Generating New Leads is Important
The topic of content marketing has come up quite a bit in conversations with clients lately, especially high-tech clients. There seems to be a bit of confusion about what it is and why it’s important.
For example, a new client said that he understood the importance of “reaching out” to new prospects. Like many business owners, he knew that once he was able to initiate a conversation with a prospect his superior technology would win them over.
The problem he faces is not unlike that of any business: attracting leads.
There’s only so far you can go with referrals, even if they’re great referrals. At some point, you’ve got to get the word out to a larger audience.
My client understood that he needed more traffic through the search engines and social media, but didn’t know much more than the basics of search engine optimization. To explain the topic more clearly, I’ll describe:
- What we mean by “Content”…
- Why Content Marketing is important…
- And how SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is directly impacted by Content Marketing
What is “Content?”
Content in terms of Content Marketing takes on many shapes and sizes:
- Webinars and recorded seminars…
- Articles (online and in newsletters)…
- Podcasts (audio)…
- Product trials and demonstrations…
- White papers and “Special Reports” (E-books)…
- Recorded PowerPoint presentations…
- Online videos (for training or dissemination of information)…
- Promotional marketing collateral…
- And pretty much anything you do on your website or blog.
Why Content Marketing is Important
A 2010 Lenskold Group / emedia Lead Generation marketing ROI Study showed the relative effectiveness of different kinds of content in attracting leads and converting them into customers. The results showed effectiveness ratings as follows:
|Marketing Tactic||Rating as Effective|
|Engaging customers via educational webinars & seminars||52%|
|Engabing new contacts with new articles, newsletters||42%|
|Engaging and educating customers with product trials||42%|
|Engaging and educating customers with whitepapers/e-books||35%|
|Generating leads via promotional marketing collateral||33%|
|Motivating response via offers and incentives in exchange for contact information||30%|
|Generating sales leads with limited-time discounts and offers||28%|
|Engaging new contacts with interactive tools||23%|
In other words, quality content generates leads that convert more easily into sales. It’s the nature of giving in today’s overly-social world.
How SEO is Impacted by Content Marketing
This is an EXTREMELY condensed version of a longer conversation.
There are three primary things that effect your search engine ranking:
- How well you optimize each web page and your website for the keyword phrases that are important to you.
- The number of QUALITY websites that link to your website as a valuable resource.
- And, perhaps most importantly today, the level of real user activity on your website.
“User activity” is defined as people visiting your website by clicking on the search engine results page; how long they stay on your site; whether or not they click through to other pages on your site; and whether or not they “interact” with you and others through your web pages.
That is, they’ll “Re-Tweet” your page, “Like” your page on Facebook, comment on your blog posts, and use one of a dozen social bookmarking sites to “Bookmark” your page.
Now, here’s how Content Marketing fits in:
The more CONTENT you have both on your website and on the Internet (on YouTube, Slideshare, and other websites), the more easily people will find your site, visit your site, and interact with your site.
And, the more they find, visit, and interact with your website, the more the search engines will see your website as a “Winner”; thus, moving you to the top of the search engine heap.
Content Marketing isn’t merely blog posts. It’s all the content you produce that has the net effect of attracting more visitors to your website. And, the more content you have on your website, the longer they’ll stay, the more they’ll interact with you, and the higher you’ll get in the search engine rankings.
So, if you want to attract more “organic” leads without costly direct advertising or relying on word of mouth, Content Marketing is an excellent choice.Written by Sid Smith Written by Sid Smith