Although there's no magic bullet for increasing lead generation, a few simple and direct marketing fundamentals can help you boost response to your content. By applying those proven tactics to both your content and the material used to promote it, you can generate more leads.
This article outlines how to optimize your content and marketing for response—so more people actually read, watch, or listen to your content.
Specifically, it provides six tips for crafting marketing communications that excel at generating qualified leads.
1. Give your content an interesting or benefit-oriented title
Boring titles are one of the biggest mistakes in marketing content used to generate leads. I see it a lot in scientific tech when the company is promoting something to scientists or engineers.
One terrific way to improve your headline is to include a benefit. For example, look at the title of the following article from the optogenetics field: Afraid of the Dark? Conquering Fear with Optogenetics. The benefit is overcoming fear.
You can also consider using action words and numbers to make titles —for example, Seven Questions to Ask When Choosing an Optogenetics Tool.
Benefit headlines and titles increase clickthroughs because you're enticing prospects by telling them exactly what they'll gain from reading your content.
2. Try using a problem-based headline instead of a solution-based headline
I know... I just told you to include a benefit in your headline. But that's not the only way to improve response. Another way is to put a problem into the title, headline, or subject line.
Why? Because people are wired to respond to problems; it's just how our brains work. We're always on the lookout for problems to solve in day-to-day life.
As an example, here's a solution or benefit headline:
How to Get Ahead in Your Small Business
And here's that same headline, but rearranged to be problem-focused:
Struggling to Get Ahead in Your Small Business?
The second headline is also formatted as a question, which is another way to improve response.
3. Narrow your readership to one target audience
This is a tough one. You probably have more than one audience, even for a single product or service.
Most clients I work with have a hard time isolating a single target audience for a piece of content. They often think they'll miss out on reaching more potential customers.
But content and marketing copy written for one audience works best. Otherwise you risk writing something that doesn't appeal to anyone.
For example, if you sell scientific equipment to both R&D and high-volume manufacturing (HVM) cleanrooms, write separate content pieces for each audience. Research scientists working in cleanrooms have challenges and motivations different from those of process engineers working in HVM fabs.
4. Consider putting the job function in the title
Putting the job function you're targeting in the title of your content increases the quality of leads you generate and attracts more attention because you're specifying whom the piece of content is for.
In other words, you're selecting the audience.
Let's say you're writing an article or whitepaper. In the example of research scientists working in cleanrooms, you could simply put a subtitle below the title of the whitepaper that reads something like this: A Guide for Scientists Working in R&D Cleanrooms
Now your readers know exactly whom the article or whitepaper is for.
5. Put a call to action at the end
You might be thinking that this particular tip is unnecessary. It's 2021, and everyone knows to put a CTA at the end of a marketing piece. Right?
Well, I can tell you firsthand that lots of marketers still don't do it.
You don't want to take the trouble of writing a piece of content and then have your readers or viewers not take the next step. So figure out what you want them to do after consuming your content, and tell them to do it!
Maybe you want them to schedule a product demo, call for more information, visit a landing page or your contact page, or visit your booth at an upcoming tradeshow. Whatever it is, make sure you tell them.
Here's an easy template for a call to action at the end of an article:
To find out more about how you can [GAIN BENEFIT or SOLVE PROBLEM] using [SPECIFIC PRODUCT], please visit [LINK].
6. Promote and repurpose your content aggressively
And I do mean aggressively.
It's odd how many companies create a hefty piece of content, send out a few tweets about it, and then stop.
For every major piece of content you create, you need to have a plan to get it in front of as many potential customers as possible.
Start by promoting the piece to your own audience (email list, newsletter, website blog, followers on LinkedIn, etc.) and ask that it be shared.
Then consider promoting it in industry newsletters, sending out a press release, doing a Google or LinkedIn ad campaign, or giving it away as a handout at tradeshows.
As for repurposing, you should always slice and dice your content into other forms.
For example, you can split up a whitepaper into a series of blog posts, each focusing on a specific section of the document (the problem, what's been done before, the solution, etc.). You can also repurpose it as an article to be published in a trade journal, or turn into a slide deck or webinar. You have lots of options!
The bottom line: make sure your content isn't a one-hit wonder. Follow Joe Pulizzi's advice, and think 1 to 10—that is, repurpose each piece of content into 10 additional pieces.
You've already created the material, so it shouldn't require a lot of extra work on your part.
In summary, to generate more leads with your content...
- Give your content an interesting and benefit-oriented title.
- Try using a problem-based headline instead of a solution-based headline.
- Narrow the readership of your content to one target audience.
- Consider putting the job function in the title.
- Place a call to action at the end.
- Promote and repurpose your content aggressively.
Follow the tips in this article, and you'll soon be reaping the benefits.
More Resources on Generating Leads With Content Marketing
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- Build B2B Marketing Trust With Evidence-Based Content: Melanie Deziel on Marketing Smarts [Podcast]
- The Cost of Poor Business Writing
- 12 Reasons User-Generated Content Is Important for Brands [Infographic]
- Why You Need a Branded Podcast (And How to Create and Brand Yours)
- Five Trends Fueling the Rise of Visual, Data-Driven Storytelling [Infographic]
- Seven Tips for Writing Content Effectively [Infographic]