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According to this report from Forbes, lead generation is considered the lifeblood of any business. And it is marketers who are always held accountable for this task—the reason for its ability to gain massive traction online. Of course, most marketers say you need to tell your brand story, help your clientele or prospects, share valuable information, etc. But the key to everything remains content marketing, no matter which tactic you opt for!

percentage of b2b respondents using content marketing

The power of content to grab attention is the core reason for generating more leads than any other digital marketing technique. This is why more than 88% of businesses are heavily investing in content marketing.  The report also suggests that content marketing plays an important role in increasing brand awareness among your audience, building new relationships, getting qualified leads, and turning prospects into loyal clients. The higher quality of leads directly results in quick sales. By generating leads, you help your business grow and strengthen your marketing team’s credibility.

This guide will help you understand all the aspects that revolve around content marketing and how it works for lead generation.

Role Of Lead Generation In Digital Marketing

Lead generation has been an essential marketing strategy for a long time, but techniques have changed with the rapid evolution in the industry. It is a basic process of stimulating interaction and grabbing the prospects and visitors who seem to be interested in a company, product, or service. The process would help the company to obtain valuable information.

The reason behind obtaining the information is developing a sales funnel. This funnel involves marketing efforts that keep the prospects updated throughout their buying journey until they are turned into customers. The entire lead generation process is for the sole purpose of gaining information from prospects to nurture them into loyal clients so that they are not lost midway!

Lead generation is helpful for any size of business – whether B2C or B2B. But determining an excellent or qualified lead is more challenging than just targeting people who just downloaded a piece of content from your website. Additionally, there is no cold-calling unqualified leads when there are better ways to refine your target.

Back in the past, when digital marketing had just begun, email blasts were the only tactic to generate leads. But the abundance of information used makes it very challenging for the businesses to determine, track, or engage with the prospects. This is why more than 58% of marketers and business leaders find lead generation a pain point in their sales journey.

However, the advancement of digital marketing techniques and the introduction of content marketing have changed the game forever! Today, there are numerous ways to turn visitors into leads, determine qualified leads, and nurture them for conversion. And one of the proven and most used methods is Content Marketing.

The modern audience that you cater to is more advanced and informed than ever. This is why email bombardment with unnecessary information is only going to result in a lost prospect. However, using content marketing strategies with unique, engaging, entertaining, and appealing information is the key to lead generation.

No matter which method you follow, lead generation is a crucial tool for increased revenue, constant growth, visibility, credibility, increased traffic, higher ROI, and of course, more qualified leads. In addition, the lead generation process involves gaining leads that can be nurtured into loyal clients. So, here is what you need to know about leads.

What is a lead?

A lead is an individual, a business, or any other entity that shows interest in your company, product, or service you sell through any scalable channel (website, social media platform, advertisements, and campaigns).

How To Know If An Individual Is Showing Interest In Your Company Or Offerings?

Numerous people may visit your shop every day but don’t leave any information behind, but many stop by and leave their contact details to know more! This is a clear sign that they are interested in your products, services, or maybe the deals you offer.

Anyone who walks in the premises of your company physically or digitally is considered a lead. But, anyone who walks in or visits you but leaves any information for you is regarded as a qualified lead. By providing valuable information, prospects expect you to keep them updated about your offerings. This is the most formal way for a prospect to show interest in your company’s product or service.

When you refer to brick-and-mortar shops, a physical visit by a person would be enough to consider him a lead. Noting down their number or even a name will help you get back to him and know his interest. Additionally, a walk-in who fills in any sort of company forms, review forms, information forms for you will be considered a lead.

However, as businesses have evolved and turned digital entirely, various methods are scaling the visitors or leads. To list a few, here are some ways to determine a lead.

Visitors turn into leads when they:

  • Visit you physically or digitally
  • Sign up for your business newsletters
  • Sign up on the business platform
  • Following on any social media page or group
  • Click through a link to your website
  • Engage in webinars
  • Engage on social media posts
  • Engage in any form of content
  • Download any content from your website or affiliate platform
  • Click through an advertisement
  • Interact with a CTA (Message you or call you)

The process involves a strategy to stimulate the visitors to perform these actions. Once these actions take place, you can determine a lead in no time.

