Does your company have a solid product or a valuable service but not enough quality leads? We feel you. Being growth marketers, we know exactly how to create the black-belt lead generation machine you need.
In this series, we’ll take you through the most powerful strategies to maximize your lead generation process. Compare this journey to climbing a mountain: it takes several small steps to build this lead generation machine. Each step is a metaphorical screw in the machine, so don’t skip any or it will fall apart.
This article is the second part of a quadrilogy:
- Optimize your company profile and website for lead generation
- Creating an inbound marketing content strategy
- Program your lead generation machine to start collecting leads
- Let the tools do the work for you by automating the lead generation process
In the first article, we talked about optimizing your website for lead nurturing. Better-optimized websites and landing pages are likely to have a higher conversion rate to turn visitors into leads. It is now time to create an interesting and relevant inbound marketing strategy for your target audience. You can use content marketing to keep your potential leads and your company followers engaged and informed.
If your visitors don’t know who you are, what you do, or how you can provide value to them, then you have already lost their attention.
Now, let’s discover the 7 inbound marketing content strategies that can help you generate leads like never before.
1. Invest in SEO (conversion-focused content)
Search engine optimization is the process of adapting web page content for ranking higher on search engines. Aka increasing the visibility of your website.
SEO helps a website get more traffic from organic (unpaid) search engine results. Numerous factors affect a website’s SEO score, such as keywords used, backlinks, quality of content, and images used on the webpages.
Unlike social media marketing, content creation for SEO does not give instant results. Especially if you have a new website, it might take much longer for a piece of content or blog posts to rank higher on search engines. But this does not stop it from being the number 1 inbound marketing strategy.
Keep in mind that investment of time and resources in SEO takes 4-6 months until the results are visible. But these results are much more sustainable than paid advertising, outbound marketing, or email marketing.
However, for SEO content strategy, you need to keep your blog posts constantly updated. People are always looking for fresh content. If your article is about two-year-old trends, then nobody would want to click on it. And if nobody clicks on it, then you are not going to rank higher on the search results. No traffic means no lead nurturing.
The best practice for an inbound strategy using SEO is to understand the keywords your target audience is looking for. Use this knowledge to directly provide solutions to the problems they are trying to solve. In this process, make sure that your content is more valuable than the other articles on similar topics.
Once your articles are addressing specific pain-points, make sure that you distribute and share it on different relevant platforms. This will help you boost your views and engagement of your business website while also improving your domain score.
Here is our SEO checklist that you can download and use the next time you are creating content as a part of your inbound marketing strategy.
2. Tailor content to meet your B2B leads
When you are writing blogs, articles, or other content for your inbound marketing strategy, make sure that you optimize it for lead nurturing. The goal here is to provide maximum value to your visitor so that they feel comfortable to leave their details with you.
These 2 steps are the key to any lead generation process:
- Understand what stage of the pirate funnel your visitors belong to.
- Target them with more personalized content.
You don’t greet your best friends in the same way as you interact with strangers. Neither should you target your first-time visitors the same way as your loyal customers. Take your target audience through the journey from them visiting your website/article/posts for the first time to them visiting the 12th one.
A good practice is to identify the stage of the funnel your target audiences are in. Are they on the top (TOFU), middle (MOFU), or bottom (BOFU) of the pirate funnel? This is an important question to answer.
When you share BOFU content such as “Buy now” with someone who has just read your first article, it is going to intimidate the reader. They might feel overwhelmed and close your website. This means a lost potential lead.
Similarly, someone at BOFU should not be targeted with “learn more about XYZ”. Instead, they should be served with “Find the right plan for you” to close the deal.
Here are the steps you can take to ensure that you redirect your customers to the inbound content for the right stage of the pirate funnel:
- Create content for each step of the funnel.
- Create a hierarchy of your articles.
- In the introduction mention if you assume your audience should know something.
- If they should know something, then share the article that covers that information.
- In the end, link the articles to the next stage of the funnel.
These points for inbound marketing content strategy will ensure that the right information reaches your audience. Now, they won’t be confused by articles that are not targeted towards them, making them more likely to convert.
3. Do competitor analysis
When you are writing articles or creating lead magnets for your inbound marketing process, competitor analysis is important.
You can take a look at what your competitors are doing. The purpose of this is not to copy what they are doing. But instead, try to understand what is working and what can be improved.
In your inbound marketing lead magnets and articles, try to
- Provide valuable content that other articles are missing.
- Understand what they are doing well and do it better.
- Identify their shortcomings and try to avoid them.
Providing better value than your competitors will naturally draw more inbound leads for your business.
To rank higher on search engines, it is important to have the right keywords. While you are doing your competitor analysis, also check for the keywords that the top 10 articles share in common.
Tools like SurferSEO, Ahrefs and Semrush can greatly save your time by providing you with all of this information.
4. Distribute your content on all relevant channels
Once you have published an article or blog with a focussed keyword, it is important to get some traffic on this page. Gaining some traffic within 24 hours of publishing content is good for SEO. More traffic on your website means better lead generation.
This is because it tells search engines that your article/blog is very popular, so it will show it higher on the results page.
To get the right traffic to your website, make sure that you distribute your content only on the relevant channels.
Here are the steps we recommend you to follow:
- Identify the right channels for your inbound marketing strategy. If you need more help, this article can help you find the right channels: How To Find Customers Online Using 20+ Actionable Strategies (in 5 platforms).
- Within every channel, there are subgroups/communities. Try to identify the ones that are most relevant to your inbound marketing. Various websites list subgroups, like for example, you can use https://slofile.com/ for finding different slack channels.
