marketing can help you get found in search and more importantly, generate leads.
Done right, content marketing can help you get found in search and more importantly, generate leads.
In this post, my top 4 tips for using content to supercharge your lead generation.
1. Start with research… then pack your patience.
Content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. You can’t expect your first blog post to bring immediate results. It takes sustained effort and investment over time to be successful. That’s why a plan is crucial.
Do some keyword research, identify the top keywords you’d like to be found for (words popular enough to be searched but not overly competitive) then put together a supporting content plan.
If you’re just starting out, you’ll get more traction if you blog twice a week. If you only have time to blog once a week, make consistency and quality your top priority. For content marketing to work, you need a lot of good content, and that takes time.
2. Use Social Media to amplify your message.
While blogging is a key place to start, if you want your content to start to attract more readers, you need to tap into social media. Use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to alert followers about new posts, driving them to your website.
It can be discouraging (especially on a Facebook business page) to see that your post reached 10 people. Rest assured that even if your post didn’t seem very visible, your efforts are still worth it. According to Search Engine Journal, “social signals let Google know your site is being talked about,” and this helps with search engine optimization.
If you’re just starting out, spend $20 to boost your post on Facebook. It’s a great way to drive engagement and traffic to your new blog.
3. Offer Value to your readers in the form or a resource guide, checklist or eBook.
Your potential customers aren’t going online to learn all about you. They’re looking to solve a problem or improve their own lives. If you can show up and present a solution to their problem when they’re looking for it, you’ll create a lead generation machine.
The best way to determine what to offer is to ask yourself a simple question: what problem do you solve for your customers? Compile your solution into a resource guide, a checklist or a simple eBook. Offer this for download in exchange for an email address. Promote on your website, on social media, and consider running Facebook ads to it.
Those who choose to download have said “yes!” I want to learn more about what you have to offer. This opens the door to email marketing to these potential customers... and that's a powerful tool for converting leads.
4. Try Guest Posting
You’ve heard of backlinks, right? If a prominent website links to yours, this tells Google that you’re legit and helps push you up in search results. But backlinking doesn't just happen on its own. You’ve got to be proactive about it.
Arguably, this can be one of the most time consuming parts of content marketing. But it’s also one of the most valuable.
Find a website that’s got some authority in your local market, and offer to add value to its readers by way of a guest post. Reach out to influencers in your industry and offer them solid content for their site. Often the easiest way to open the door to guest posting is to offer it on your site as well. This helps you develop a relationship with influencers and it attracts their audience to your blog.
Guest posting works best with a plan. Research what sites you’d like to target, create content specific to their audience, then systematically reach out to site managers for your opportunity.
There’s so much potential with content marketing. What happens to many business owners, though, is they dive in without a plan. Then it becomes this overwhelming beast that doesn’t produce results. Before you launch your content marketing campaign, consider chatting with a marketing consultant to help you build a solid strategy. A solid strategy incrementally increases visibility, leading to what every small business owner wants: more customers.