Five content marketing best practices for lead generation

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If you have any familiarity with Google’s search engine algorithm updates of the past few years, you’re probably aware that many of the old techniques for ranking well no longer work like they used to (here’s looking at you, link-exchange and content farm). It’s a brave new world out there, where you need to embrace a suite of optimisation tools to get your site to the masses; and then even more to reel them in and turn them into leads.

To that end, out of all the stuff that’s been shown to work, digital content marketing easily takes the cake for the best way to grab those interested viewers – no doubt eliciting a resigned I-told-you-so from Google headquarters, whose foremost mantra for search engine optimisation has always been “Content is King.”

1. Market to Others as You Would Want to be Marketed to

It probably shouldn’t be too surprising to learn that the best digital content marketing strategies have parallels to the analogue of real life – you market to others something of value, in the same way that you would like to be marketed to. Add in some general principles to follow – such as finding ways to capitalise on the explosion of mobile devices, for example – and you can add real value to your audience and increase your own leads in no time.

2. Gauging Your Audience

Use analytics. This is a very important point, because it lets you know how well your content resonates with the intended audience. From there, you can build off the success of your previous posts and write additional content that performs even better. Let data guide your content creation.

3. Following the Herd

There is another use for analytics: increased customer engagement through interactive promotions. People are leveraging Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube to encourage participation in webinars and contests. These interactive devices have a tendency to spread like wildfire when done correctly, bringing more people than ever into your social network. Make fan pages, give your loyal customer base a chance to win prizes for referrals, and anything else you can think of.

4. The Mobile Revolution Has Landed!

If you aren’t jumping on the mobile marketing train, you’ll be watching other brands speed off into the unreachable distance before too long. So many people are engaging in online activities using their smartphones, tablets and ultrabooks these days, the tech giants are literally clamouring to make their mobile devices better. They’re being offered at cheaper prices, with more memory and faster processors – all to try and wrest control of the market. Make sure your webpages are optimised for these devices, so that people in your social network can view and share your content readily.

5. Taking Advantage of Exciting New Content Delivery Platforms

Watch the trends to see what delivery methods are all the rage for digital content marketing; are infographics getting more hits and better responses than standard text? Are people visiting Slideshare and Scribd for certain genres more than others? Leveraging these platforms to draw more traffic to your winning content is sure to turn them into viable leads, because you’ve got precisely what they’re looking for.

Use Google Alerts with the right keywords for your digital content marketing, in order to see who is picking up your stuff. Approach these webmasters with more content to garner backlinks, which will drive your site up through the search engine results for more leads.

In summary, content marketing is something that you need to keep working on with regular developments (blogs, sponsorships, whitepapers etc) and it should be guided by insights in to your audience. Changes in the way that people consume media mean you have to be able to meet your audience wherever they are. This means being able to provide mobile-friendly content as well as finding new media forms to engage people. It’s hyperbolic to say the possibilities are limitless… but the limit is certainly a long way away.

By Martin Broadhurst

Image credit: Flickr, smemon

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