By going through each point, it is pretty adamant that all the ways determine a lead revolve around content of one kind or another.

Lead Generation Challenges Faced By Businesses & Marketers

Lead Generation Challenges Faced By Businesses & Marketers

Did you know? Over 45% of new businesses fail in the first five years of starting their business, and over 65% fail during the first ten years. The ratio has been consistent, but most companies fail because they go about the wrong marketing methods without researching the market and knowing the trends. Not having a well-designed marketing strategy means very few to no leads at all.

Additionally, lead generation plays a significant role in the growth of any business, and content marketing is the most efficient way to generate the most leads.

Here are a few more challenges businesses face with lead generation; going through them, you will realize one way or another all challenges are linked with content.

Grabbing The Right Amount Of Attention

Over 42% of marketers find it challenging to discover the best strategy, channel, and offering to attract their audience. Given that the attention span of the audience is narrowing due to the abundance of information, this is a significant problem that makes many businesses fail.

If you want to grab the attention of tech-savvy customers, you need to be more efficient and have a strategy that stands out. But for that, you must know your target audience, its preferences, its buying behavior, your competitors, and the best channel to approach the audience most effectively.

Dealing With Warm Leads

Being a business or a marketer, you must be well aware that leads don’t always convert the first time; they take time to nurture and close the sale. However, most businesses and marketers find it agitating and overwhelming, which it is. But there are ways to combat this challenge – you must have the right resources to understand the lead engagement levels. This will help you invest your time and efforts on qualified leads only and enable you to push them closer to conversion.

Lead Response Time Management

Like managing the deals, marketers also face difficulties in responding to the leads timely and efficiently.

According to the survey, only around 7% of the companies follow the average lead response time of 5 minutes. The primary issue that arises with most businesses is that they take too long to respond to the leads, which shrinks their chances of conversion.

Given the tight competition in the market with thousands of similar products, people don’t want to wait. This is why over 78% of consumers purchase from the first responders only; responding to inquiries promptly is a vital way of conversion.

Moreover, prompt replies within a minute highly increase the chances of conversion. Consumers can reach out to you with lightning-fast speed due to the internet and expect the same response rate and speed. Not doing so makes them lose interest in your company. However, living in a digital era, it is a must for a business to be swift at responding to leads.

According to an hbr.org audit, around 37% of businesses respond to leads within an hour, while the other 16% take at least 24 hours to respond, 24% took more than 24 hours, and 23% of the companies never answered all. The average response time among companies that responded within 30 days was 42 hours.

The longer you take to respond to the leads, the lower the chances of conversion. This means intentionally risking the business and letting it fail. However, a streamlined process for swift responses to leads will ensure sales, growth, and ROI.

Measuring The Results Generated

2020 and 2021 have been the era of data-driven digital businesses. Essentially, it means most companies have embraced or aspire to embrace a results-driven strategy. This is where they analyze the previous data to work on the new strategy. At the same time, many businesses are still struggling with measuring lead generation success.

There is a significant need for technological tools to evaluate the success of modern-day marketing. If not so, you can still consider the success by different methods like calculating the amount invested and dividing it by the sales done. This is a viable method, but numerous tools and techniques are available to scale the lead generation results. However, businesses and marketers are still unfamiliar with them.

Creating Relevancy With Content

In this day and age, everything from business to customers revolves around digital platforms. And given that content is the king of the digital industry, most businesses fail because of poor content marketing. If you are wondering why would content make a business fail? Well, modern-day consumers are intelligent, well-informed, and tech-savvy; they might know more than you do. Therefore, dull, boring, and salesy content is not the best approach to convert them.

Why Choose Content Marketing For Lead Generation?

best way to measure the worth of any strategy

The best way to measure the worth of any strategy is to evaluate the results. More than 74% of companies claimed that content marketing has helped them generate more and higher-quality leads. At the same time, around 67% of B2B and B2C companies consider lead generation for determining their content marketing success. Given that content marketing creates a massive impact, over 75% of marketers are now investing in content marketing.

