An Online Lead Generation System is also known as Content Marketing.
You need an Online Lead Generation System because the internet is for information. This is what your prospects are looking for. Ask anyone on the street, if they need to buy something, the first thing they do is research it online. The people who get the sales are found online when the prospective customers come looking for information.
Wikipedia defines content marketing as follows:
“Content marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation or sharing of content for the purpose of engaging current and potential consumer bases.”
Content marketing is a very broad strategy, but it is also one of the best ways to form a Lead Generation System; attract and capture leads, nurture them, convert them, and continue to deliver and satisfy after the sale. Translation: Content marketing (if done correctly) forms a big portion of your marketing automation.
According to online research small businesses use content marketing for the following reasons:
- Brand awareness (74%)
- Lead generation (68%)
- Customer retention/loyalty (67%)
- Customer recruitment (60%)
Content marketing is a comprehensive solution that will help your business grow.
According to another research study 80% of business decision-makers prefer to get information from the companies they buy products or services from in a series of articles rather than an advertisement. Wow. Eighty per cent is pretty substantial.
Obviously, there is a need for content marketing.
Content marketing is a new way of interacting with prospects and customers, and it proves that you don’t need a TV commercial or billboard ad in order to get more customers.
Why is content marketing such a big draw? Why would 80% of prospective customers say that they prefer to learn about your product or service via content rather than ads? There are several reasons:
1. No More Interruptions
No-one likes being interrupted. Interruptions throw us out of rhythm. Too many times, marketers feel the need to interrupt the lives of their prospects with an important message. However, too many interruptions make prospects desensitize to these messages and eventually switch off.
Content marketing allows the prospects to come to you. They come because they are seeking meaningful information, an answer to one or more of their problems. And if you’re there, waiting with the answers, you’ll get your message across. Without interruptions.
2. Solve a Problem, Not Pitch a Sale
The “content” of our content marketing also has a lot to do with its success. Maybe everything, actually. Not only should our content be available when our prospects come looking, it should also be delivered as promised. If our content is full of thinly veiled sales pitches, we’ll quickly lose credibility.
Our expertise can (and should) stand alone. We need to educate and inform with no strings attached (other than maybe asking for an email address for follow-up). If our content is relevant and useful, the prospects who consume it will come to us when they’re ready to become customers.
3. Prospects Who Look Forward to Your Messages
As you distribute meaningful content, the kind that prospects come looking for, you’ll have a captive audience. They won’t be annoyed with incessant ads or in-your-face sales pitches. They’ll happily open what you send them because you’ve proven that you’ll send them only material that’s important. Over time, that could include a special offer or an invitation to buy. But for now, it means not trying to oversell and not loading your content with a lot of meaningless fluff.
Be straight, be to the point and be relevant. That’s how you’ll make sure that your prospects look forward to your messages. And your open rates will start to look a lot better.
4. Expand Your Reach
Content marketing allows you to offer a little something for everyone. Because each prospect is different, it isn’t a bad idea to offer various ways for them to consume the content. Methods of content delivery can be as vast as your imagination. Here are some of the ways you can deliver your content to the world:
Videos. Videos can include your delivering a personal message, a video tutorial, a recorded webinar, a humorous sketch or any other content that would look good in motion.
Blog Articles. Blog articles are a great way to keep your content in front of prospects. Try tying current events or even pop culture into your chosen subject to keep things fresh.
Reports. Reports add instant credibility and are a great way to continually distribute important content. For a quick and easy way to create a report, try repurposing old blog posts into a comprehensive article.
Podcasts. Podcasts are a unique way to get your message across. Many prospects love podcasts because they can work on other things while they listen-a great idea for busy consumers.
Byline Articles. You are the expert … prove it by writing an article for a trade publication or local newspaper. Write an article (could be as easy as repurposing a report or blog post) to meet the specs of the desired publication. Work on a query letter and pitch your article to the editor. You’ll get a byline and some free exposure to a large audience.
Newsletters. This one is super easy. Instead of filling your newsletter with coupons and offers (which are good in moderation), send out meaningful tips and tricks that will expand your readership and keep them coming back. Then, those tastefully placed coupons will reach more satisfied prospects who already trust you.
Membership Sites. You can publish a wide variety of content on a membership site. This is a great way to continually educate current customers in addition to providing nurturing materials for prospects. You can even use your membership site as a way to bring in additional cash through upsells or “exclusive” content.
Tweets and Facebook Posts. Nobody said content had to be long. In fact, 140 characters is plenty of space to deliver relevant information that is easily digestible. Links to your own materials or other articles/videos you find helpful also build your network of content. Whether you produced it or not, you’ll get credit for sharing it.
There are a lot of big wins to be had with paid advertising, no doubt about it. But there are even bigger wins (and a bigger ROI) to be had with content marketing. You have content… you wouldn’t be in business without it. It’s time to put that content out into the world and watch the leads come rolling in. These leads are the ones you want, the ones who are looking for a solution. It’s a win-win situation: Your Online Lead Generation System.
If you need help creating your Online Lead Generation System, please contact us.