Plan Content that attracts leads

The proof is in the statistics: Hubspot has reported this year that B2B companies that blog 11 times or more a month get three times more traffic to their website, telling us that the more we blog, the better. It’s also been noted in their 2017 Marketing Statistics report that 47% of buyers viewed 3-4 pieces of content before engaging with the company (read the full report here). So what does this tell us about content marketing? Well, first of all, it tells us that the majority of Irish businesses are most likely not blogging enough. Second, it highlights a too often ignored fact: people don’t become leads after seeing one piece of content. 

With this in mind, we must note that planning is key to delivering content that will hand-hold potential buyers through the funnel, ultimately resulting in them becoming a customer (and even then the work isn’t done yet!).
Here is some advice on, not writing, but planning the content your company needs to attract leads. 
1. Think of your objectives  

The most important thing to consider before you do anything is your objectives. Are you just writing content for the sake of it, or does your content align with what you want to achieve from your online presence? 
Think about what you want your content to do. The majority of people will want their content to serve some kind of branding purpose, and for it to convert browsers into buyers. Once you’ve decided what your objectives for content marketing are, you have the foundations on which to lay an effective plan. 
2. Get to know your customer

Lead Generation through content marketing is not easy or simple. It requires a lot of things: Marketing knowledge and skill, trial and error, planning, of course, and, most valuable of all, knowledge of your customer. 
In a recent blog post, Dara Creative highlighted how to identify your ideal customer through various steps.  Once you follow these steps and figure who it is you’re targeting, make it your business to get to know them. Where are they online, how do they usually interact with content, are they online at all or do you need to target the people in their business who influence them?  Get to know them, and then start researching how you can best target them.      

Researching Content_ Holmes GiF                                                                                                                               
3. Start researching
Unfortunately, this is the part that a lot of marketers skip. You're told “everyone is doing whitepapers” so you go and produce a tonne of whitepapers, never develop any leads, and decide content marketing isn’t for your business. If you had taken the time to research you would have earned that in your industry, Whitepapers are generally only downloaded by their existing customers and that ebooks and blog posts are in fact what their potential customers will engage with. They might have also learned that search engines are a great way to target those who influence decision makers and then they could have come up with an SEO strategy that could have potentially generated several leads. 
Research is a vague concept, so here is what we recommend you do when researching for a content plan: 

  • Keyword research - what are people actually searching?
  • Best practice on various content types - what has historically worked best on emails, blog posts, landing pages and so on, not only for you but for other businesses in your sector?
  • Social Listening - use social media to see what kind of content is making people in your target industry tick.
  • Search Engine Research - Discover what kind of content is performing best on search engines in relation to your industry 

4. Map your content to the funnel 
Once you have carried out some research, you’ll have an idea of the kind of content and messaging you think will work for your company. Now, it’s time to look back to the funnel and determine what content will work best for each stage. 
Each stage requires slightly different messaging and offerings, so it’s important to map out which content types help move the customers to the next phase. 
5. Think beyond the blog
When we think of how to attract customers through content, we often just think about blogs, but there is so much more to it than that. Landing pages, whitepapers, ebooks, videos, Social Media Content, live broadcasts, even podcasts are all elements to consider when it comes to your content marketing strategy. 
Again, keep an eye on that funnel and take some time to plan out what types of content work for your brand, and which types suit which stage of the funnel best. 
6. Always be converting

Finally, when devising your content plan, always keep the goal of conversion in your mind. Each piece of content you create should be crafted and presented in such a way that encourages people to perform a desired action on the page, whether that’s filling in a contact form, downloading something, or watching a video. 
Content Marketing is not something that you can just do and get immediate results. As you can probably tell from the advice above, it takes time to research and plan, and even more time to improve as time goes on. That being said, a well researched and managed content strategy can be the very thing that sets you apart from your competitors. 

If you’re looking for help in developing and delivering content that works for your business, get in touch by clicking the button below and filling out the form. 

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