- Join the ones that are most relevant to your business. Don’t hesitate to join multiple channels, the more the better.
- Adapt your content to match the tone and style of the chosen channels. If you follow this step correctly, you will have as many different copies as the channels you pick.
- While you are adapting your content to fit into different channels, look out for the value you can provide to them. Different channels address different audiences and all of them are looking for value in different forms. Make sure that your inbound marketing strategy provides the right value to the right channels.
- Monitor the results. Keep an eye on which channels are working best for you and which ones you need to change the content on. Based on this, you can scale, pivot, or kill your distribution.
To get inspiration, here’s Harry Dry’s distribution plan for marketingexamples.com. See how he is not limited to one channel and one subgroup:
5. Join engagement pods
You need to join engagement pods if you are:
- A new business,
- New on a specific social media platform,
- Haven’t posted in a long time,
- Don’t have enough followers.
Every company wants to create a bandwagon effect. But before you can do so, you need to have nice content, a decent number of followers, and high engagement.
Having just started, your engagement would be quite low. Not a lot of people will be able to see your posts when you distribute them on different platforms.
By joining relevant engagement pods, you can share the links of your social posts and you will immediately get some traffic and engagement from other members of the pod.
Here are the steps you can take to increase your engagement using engagement pods:
- First, you need to find the right pods. You can use tools like Lempod to find the right engagement pods for your inbound marketing.
- After you join these pods, try to build a rapport by engaging with other people’s posts.
- Once you have a decent rapport, you can start sharing your posts here. Make sure you share them immediately after you post them.
- In the posts you share with the pods, try to provide some context or a summary of the value they can get by reading your content.
- Writing nice attention grabbers can help gain more traffic since all engagement pods contain thousands of people and a lot of posts are shared every day.
Make sure you do not overuse engagement pods for your inbound marketing. While they help you generate a lot of engagement in the beginning, they are not always genuine. People are very good at spotting this. If it happens repeatedly, then your target audience might lose interest.
6. Write on Quora/Reddit to get free traffic.
People are already asking and talking about topics concerning your product or service on the internet. You only have one thing to do — hunt for those questions to optimize your inbound marketing content.
Quora and Reddit are the two most popular platforms where people ask questions, which are answered by other members/experts. On Reddit, you can also post links or create a self-post and then discuss it with like-minded people.
Here is a step-by-step guide of B2B lead generation on Quora and Reddit:
- Set up your account. Make sure that you set it up as an individual account and not as a company. In most cases, you don’t want to make it very obvious that you are trying to promote something for your inbound marketing.
- Join subreddits (on Reddit)/ spaces (on Quora) relevant for your business. Subreddits and spaces are communities of people that like to discuss a specific topic.
- Gain some reputation in these communities by answering questions, providing your insights, and engaging with other people’s posts.
- Once you have a decent reputation, you can start recommending your product or service when someone asks a question about it or in a relevant discussion.
- You can also make posts by showing some features that your product or service has that no other competitor has. Make sure that people are actually looking for your product or service as a solution for your inbound content strategy to work.
You can check our examples on Reddit to see how we provided our insights and promote ourselves without making people feel uncomfortable. For each post, we got thousands of upvotes and traffic to our website.
Here are the links to some of our Reddit posts. You can examine how we do it and copy-paste the same proven strategy to increase traffic to your website.
It is important to follow these steps because if you straight up trying to sell your company’s offerings, the other community members might not like it and it will not get the results you were looking for.
For a more step-by-step approach on how to find your audience or right communities on Quora/ Reddit, visit Linkedin Content Marketing: How to plan a year’s worth of content in an hour. This article will take you through that process with the help of screenshots.
Note: Don’t forget to check the answers; you can find ideas and even lead generation tactics from the answer section.
Podcasts are becoming increasingly popular as an inbound marketing content strategy. It is a great source for people to keep up with the latest trends by following what others are doing in the industry.
People typically listen to podcasts:
- While they are traveling/commuting,
- During work breaks
- When driving
- At home
Most podcasts address specific audiences that are interested in a particular topic. Here is what you can do for B2B lead generation with podcasts:
- Start your own podcast. Before you do that, make sure you create a content plan for a few episodes in advance. Most podcasts often fail to do so and are not able to keep making new podcasts. A dead podcast is quite opposite to the typical inbound marketing strategy aims. Meaning that it will drive your customers away.
- Find the podcasts relevant to your business and request to make a guest appearance. Try to provide your value proposition and your pros during this podcast without making it sound sales focused. Provide them with an easy to remember link to your landing pages. This is a way to get new website visitors.
- If you start your own podcast, make sure you invite the popular kid of your industry. This will help you increase your visibility and reach more people. It will also make people associate your business with that person/business. So make sure you select the popular kid with a good reputation to attract your ideal customers.
Through podcasts, you can inform other businesses that you are resourceful and that they can rely on you. This is the right kind of trust you need for your inbound marketing strategy.
Wow, you made it till the end. This means you now have 7 solid inbound marketing content strategies for your business, with enough actionable tips to get you started.
Unlike optimizing your website, results or growth achieved from your inbound marketing strategy won't be reflected directly in your conversion rate. But, you can expect it to grow over time.
Keep in mind that you cultivate a habit of content creation for nurturing your leads. The goal of marketing inbound content is to provide maximum value. Every piece of content should educate instead of pushing sales.
If you keep following the right practices, your conversion rate will soon increase. In no time, you will have the email addresses of your ideal customers and more visits on your landing page and social media than ever before.