Research suggests that online visitors will mainly use your website for two purposes: either looking for information or a product. However, non-optimized, dull, and unengaging content may lead you to lose potential sales.

Undoubtedly, content is one of the best ways for marketing, and great content is the most cost-effective way for lead generation and boosting sales. Additionally, content marketing can generate three times more leads than conventional marketing.

Most of the marketers in the industry have realized that 96 percent of first-time website visitors will not purchase directly from you. Instead, they would spend some time going through the content on your website, some reviews, demos, blogs, or other pieces of information they would find before finalizing their purchase. Not only this, but they will also look up your competitors, options available on the market, and what best suits them.

The world is evolving with technology creating millions of digital solutions for consumers. Everything is at the fingertips of the consumers. This is why you need to stand out creatively with unique content when reaching out to the audience.

This is the core reason why conventional digital marketing tactics can’t gain you leads anymore. Therefore, a content marketing strategy is essential to boost your lead generation efforts. But, going out on the field without planning would not help much, which is why you should know your game inside out. A well-designed strategy and a content blueprint that not only speaks but screams value instead of a straightforward sales pitch should be curated as your proposal.

How Does Content Marketing Work For A Business?

Content has been a part of every marketing campaign, whether conventional or digital. However, new methods have newly been discovered by marketers. Now, marketers produce blogs, infographics, images, videos, and other forms of content to engage with visitors. The level of engagement helps businesses determine the level of customers’ interest in a particular content.

Furthermore, the results scaled from the previous efforts help businesses generate more and better content marketing strategies in the future. This means a business’s strategy keeps on improving after every content marketing campaign they run. This means more potential leads are generated through each piece of content.

Almost all traffic and leads derived through content marketing are organically attracted through search engines. Additionally, these are most relatable to your content and the industry you serve. This makes them the most qualified and refined leads.

Web-users use Google Search Engaging to look up their desired information, and all the relatable queries are displayed on the SERP. This I show your content organically reached your prospects. If visitors open your website or content, they clearly show signs of interest in your offerings. Once they land on your website, content again comes into play and nurtures the leads until they covert and close the sale.

The process clearly defines how content marketing works for a business right from the start of the sales funnel until the very end. As a result, research suggests:

  • 90% of the organization globally perform marketing through content
  • 91% B2B and 86% B2C businesses and marketers use content marketing for lead generation
  • 78% CMOs believe custom content is the future of digital marketing
  • 37% business claimed that their content-led website outperform
  • 80% of consumers prefer learning about a company or product through custom content

Considering the statistics, it is hard to overlook the power of content marketing for a business’s generation leads and growth.

How To Generate Leads Through Content Marketing

Going through the entire guide, you must have understood the power of content marketing by now. Modern marketers know that content can generate 3 times more leads than any other traditional marketing technique. So now the challenge for you here is producing content that stands out and generates as many leads as the stats claim. Well, every strategy works differently for every business.

However, you can work your way out by doing your research right and considering all the points we have mentioned above. To help you, this guide also entails a few strategies that will help you generate leads in no time.

Understand And Leverage Buyer Persona

The first thing to develop a content marketing strategy that gains more leads is creating a buyer persona. Next, you must research your audience, define the target audience, preferences, region, and everything that comes into play in a buyer journey.

Once you analyze everything, generate a well-defined profile that reflects the most accurate form of your buyer persona. And use it as the foundation for designing your content marketing strategy.

Having a defined buyer persona will help you understand the:

  • biographical information of most of your target audience
  • the average income of your potential audience
  • geographical information of your target audience
  • values and goals of your potential customers
  • pain points of their target audience
  • audience’s role and behavior in the buyer journey
  • any objection towards your product or similar products in the market
  • the region where your ideal customers reside
  • the best time to reach them your perfect clientele
  • the best channels to reach your audience

You can also use tools like Facebook audience insights, survey gizmo, and quant cast to define your audience.

Create Compelling Content According To Your Clients Interest

If you want to grab the attention, you need to create content according to your audience’s preference. Content that your audience likes will attract traffic to your website and then generate leads for you. Here are a few content types you use to bring in more traffic and increase lead generation.

  • Blogs
  • Videos
  • E-books
  • Social Media Posts
  • Quizzes
  • Infographics
  • Webinars
  • Case Studies
  • Reports
  • Free Trials
  • Demonstration videos
  • Podcasts

Content Syndication

Content syndication involves sharing content, but unlike guest posting, it doesn’t have to be unique. You can allow people to republish it on several different platforms. The best thing about content syndication is that it doesn’t require you to work on content time and time again. A single blog post can be shared several times or even several hundred times and offers a wealth of benefits.

It gives maximum exposure to your content, extends its life, increases traffic drastically. Moreover, a more significant number of publishing means improved visibility. The reshaping or republishing of content also turns you into an industry expert as your content builds your brand image. Content syndication strategy increases engagement which ultimately results in lead generation. Additionally, the method gains you high-quality backlinks, which help you rank on the SERPs.

Choose Your Distribution Channels Or Networks Carefully

Creating content is one thing but getting it published on the most rewarding channel is another. No matter how good your content may be, it won’t help you in any way if not published on the right platform. Therefore, you must research the channels where you can reach massive audiences. Look for platforms where most of your audience is present, and then make the decision mindfully. So that you know what works best for you.

Organic Channels

You can choose between paid and organic channels or opt for both. Additionally, there are several avenues to choose from when distributing the content. Here is a list of a few platforms that are ideal to be used for organic campaigns:

  • Search engines
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Tumble
  • LinkedIn
  • Quora

Note: Since you need original content everywhere, it is vital to recognize where most of your potential audience can be found.  Therefore, do adequate research before you begin. Your fictional buyer persona profile will also help you determine where your audience spends time mostly. This way, it will be easier for you to concentrate on one platform and maximize on budget.

Paid Channels

Paid channels work with the fund, and you need to run a paid campaign over a platform to distribute your content among the audience. In this process, AI helps you maximize the traffic and produce the highest quality of leads.

Here are some of the most popular paid channels for traffic and lead generation.

  • Search ads
  • Google ads
  • Social media ads (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.)
  • Native Ads (Ads appearing on other platforms)
  • Display ads
  • Content discovery networks

Making use of both organic and paid distribution can help make lead generation more holistic for your site in the long run.

Create Lead Magnets

Nowadays, thousands of businesses offer the same products and services, due to which consumers are already bombarded with information. This makes them reluctant to share their contact details with any more platforms. However, lead magnets help you attract people so that they automatically offer you their valuable information.

You need to produce informational content, speak about the audience’s problem, and tell them its solution. Once they realize you can offer them something valuable, they will share their information to get more from you.

Here are a few tools that work as lead magnets for most businesses:

  • eBooks
  • Reports
  • Webinars
  • Examples
  • Resource lists
  • Recipes
  • Quizzes
  • Courses
  • Videos
  • Checklists
  • Cheatsheets
  • Templates
  • Tutorials
  • Guides

Create An Optimized Landing Page

Getting traffic on your website is one thing but turning traffic into leads is another. If you have massive traffic over your website but no leads, it means there is something wrong with your website; most likely, it is not optimized for generating leads, which is like wasting many opportunities. Here are some popular strategies to optimize your landing page.

It should be compelling and loaded with the right tools. Try to remove the navigation bar from the landing page, so there is a lesser chance for the traffic to leave the page. Add a clear and visible CTA (call-to-action) that grabs attention and has the power to offer more. These things will lure the visitors easily.

In a nutshell

It is pretty overwhelming to see so many businesses and marketers struggling with the lead generation with so much technology and tools available for free. However, adequate research and learning new things can help enterprises and marketers find the best solutions.

To help the people in such a scenario, this guide is put together mindfully to create awareness of how content marketing has shifted the marketing world for good! Today, lead generation is easier than ever; using content marketing and the right resources will help businesses overcome all challenges they face with lead generation.

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